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It’s Not Just My Title, It’s My Purpose

GM employee with their daughter

How a passion for helping people shaped a career ... 

February 2022, Sheila Savageau received a package on her doorstep for the 2022 Helen Darling Award, one of the most prestigious awards in health care, recently awarded to our company and health care team. But for Sheila, our company’s global health and well-being leader, it was much more than an accolade. 

“When I opened that box and looked at the award, I saw my daughter’s reflection,” she said. “And when I think about our journey as a family, I can’t help but to be emotional.” 

Five years ago, Sheila’s healthy 15-year-old daughter became chronically affected with seizures and was diagnosed with epilepsy. That life-changing moment made Sheila’s work in health care even more personal. 

“I am deeply passionate about people and all aspects of their well-being,” Savageau continued. “And that passion is lit by the fire of my daughter’s health care journey. I refer to it as ‘Jenna’s Journey.’” 

While advocating for her daughter’s health care, Sheila found her purpose. She was inspired to think about how she would do things differently. On many days, Sheila would sit in doctors’ offices or hospitals, pen and paper in hand, journaling about her experience and what she would change to deliver a health care option that could better support patients and their family members — their care advocates. 

Nearly seven years later, in partnership with GM’s Global Business Solution People Services, legal, finance and purchasing groups, our health care benefits team introduced ConnectedCare, a health care option that offers value-based medical care through a connected network of local providers who work together to deliver high-quality care, at the right time and place. 

It was this innovative approach to health care that won our company the 2022 Helen Darling Award. 

In early January, Chair and CEO Mary Barra introduced our Purpose, and that Purpose reminds us why we come to work every day. For Sheila, it’s another powerful reminder to use her life experiences and her passion to drive change. 

“I truly wake up every day in love with what I am doing,” Sheila said. “I feel like I work for a company that values passion and creative thinking in all parts of business. The best part is, we are just getting started. This innovative approach to health care is laying a foundation for more to come, and I’m excited.” 

As we all think about our Purpose and the work we are doing, stories like Sheila’s remind us that we all have the ability and opportunity to drive meaningful change in the areas that matter most. 

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