Life Behind the Highlight Real

Ep 28: Jorie's Mom, Jamie Walker, Opens Up About Teen Pregnancy, Changing Healthcare for All, and Her Love for Sonic Chili Cheese Dogs!

May 09, 2022 Sarah Huffman, William Huffman, & Jorie Schaaf Season 1 Episode 28
Life Behind the Highlight Real
Ep 28: Jorie's Mom, Jamie Walker, Opens Up About Teen Pregnancy, Changing Healthcare for All, and Her Love for Sonic Chili Cheese Dogs!
Show Notes Transcript

We are so proud to welcome Jorie's mom, Jamie Walker, to Life Behind the Highlight Reel. And this is one of those podcasts that there was no way to outline. No way to know exactly where the discussion would go, and that was the perfect way to approach this interview. 

Jamie's story begins with multiple moves, a passion for education, and a teen pregnancy. 

She describes her teenage life as a time of struggle. A time of wondering where her next rent payment would come from, and how they would put food on the table. 

Meanwhile, her drive for education and tenacity for action took her to places even she has trouble believing today. 

And there is no settling for Jamie. Her current passion hopes to take her to the halls that determine the future of healthcare, and a desire to make sure we all have access to our fundamental needs. 

But packaged around all of that serious stuff is a woman with a great sense of humor and the strangest top 5 restaurants we've heard since starting the podcast. 

Enjoy this amazing interview. 

Catch up on past episodes!

William Huffman  0:00  
Hey everybody, William here and Sarah and we just need to let you know that we are licensed real estate agents in the state of Minnesota with REMAX results a Good Life Group and that's our legal disclaimer. Everybody William here, what do you jello, Sonic, chili cheese dogs. And Jamie all have in common will find out soon,

Jamie Walker  0:20  
you know and I got a leadership award last year and I don't even know how people heard of me. I literally it's one of those things where you have to look behind you and you're like, are you talking to me? Okay,

Accouncer  0:33  
welcome to Life behind the highlight reel. The podcast that takes things beyond the curated life we all see online. Join hosts Sarah and William Huffman as they dive in with their friends to talk about the good and the hard things that come with a real not perfect life behind the highlight reel.

William Huffman  0:54  
Everybody, William here and Sarah and

Jorie  0:57  
Jamie Ed Jory.

Sarah Huffman  1:02  
Well, you kind of went out of order.

William Huffman  1:04  
I did I wonder why. Why? Cuz Jory. Who is that?

Jorie  1:08  
That's my mother. There you go. It's my mom.

William Huffman  1:13  
All right. Exciting. It is exciting. Okay, so we are going to ask you a whole bunch of questions.

Sarah Huffman  1:20  
Will was actually asking me he's like, Okay, Sarah, I like Jamie. But why is she coming on our podcast? Yeah, I

William Huffman  1:25  
wanted to know, like, the idea of what you had. And then what do you say? What did I say? Well, you said because her daughter gIorious had such a huge impact on our life, the year last year and a half. We want to know what's up like, we want it. We want to get some scoop some deeds, some dirt. And we want it all

Sarah Huffman  1:42  
because it's always like people show up. And it's not necessarily about like a joy podcast. Like it's not necessarily about you know, but like we it's so interesting to learn. It's even when I was a teacher, it was very interesting to learn more about the parents. And like where they came from. Yeah, because it's like, it's just very, it's fascinating. It's very cool. So, Jamie, so Jamie, with that, yeah.

William Huffman  2:05  
Tell us about yourself, where were you born? Where did you grow up and go to school?

Jamie Walker  2:11  
Alright, so first of all, I am accountable for her. I will I will claim responsibility. Yeah, Chardon

Jorie  2:16  
superfan all the actions that I did.

Sarah Huffman  2:19  
The No, no. That's the interesting one of the interesting things. I don't think juries ever really gotten into her story. That could be a future episode. I

Jorie  2:28  
don't have on I

Jamie Walker  2:30  
would lie or

Jorie  2:33  
Yes, I could say it was grounded for a straight year, because that is a fact valid.

William Huffman  2:38  
But this is about your mom. Yep. All right. So where were you born? Where'd you grew up?

Jamie Walker  2:43  
I was born in Covina, California. I did not grow up there. Okay. Where I grew up is probably an interesting question, because I can't nail it down to one place. I will say until I was 10. I lived in Minnesota. Okay. And then from 10 to 12. I bounced from Minnesota down to Oklahoma. All right. And then from 12 to 16. I was in Oklahoma,

William Huffman  3:15  
where the wind comes blowing down them that song. Oh, oh, that was horrible.

Jamie Walker  3:22  
I don't know thinking day. Yes, I got it, you and will actually

Sarah Huffman  3:28  
will actually have a lot in common like being very transient NZ and your growing up years?

Jamie Walker  3:34  
Well, I think that um, and helps you learn how to talk to people. You cannot be shy when you're bounced around as a kid.

William Huffman  3:43  
Very true. Very true. So you were 16 in Oklahoma, and happily ever after? And podcast? Yeah. So six TNC and zine?

Sarah Huffman  3:54  
Did you like school?

Jamie Walker  3:55  
I loved it. I loved school. It was the one thing in my life I could control.

Sarah Huffman  4:00  
It was like it was new, a new place or new school. As you moved. It was like you knew what to expect at school.

