No Questions Asked
Nearing the end of a long day interviewing employees about their experience at Magellan, I was deeply affected by the stories of two I spoke with.
When Libby and Dayna walked into the room to be interviewed, I don’t know what I expected, but I definitely know what I didn’t expect. I didn’t expect to meet two women who have battled—and one of whom is battling for the second time—cancer. I didn’t expect to be blown away by their stories defined by bravery, vulnerability, and unfathomable strength. And I certainly didn’t expect them both, without prompting, to cite Magellan as one of their biggest sources of support throughout their battles.
Libby Taylor is a Business Operations Assistant. In this role, she manages claim eligibility with Magellan’s commercial clients.
I met Libby Taylor in the late afternoon of what had been a long day. My boss, fellow intern, and I had woken up at 5am to go hiking, spent the day collaborating on a new project, and to be completely transparent, I was exhausted and ready to go back to our hotel.Everything changed when Libby walked in the room. Just seeing her woke me up. Her bright purple shirt, high bun of fiery red hair, and dramatic eye makeup were more effective than the three cans of Coke I drank that afternoon. And she hadn’t said a word yet.
When we got to talking, she told me she was just 33 at diagnosis—cervical cancer. No signs, no warnings. She said hearing the news didn’t even feel real at first. “When my doctor first told me, I couldn’t even cry. I was in complete shock,” Libby explained. Luckily she had a support system with her at the doctor’s office, ready to be there for her no matter the news. What’s unique is that this support system wasn’t her fiancée, it wasn’t her aunt—they were both out of town. It was a fellow Magellan employee that accompanied her, and at the time, she’d only been with Magellan for two months.
“What’s amazing to me is how quickly I was embraced as family at Magellan; there was never a moment I felt like an outsider. From day one, I knew I was part of something special,” Libby explained. With only eight weeks of work under her belt, Libby already had Magellan’s full support; no questions asked.
Months of chemotherapy, radiation, and sickness were to follow. Libby paused work just two months after beginning her job at Magellan, with protected leave. This policy is rare in itself, but what’s even rarer was Magellan’s response beyond the policies and rules.
There’s nothing in the employee handbook about sending flowers and edible arrangements to someone you met a month ago. There’s nothing in the rules that mandates unsolicited hospital drop-ins, or gifts of encouragement from new friends. There’s certainly nothing in the contract that says you must accompany a coworker to their chemotherapy treatments—but Magellan did all of that anyways.
Dayna McConnell is a Senior Account Manager in the employer commercial division at Magellan.
Dayna McConnell came next. She walked in the room as Libby left it, and within the first thirty seconds of us talking, I knew she was a unique kind of resilient. She spoke of her struggles in the tone of someone recalling what they had for lunch yesterday. “Oh, recurrent stage 3B colon cancer? Yeah, I’m in chemo again.”
What’s interesting though, is that despite the vast dispositional differences between Libby and Dayna, they spoke strikingly similar stories of Magellan’s role in their cancer battles. “I could go on and on about the ways that Magellan supported me,” Dayna explained, “my coworkers exceeded expectations I didn’t even know I had.”
“Every year here in Phoenix there’s a walk to raise awareness and funds for Colorectal Cancer. Many of my coworkers donated, participated, and supported me and my community,” Dayna explained, “It was really like a warm blanket of a big hug from Magellan that came around me through that entire experience.”
Hearing both of these women talk openly about their experiences with cancer and the role that Magellan played in their battles truly amazed me. It’s not that I didn’t believe in Magellan’s purpose to lead humanity to healthy, vibrant lives. It’s just that, I only ever really thought of that applying to the member. Meeting Libby and Dayna proved to me that Magellan views its employees through the same lens.
Everyone that Magellan touches—whether that be an employee, a member, or a summer intern like me—is immediately brought into the family, no questions asked. It’s a unique kind of inclusion that really isn’t talked about, because it’s the norm here. But I think it’s important to highlight because it demonstrates the immense compassion of the team you’ll be working alongside here at Magellan.
It's a simple fact of life that actions speak louder than words. Magellan is a company that embodies this perfectly. They don’t brag and boast about their culture of compassion and togetherness, because their actions say it all. Libby and Dayna’s stories are just two among the many untold testaments to this reality.