Good Works Lead to Good Work

Good works lead to good work.

In T&D:

The following story was told by Bill John, president of Odyssey Teams, and Jennifer Colosimo, vice president of DaVita HealthCare Partners.


DaVita HealthCare Partners


DaVita Healthcare, one of the largest kidney care companies in the United States, holds an annual conference with 3,000 of its employees to recognize their accomplishments for the year and revisit how the company’s mission and values fit in with its strategic goals. This also is an opportunity for employees to come together to make a difference in a global community, and serves as a powerful reminder of the value of their work in the DaVita community—affecting patients, teammates, and partners.


In April 2013, DaVita held its largest Village Service Day ever in Denver, Colorado. DaVita’s leaders enlisted Odyssey Teams, a training solutions company, to help them host a Village Service Day that would involve employees in citizen leadership-building activities. Odyssey Teams has a signature philanthropic program called Helping Hands, which builds participants’ leadership and teamwork skills as they work together to assemble prosthetic hands.


The Helping Hands program was shaped and delivered as a three-hour session in which attendees could witness the effects of their efforts and time. It was tailored to reinforce the DaVita values of teamwork, fulfillment, and fun through collaboration and working with a sense of purpose.



The three-hour session kicked off with a discussion about being more deliberate while communicating and collaborating on the job. The attendees were then formed into teams of three and set about the task of building prosthetic hands, which would then be donated to organizations serving amputees around the world.

When they convened for the three-hour session, participants were unaware that they would be building prosthetic devices. The activity is well-aligned with the goals of the program—to reconnect with the why of work, how teammates relate to patients and fellow teammates, and how they address challenges. All of this is taught during the process of assembling prostheses.

The session concluded with a discussion of concrete ways to apply the concepts taught in the training to participants’ jobs.


DaVita employees assembled 1,433 prostheses during the three-hour session, the largest single assembly of prosthetic hands Odyssey Teams has ever facilitated. Feedback from participants was overwhelmingly positive and one of the highest scored portions of the Village Service Day.

Lessons learned

Combining expert corporate training with charitable giving is a powerful way to reinforce company values and remind employees of the greater good they accomplish in their day-to-day work.



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