In a year unlike any other from which we are slowly emerging, this story of new beginnings, birth and hope might be exactly what we all need.
Meet one of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City’s (Blue KC’s) Medical Directors and physicians, Subashis, and his wife Jessica.
Both frontline healthcare workers, Subashis and Jessica were face-to-face with the brutal realities of COVID-19’s onset while raising a toddler in a small New York City apartment. They had been considering a lifestyle change that would allow their family to spend more time together while still making a meaningful impact through their work. Subashis staunchly believes in the power and importance of population health and its potential to improve patient outcomes and lower costs by focusing on larger audiences, instead of one patient at a time. Open to seeing where the world might take them, Subashis began his job search.
As luck would have it, Blue KC found Subashis. The interview process began in late springtime, and it was clear early on it would be a great fit. He accepted the position of Blue KC Medical Director in July and the family of three began to put plans in place for an August move. Sensing some anxiety from his wife, yet fully aware of the scope of moving halfway across the country and far from both of their parents, he reasoned some apprehension could absolutely be expected.
What Jessica told him when he asked if she was having second thoughts, however, was not what he expected: “I’m pregnant!”
He and Jessica discussed the enormity of what they would be undertaking as a family of almost four. They reaffirmed their decision to move, packed up their life in NYC, and headed to Kansas City.
As they drove through a country in lockdown with a pandemic in full bloom, they contemplated the oddities, the darkness, and ultimately, the beauty of it all. Yes, the stress level was real, but together they would be welcoming new careers, a new city to call home, and, best of all, a baby sister for their daughter Leila. As Subashis summarily expressed, “All of it, well, it was a lot for sure, but it was a good thing, such a good thing!”
Upon the family’s arrival in Kansas City, everyone was incredibly welcoming, from the Blue KC family to the community in general. Summer was here, Jessica and Leila were exploring their new neighborhood, and Subashis was enjoying the challenges of his new position. Jessica considered baby names, and one, in particular, became the runaway favorite. She shared it with her husband, and it was decided if their baby, once born, fit this name, it would be perfect.
Fast-forward to the tenth of January. A healthy, beautiful baby girl arrived. The name they’d considered was, in absolutely every dimension of the word, the most perfect name for their most perfect baby who was born during a decidedly imperfect and challenging time.
They named her Asha, a Sanskrit word meaning hope.
Subashis reflects on the past nine-plus months, noting how it put life in perspective. Among and around us exists a lot of beauty, despite the darkness.
“Sometimes you think about your life and notice mostly chaos. In your most stressful time, you walk through it. Then you look back, and it looks like the road was clear all along. Yes, COVID-19 put strain and difficulty on a lot of things, but our family was reminded that, if you stay hopeful, we can work together and bring communities together. We can make do.”
We welcome Asha, along with more than 3,500 babies born to Blue KC members during the pandemic, into a world filled with beauty, light, bountiful surprises, and, yes, hope.