Read on to learn how Humana applies the CDC’s “Healthy Days” metric, how Jim would like to collaborate with fellow members, and which national park his family will be visiting next.
What project are you most excited about right now?
JT: Two actually – working with Humana’s “Bold Goal” team, and my work with the Humana Foundation, focused on helping all people have the opportunity to live healthier lives.
In 2015, Humana announced a Bold Goal to improve the health of the communities we serve 20 percent by 2020, “because we make it easy for people to achieve their best health.” The company established this goal fully appreciating that for far too many people, achieving their best health is far from easy. As the leader of our Bold Goal work likes to say, good health is hard.
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We also knew we needed a solid metric to track if we were serious about measuring the health improvements of the communities we serve. We settled on the CDC’s Healthy Days metric. The beauty of Healthy Days is its simplicity. People are asked four questions about their physical and mental health, and how many healthy or unhealthy days they had in the past month. Over time, we’ve been charting our progress – and have made progress in nearly all of our Bold Goal communities. We still have a ways to go to get to our 2020 goal, but the work is exciting and motivating to many of our nearly 50,000 Humana employees.
On the Humana Foundation front, our team recently announced a new strategy to focus their work on upstream social determinants of health. They want to contribute to greater health equity in the communities we serve, again, so that all people have the opportunity to achieve their best health. Through a focus on asset security, food security, and social connectedness, the foundation is taking a long-term approach to creating that health equity.
We have a lot going on at Humana, and so much of it is exciting to those of us who have the privilege to be a part of it.
What inspires and drives you to work on sustainability?
JT: Our CEO likes to talk about the responsibility that all of us at Humana have to leave the company in better shape than we found it. I’m a big believer in this. I’ve been here for 18 years and have seen so much change over that time.
Helping people achieve better health is our company’s history, since its founding in 1961. But it wasn’t until 2009 that we formalized our approach to CSR and corporate citizenship. I’ve been fortunate to be a part of this work since 2011.
Seeing the progress we’ve made has only inspired us to want to achieve a lot more in the months and years ahead. Given the health care issues our country faces, we know there is no “finish line” here, and that if we do everything we can to achieve the goals we’ve set out to achieve, we’ll feel we have truly left the company – and health of the people we serve – better than we found it.
Can you share something about yourself that would surprise us? Any hidden talents?
JT: I envy all of those people who are able to surprise us with their hidden talents. Alas, I can’t say that I have any, though my wife would say I am oddly good at guessing things. At a recent fundraiser for my oldest son’s high school band program, my team took third place during Trivia Night. I know this is a bit of a reach for a hidden talent, but it’s the best I can offer!
If you had unlimited time and resources, what type of work would you want to collaborate with fellow SB Members on?
JT: Given Humana’s focus on health, and our Bold Goal to improve people’s health, this is where I’d like to identify opportunities as part of our SB Membership to collaborate and learn from all of the amazing people who are part of the organization. We’re excited about what we’ve learned in recent years and how we’re applying it, but we also know we can learn so much more by looking at what other companies and organizations are doing to improve health in their communities.
What do you work on in your free time?
JT: Mostly trying to learn from my kids. They are in 10th and 6th grade and keep me up-to-date with what’s happening in the world! Our favorite thing to do is camp in national parks. We’ve been lucky to do this from Yosemite and Glacier to Rocky Mountain and Acadia, and a few other places in between. We’re going to Yellowstone for the first time this summer and are counting the days!
Why is your participation in the SB Member Network important?
JT: We are new to the SB Member Network, having joined SB in 2017. That being said, we’re already realizing the benefits it will bring.
For example, I attended the New Metrics ’17 conference in Philadelphia in the fall, and it was so helpful to hear from all of the experts about where their companies and organizations are regarding how to integrate their work with the UN SDGs (United Nations Sustainable Development Goals). We have a long way to go in this area, but gaining an understanding of how we aren’t alone in this, and some ideas about how best to move forward, was hugely helpful.
Anything else you'd like to share with fellow SB Members?
JT: We can’t wait to get to know more of you. We intend to be part of the annual conference in June, which will be the first major SB event for our small team. We’re looking forward to learning from SB Members. We realize how fortunate we are to get to be a part of this group, and we’re excited about what the future will bring. Also, if we can share a little about our health journey and any lessons you can take from that, all the better.