Jamie Walker  4:08  
I knew what to expect at school. I knew that if I applied myself I would receive praise and get good grades and I think even at a young age I knew that I didn't want to repeat what I was experiencing when I grew up and so school was the way to ensure that that didn't happen.

William Huffman  4:31  
I repeated seventh grade talking about repeating

Jamie Walker  4:34  
seventh grade wrong really Yeah. Yeah and speech

William Huffman  4:38  
the the only reason I didn't go to school the only reason I didn't fail eighth grade is because they literally said we're done with you. We're sending you to the high school

Jamie Walker  4:46  
right and on you go Yeah, I

William Huffman  4:47  
didn't literally they're like you're not staying here anymore. So the only option was to pass me

Jamie Walker  4:53  
that Hoffman kid Yeah.

William Huffman  4:56  
There's a story about that, but Jamie's Yeah, so 16 Oklahoma, enjoying school. Where did you go to high school?

Jamie Walker  5:06  
Broken Arrow, Oklahoma? Go.

Sarah Huffman  5:10  
Tigers, fire tires, various Broken Arrow Oklahoma. 13

Jamie Walker  5:15  
miles outside of Tulsa. Oh, okay. Now when I lived there, it was a two lane like 100 and 61st, which is the main drag Street was two lanes. And now it's like this major highway. Yeah, we is a big deal. And we got a movie theater and a ballast.

William Huffman  5:34  
Oh, it was big deal. Nice, big deal.

Sarah Huffman  5:37  
So if someone says, Hey, Jamie, and I know you said it's kind of hard to place but like if they said where did you grow up? Do you say Minnesota and Oklahoma? Or do you say Oklahoma? Oklahoma? Okay.

William Huffman  5:47  
Okay. And how long did you stay there then after you graduate high school? What do you do after high school?

Jamie Walker  5:51  
Um, I was in Minnesota actually when I finished school. Okay, so after high school, I had Miss Jory dawn. Because I was married to llt.

Jorie  6:04  
What Larry Lane trout Jr. That's

William Huffman  6:07  
my Oh, okay. Not a NASCAR driver. No. Okay. TJ to help a NASCAR driver named from Oklahoma.

Sarah Huffman  6:14  
Is he from Oklahoma? Hey, Fred. So we've got some some drawl?

Jorie  6:19  
Oh, ah, no. Well, yeah, I guess I've

Jamie Walker  6:22  
listened to your Yeah, yeah. Natural. Oh, it comes out when she's passed. Have you heard it?

William Huffman  6:28  
She does pretty good. No, that's a different episode. Yeah. Moving on. Okay, so you come back to Minnesota.

Jamie Walker  6:37  
Oh, very. Yeah. I actually got pregnant when I was in high school. Yeah. And that's a

Sarah Huffman  6:45  
whole that's a

Jamie Walker  6:46  
whole other deal. Yeah. But it gave me an opportunity to have kids. I mean, if I hadn't gotten pregnant majority when I did, I never would have had kids. You know, they say that the Universe works in strange ways. And I will never ever forget. Walking in the day that I went to go on my pregnancy test. And Deacon Campbell from church, clicked with Dr. Campbell, my volleyball physician. And I was like, Oh, crap. And we sat down and we had a really good conversation. And, you know, jewelry arrived, probably eight months later, right? Because I was

Jorie  7:39  
hopefully very pregnant. I mean, yeah.

Jamie Walker  7:44  
And it was the best decision that I made in my life because she made me a mom. And we learned after that, that it would be very hard for me to have kids. Okay. So as time went on, her younger sister is actually a fertility baby. Okay, you know, we named her Peyton, because we paid a ton to have her literally let you into my psychic or into my psyche is that easy, but it's fantastic. Yeah, we had surgeries and took drugs and all sorts of stuff. Yeah. Have illegal drugs to have Peyton but if I hadn't had Jory, I never would have been a mom.

William Huffman  8:23  
Wow, that's crazy. Thinking about that now, huh? Yeah.

Jamie Walker  8:26  
So I'm really grateful that I had her.

Sarah Huffman  8:28  
And how was that like, back? Like putting yourself back in that time? Like, how was it like telling your mom or how was it like sharing this with people? Was it accepted? Or was it was, was it challenging?

Jamie Walker  8:44  
It was definitely a challenge because everybody thought that I was going to, you know, run the world one day, just with grades and being on dance line and all of that I always did really well in school, but it was a Hellraiser outside of school. Did never know and Bella shot me Zipit child, or we're gonna get into No Mom, I'm fine. I'm home before curfew. I'm just going to bed.

Jorie  9:12  
This is your spotlight,

Jamie Walker  9:13  
mother. That's right. So it was definitely a challenge. My mom didn't want me to carry the pregnancy. And that went against my spiritual beliefs. So it definitely put a rift in between the two of us. As far as other things go, I mean, teen pregnancy in Oklahoma was not anything that was new. Okay. So they had a high school for teens. You know, I gave up French and calculus for home economics and cooking, which was kind of a bummer.

Jorie  9:58  
Not really, because you make the best math Cheese pants do you know?

