Black History in the Making

Black History Month is a time of celebration, learning, and sharing stories. We had the opportunity to learn more about some of our employees who are Black history in the making for their service to those managing serious/chronic illness and their outstanding accomplishments beyond their roles at Vital Decisions. Learn more about their stories below:

Coming to Vital Decisions, Olando’s technical expertise and understanding “bedside manner” allows our Specialists to fully focus on the meaningful advance care planning conversations they have.

Olando has always had a passion for being in a role that helps people. As a DME Technician he took special care to ensuring patients always had medical equipment that worked at optimal levels. If patients ever felt anxiety with their equipment, his calming nature and simple testing mechanisms would always reduce their concerns.

Olando loves poetry and when he thinks of Vital Decisions – an excerpt from his original poem comes to mind: “Thru yin and yang we learn how to hang | Fully conceived idea constructed to a plan” -From his original poem titled “Time is the Master”

What’s the moment in Krissy’s life she is most proud of? Being the first person in her immediate family to graduate from college. Krissy received her master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from Cairn University. Approaching graduation as a single mother she was fueled by wanting to show her kids “No matter what you go through in life, you can still accomplish anything you want.”

Krissy’s work at Vital Decisions has special meaning for her. When her grandmother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, Krissy noticed what a difference hospice made to her grandmother’s quality of life. Her work as a Specialist keeps her connected to her grandmother.

Krissy is part of the DEI Advisory Team at Vital Decisions and she hopes that speaking about her own experiences will increase awareness on the topics of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, leading to continued positive change at Vital Decisions.

Robin actualized her dream of attending a historically Black college and graduated Cum Laude from Virginia State University. At VSU she received a world-class education. She also experienced a sense of unity and belonging. There she gained a deep understanding of who she was and how she wanted to navigate life.

She started her career in Child Protection. In this role, Robin noticed how hard it can be for individuals to leave a difficult situation. This propelled her into a role of helping domestic abuse victims. By 30 she was in charge of a domestic abuse shelter. Vital Decisions felt like a calling to Robin because of her role as a caregiver to her mom. As a caregiver, she wanted to ensure she knew exactly what her mom may want in case of a medical crisis.

Robin is honored to be part of our DEI Advisory Team and she works to align our DEI strategy with our values to ensure that “we’re walking it, like we’re talking it.” She’s also proud of role in conversations we’ve had as a company, and shaping how we as an organization celebrate MLK Day and Juneteenth.

Rasheeda has always been a leader. She was one of only a few Black students at her high school, which compelled her to go to a historically Black college – Howard University. Howard gave her the tools to navigate a world in which she might be the only person of color in the room.

She’s always been quickly promoted to supervisory roles in the various organizations she’s worked and she worked hard to earn her supervisory role at Vital Decisions. As a supervisor, she values building relationships with her team. She truly believes in supporting their professional development and seeing their clinical growth. Rasheeda’s leadership qualities have shined since day-one at Vital Decisions. She was instrumental in identifying our six main values.

She also oversees our DEI Advisory Team, working to ensure we “really begin to shift the systems in place so every individual can feel fully valued, and have an organization that fully embraces inclusiveness of cultures and individuals and equity for all.”