A little over a year ago, I joined Unite Us with a limited understanding of the impact our software had on the lives of so many individuals and no idea how much of an impact we were about to have in the upcoming year and beyond. I've always had a keen interest in public health, policy, and systems at large. I went to school in Washington, D.C. to learn about the world and hoped to find a way that I could make a real impact in society one day. Little did I know that my journey would bring me to Unite Us and that my impact would come in the form of telling the world about the incredible work that my company is doing with our inspiring partners across the country.
I always say that everyone that works at Unite Us has a “why” – a reason why they chose our company or a personal connection to how our coordination software and model can impact their life or that of someone they know. For me, my initial “why” was my 17-year-old brother Matthew who has Down Syndrome. Immediately, in my first conversation with the Unite Us team, I thought of my brother and instantly understood how this type of work could benefit him greatly.
Later on, I realized that my “why” had evolved.
Over the course of the year, I have seen some of my family members stuck in situations much like the ones we often talk about when we refer to the populations that we serve. They were in need of housing support, benefits enrollment, disability services, legal support, and more. It's safe to say that if I had not joined Unite Us, I wouldn't have had the chance to help these people I value so greatly. Through the knowledge I've gained around our health and human services system through working here, I'm proud to say that I have been able to help my family connect to the services they need.
Through this experience, however, what frustrated me the most was: what about the person who absolutely has no idea where to go? What about the single mother working two jobs with two kids who doesn’t have the time or resources to get medical insurance for her children? Or the Military Veteran who had to repeat his story four times to different organizations just to access one service? Our health, human, and social service system, as it stands today, unfortunately is not designed with the person in mind, especially for those who have absolutely no knowledge or support to find the services that they desperately need. This has been the tremendous lesson I have learned and something that has now become my North star. Over the course of the past year, I wished that there was a coordinated network in each of the places that I was searching for services in... not just for my family, but for the thousands of individuals that find themselves in the same situation every single day.
Through my experience this year, my personal vision and passion for what we are building at Unite Us has only grown stronger and spread to every part of my role here. Our team was recently working on a project and had to answer questions about the problem we are solving and what our future vision is. I think it's safe to say that we all believe our goal is for every person in this country to be connected, meaning that every individual – no matter what region, gender, race, or disability – should be connected to a network in which every healthcare, social service, and government agency that delivers care is working together to meet their needs.
As we continue this transformation, let us continue to share stories, data, and best practices to ensure that we change the culture around “care” because we can do better, and we can only do better together.
So, with that, I ask you to share your “why.” Why do you choose to serve people? What is your passion? What drives you? Don’t lose sight of that, because there’s no better time to put it to use than now.