DaVita Hosts Students and Young Adults Exploring Clinical Career Paths

On Monday, August 1, DaVita welcomed students and young adults from the Denver-area to its world headquarters to learn more about clinical careers in kidney care.

During the “Pathways to Success” event, attendees talked with DaVita teams—including recruiting, nursing, Ripples (volunteerism and community service) and Village Green (environmental sustainability). The event also featured a virtual reality station with education designed by DaVita’s patient experience team to help users better understand how people on peritoneal dialysis (PD) perform treatments at home.

On the main stage, students had the opportunity to hear from two executive leaders with the company. DaVita’s chief executive officer, Javier Rodriguez, and chief people officer, Kenny Gardner, spoke about their experiences in health care and how DaVita creates pathways for teammates (employees).

Kristin Sayles, DaVita’s director of nursing services, also led a panel discussion with DaVita PCTs and nurses. Questions ranged from what brings the panelists fulfillment in their roles, the most surprising aspect of working in kidney care, how to navigate challenges in dialysis centers and the many growth opportunities available at DaVita.

DaVita nurse Rebekah Hersman spoke highly of her experience with Bridge to Your Dreams, a support program at DaVita that includes comprehensive resources to help selected DaVita PCTs pursue nursing degrees.

“I wouldn’t have been able to get to this point without [them] and their support,” Hersman said, referring to previous DaVita managers who helped support her career development. “It feels surreal that I’m here today talking to all of you.”

Pathways for Future Health Care Leaders

During his remarks, Gardner, touched on the importance of creating exposure for students and young adults of the many health career pathways, especially from an early age.

“We’re all about creating a pathway,” Gardner said. “No matter your path, we want to be here to provide you the support you need.”

Many of the attendees were a part of the Colorado Health Careers Collaborative’s Academy program, which concluded on Friday, July 29. During the collaborative’s six-week pilot, 160 young adults learned more about health care careers, went through virtual job shadowing and professional development to prepare them for the workforce. The program was co-created by Arapahoe Community College and the Community College of Denver, and DaVita was one of three employer collaborators that provided curriculum content to help educate and support students.

Sarahy Jimenez was one of the graduates from Academy and was excited to be able to hear from DaVita teammates and leaders during the August event.

“It really opened my eyes to the different opportunities in health care that are out there,” Jimenez said. “This experience has really helped me get a better idea of what I want to do with my career. It’s something I’ll be telling my friends and classmates about.”