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Stories are powerful. They bring to life universal feelings and experiences we all share.

These stories reflect our teammates’ personal journeys. Yet they bring to mind journeys many of us experienced in 2020. Watch them and take them in. You may see a bit of yourself. And you’ll certainly gain an appreciation for our well-being movement and the journey we’re on together.

Here are our stories

Andrea Knight Image
Stephanie
THEODORE
SHANNON
SHKELA
AL
ANDREW
MICHELLE
TIFFANY
JEFF
NICHOLE
KARA
THEODORE BENNETT
  • Transcript

    What really motivates me is getting up each morning, thinking about my wife, thinking about my son, and thinking about my future. Hi, this is Theodore Bennett. This is my well-being story.

    I was born and raised in the beautiful country of Jamaica, and I moved to the U.S. in 2016 where I got married to my high school sweetheart. We now how a two-year-old son. My wife, at the end of the year, she starts off with a vision board. The number one goal for me was to be healthy for 2020. I had financial goals. I had spiritual goals. I had educational goals. So, I came into 2020 to dominate.

    However, something unexpected happened. Some unexpected changes came. At the end of January, my supervisor came to me. She spoke with me, and she was like, "Theo, your EOC scores are good." EOC scores are you're knowledgeable. You are customer friendly with the Medicare members.

    My head was swelling, to be honest because my supe, she was telling me that I was doing a great job, and then she said because of my great job, I have been chosen to be a part of a specialized team dealing with our group Medicare members. It seems exciting. It was very exciting, but then it wasn't exciting after a time. It was extremely overwhelming. It was a lot. It required so much of me. It required critical thinking. It required beyond work knowledge. It just required a lot of follow up.

    At the same time while this new position was overwhelming, I was trying to align myself, and then COVID-19. So, at the same time while I'm thinking about adjusting myself to this new job, I'm thinking about the health of my wife, my son, my parents. Is my family going to be one of the statistics on the news? Am I going to get a call that someone is in the hospital that is close to me? I'm here trying to realign to work, and at the same time I'm trying to figure it if my family's safe.

    The icing on the cake came when there was the social uproar with George Floyd's death. That was the next storm. So, imagine having to try to realign to my new position and then having to next think about my safety because of my race. Me and my wife, we grew up in the Caribbean, and we're not used to racism. We're not used to this, and we didn't even know that racism is something that still exists in the U.S. We thought that something that's in documentaries, in history material. We didn't know that it was still hardcore present in the U.S. today.

    I remember, my wife she was extremely overwhelmed by this, and we just sat down and prayed. We prayed. We talked about it because that's the only thing that can resolve it to some extent. I think in that moment of breathing, thinking, and stepping back is where we gain consciousness. That is when I was really able to realign myself. How am I going to push past this? How am I going to move forward?

    I went back to that same vision board that I created. I still had some goals that I wanted to achieve that could have been achieved doing the short timeframe that I had for the rest of the year.

    I remember during that time there was a position open in a new department, and this is a position that is highly spoked about. So, I was extremely excited when there was a new opening. I applied for the position. They said that I did well in my interview, and I was awarded a position on the Claims Research Resolution Units team. So, I was extremely happy about that. One goal was ticked off for 2020, and I was extremely happy about that.

    What I took away from 2020 is that change can come. Change is a must, but you become strong when you're able to work around that change. 2020 is the year of strength. It taught me how to be strong, a better version of me to be honest.

 

SHANNON TEW
  • Transcript

    And I was upset, I was angry. I just couldn't imagine that he could hold me hostage in my own body and tell me that he couldn't fix it when he knew that there was something he could fix.

    Hi, my name is Shannon Tew, and this is my well-being story with Humana.

    My weight has always been a source of contention for me. I've been overweight since I was young and you’re always picked last for the team kind of mentality. And I never really had a motivation to change in any way. And as I'm getting older, I want to be able to see my kids get married, grow up, graduate college, grandchildren. I want to be able to get down on the floor and play with my grandchildren.

    When I initially started this journey, I was at a physician's office trying to get help because I had knee pain. And he told me that until I was serious about my weight, there was nothing he could do. He wasn't going to offer surgery, anything, because he really felt it was my weight, and once we got the weight off, if I needed to be reevaluated, he was happy to do that, but I was leaving there with nothing.