Jamie Walker  10:02  
Right in the back of that craft box? Like, yeah, like a boss? No, I got it. I own that. Um, but I think what was really the challenge was not being able to go directly to college. Because I always wanted to be a high school history teacher. And I wanted to go to college. But learned no money for that. You know, I mean, heck, we were struggling to pay the bills when? When it was time to go to school. So I finished school and went to work.

Sarah Huffman  10:38  
And what brought you back to Minnesota? Like, why did you decide because it's like, how did so you're

Jamie Walker  10:42  
in Oklahoma. We had no money. Okay, like literally had no money. I was pregnant, had not $1 to my name, not not one. Larry was working as a roofer. And as Boston Pam, and we had no money, no way to pay rent, no way to get gas, no money for food. Nothing out like nothing. Nothing. My girlfriend, Mary Webb, her mom gave us money for car insurance and for a tank of gas. And so that we could go and purchase some food. And my mom is like, you need to come back. You need to come up to Minnesota because she hit left like the day after our wedding. She's like, see a piece out of here by got

Sarah Huffman  11:39  
married young too. So you got pregnant, married? Mom leaves Sia, and you're in Oklahoma. And you have a friend's mom who is helping you out? Right? Those are like little angels

William Huffman  11:53  
like going on there. Yeah.

Jamie Walker  11:56  
Yeah. So I mean, you know, that was just I didn't think anything of it at the time. You know? Okay, well, this is life. This is you know how it goes. And so when we came up here a gentleman by the name of Pat Cody gave Larry a job roofing and you want to talk about an angel? He I still I get choked up thinking about it. Yeah.

Unknown Speaker  12:29  
Without a hat

Jamie Walker  12:32  
and his wife Cheryl. I don't know that we would have made the life that we did. Because people come into your life for a reason. Yes.

Jamie Walker  12:50  
And Pat Cody helped Larry see he was worth something. So we built our life up here. We bought a house we had our girls. I still hadn't gone to school. But I knew that I wanted to get my degree. That was always something that I wanted to do. So I

William Huffman  13:26  
ended up still, like, hell bent on being a teacher.

Jamie Walker  13:30  
I was just hell bent on getting an education. I was just going out in Boston. Yep. My mom wanted to get an education. You know, I was working as a pull tab bookkeeper at the VFW. Okay. I worked at Target or WalMart, I mean, just kind of odd jobs, whatever. And then I got on at the bank, and I was receptionist. And it was then that I realized I wasn't gonna go anywhere without a degree. I would work over 40 hours a week. And my paychecks were $295 every two weeks.

William Huffman  14:11  
Oh my gosh. Wow. Talk about not even gas money.

Sarah Huffman  14:16  
Right. And you have two kids.

Jamie Walker  14:19  
I have two children. And you know, Larry has bustin his back, doing everything that he can to provide for the family. And then I'm like, this is just not this is just not it. And I also knew at that time, that our marriage was not long term. I'm like, Okay, I cannot support two girls on my own on $600 a month. So I started taking night classes, you know, at the bank, just doing whatever I could. And I eventually left the bank and through several other jobs, I ended up moving down to Florida. And at that time, Larry and I divorced, okay, I still did not have my degree. Okay. But by the grace of God, I got a job offer out of nowhere. Nowhere that paid for my relocation down to Florida. Wow. I mean 100% And I literally had just filed for divorce and signed a lease on a little townhouse in West Bloomington for the girls and I. And it literally fell into my lap. I have no idea how they even heard of me. Doesn't matter who doesn't matter. Yeah. All right. But I knew that the divorce was not going to be pretty not that any divorces, no matter how much you want it or don't want it. Divorce is never fun. You know, at the time Jerry hated me because I left her dad. And I'm like, fine, we're gonna move Florida. We're gonna start a new life. moved down to Florida. And it was there that I met Denise. Talk about an angel, right. And then she and I were the best of friends. We raised our kids together. Her son, Sean, and the girls were super tight, super close. She was a police officer down on the beach and Fort Myers. And I would take the girls down there on Friday. What Shawn over the weekend, and then on Monday morning, drive the girls back. And when she would get off work on Monday, she would come up to Tampa where I lived, because she was going to school to get her degree and she would study and then her brother would stay with her son Sean down in Fort Myers. And that was what we did while I lived there. So she would help raise the girls while I went to work. And study

Jorie  17:14  
for school. Talk about a mind if if you're talking to me. I mean, my mom just left my dad and now all of a sudden I have this woman, not Denise. And I'm like, Okay, what's going on? Like she

Jamie Walker  17:26  
was my best friend. That was it.

Jorie  17:31  
I was 11. And I didn't know like, my aunt was gay. So I asked my aunt, I said, Do you love my mom? Because she was up every weekend. We were with that. But it was literally them. Making sure that the kids who were taking stability. Yeah,

Jamie Walker  17:52  
I mean, we raised our kids. Yeah, we raised our kids together, do

William Huffman  17:54  
what you have to do. Yeah, you know.

Jamie Walker  17:58  
Anyway, so Dean got her degree. And that for me, it was inspiration. Yeah. And then 911 hit. And I was working for a financial services organization doing marketing for them. While the market took a tank, yeah.

Sarah Huffman  18:18  
And what's one of the first things to go marketing?

Jamie Walker  18:23  
So here I am 2000 miles away from home. No job to kids.

Sarah Huffman  18:30  
And at this point, how old are the girls?

