When the Council asked health plan employees why they chose to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, one thing was abundantly clear: They wanted to do their part to protect the community. We are sharing their stories of what motivated them to get vaccinated — and why they are also encouraging others to do so.

“I took one for my Hmong community to show them that the vaccine is safe and effective. And it is not only about protecting my family and myself, but the community as a whole,” said Pang Cha, Community Relations Supervisor, UCare.

 

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Pang Cha

 

“I got vaccinated to protect myself and my family. I wanted to protect my Native community and elders. Indigenous populations experience more severe outcomes and higher rates of death from COVID-19, and we need to do everything we can to protect our culture, including our people who have the knowledge that we depend on,” said Quanah Walker, Director of Behavioral Health Services, HealthPartners.

 

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Quanah Walker

 

“COVID is the real enemy. Getting the vaccination helps me not to get it. I got the vaccination so that I can feel safe and do my part to make everyone safer,” said Jill Lantto, Complex Case Manager, Medicare Advantage, BCBS Minnesota.

 

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Jill Lantto

 

“I’m looking forward to getting back to traveling abroad,” said Cara Broich, Senior Director, Quality & Clinical Advancement, Medica.

 

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Cara Broich, center

 

“I have to admit I was hesitant at first about receiving the COVID vaccination. But I am 58 years old and have asthma, and COVID could be very dangerous for me. So I made the choice to get the vaccine,” Lori Osberg, Claims Examiner, PreferredOne.

 

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Lori Osberg

 

“Getting my second dose was important to boost my protection and stop the spread,” said Lucas Nesse, CEO, Minnesota Council of Health Plans.

 

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Lucas Nesse

 

“My work as a nurse is rooted in science and empathy. Getting vaccinated is backed up by evidenced-based research. I am eager to help my community, especially those who are high risk, work the front lines and part of marginalized groups,” said Justin Juan, RN, Methodist Hospital (HealthPartners).

 

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Justin Juan

 

“I was a little hesitant to get the vaccine at first, but I decided to get it because I felt that the benefits outweighed the risks and I want to protect myself and others. I am super COVID leery, and I want to be able to travel and visit family and friends without fear of getting myself or someone sick,” said Carla Foster, Individual & Family Sales Specialist, UCare.

 

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Carla Foster

 

“I’m looking forward to getting back to hikes with my mom,” said Keely Brenno, Director of Communications, Medica.

 

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Keely Brenno, bottom, second from left

 

“I believe in the science behind the vaccine. I believe that is the quickest way back to normalcy. Back to enjoying all those things we love, without putting the people we love at risk,” said Debby Erickson, Medicare Sales Specialist, UCare.

 

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Debby Erickson

 

“I want to be protected from COVID-19 and I want to do everything I can to keep others from getting COVID-19,” said Dr. Julia Joseph-Di Caprio, Chief Medical Officer, UCare.

 

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Dr. Julia Joseph-Di Caprio

 

“I wanted to be protected from COVID-19 myself and to do my part to keep others from getting COVID-19 from me.  I knew I was protecting my children, grandchildren, friends and anyone I come in contact with,” Ghita Worcester, SVP and Chief Marketing Officer, UCare.

 

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Ghita Worcester

 

“I did so because I am doing my part! For the health of my family, friends, neighbors — the whole community,” said Patty Butenschoen, Provider Database Specialist, PreferredOne.

 

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Patty Butenschoen

 

“It’s time to put an end to all the death and heartache. I want to be part of the solution in protecting our community from this awful disease,” said Jocelyn Parker, Director of Communications, Minnesota Council of Health Plans.

 

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Jocelyn Parker

 

“What would be the point of all the pain, abuse, and sacrifice that my African-American ancestors endured if I wasn’t willing to stand up and keep fighting? This question played in my mind as I rolled up my sleeve to get the vaccine. My community has endured a lot. We have gotten this far on our journey towards better health – why stop now?  Let’s commemorate the sacrifices our ancestors made and protect ourselves so that we can continue the fight to build a better health care system that reflects us and partners with us on our health and well-being,” said Pleasant Radford, Jr., Health Equity Officer, UCare.

 

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Pleasant Radford, Jr.

 

To find a vaccine location near you, visit the State of Minnesota’s Find My Vaccine tool.