    And when I went to my Bible study that very next week, we were working through Jonah and it literally was a light bulb going on moment when I realized I was no different than Jonah. I was running away from the people that God had put in my path to help me with my weight loss journey. It was a physician who wasn't afraid to say that I needed to get serious about my weight, and I needed to care about myself.

    As a care manager, if I can't talk the talk and walk the walk, I can't lead another member to their health. If I can't follow what I'm giving as instructions or encouragement, and I don't see it as beneficial, they won't either.

    My kickoff for my weight loss journey with Humana really started the first day of the 100 Day Dash. I was all in 20,000 steps a day. Found out going into it, a few weeks into it, that that was the wrong approach. I should have built up to it. But nevertheless, I still had the accountability, set a smaller goal, kept on through to do what I could do. And the 100 days of accountability just made a huge difference in having the momentum to get started.

    COVID at this point has made it more difficult to be able to get out and do the exercise and things that I've wanted to do…to be out walking, to be out at the local gym and things. So I've had to get a little more creative here, and doing alternative exercises and things has allowed me to be able to physically continue my journey.

    The DPP program has allowed me to revisit the nutrition side and be able to make sure that I'm following the best thing that I can do for my diet. But then spiritually, there's a component as well. Eating is a task. Exercising is a task. Reading my Bible is a task. And even though it's not necessarily all done in the same order every day, it's just that if it's planned, it's done, and you have to be purposeful with that.

    I am able to get up out of bed without any issues. I can sleep better at night. I am able to move around. I am able to do what I want to do. I don't feel stoppable at this point. Currently I'm down 80 pounds and it is all because of literally a doctor looking at me and telling me I needed to get my act together. So anger can be a good thing sometimes.

 

NICHOLE HOOD
  • Transcript

    Growing up. We never had a lot of money. Sometimes the money that I'd earn would go towards things like putting gas in the car for getting my parents to work or maybe groceries for the family.

    My name is Nichole Hood, and this is my well-being journey.

    So without a lot of money, my parents didn't have that financial background to be able to pass along that sort of thing to me. I was on my own, pretty much since the time I was 18 and I had to support myself. I had to be financially independent and I worked a lot of service industry jobs and relied on cash tips, most of the time. I didn't have any way to save. I didn't have any way to really even pay my bills all the time. So things like student loan debt, or medical bills, those were completely unmanageable.

    It wasn't always easy, but I'm really proud of how far I've come on my financial journey. It's given me much more of a sense of security and peace of mind that a small financial mishap or something unexpected isn't going to derail me completely. Along my journey I learned that I can set my mind to something and I can have the things that I want and need if I plan accordingly.

    Once I realized I could have a different relationship with money, I decided to really get serious about getting my finances in order and trying to actually do something about it. So I joined Humana's Pursuing Financial Freedom course, and I was able to learn a lot about the basics of budgeting, how credit works, savings and things like that, that I never learned from my parents.

    One of the first things I learned was the difference between wanting something and needing something. And I looked at any purchase with a much more critical eye. I cooked at home more often. I tried to not spend my money frivolously. I was able to get a secured credit card and use it to make a small monthly payment and pay it off every month. I started to pay down my debt in a very deliberate way. Ultimately, I ended up raising my credit score by over 200 points and I was able to buy a home last April. And here it is!

 

KARA VANDENBUSH
  • Transcript

    I am 30 years old, and I have always lived in Wisconsin. So, I've always wanted to see different things, move different places.

    Hi, my name is Kara Vandenbush, and this is my Humana well-being story.

    When I met my fiancé Jim, I was 21 going on 22. I wasn't really sure where I wanted to go and what I wanted to do with my life yet. I was still living at home, but I had dreams of someday being a home owner, someday having my own family, and I just hadn't met the right guy.

    So, when I ran into him, we just kind of got to know each other, and he was in a rough spot in his life with the car accident and being out of work. But he had the same dreams that I did, so I think that's what drew us together.

    When I joined Humana, it was the best decision I ever made. We found this property. We decided to do what's called an option-to-buy agreement. We put the money down on it, and then everything was fine for a few months. I started my job at Humana. That was going great. Then 2020 rolled around. COVID hit, and it just took a turn. We reworked our contract with the gentlemen for the house, the option-to-buy agreement, but he changed it from a two year to a one-year, which coincided with my bankruptcy that I had filed earlier. I can't close on a home loan until a certain time, and when he reworked it, he reworked it to where we would have had to give him another $10,000 to stick with the option-to-buy agreement.