William Huffman  18:35  
2000 I have to look what would have been 20 years ago.

Jamie Walker  18:41  
So Jory is 12 or 13? Yeah. Yeah. And so Payton was six because we had her seventh birthday in the backyard of the Bloomington house. I I'm like okay, well, I'll start looking for a job. But I needed my degree. And at that same time, my mom got sick. So I called my stepdad. And he flew down. We packed everything up. Let me rephrase that. I paid somebody to pack up the house because I didn't want to move. My dad and I went to the beach with the girls. And we came back and he drove the truck all the way back to Minnesota. Yeah, passive aggressive much not at all. So anyway, I started going to school and pursuing my degree at that time, and I ended up with graduating summa from Concordia. Wow newsletter.

Sarah Huffman  19:56  
That's amazing. And working full time. Yes, while going to school and being a single mom, yes. That is something that a lot of people, they I can't even imagine. No,

William Huffman  20:11  
that's several lifetimes of work in a very short period of time. Yeah.

Sarah Huffman  20:17  
Well, where are you working at this point

Jamie Walker  20:20  
where I work now I work for an insurance company. So, and I had gotten married during that time mistake, it was a brief marriage, rebound marriage. We're not going to talk about that.

Jorie  20:32  
I have nothing nice to say. So I'm not gonna say anything moving on.

Sarah Huffman  20:36  
Learning. I'm sure you've learned something from it. But we don't have to go there. Yeah, I

Jamie Walker  20:40  
think that every mistake or every failure has a lesson in it. And a gift of some sort. I mean, otherwise, it wouldn't have happened.

Sarah Huffman  20:48  
Right? It's I'm still like just taking that in just go into college. This is where I'm probably in my mind trying to relate. And it's so unrelatable. But like, I just think like, like you didn't give up. Like, I just think about the thing, the life lessons that you've taught your girls on perseverance and not giving up when you have a goal.

Jamie Walker  21:11  
Oh, you can't give up. I mean, so when Jerry started working here, and it's one of the things that I'm really grateful for, is the two of you in her life.

William Huffman  21:21  
Thank you. Well, I've

Jamie Walker  21:22  
noticed a definite difference in my daughter. So I've always said that Jerry lives out loud. And that you cannot be in a bad mood when you're in the same room around her because she just, she lights up whatever room she comes into. And her spirit is just joyous. It's beautiful and bright. And I used to sing to her You Are My Sunshine. Because she always made you happy. But she's been horribly afraid of success. Like, as a kid, when she would start to see success, she would sabotage herself or she would quit. Or she would do something to get herself in trouble, right? Because she was afraid of crossing that threshold of success, like what would that mean? Until here. And so I started to see, like the her shed that I can call it like a shame layer. Almost like she started to shame. And she started to awaken and her shoulders came back and her head came up. And like who are these people?

William Huffman  22:34  
Fair question,

Jamie Walker  22:35  
Who are these people? And what are they doing with my daughter, right? Because she started to really evolve into who I recognize your potential. So one of the cards that I gave her after she didn't succeed at one of her tests, the first time was never give up. And it was something that I had kept in my office for years. years, actually, I had originally pinned it to a cube wall, years and years and years ago, but it just never give up. Go under go around, go over, but never give up. It's a picture of a tulip in the snow. But just don't ever give up. There's failure is my favorite song, kind of my theme song is by Eminem is called lose yourself. And one of the lines in the song is failure is not an option. Right? It just, it's not an option.

William Huffman  23:38  
So I thank you for all that it's so incredibly true. So you graduate, you did really well in school and you started working at an insurance company, what were you doing for them then?

Jamie Walker  23:53  
I was a product analyst. And what the team did was create what was called activation messaging that went on health statements. So we would dig through data and find opportunities to message consumers on how to take better care of themselves. Okay. So for women, it would be go and get your mammogram. If you haven't had your mammogram, man, it would be you know, go and get your cholesterol screening, et cetera. And we were able to prove that it had efficacy and close gaps in care. And so it was put in systemic into our systems and systemically distributed to not only at that point in time or Consumer Driven Health Plans, but across the entire portfolio. You know, and that got some attention and so then I was invited to sit on our equities and healthcare board, committee and whatever you want Call it I don't know, it's a big deal. I didn't know that at the time.

William Huffman  25:06  
I was like, Yeah, of course, I'll go do this.

Jamie Walker  25:08  
Yeah, all I know is that I was on the 10th floor and Brian road and it was a big table, not to leather chairs. I was like, Oh, okay. And through the work, we were able to prove that personalized engagements and health care, specifically within the Latino male population with diabetes, but close gaps in care at a higher rate than what we were doing. Well, that got the attention of like the NCQA and the American Medical Association and those types of things. And well, that was kind of neat. So I get to speak to their spring conference. And that was, that was cool.

Sarah Huffman  26:00  
Yeah. So also kind of a big

William Huffman  26:03  
deal. Yes, yeah. Story. Yeah. I guess,

Sarah Huffman  26:07  
is it hard to like, because like, this isn't bragging, but like, these are big things, right? Is it hard to, like claim these big accomplishments?

