Jessica Weingarten named to Optum Super Hero Class of 2023

May 10, 2024


Chosen from more than 9,000 nominations, Jessica is part of a select group of 400 outstanding Optum team members. Coming from five different countries, the Super Hero Class of 2023 represents the best of the best for their dedication and the way they strive for excellence.

They say challenges are not meant to hold you back. Instead, they can help you discover who you truly are. This rings particularly true for Jessica Weingarten.

"After nursing school, I worked at an adult surgery floor. I made the switch to pediatrics about four years ago. This was after seeing all the tragedy caused by Covid."

"It was a very tough time, and I needed a change. Fortunately, I have not looked back. Pediatrics is where my heart is."


Jessica knew she wanted to be a nurse, but she didn't fully realize it until she was finishing high school.

"My grandpa had just passed away. He died of complications from dementia. We were very close. He was very proud of me. He really valued the nurses who took care of him for three years." Today, she can confirm going into nursing was the right call.

Her career has been the source of many satisfactions — one of them being her recognition as an Optum Super Hero.

"I was shocked. What an honor!" she adds with a shy gesture.
"My office put together a special celebration for me. I didn't really know about it. I was told it was a staff meeting."

"When I walked in and saw the balloons and everyone standing there, I looked behind me. I was like, 'Who is this for?' It took me a minute to put two and two together. It was an incredible moment. I am never going to forget it."

A family affair

It is not uncommon for some professions to be passed from a previous generation to the next. Someone comes from a family of lawyers, so they become a lawyer. If their parents or grandparents were musicians, they become a musician. But the same happening in reverse? That's just what happened in Jessica's family.

“My mother had always wanted to be a nurse, but she was a stay-at-home mom. With four daughters to raise, she just couldn't. When my three sisters and I became adults, she was like ‘This is my time.’

So her, my twin sister, and I went to nursing school at the same time. It took a lot of courage, something she said we inspired. I am very proud of her,” Jessica says, smiling.

Despite attending different schools, they always supported each other. "I remember studying late with my mom. We would get a cup of coffee and study. Now, my mom works at a hospice, my sister is in oncology, and I'm in pediatrics."

Before them, no one in the family had been in the medical field. This has turned them into everyone's go-to nurses. "If anyone in the family has a medical question, they are like, 'One out of you three should be able to answer it!'" adds Jessica, laughing.

It takes a village

Two more figures stand out in Jessica's professional journey: her father and her husband.

"My dad is the hardest working person I know. He was the first person in his family to go to college. From him I learned what it is to have a strong work ethic. He showed me that if I work hard, I can reach what I want."

"He is my role model. He has this motto, 'Proceed with confidence,' and that's what I strive to do."

About her husband, she adds, "I am very grateful for his support. He gets me through the day-to-day. I couldn't have asked for a more devoted supporter. When I was in school, he would drive me to clinical. He pushed me to finish when I felt that I couldn't."

Meaningful work

On the question of purpose, Jessica is adamant: "What moves me is the chance to spread a little bit of good."

And that sentiment goes beyond patient care. "I enjoy helping people be healthy and safe. This includes the children that we care for every day, but also the people I work with."

"As a lead, what matters the most to me is doing right by my nurses. I couldn't do what I do without them. I want them to know that we can go through anything together."

Her future aspirations clearly show both convictions. "I want to get my master's in nursing leadership. I am slowly chipping away, course by course. I want to be a mentor. I want to help my nurses work at the top of their license. But I always want to be a hands-on nurse."

When you believe in something wholeheartedly and put your heart into it, extraordinary things can happen. Jessica's story is proof of this. We know she will go on being a Super Hero. And we can't wait to see what she will accomplish next.