    I turned to my supervisor with Humana, and I was talking to her about it. She actually turned me on to EAP with Humana, which has an abundance of opportunities. One of them that I didn't know was the free attorney. I turned to them and they really, really helped me. They guided me in the way that I needed to go and got things cleared up for me. There was also a program through Humana where if you needed help on bills or whatever, they would send you some money to help you out on bills. So, I took advantage of that as well. I never ever imagined that a company that I work for would help me financially as much as I did get help.

    The biggest decision that I have made in my 30 years of life and my fiancé Jim's biggest decision he's made of 53 years of life was the recent move to Jacksonville, Florida. He wasn't able to find a lot of work in Wisconsin. It was just oddball jobs here and there. It was helping, but it wasn't enough. We talked about it a little bit, decided against it, came back to the decision and agreed upon it. Boom, decision was made, and within 30 days we're residents of Jacksonville, Florida.

    I am looking forward to getting this house unpacked. I am looking forward to getting some things on the wall. I'm looking forward to be able get all of that done so I can hit the beach.

    The biggest thing that I've learned through my journey is everything happens for a reason. There's a reason you struggle. There's a reason that you succeed. That there's just a reason on the other end of why something happens. It's just a matter of pushing yourself through those struggles and strife to get to the other end. There's a silver lining to every single cloud.

 

TIFFANY SPRINKLE
  • Transcript

    Military life is chaotic. You never know what will happen one day, because whatever happens one day will not happen the next.

    Hi, I'm Tiffany. I'm an administration coordinator for the East region, and this is my well-being story.

    My husband and I have been together for six years. We have been married for three. We are high school sweethearts from Sellersburg, Indiana. After we got married, he went into the United States Air Force. When he went in, he went to Texas to train. Every day while he was in Texas, I wrote him about my day. It could have been bad, it could have been good…he heard about it. And after he was finished training, he went to tech school in a different region in Texas. So when he went to tech school, I followed, and I moved with him. We were in Texas for three months, and then we were stationed in Minot, North Dakota.

    Minot is 20 hours from our hometown. So we are very far away from our family. And it's extremely hard on us. It's been hard being a first-time parent without our role models here in person. It's just been emotionally very stressful. This past year, the base has been shut down for many months because of COVID. So we've been months where we're completely alone. We can't have friends over, you can't go to the bowling alley on base, because of COVID. So it has really been a challenging year, especially for my son, and me and my husband as well. Military life is not for everyone. It is very stressful, but I am very blessed to be married to someone serving our country.

    My personal team here at Humana is amazing. I am so thankful for where I am. My team members are always there. Even when our daily routine is messed up because of my military lifestyle, if I have to hurry and get the phone because my husband's calling, or because something's happening and he's going to have to be at work longer, or if I have to go do something really quick, every team member is always offering a helping hand. Or when I first started at Humana, my husband and I were separated in different states. So they would always check on me and they would give me words of encouragement to just help me through the day. And they would always ask how my son is. So they just really make me feel like I belong on that team as well. They're just some amazing team members, and I'm so grateful for each and every one of them.

    I love that we have the Salute NRG. I always, when I'm having a bad day, I jump on that site and it can just turn my day around in a blink of an eye. I see that I'm not alone. There's other families who work for Humana that are missing their loved ones. And I am super blessed that I have my husband home with my son and I, every night. My husband's not deployed. And there are people on NRG that do have family members deployed and they're missing them, and they can't talk to them at all. So it really puts in perspective that we're not alone. And I can reach out to anyone on that site and ask a question or just say how I'm feeling that day. And they'll respond to me with uplifting words, or they'll help to answer my question, direct me to the right place to look. And it's just amazing that Humana has that for us. I am super blessed and it just makes me feel like I belong here.

 

JEFF STROMMEN
  • Transcript

    I think the feeling for me was just, is this really happening?

    Hey, I'm Jeff Strommen and this is my well-being story.

    My well-being journey began really after a week of PTO. Coming back to the office Monday morning, by midday I learned that I was going to be working from home with the virus and everything else going on. And so in March, I think there was just the initial denial like, okay, I guess we'll go work at home and we'll adjust and I'll set up a temporary office space and we'll just make it work.

