Audrey Tillman is a Humana Beginnings nurse based in Johnson City, Tennessee. Earlier this year, she won the Humana Volunteer Challenge, a contest sponsored by the Humana Foundation that gave her the chance to support charitable organizations in two Humana communities.

Here’s Audrey’s story in her own words:

One of my favorite aspects of working at Humana is the variety of opportunities Humana provides associates to make a difference in our communities. I’ve had two opportunities recently that have been tremendously meaningful for me and wanted to share them.

Last spring, the Humana Foundation held a drawing as part of the Humana Volunteer Challenge in which the winner would be able to direct a $2,000 Humana Foundation grant to the charitable organization of their choice, and also win a trip to the site of an upcoming KaBOOM! playground build. To my surprise and delight, my name was drawn. I thought about where I wanted to direct the donation.

When I lived in Louisiana, I volunteered at St. Joseph Hospice in Baton Rouge. I sat with patients, worked the front desk and provided support to families. It thrilled me to be able to ask the Humana Foundation to give the $2,000 grant to St. Joseph Hospice to support the work they do.

For the KaBOOM! trip, I selected a build that was scheduled to take place at the Susan B. Anthony Residential Treatment Center in Pembroke Pines, Florida. Susan B. Anthony is a center for women, and the families of women, who need treatment for drug and alcohol addiction or who have ongoing mental health issues. I wanted to go there in part because of the center’s focus on helping women and children, which felt like an extension of my work with Humana Beginnings.

I have to admit that when I arrived the morning of the build and saw the task at hand, I was thinking, “How in the world are we going to do this in one day?” The site was just an empty field.

But when a group of volunteers gets together, magic happens. We worked with Humana volunteers, residents, family members of residents, volunteers from the community and the KaBOOM! project coordinators. It was incredible. We completed the build in eight hours.

By the end of the day, I was tired, but it was a good kind of tired, the kind that goes along with accomplishing something. It was worth the effort a million times over to see the children who’ll be using the playground. Their eyes were so big and their smiles so wide! They even did a thank-you dance for the volunteers, which was so adorable.

I just want to express my own gratitude to the Humana Foundation for my experience, which is one of the highlights of my life. I also want to show my appreciation to everyone at Humana who helps create and keep the culture of caring and giving in the communities we serve. I am proud to work for a company that would not only allow me to give back, but encourage me and even give me opportunities to do so.

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This is the playground built in a few hours in Pembroke Pines, Florida.
vegetable garden
A vegetable garden was included on the playground site in Pembroke Pines, Florida
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Giving back has always been a priority at Humana, and we are proud of our associates’ commitment to making a difference through volunteerism and charitable donations. November is Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Month, which is a perfect time to highlight the efforts of our dedicated associates whose passion to help is creating positive change for their communities and for themselves.

Each year, Humana and the Humana Foundation  give generously to national charitable organizations like Big Brothers Big Sisters, KaBOOM!, and the Arbor Day Foundation as well as many local and regional charities in the communities we serve around the country. Humana associates are also generous with their annual donations of time and money to nonprofits and for disaster relief.

The Humana Foundation has developed a number of internal programs that make it easier for Humana associates to volunteer in their communities. One of those is the Humana Volunteer Network. Linda Miller, an associate who works in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, took advantage of the program this way:

“I entered my ZIP code, and the Humana Volunteer Network provided a list of organizations searching for volunteers in my area. Because of my interest in animals, I contacted Operation Spay and Neuter and they responded with several ideas on how I might contribute in ways that matched my schedule and talents. I’ve been working with them since September of 2010, and it really supports my sense of community and my overall well-being.”

Humana associates who log their volunteer hours on the Humana Volunteer Network are also eligible for the Dollars 4 Doers volunteer recognition award, which provides  the opportunity to designate a $4,000 Humana Foundation grant to a nonprofit where the winning associates volunteer. Two associates are selected each quarter.

So far this year, more than 4,500 Humana associates have logged more than 145,000 volunteer hours on the Humana Volunteer Network website. One of those is Carrie Schuldt, who is based in Tampa, Florida, and directed the Dollars 4 Doers grant she received to the Humane Society of Tampa Bay.

“I am proud to work for a company that provides us with the opportunity to support the organizations we are passionate about and that make the communities where we live and work better places to be,” Schuldt said.

In addition, Humana recently sent five Green Bay, Wisconsin, associates on a special four-week assignment to lend their business skills full-time to the nonprofit Volunteer Center of Brown County. The Humana Volunteer Fellowship is a skills-based volunteer program operated by the Humana Foundation. Christine Danielson, Executive Director of the Volunteer Center, said, “The Humana Fellows enhanced a project that will create transformational change in this community. I am so glad I had the honor of working with such a dedicated team!”

For more information on Humana’s CSR efforts, please see the Corporate Social Responsibility page at www.humana.com.

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Humana has been recognized on the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index and the Dow Jones Sustainability North America Index for the seventh consecutive year.

Humana was one of only two health-benefits companies selected to the prestigious Dow Jones Sustainability North America Index this year, reflecting the company’s strong environmental, social and economic performance.

“We are honored to be recognized once again as a leader by the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices,” said Chuck Lambert, Humana’s Vice President of Associate & Business Services. “Our commitment to a healthy planet, healthy people and healthy performance is aligned with our dream to help our associates, members, and communities we serve achieve lifelong well-being.”

The Dow Jones Sustainability Indices identify companies as leaders in sustainability according to objective benchmarks linked to environmental, social and economic performance. Companies must meet rigorous criteria including corporate governance, transparency, environmental and social policies and management, and corporate citizenship and philanthropy. Humana’s internal- and external-facing environmental sustainability efforts coupled with community wellness programs, such as its playground-building partnership with KaBOOM!, are examples of such leadership.

In addition to DJSI, Humana is included in the FTSE4Good Index Series and ranked in the top 100 of the Newsweek Green Rankings.
Humana, the first health insurer to publish a Global Reporting Initiative corporate social responsibility (CSR) report, strives toward best-in-class business practices. Other CSR accolades include being named in the top 10 of Military Times EDGE magazine’s “Best Employers for Vets 2013” and as a finalist in the GBCHealth Awards community investment category for our Team Up 4 Health community wellness program.

To learn more about Humana’s CSR and sustainability initiatives, please visit http://www.humana/csr.

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Humana Chairman and CEO Mike McCallister joined more than 140 associates who volunteered to build an innovative, multigenerational playground in the city of Lauderhill, Florida. Humana volunteers built the 2,500-square-foot playground at Ruth Rothkopf Park, as well as five standalone exercise stations for adults and senior citizens. In addition, volunteers also built new picnic tables, benches, shade areas, and an enhanced walking path. Humana continues to celebrate its 50th Anniversary. Fifty years of helping people. The playground build is part of a continuing effort to say thank you to the communities where our members live.

Humana partnered with KaBOOM!, a national non-profit dedicated to saving play; their vision is to create a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America. Humana is the first-ever health care company to partner with KaBOOM! to bring state-of-the-art recreational facilities to Lauderhill. Other partners were the City of Lauderhill Parks and Leisure Services Department and a group known as FLIPANY — Florida Introduces Physical Activity and Nutrition to Youth. McCallister took part in the build, assembling a sign that welcomes people of all ages to the playground. He then addressed the crowd before cutting the ribbon.
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