Transcript: Foster Child Turned Pediatrician is Helping Kids in Maryland Live Healthier Lives

We fade in to a still shot of a woman with her arms around two children. She has turned her head to the child on her left and smiles gleefully at him. The young boy smiles back and appears to be laughing.

ARETHUSA KIRK: Foster care is a unique area where I'm particularly passionate.

Dissolve to a woman holding a child. Her back rests against the cushion of a couch as she sits on a carpeted floor. The young boy wears suspenders and looks into the smiling woman's eyes.

ARETHUSA KIRK: So I grew up in and out of foster care, starting at age 4...

Doctor Arethusa Kirk sits at a profiled angle as she speaks. She wears a gray pantsuit and several small gold necklaces.

ON SCREEN TEXT:           Dr. Arethusa Kirk

                                           Medical Director, C&S Maryland - UnitedHealthcare

An old black-and-white photo of a young Arethusa Kirk appears. She wears a white dress and sandals with socks. She holds a small, unknown object in both hands as she looks off-camera.

ARETHUSA KIRK: ...and was in a number of different foster homes, as well as my out-of-home placement, and so, you know, I grew up sort of really thinking about how I could give back.

A college-age Arethusa examines a medical book in the foreground of a photograph. In the background, several scrubbed medical students perform at an operating table.

ARETHUSA KIRK: Took medicine as a route, and finally became a pediatrician.

In an office setting, Arethusa walks toward the camera and past it. The floor is a muted red. Cubicles line the background.

ARETHUSA KIRK: So I'm the chief medical officer and medical director for the Community Plan of Maryland, and I am responsible for the Medicaid line of business for the State of Maryland.

Arethusa blinks as she works at a computer. From outside her office, we see a name plate on the glass door that reads "Arethusa Kirk" and "560."

ARETHUSA KIRK: You know, when people talk about sort of walking in the shoes of our members, that's sort of a natural capacity for me...

Dissolve to a tiny infant's hand holding the finger of an adult hand.

ARETHUSA KIRK: ...because I've really walked in a lot of different shoes of trauma...

In another still, from behind, two adults hold each hand of a child as they walk together along a leafy trail.

A nurse holds a newborn baby in a doctor's room. A stethoscope lies on an empty patient bed.

ARETHUSA KIRK: ...that are similar to some of our-- the people that we serve, so it's not that farfetched for me to consider what it's like to be homeless or what it's like to have had a, you know, financial difficulty. I think our organization has created some great investments in thinking about a model of care. On My Way is a program that's a virtual gamification program for kids for transitioning to adulthood and provides kind of a platform for them to learn about different aspects of self-sufficiency.

At a UnitedHealthcare table, in a crowded public hall, two volunteers pose for the camera, wearing blue T-shirts with the UnitedHealthcare logo on them. In front of the table, a performer dressed up as a doctor dog mascot waves for the camera, holding a stethoscope in the other hand. A board reads, "Adulting is hard... UnitedHealthcare OMW can help! Ask us how."

ARETHUSA KIRK: That's something that the organization created out of a need and invested resources, thought leadership to help kids in foster care.

Two volunteers, one the same as before, one new, and the doctor dog mascot, now pose in front of a UnitedHealthcare board. The volunteers smile, and the mascot waves. Behind them, an entrance to a mall store is illuminated in yellow-orange light.

ARETHUSA KIRK: I think our company is on the forefront thinking about, how do we integrate what state services are providing, what our department of social services are providing, and what education is providing, to be able to kind of come into that nexus and be able to really put the child in the center? And the goal would really be that we get to a place where we're sort of empowering everyone, that we should be looking at the people that we're caring for with a lens of dignity.

Arethusa dissolves to a white screen with blue text and the UnitedHealthcare logo, a solid-blue "U" shape with three gray rings echoing from it.

ON SCREEN TEXT:           UnitedHealthcare®