    I feel like a positive attitude really does determine the outcome as far as how you respond to the adversity or to changes in life. And so that's always been just my own mantra in life is to go with the changes, go with the flow of it, make the best of the situation. And we know that sometimes change is uncomfortable for people. I, myself struggle with it. We dealt with a lot of changes in 2020, but embracing it with an open mind was a big part of that.

    I can tell you the first couple of weeks working at home are really a blur. Honestly, it was one of the things where I came to work at home, but then my kindergarten and second grader we're also going to be doing school at home with me and not in the same place, but under the same roof. So there was the challenge of adjusting, not just to a work-life balance because when you go to work at home, you have to figure out how to navigate and adjust that. This is really my first type of a job where I'm strictly working from home. So this is a new environment for me too, but my kids had never done remote learning. This was all new for all of us.

    Early on I realized that I was feeling the weight of the change, the transition to working from home. Missing the good mornings and the connection with my colleagues, other advocates and associates across the floor, my supervisor, and our manager. And so it was the thought of, okay, I'm dealing with this, I'm feeling the weight of this and the change and the transition, but I bet a lot of my colleagues are feeling the same way.

    And so it was a focus of mine to just reach out to specific individuals within my team, people that I worked with on projects or across the floor, and on an individual basis check in with them on Skype or join our Buzz Yammer group. Being active, being consistent, being someone that they can lean on, whether it's just for positive vibes, or just maybe a funny email or a funny little joke or a clip or something in our chat or in an email.

    I just wanted to be available to my colleagues, not because my position said it, but because that's who I am as a person, as a colleague, as a member of our great Humana family. What grounded me was that perspective that no matter what changes happen in life, I can control my attitude, and my attitude if it's set in a way that's positive then I can embrace the change, I'm going to be successful to change. It's not going to be easy, but we're going to do it together. It's a mindset that's gotten me through in the last year.

    I think it's great with Humana that we have such great support, whether the EAP programs that are available to us, or just to know that we can go to our leadership, our team lead or our supervisor and express if there's something that's going on. And I’m thankful in a lot of ways for 2020, for what it showed me about myself, what it showed me about my colleagues and also what we could be as long as we know that we are truly better together.

 

ANDREW LOWREY
  • Transcript

    Everybody used to refer to me as the fun, charismatic, outgoing guy that was always, I guess you could say, the life of the party.

    My name is Andrew Lowery and this is my well-being journey.

    I was born and raised in the church. It's always been a part of my life. My parents are very religious and they instilled that faith into me from a very young age. But as I got older I started to, instead of just following what they told me was true, question. The more people couldn't give me answers that I felt were good enough, the further I strayed away from my faith.

    Joining the military was kind of a rebellious act for me that I did. As the story goes with many military veterans, I lost a part of myself. I didn't really care for most people. Honestly, I probably hated a lot of people just simply because they were happy. I started to become a person that I didn't recognize. The happy-go-lucky guy started to disappear and he was replaced with an angry individual with a very short temper. I started to push away everyone, everything I knew, the things that made me happy, including my wife and my children.

    For a long time, I didn't realize anything was even wrong. It was just normal. I kind of maybe started to question it. And then things got so bad with myself and the thought of getting divorced had come across and losing my wife and kids. When that came to light it kind of made me rethink how I spent the last three to five years of my life. And I guess you could kind of say that was my rock bottom. And that's kind of when my miracle happened. God, the power that I had followed as the child and teenager with that faith kind of, I say it almost felt like he physically reached down and just slapped me across the face and said, "Wake up."

    So then we started going to church, and the first time there I met the lead pastor of the church that we went to. I started having meetings with him. I started getting myself on the right path with some direction from him and some help.

    A friend of mine called me and she was like, "Hey, I spoke to this guy. He has this job opportunity with insurance sales with a company called Humana. You know, I want you to talk to him, because I think you'd be a good fit for the job." Going to the training in Kentucky and seeing what Humana stood for it made me realize that I was where I was meant to be. It felt like home.

    The Learning Center has brought some light to some more in-depth analysis of my everyday life. The Working on Well-being, the go/WOW, and Go365, I mean, it’s really helped with the emotional, physical, and spiritual, because even though a lot of the well-being stuff may not be specifically about faith, it kind of feels like it was drawn from it or pulled from it. And you can relate a lot of the emotional and spiritual stuff together. It really helped me out with a lot of the anxieties that I had, especially with being stuck at home with COVID. All of those resources, they've kind of helped me gain back a part of myself. Working for Humana and finding God has shown me how to live again and not just be alive.