Jamie Walker  26:23  
I guess it's all part of a team. Right? So no personal one person does all of it. Right? It's, um, I guess if I have a difference over other people, it would be maybe that tenacity. And I don't stop until we finish it. Because things are hard. Right? Just because it's hard doesn't mean that it can't be done, right. And so you just have to keep going. And maybe you don't slay the entire Dragon, but you can get the tip of his tail. Well, that's success. You start with that? And then what did you learn from that? And then how can you apply it to going back for the next iteration? Right. So I told my teams, you know, it's crawl, walk, run, you can't look at the entire process or the entire mountain that you're trying to climb because my god, you'll be tired before you even start. You'll crack bear and never try. Right? But if you look at one step at a time, before you know it, you've gone a mile, and you can look back at how far you've come and Wow, that's impressive. Okay, well, if you did that, what else can you do? What if you can write just like you know, CTE on peloton? What if you can, and that is, that's where it's at. So, I don't know if it's claiming credit or it's not just me. It's the team, right? Maybe if I have a distinction, it's just the ability to create that vision for people that they can believe in. You didn't

Jorie  28:05  
stop. You did not stop. From the age 12. Until, like, never.

Jamie Walker  28:15  
You make it sound like you were here when I was 12. I didn't know her when I was 12.

Jorie  28:19  
Will barely. We won't that's a different episode. You have not stopped. You haven't stopped How many times have you gotten back to college? Mom?

Jamie Walker  28:32  
Mom, I had my MBA. No, there we go.

Jorie  28:36  
You haven't stopped you? Like you're thinking about going back? Get for my PhD? No big deal. No big deal. But you keep just like there is no fit like your there is no finish your you are doing amazing.

Jamie Walker  28:52  
Well, thank you. Yeah. But that's just so that I can have a seat at the table in Congress. I mean, I

Jorie  28:58  
don't want you to come for your leather chair or bigger table.

Jamie Walker  29:01  
Well, it has to be seen as be fit for me.

Sarah Huffman  29:06  
Hashtag goals. Yeah, yeah.

Jorie  29:09  
ABS here's my measurements before I come.

Jamie Walker  29:12  
Let me finish my Power Zone.

William Huffman  29:14  
Yeah, right. Yeah, to get a crush this 45 minute.

Sarah Huffman  29:18  
You bring up something though, just about having that vision because Jamie and I connected on the peloton. Like that is like, man, yes. Like George he's here and all that and we honestly anytime we would connect, it wouldn't be about your story.

Jorie  29:31  
Yeah. They formed a friendship and I found out through will because Well, one day was like, oh, Sarah is just texting your mom back. And he looked at me like, and I'm like, What the heck is going? What is going on?

William Huffman  29:45  
Yeah, yeah, like it was no big Nbd

Jorie  29:47  
Yeah, no big deal. Oh, just okay. Yeah,

Sarah Huffman  29:50  
but what was it about the peloton,

William Huffman  29:52  
peloton? Yeah, because

Sarah Huffman  29:54  
Jamie really inspired me to like try those hard things and start slaying the dragon even If you get the tip of the tail on something I was really afraid of. And that was Power Zone training, and Power Zone training, rightfully so

William Huffman  30:07  
because it is intense.

Sarah Huffman  30:09  
But it's also like, it's actually, it's interesting, because it's more like I had more of a psychological block around it than an actual physical block. Like, psychologically when you see Power Zone Max, and like, endurance test, and like all these things, and it's like, Well, that isn't me, I don't I don't fit that. And it's and you kept saying, just try it, just do it. It's all about your numbers. It doesn't matter about the leaderboard. And it's like, really, once I figured out like, Oh, I'm actually like, this has now just become personalized training. Fascinating enough, it is. Those are my favorite rights. And my favorite rides are the Christine, Derek relay rides, because she makes you turn your metrics off, or close your eyes. And it's like, Oh, shoot. Now I got to focus on myself and like not let myself down?

Jamie Walker  31:05  
Well, I think that the biggest battle that people have is within themselves and what they tell themselves, the most time that you spend with anybody is yourself. And the words that we say to ourselves in our heads, I think are the most important ones. So the whole I can't or No, it's not that you can, it's that you don't want to. Because you can set you can do anything that you set your mind to, you may not be able to do it all at once.

Sarah Huffman  31:34  
But if you don't start or don't, don't take that first step, you won't.

Jamie Walker  31:38  
You're right, you can't. And won't.

William Huffman  31:43  
We breezed over a little comment you made over there a few seconds ago. And I just want to bring this back to Here's the word Congress.

Jamie Walker  31:50  
You did?

Jorie  31:52  
No big deal, right?

William Huffman  31:53  
Tell me more.

Jamie Walker  31:57  
Before I die, I am going to significantly transform health care in America. My goal is to work with state and federal governments on creating consumer centric health care whether that is the way that it's distributed, or the plans or the marketplaces, our healthcare in America is guts are has so much opportunity. We are so ripe with talented minds and technology. And yet our quality and the access and the equity to care is shameful. And so, yes, you know, somebody's access to health care should not be predicated on their socioeconomic status. With every fiber in my body, I am dedicated to that. And so if it means that I need to work with Congress to do that, I will I just need to figure out how to do that. I haven't. I haven't cracked that code yet. So everything that I do within my work is dedicated towards how do I make this better for Joe and Jody consumer. And I've got these people in my mind, actually, I've named them obviously, Joe and Jodi and like, in my head, I know what their house looks like. And yeah, their kids and they even have a dog in my head. But yeah,

William Huffman  33:18  
that's incredible. And I just there is so much that you have you have breezed over here so nonchalantly,

Sarah Huffman  33:30  
can I ask a quick question? Yeah,

William Huffman  33:32  
I've got a lot. But yeah,

Sarah Huffman  33:34  
with your passion around health care and make it inaccessible for others? Has there been a point in your life even as a young mom potentially, where you didn't have health care or if you had health care throughout?

