Thoughts from our Bold Goal Leaders

William Shrank, M.D., MSHS

Chief Medical & Corporate Affairs Officer

Actions speak louder than words

Caraline Coats

Vice President, Bold Goal & Population Health Strategy

Out of necessity will come invention

As we revisit 2019 and anticipate 2020 reporting, implications from the unprecedented COVID-19 public health crisis and civil unrest are top of mind. The events of the first half of the year are touching all aspects of our lives and the aftereffects will be felt for years to come.

Just like us, our members are coping with the furious pace of news, a new level of uncertainty and stress that is emotionally and physically exhausting. This is exactly the time we’re needed most, when our partners and our communities rise to meet the challenge of connecting people to resources and find new ways to support each other.

Today, we are listening to our members, to our associates, to our partners and to community leaders. All of the concrete things we can and will do start with conversations, when we put aside our preconceived thoughts and biases and make room for empathy.

Just as 2019 centered on learning, 2020 will most certainly be centered on reflection – of taking stock of what really mattered to us and how we as a society coped and pulled together to make a difference in so many lives. The momentum is building for more structural change and we have just seen the beginning of what technology can mean to the future of health care.

While much has been done, there will always be more to do. We daily challenge ourselves to consider if it was our family member who was in need, what would optimal care and support look like? The actions that result are having tangible impacts on the health of our friends and neighbors. Our promise is, and always will be, that we will act to improve health, to foster whole person health care and be leaders in Human Care.


Leading Humana’s Bold Goal efforts in 2019, I was inspired. Ours was a year of tremendous evolution and integration as our Bold Goal was further ingrained into our enterprise strategy.

In 2020, as we came off a whirlwind of meaningful Social Determinants of Health work, we encountered a health crisis of global proportions.

We took an all-hands-on-deck approach not just within our enterprise, but within our communities, and watched as collaboration became common practice. We changed how we work, we collaborated in different ways and found quick solutions as we realized that COVID-19 affects everyone, particularly our clinically and social-needs vulnerable members. In the midst of the pandemic, as we were assessing which of our business practices were effective and which needed to be adapted and changed to meet unprecedented needs, came a civil discourse that caused us to rethink routine yet again.

It’s not an exaggeration to say that we are at a time in our history when our work has not mattered more. What we do, who we serve and how we can make a difference are all top of mind every day.

At Humana, we take our responsibilities seriously. Making sure that members and others in the communities we serve have what they need to live their best lives is what gets us up every morning.

Heading into the coming year, I see more opportunities to be there for our members, for our communities. We pivoted and responded differently this year out of necessity. Going forward, we will reflect upon this time of reaction, using what we have learned to design and add resources, services and partnerships to further meet our members’ health-related social needs.

There was an assumption that community-based organizations would always have capacity — we found out otherwise as needs outpaced resources. Activism and benevolence filled gaps for additional needs and intermediate solutions, but longer term, we have to consider sustainable solutions. Sustainability, health equity, Human Care – these are our focus areas as the Bold Goal evolves. We look forward to deepening our Bold Goal work in 2021 and beyond, learning from the past five-year journey.

Through our work, we’re identifying solutions but we know and time has proven, Humana’s Bold Goal can make a difference.