 

MICHELLE FRANCIS-PORTER
  • Transcript

    A phrase that I use quite often, which is, no storm lasts for forever. I learned that is absolutely true.

    Hi, my name is Michelle Francis-Porter, and this is my Humana well-being journey.

    Prior to the pandemic, I was physically active. I was that avid walker and I would take my 10,000 steps per day and a lot of times I wanted to exceed that 10,000 steps per day. Through our Go365 Program, I would schedule additional challenges. The 100 day dash I would look forward to that coming around, and I would gather my team together and we'll just make a whole sport of it.

    And then the pandemic rolled around and I just lost all energy, all interest in moving at all. It was really disheartening for me and I had a hard time, I got to tell you, because I wasn't doing those things that I love to do from a physical perspective. It was just... It just took a toll on me. So I just started eating sugary foods. I started eating ice cream, cake, candy, and those were things that I've never eaten on a normal basis.

    So I realized that I am gaining weight. I am not feeling as energetic as I usually do. I began to think to myself, "Well, Michelle, who is influencing you. I mean, you live by yourself and so there's really no one distracting you, but you." So I had that moment where I just had to make that pivot and do what I know to be the right thing.

    As I ate better, I felt better and then I began to walk more and I believe that I walk even more than I did prior to the pandemic, because I took an oath to walk four to five miles a day.

    I just began to feel so much energy and so much life. I lost 20 pounds and emotionally, it was just like a relief for me to come to the understanding that I cannot control what's happening externally but what I can control is the things that I can do for myself to make myself healthy and moving around. And just being available for my friends, who I want to encourage during this time.

    So if I'm not feeling my best, then I can't help others feel their best. So emotionally, it really meant a lot. It brought everything together for me, just thinking about what I can do and not those things that I can't do.

 

SHKELA FORREST
  • Transcript

    My purpose in life is to bring hope and to help people keep hope.

    Hi, this is Shkela Forrest. This is my story. This is my well-being journey.

    As a little girl, we lived and raised our food on a farm. My dad grew the vegetables and the fruit, everything, and we raised animals. And that's where we started. As we moved to town, as we called it, the city, the rules were: 18, you date, get your ears pierced at 16, you go to college, get the normal life. I was an average teenager, become a cheerleader, track team…enjoying life. I end up pregnant at 15, and tell my parents when I was in labor that I was pregnant.

    At a young age I knew, when I had my son, what it was going to take for the goals and dreams that I actually had in mind. I was working three, four jobs. I decided to move out. That's when I had my daughter.

    When my daughter was born, the doctors announced at the hospital that she had sickle cell anemia. We would be at the hospital probably seven days every month. One of her treatments at one point was blood transfusions. And I can remember, I would leave the hospital with a daughter screaming, yelling, tubes running everywhere, doctors and nurses saying, "We're losing her." I would look at her and smile and say, "I will be back." Would leave to go to work, change shirts to go to another job. And the point of that story, this is not one time. This went on every day, from the time she was born to the time I lost her at 18. My daughter and my relationship was almost like glue. We would dress alike. Her dream was always, "I'm going to be just like my mom."

    I answered my phone. My son was screaming and hollering, like he was three. I turned the corner. Firefighters, police, and yellow tape. My son lying in the grass, on his back, in fetal position, holding his legs, screaming. I drove up really slow. I put the car in park. I looked at him. He said, "Your daughter has committed suicide." I did not know she had wrote me a letter until a year later, and in my letter she said, "Mom, I tried." She said, "It was a selfish move, Mama. I appreciate everything you've ever taught me. I know this is going to be hard for you." Now listen to this. Out of everything I'm going to tell you, everything she said, "But I knew my mama was strong enough to keep living when I wasn't."

    This is how I explain it to people, how I felt when that happened. Someone stood in front of me and they looked me in my eyes. They took their hand, went in through my mouth and pulled out everything inside of me. Threw it in the dirt, wallowed it around, spit on it, stomped down on it, and then looking me in my eyes said, "If you want to live, you pick it up and put it back in your mouth and reassemble it the same way I took it out."