Jamie Walker  33:47  
I've had health care throughout. I've always, I've always had it. But then again I'm a white female in America. Right? I don't know that if I were African American or Asian or Latino, that that would be the same case. Yeah. Yeah. And unfortunately, that's, that's true.

William Huffman  34:15  
No, absolutely.

Sarah Huffman  34:16  
Even in the entrepreneurial world. You know, we'll and I didn't have health care the last two years, because it was an expense we had to give up to keep our path for entrepreneurship. And that isn't something that we really like shared with people, but this year, we have healthcare, yay. But it's one of those things where people would probably assume that we always had health care, but it was an expense that we, at the time we we rolled the dice, and that is was a really uncomfortable thing to do. And so I think of like families and making health, healthcare accessible is really important.

William Huffman  34:56  
That was a decision that we made based upon economics, but we still made that decision, there are people out there who don't even get to make a decision that it's just, it's the way that their life is and what they're dealt with. And yeah, I agree with everything you're saying. 100%.

Jamie Walker  35:19  
I mean, and it's it's access to care, it's being able to afford it. And it's being able to understand that understanding is huge. That's yeah. You know, and I think about the health plans that people have to choose from today. This last December, I spoke at a global healthcare conference, about consumerism in healthcare, and how to connect the payer and the provider and the consumer. And the moderator asked me a question about, you know, do you think that we can fix it? And I thought, oh, my gosh, what a hopeless question. Right? You know, of course, I think we can fix it. Otherwise, I wouldn't go to work every day, right? In order to fix it, though, everybody has to give a little bit. Right. And we can't continue number one to have health benefits that have things that consumers don't need, and them because people like jewelry and her family aren't going to purchase them. Right, she may not need. I don't know chiropractic care, or some of the other things that are in health plans, she may choose to purchase that ala carte in a marketplace. There's people with chronic conditions that may choose to forego a certain type of benefit in order to get a lower premium. Or maybe for an incentive instead of offering. Gift cards. You offer free dental care as a health plan. Because we know that I know it sounds silly, but oral hygiene is so important to diabetes, and it's so important to heart heart. They're linked.

William Huffman  37:18  
I didn't know that. Yeah. Oh, yeah. No idea. Wow. That's incredible.

Jamie Walker  37:26  
So as a payer, why wouldn't you offer that right? So if you are a diabetic, and you're compliant with your meds or your foot check, or your ABCD, you know, evidence based guideline will provide your dental care for free. Why wouldn't you do that?

William Huffman  37:47  
Right? Do what you're supposed to do, and you're gonna get a reward.

Sarah Huffman  37:51  
It's just a different way of looking at it. Because it seems very consumer friendly. Is that most consumer centric or grammar centric, like we're watching, we're watching out for the consumer.

Jamie Walker  38:02  
They don't need a gift card Chili's. Especially if

Unknown Speaker  38:06  
you're like, I shouldn't laugh at that. But

William Huffman  38:13  
that's a Well, yeah. But hey, five years ago, that that I

Sarah Huffman  38:17  
wouldn't have. Would you have said that five years? Would you have said that?

William Huffman  38:21  
No, three years ago, because education, understanding I think is our education upon health and wellness and stuff has really taken off.

Jamie Walker  38:30  
So Sarah, I know you what your tipping point was, right? Well, what was your What was your what dropped the dime on your decision to become healthier?

William Huffman  38:41  
Um, Sarah was doing it and I didn't want to be left behind. Seriously. FOMO? Like, that's it

Sarah Huffman  38:47  
left behind from what?

William Huffman  38:49  
Um, well, I didn't want I want to live with you for a very long time. And we were kind of on the same path. Like we were eating somewhat healthy, but not working out and not not doing the full thing. And after Sarah was riding her bike for I think she was about three months, consistently writing that damn thing. Two months, two months of writing it every day, I think. I mean, it was like, almost every day. I'm like, alright, well, this is not a fad. This is not going away. She is 100% all in. I'm like, get on or get left behind. And I'm like, alright, well says go. So it was because she was getting she was doing self improvement. So I wanted to be a part of that. That I had no personal reasons for it whatsoever. It was an external force.

Jamie Walker  39:40  
Yeah, I would call that a personal reason.

William Huffman  39:43  
Yeah. Yes. If you say it that way. It is a personal reason. But if she wouldn't have started, I wouldn't have started. I don't think maybe eventually we would have just because we would have maybe gotten there But sir, she could have had like,

Sarah Huffman  39:55  
I don't think we would have like literally if I wasn't asked off that ride at Universal. I don't know. If I really would have gotten honest with myself and gotten there, I think maybe what would have gotten me there is a health scare or a diagnosis, then I would have maybe, like woken up and been like, oh, okay, well, I guess I'm here, what can I control now.

