Women's History Month: Passion Meets Purpose

Mar 11, 2021 2:40 PM ET

Watch a video on how Andrea Deanovic Schmidt launched an innovative program to help living organ donors — and let her story inspire you to pursue your passions, overcome obstacles and maybe even make history, too. 


In honor of Women’s History Month in March, UnitedHealth Group is celebrating and reflecting on the many ways in which women have innovated to advance our mission to help people live healthier lives and to help make the health system work better for everyone.


Making History: Andrea Deanovic Schmidt

Andrea Deanovic Schmidt, product director for OptumHealth Transplant Resource Services, was just 17 when diagnosed with chronic kidney disease. She managed her condition with medication and lifestyle changes as her kidney function gradually declined. Over time, her condition progressed to end-stage renal disease. Only routine dialysis or a kidney transplant could save her life.

After successfully receiving the gift of a kidney donation from her brother, Schmidt decided to “pay it forward” in a monumental way. She and Dr. Jon Friedman, Fellow of the American Society of Transplantation and OptumHealth Medical Benefit Management chief medical officer, co-created a first-of-its-kind program designed to lower the barriers to living donor transplants: Helping Employees Receive Organs — The HERO Program™.

Find out how Schmidt launched this innovative program — and let her story inspire you to pursue your passions, overcome obstacles and maybe even make history, too. 

“Andrea had a vision to boost the critically low number of live-organ transplants and brought it to life. Her passion and drive to help people has positively impacted the lives of UnitedHealth Group employees and their families and will continue to do so for years to come.” – Dr. Jon Friedman

About Women’s History Month

Women’s History Month celebrates women’s social, economic, cultural and political achievements and advances gender parity annually throughout the month of March.

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