    So what I did, I put on a smile. I would teach people in the world, not only my family, but other people whose souls have been ripped out, how to reassemble your soul and at the same time shine, and mean it, and be joyful.

    When I'm speaking to my Humana members…and I work in Specialty, and they feel there's no hope. It's, "No one cares. No one hears me. No one calls me back." But they say Humana does. They love Humana. They're speaking in general. They're angry. They're mad. They're scared. When I answer the phone, initially people laugh, and I ask them, "Tell me, what was it about my greeting that made you laugh?" They say, "It's your energy through this phone." And these are people with cancer, calling Humana and speaking to you and it's just like going to a party. Making others happy, it lights a fire under me.

 

AL KLEIN
  • Transcript

    Sometimes the pain isn't physical. Sometimes it's emotional and you ask yourself, "Why am I suffering?" My name is Al and this is my wellbeing story.

    My wife told me, "You're not being very compassionate." And this was after she learned she had six months to live due to ovarian cancer. And it was at that point where I realized I didn't know what compassion meant other than what Webster defined. And what I did learn was that it was the beginning of my compassion journey. I created a Buzz group named “Mindfulness and Compassion at Humana” to find out to what degree compassion could be part of our culture. We now have over 17,000 in our group or about one in three associates where our mission is to offer associates opportunities to learn and practice mindfulness skills and to share these experiences. And our vision is simply to optimize human care.

    And this journey has led me to an abundance of truly compassionate people at Humana. In the fall of 2014, my boss, Dan Mallek asked if we could find something specific in the Louisville area for volunteerism for our team. A few of us went over to City View apartments to start handing out food for Dare to Care. And before we knew it, our team made it part of the culture and each month we found better ways of being able to impact food and security.

    Staying grounded in the community gives me a perspective. It's also important to note that COVID and the economy are impacting these things and as more and more of our community have greater needs, it's up to organizations like Humana to really step up even more. Volunteering with Humana and food insecurity really opened my eyes to walking in others shoes.

    I can remember vividly talking to a man who had just gotten laid off from his job in the restaurant business. It was his first time and you could tell Dare to Care was a last resort. And he had to swallow his pride because there were so many unknowns in his life and there are times in everyone's life when you realize that you are just so close to being one of those unfortunate few and how important it is for the rest of us to be able to pick up those in need. So staying grounded in the community offers you a perspective on why the work at Humana is so important.

    What I learned on my compassion journey is that compassion is about suffering. And we as a healthcare company are obligated to be able to alleviate that suffering. Understanding why people suffer and understanding the relationship with pain is very important. And we have so many people, so many calls, so many great, wonderful people on the front lines who are going way out of their way to be able to become compassionate with our customers. And my dream is to make being compassionate one of Humana's values, and this is something I'll never give up on.

 

ANDREA KNIGHT
  • Transcript

    It wasn't long into the relationship that I found out he was an alcoholic.

    My name is Andrea Knight, and this is my story.

    My childhood was not pleasant. I don't have, really, any fond memories. My home life was toxic, a lot of abuse. I was also extremely obese as a child. There was nowhere safe.

    I learned at a very early age that people are not nice. They're just not. I learned not to trust them. Because of my weight, everywhere I went, I was just ridiculed. I was a recluse. I kept to myself obviously, and I was alone.

    Everybody always told me that I'd be so much prettier if I lost weight, I'd be a better person if I lost the weight. Pretty much, my dreams would come true if I just lost the weight. So I decided I was going to do it. About 10 years ago, I went through the surgical procedure. It allowed me to lose every bit of it.

    Here I am, and people are being nice to me now. They're smiling at me and telling me I'm pretty. I foolishly trusted. My knight in shining armor rolls in, and I definitely just fell for it. The next thing you know, the demands were unreasonable. I wasn't allowed to speak to another male at all. When I reminded him that my boss was a male, he began to stalk my work on my breaks. He became a problem, and that cost me my job. I just wasn't permitted to do anything. My family... I mean, he managed to isolate me from everything.

    I remember I got a little upset about that one day, and that's when the verbal abuse became physical. I tried to get help. I tried so hard, and nobody would help me. Since I wasn't working and I wasn't allowed to find other work, one day, they taped an eviction notice to my door.