William Huffman  40:16  
And we've been pretty blessed to have a lot of friends and people that we've surrounded ourselves with, who are incredibly intelligent, and informed when it comes to health, and food. And the knowledge piece of it is because knowledge is one of my core values, it's my number one core value, I pulled knowledge above most of all things. So to be able to learn the why and the reasoning and how things work behind it has been incredibly beneficial for myself.

Jamie Walker  40:47  
I'm gonna have to get inside your brain, as I look at like consumer centric marketplaces and what you would look for, especially when I think about making the choice to go without health care coverage for two years. So if there were a marketplace that would be available for you, what would you look for? How would you go about learning for benefits? And what would you need? I want to tell I'm gonna turn the table on you when? Yeah, when I get to that point,

William Huffman  41:17  
you let me know. All right, let us know we think so differently. We are the opposite end of the spectrum, we got you.

Sarah Huffman  41:23  
I already have like things like,

Jamie Walker  41:27  
alright, she's got the index going. Yeah,

Sarah Huffman  41:29  
I was great. It's not a one, one answer. It's meant it's multifaceted.

Jamie Walker  41:36  
Well, that's what makes it hard, right? Because everybody has different needs. So we can't just roll out one marketplace or one benefit plan or one way to measure quality has got to be that multifaceted

William Huffman  41:52  
approach. Yeah, to translate into real estate, we have several metrics KPIs that we watch, for where we're hitting our goals. Sure, we have transaction count, we have volume count, we have commission count, and we have, we have all these different like, how many listings, how many buyers, we have all these different things that are every single one of them was just as important as the other one. And they're all measuring? How are we going to get to our end game, our end goal, but one without the other? I'm not getting the full piece of the puzzle there. So that's pretty incredible. You're saying it that way? That's cool.

Sarah Huffman  42:25  
Well, I'm excited for what you're going to accomplish. Because if I know anything about Jamie Walker, it is what you do put your mind to you'll, you'll get done.

Jamie Walker  42:34  
Thanks, I just need to figure out how to get in contact with the right people and what the path is to get there. But I've already got like a matrix of how that might work. So and it'll come May will come in the right time.

Sarah Huffman  42:48  
So what's next for you like at like, okay, Congress. But like at work? Do you have more desires at work, more achievements that you want to hit? Or like, what does that look like?

Jamie Walker  43:00  
I am really content. You know, matter of fact, my girlfriend Sue and I were talking about this when we were in Mexico this winter, as far as we have always been driven to the next level. What's the next title? What's the next promotion? What's the next size office? What's, what's the next? And both of us are like? I don't know. Like, I'm really happy. I like what I'm doing. I enjoy my team, the people like we are where we thought we would be when we air quotes arrives. Yep. Lord knows, I never thought that I would be in the position that I'm in doing what I'm doing and influencing people like holy buckets. Sometimes I look at my, my teams, and I'm like, Are y'all really listening to me? Seriously. You know, and I got a leadership award last year, and I don't even know how people heard of me, I literally, it's one of those things where you have to look behind you and you're like, are you? Are you talking to me? But okay, you know, I've been really blessed with super influential people and taking advantage of opportunities. So if there's more, that I can offer and contribute, I will certainly step up if given the opportunity, but I don't know that I have that next thing. Because I'm really, I'm content, I'm happy.

William Huffman  44:36  
And it seems like you have the ability to make a serious impact in people's lives, where you're at and what you're doing.

Jamie Walker  44:44  
I won't do it if I don't if you can't. Joe and Jody on my focus. And you know, my senior leader is a gentleman by the name of Matt, and he's incredible. He knows what drives me

Jamie Walker  45:02  
And he gives me opportunities to spread my wings. He's pretty cool, dude. He's really cool dude. So I'm really grateful I work for an incredible leadership team and awesome organization.

Jamie Walker  45:21  
And I'm given the opportunity to live my passion, which is important. When I retire, hopefully, I will have made the connections to truly consult and be able to transform healthcare in America. As far as truly what is next, it is probably going back to school, so I can get my doctorate. When I was doing my getting my MBA, I wrote my thesis on the impact of consumer satisfaction in health care and compliance in health care outcomes. Which sounds really boring, but I dug it.

William Huffman  46:03  
I'm glad because that's, you're extremely passionate

Unknown Speaker  46:05  
about this. Yes. Yeah. And

Jamie Walker  46:09  
the question was actually asked in the literature back in 1982. Right about is there truly a difference in a consumer or a patient's healthcare outcomes if they are satisfied with their doctor? And does the payment align with that? And it has not been answered?

Sarah Huffman  46:30  
Or two years?

William Huffman  46:31  
Wow. I would assume yes, I would. I'm just saying, if if the care I'm receiving, I am happy with do I think I'm going to have a better result? I would think you would know,

Jamie Walker  46:46  
well, by evidence based guidelines, though, right? So you can like your doctor all you want, but are you actually going to be more compliance with your disease state and the recommended protocols based on your relationship with your doctor. But solve this, and that's cost and quality? Right. So it's a matrix. So it's really interesting. And I don't know,

Sarah Huffman  47:11  
I can tell you a time when I left a doctor's office crying. And, you know, so I think that relationship with a doctor is important, because when you don't have the relationship, I remember I called will from the

William Huffman  47:24  
oh, gosh, yep.

