Transcript: Special Needs Initiative marks 5 years of helping families with complex health care

Gentle piano music plays over a cityscape, lush with trees in autumn colors. In the lower-left corner of the view,

white text on a blue banner reads:

ONSCREEN TEXT: Bronxville, NY  

A young man with dark hair and blue sneakers walks on a treadmill. He smiles as a physical therapist supports

him and counts his steps.

PHYSICAL THERAPIST: How do you feel? Are we happy? Yeah? Good pace, pal.

KIM BRENNAN: People want to be around Henry Brennan. And his personality and who he inherently is — he’s

like a gravitational force for people.

Now a photo shows the young man as a child in a Superman costume. A blonde woman speaks on a grey couch

with her hands clasped. A blue banner shows her name and attribution in white text: 

ONSCREEN TEXT:  Kim Brennan, Henry’s mom

KIM BRENNAN: We knew that he was very delayed and that he wasn’t reaching his milestones. So, he went to a neurologist. 

In a black and white photo, Henry smiles as a preteen. 

KIM BRENNAN: It was determined that Henry was missing some connective tissue in his brain. So, what does

that mean?

Now in a bright kitchen, an occupational therapist helps Henry take a lunch kit out of a backpack. 

OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST: Big pull! Bigger! Bigger, Henry! Nice job.

Kim counts on her fingers as she speaks: 

KIM BRENNAN: He’s not medically challenged, which is really nice. He has OT issues, he has speech issues. 

The occupational therapist helps Henry to a front hall. 

OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST: Go put it on the…?

HENRY BRENNAN: Hook!

OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST: That’s right! Let’s go this way.

KIM BRENNAN: Everything that Henry does, he has to learn. Nothing…nothing is automatic for Henry. 

Henry hangs his backpack onto a wall hook.

OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST: Good! Ooh, you got it! 

KIM BRENNAN: I don’t see in the near future that he will not get these therapies, right? So, thank goodness we

have insurance and they pay for a lot of it. 

At a table, Kim flips through forms in a binder.

KIM BRENNAN: So, this is how I handle it—it’s the whole family’s insurance. I used to look at this all the time,

and sort of go through each section to see, you know, where have I not been paid yet? Why didn’t I get paid for

February if it’s already June, but I got paid for May? And like, nothing ever made sense to me. So that was very

frustrating and that also took a lot of time. But having Jodie on my team, I don’t have to do that anymore. 

Now a redheaded woman speaks into a headset. 

JODIE NAZE: Thank you for calling UnitedHealthcare. 

Cars travel down a highway into a smaller city. White text on a blue banner appears:

ONSCREEN TEXT: Appleton, WI

Jodie works on a laptop in a cozy living room.

JODIE NAZE: I’m Jodie Naze, and I’m the Brennan’s family advisor. 

A blue banner descends into a column on the right with white text: 

ONSCREEN TEXT: In 2017, UnitedHealthcare launched the Special Needs Initiative to help families with

children who have complex needs. The program offers personalized, one-on-one support for parents like Kim.

Now Jodie speaks on an off-white couch near a white and yellow knitted blanket. White text on a blue banner

appears in the lower left corner:

ONSCREEN TEXT: Jodie Naze, UnitedHealthcare advisor

JODIE NAZE: With our Special Needs department, it’s for the entire family. It’s not just one

person that’s impacted by the struggles that they’re having, it’s everybody. They can give us a

telephone call and speak with their assigned care advisor, and then we also offer a secure

messaging center service. We get to know them and help them navigate all of the different

complexities of the health insurance system.

Kim talks to Jodie on the phone. Jodie types an email:

ONSCREEN TEXT: Hi Kim,

Good morning, I hope you…

At home, the occupational therapisht helps Henry count and stack plates in the kitchen. Columns of 

Insurance forms with codes for specific treatments scroll past.

KIM BRENNAN: Henry was getting more and more involved, and I needed somebody to sort of,

champion getting these invoices through. Jodie is sort of my gatekeeper; she can look at an

invoice very quickly and know that something’s missing or if something has changed. And just

having that one person who’s so involved is just…it’s just the best. 

JODIE NAZE: The key in this program is building trust with these families. I put myself in their

shoes and wonder what I would do, and who I could talk to about it. 

In the gym, the physical therapist carries Henry across the room. 

PHYSICAL THERAPIST:  Ready, set, here we go! Whoa! 

Kim touches her heart as she speaks:

KIM BRENNAN: And I always say like, Henry, like…he almost hurts my heart because I love him so much. 

In the kitchen, the therapist and Henry hold a glass food container together.

KIM BRENNAN: I am only willing to have people around who celebrate Henry, who love Henry, and I put Jodie

in that group. She feels like a family member or somebody who’s on our team. 

In the living room, Jodie tears up and wipes her eyes behind her glasses. 

JODIE NAZE: That’s just the most wonderful compliment I think anyone can get, so. That’s what we’re here for. 

She smiles and waves her hands with a small giggle. A fire crackles behind her in a fireplace as she works on

her laptop and the view fades to white. In the center, the UnitedHealthcare logo

appears—a stylized, navy-blue letter U that splits into three stripes on the right-hand side. The

logo disappears, and blue text appears in the middle before the view fades to black:

ONSCREEN TEXT: UnitedHealthcare