Jennifer Lopez, a DaVita teammate (employee) of 14 years, battled with weight loss for several years. Balancing care for her family—her husband Jesse (also a DaVita teammate) and her five kids—with work and other responsibilities meant her health was lower on her priority list.
But when Jesse committed himself to taking better care of his health, the couple embarked together on a physical and mental wellness journey.
Jesse's journey began in July 2018. With the goal of transforming his physicial health, he started with a single push up and 10 sit-ups and eventually built up the strength to commit himself to daily exercise and training, including sessions at a high-impact training gym. Over the course of several years, efforts helped him shed nearly 70 pounds.
“This is where I started to self-heal for the first time in my life,” Jesse, a biomed services specialist in Fresno, California, says.
Watching her husband commit to his health journey, Jennifer leaned into taking care of her own wellness needs. As she adopted healthy nutrition and regular workouts, she succeeded in losing 50 pounds of her own. “I felt so proud that I was able to change my habits and set a positive example for our kids,” she says. “I worked harder than I’ve ever done before.”
Throughout their wellness journeys, the couple have also felt a strong sense of belonging with their teams at DaVita. Jesse has become a leading voice for his biomed team, taking on a champion role by sharing milestones along his journey, including photos of healthy eating and working out to help inspire teammates.
Because Jesse and Jennifer are both DaVita teammates, they had the option to share their stories as part of the company’s We Are Well Award. This annual recognition celebrates DaVita teammates’ commitments to their own physical, financial or mental wellness. Each year, DaVita selects 100 teammates who have shared their stories to receive fully-paid DaVita medical insurance premiums for the following year.
"This experience has really opened up my eyes to the ways I can help support others.”
Both Jesse and Jennifer were selected to receive the We Are Well Award in 2022—with one very special bonus.
Of the 100 teammates selected for the We Are Well Award, DaVita selects five recipients to attend a wellness retreat at the Miraval Resort and Spa in Tucson, Arizona. Jesse and Jennifer were both selected among the five to be invited to and attend the retreat. During their stay April 24-27, the couple had the opportunity to join the other award recipients and connect with wellness experts while enjoying the resort’s accommodations.
“Neither of us expected our stories to be chosen for [this] award,” Jennifer, manager of special projects at Sanger Sequoia Dialysis in California, says. “And then we learned we were both chosen for the summit! It was a huge surprise.”
Today, Jennifer and Jesse continue to pursue and achieve goals for their family with the support of resources at DaVita. They agree that the We Are Well Award will have a positive impact on their family, recognizing that having their medical premiums paid for in 2023 will open up opportunities for childcare. They also seek out and use services with Bright Horizons Advantage Family Care Programs, which includes backup childcare and access to college coaching, and Little Star, which allows eligible families to receive access to a financial gift or additional paid leave upon the birth or adoption of a child.
The experience has also inspired Jennifer to think about how she can support her DaVita community the way they supported her and her family.
“This experience has really opened up my eyes to the ways I can help support others,” she says. “And how we can all work together to learn more about the benefits and resources offered at DaVita.”
 Fully-paid premiums apply to the teammate only.