When I think about how I connect the dots between my background in healthcare with my career in the insurance industry, my current role as a business leader and my passion about social responsibility, employee benefit models and taking care of people, the answer is pink socks. Yes, pink socks adorned with black mustaches. Allow me to explain.
Empathy and caring have always been at my core. On my fifth birthday, I announced to my family that I would become a nurse. At age 15, I began working as a certified nurse aide in a small rural hospital. I went on to complete nursing school and to work in skilled nursing facilities and home health. I came to the insurance industry by way of my work with brain injury patients and related malpractice, but the settlements always meant less to me than addressing the delivery of timely and quality care, inequities in treatment protocols, benefit models, and creating a positive experience for patients. Those same concerns have informed my work at Sedgwick for the last 17 years.
When I took on my role as Sedgwick's senior healthcare advisor, the company encouraged me to get more involved on social media. At the time, I had no idea what a tweet was, but in short order, I was soon engaging with and meeting like-minded health, technology and benefits professionals. Among them was Nick Adkins, the founder of Pink Socks, a group of people from every point on the healthcare delivery chain “with a common belief that we can do our part to make an impact on the world and change it for the better.” If you're on Twitter, search for #pinksocks and you'll find the tribe. Empathy, listening and caring are what the #pinksocks movement is all about.
Those qualities are critical to what we do at Sedgwick and across the claims and insurance sector. Human connection, empathy, listening and caring are what people need when an accident, illness or health event occurs. While there is growing concern about the silos that have developed across the healthcare delivery spectrum, our job is to make sure that the consumer—whether it's a patient, claimant, member, injured worker, employee, associate, team member or colleague—remains at the center of everything we do. Claims and insurance professionals are often communicating with people at one of the most difficult times in their lives; empathy, listening and caring go a long way in improving someone's really bad day and leaving a lasting impact on the person's experience.
My career at Sedgwick has afforded me the opportunity to be an active participant in the health, benefits and risk arenas. I've worked on the design of technology solutions and various clinical products. I've had the ability to partner with employers and insurance clients to deploy new services for their workforces. I've engaged with so many industry groups, think-tank coalitions, academics, health policy experts, health systems, medical providers, global insurers, investors, startups and founders. It's been the perfect vehicle for bringing all of my passions together.
February is Insurance Careers Month, an industrywide effort to attract new talent to our ranks; however, it is important for us to continue to promote the future of our industry and share the benefits and opportunities available to those who care. As my colleague Scott Westman explained earlier this month, working in claims and insurance provides the “career trifecta”—jobs that are stable, rewarding and limitless. My job at Sedgwick has offered me all of those benefits and continues to offer so much more. I encourage you to explore our career opportunities, join me in the conversation on Twitter, and connect with the #pinksocks tribe. You, too, may soon find yourself with some pink footwear adorned with black mustaches.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kimberly George is the senior vice president of Corporate Development, M&A and Healthcare at Sedgwick Claims Management Services, Inc., the leading global provider of technology-enabled claims and productivity management solutions. Over the course of her career, George has become a true thought leader on issues related to health care quality and containing the costs of risk — issues often featured in discussions on her popular Transforming Healthcare for Tomorrow LinkedIn group. She became a registered nurse more than 25 years ago and since then has served in a variety of leadership roles in case management, integrated disability management and managed care.
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