    I had nothing but the clothes on my back when I moved into that place, and I was going to lose it. But I was angry, and I remembered who I was. I was a fighter, and I wasn't going down like this. I wasn't going to lose the place that I worked so very hard for. I told him he had to go. He became very violent and tried to kill me. In order to save my own life, I had to severely injure him.

    No charges were filed against me. I didn't have anywhere to go, though. I was unable to stop the eviction. Police, who felt really bad that they hadn't helped me before, they ended up getting me into a battered women's shelter because I had nowhere to go. That was good until COVID became prominent. Then, they shut their doors. I was back to homeless. I started really, truly considering suicide. I had got a call. I remember I was in a store wandering around. I didn't have anything to do. I didn't recognize the number, but I answered it. It was a gentleman who was offering me a job with Humana.

    I went to my knees in the middle of this store. He doesn't understand what did, what Humana did. Because one of the reasons I was in that store was to buy what I needed to end my life.

    Everybody's being so nice to me, and they're going out of their way to make me comfortable because I'm new here and I'm working from home. Then, I find out that none of these... this entire corporation is working from home. They're all facing their own struggles and worries and don't know what's going on in the future. Everybody's out of their element, and they still took the time to make me feel welcome and to make sure I was okay. I had never had that before. Never.

    I was given the tools that I needed to fix my life, to make it better. Then, my job…I get to talk to people every day. Some of them are in situations like mine. Some of them are in situations worse than mine. I can help people, and I can go to bed at night knowing that what I did during the day mattered to somebody out there. Humana has definitely saved my life in so many ways.

 

STEPHANIE GORDON
  • Transcript

    I couldn't be there as a wife, as I wanted to be. It brought me down, because I couldn't be the true me.

    Hello, my name is Stephanie Gordon, and this is my well-being story.

    I couldn't be there for the kids the way I wanted to be. I couldn't be there as a wife, as I wanted to be. I just really wanted to not have to work that many jobs. I wanted to be able to take care of my family and kids without doing that. So I aspired to go to college. That's all I wanted to do. I wanted to be a nurse as early as I can remember.

    I didn't start college until after I'd already gotten married and had my two children. So it was difficult. I started school, and had to work full time, because my parents couldn't afford the tuition. So with grants and a lot of time away from my family, I finished up my associates degree in 1999.

    I ended up working as a nurse, 12-, 13-, 14-hour shifts. And it took time away from family and home, like missing ball games. It was just all-the-way-around bad. It was like I was missing something, and I know what I was missing now. It was the balance, the well-being of family and friends, the whole picture.

    I never regretted becoming a nurse. I love helping and taking care of people, but the time away was difficult. I was also a smoker, even though I knew better. Not a great person with all the weight that I'd put on. I couldn't be the caregiver that I'd been born to be and take care of my family and friends and husband. I couldn't do it. I kicked butt being a nurse, but at home I was not.

    And that all changed, boy, when I get the call from Humana. I'm like, "Yo! I hit the lottery. I'm floating on air!"

    You got to be kidding me. It's like, "I really get to do this for a living?" And I still get to help people. And I get to be with my kids. I get to be with my husband. It's a blessing. It is a true blessing in and of itself to enable a mom, and Humana did it. They gave me this job where I can work normal hours and I had time to study, but then they give me money, the Tuition Reimbursement program. It's just like, "Yay!" Now I don't have to worry about the money. I ended up getting my bachelor's degree in 2018, just a couple of years after I started with Humana. They reimbursed me for getting my CCM, so now I'm a Certified Case Manager.

    My mom ended up passing away November 6, 2019. My mom is my best friend. Because of Humana, the EAP, I learned how to meditate. Because of those things, that toolbox that they have given me ... I know if it wasn't for that I wouldn't have been able to get through the loss of my best friend. And I'm so indebted. I wouldn't have been able to get through that without the toolbox that Humana gave me. I wouldn't have done it.

    The 2020 pandemic with COVID impacted me and everybody else. It was drastic...scared to leave the house, wearing masks, gloves, everybody's scared of everything. And then, I got to use my volunteer time and I got to go down to Broadbent Arena and help combat the virus by administering COVID vaccines. I'm so happy about that, because we couldn't do that if it wasn't for Humana giving us the volunteer hours. Everything that they do, that they offer, we're crazy not to take advantage of it, because it's there. It's our benefits and I've definitely benefited from Humana.

 

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