Sarah Huffman  47:28  
This was like, right after we were married, yeah,

William Huffman  47:30  
marriage. And

Sarah Huffman  47:33  
she told me, I wouldn't, I would have to have gastric bypass surgery to have a child. And I, and I was like, what? And then she was like, or you can get yourself in a weight loss support group and learn lose weight before you're able to have a child safely. And like, so I think it like that is what came into my head, where I'm like, Yeah, you're gonna fall apart protocol. If you like the doctor. Yeah, you're gonna listen more. Because the opposite. When you don't have that doctor advocating for you, or helping you or, you know, doing those things, like, you'll you'll shut the consumer the patient down, and I think cause more damage.

Jamie Walker  48:14  
Absolutely. One speaking of that, I mean, then there's also the treating the patient as a whole person. Yeah, you know, there's mental health, there's physical health, there's all of that that goes together. And there are systems out there that treat the patient as a person. Yes. And they get phenomenal results. Yeah. And when you see that, you can see it in the quality and you see it in the patient outcomes, and they live these amazing lives. And the cost is down. And you see the patients that recover from their heart surgeries, and they, they do. Their life span is longer than those that don't, and they have, they lose weight, and they care about the whole person, they care about the whole person. And they've got the behavioral health that goes with it, because my gosh, who doesn't have some sort of like trauma because they've had a heart condition. But the system, I have two, three in my head that do this, like whole person approach, and their outcomes are so inspiring.

Jamie Walker  49:22  

Sarah Huffman  49:24  
it's also built on trust. Because when you when the professional sees the whole person, the person then can trust the professional.

Jamie Walker  49:32  
Well, and it's also built on a financial model. Because these providers in these systems aren't being paid on a fee for service. They're being they have a salary, and they work as a team, and they receive bonuses or incentive payments based on the quality outcome. It's amazing and I don't know what else we need to show that that model works and that the his patients are healthier, they're happier. And they do just overall better mentally and physically with that type of a model. But it would totally break our system. And given that our you know, 20% of our GDP is based on health care. Well, I think that might be crippling for the economy too. So crawl, walk, run. Yeah. How do we get there?

William Huffman  50:20  
Wow, there we go. Absolutely. Love it. Boom. Mic drop. All right. So before we let you go, we like to wrap up asking, what are your top five restaurants? Oh, boy. And it doesn't have to because the food's the best it can be because of, like, emotional attachment. We had one person that say they love Olive Garden because they went there with their mother all the time, you know. So let's start with let's start with number five. Number five.

Jamie Walker  50:48  
Alright, so these are not an order. Okay. That was really good.

Sarah Huffman  50:52  
That could be a soundbite. Yes.

Jamie Walker  50:55  
All right. So these are not an order. But I would have to say Brahms ice cream parlor down in Oklahoma. On 100 and 61st. Unknown or 100 and 61st 100 and 11th.

William Huffman  51:12  
what's your what's your what's your kryptonite? What's your flavor of choice?

Jamie Walker  51:15  
Cookies and cream?

William Huffman  51:18  
Yum. Yep, sounds okay.

Jamie Walker  51:20  
That's awesome. All right. All handmade ice cream. For I'm gonna stop that now. I would have to say Sonic chili cheese dog. Okay. That

Sarah Huffman  51:36  
just came out of left that I did not expect the sonic chili.

William Huffman  51:41  
Onions. No onions. No onions. So does the chili the cheese and the dog? No mustard. Okay, no.

Sarah Huffman  51:51  
Like there's one Sonic right in the state of Minnesota. A couple?

Jamie Walker  51:54  
I don't know. All I know is that I love me some Sonic chili cheese dogs.

William Huffman  52:00  
There's one of Elk River. I

Jorie  52:01  
cannot eat hot dogs till this day because that's what they tried to make me eat growing up. It was not

Jamie Walker  52:09  
you make Larry Lee and I sound like poor parents.

Jorie  52:12  
Well, we all were but we were they made chili cheese dogs. Like it was like the new thing every day.

Sarah Huffman  52:20  
We loved them. And I bet they were really good with mac and cheese. No, I

Jorie  52:24  
did not eat him but I need to make a cheat.

Jamie Walker  52:28  
She loves mac and cheese.

William Huffman  52:29  
All right. I did not. Okay, so Sonic Crewmax number three.

Jamie Walker  52:35  
Red stones baked potatoes.

William Huffman  52:38  
Specifically their baked potatoes. Yes. What do you get on your favorites ever had

Sarah Huffman  52:42  
a red stone baked potato?

Jamie Walker  52:43  
They're really good. The way that they do the salt on the outside is perfect. Just butter and sour cream.

Sarah Huffman  52:52  
You're a very simple eater.

Jamie Walker  52:54  
I'm not a foodie.

Jorie  52:55  
It's really embarrassing actually. My sister and I. Yeah, it's really embarrassing because she'll look at the whole menu and take the time like we look at the menu because we're ordering our buffet and my mom's like I'll just do a big potato with a side of sour cream and butter. That just took you 45 minutes to make that decision.

William Huffman  53:18  
We can just went to Sonic

Jorie  53:22  

Sarah Huffman  53:24  
That is incredible. I love this so much. Very unexpected.

William Huffman  53:28  
This is like a this is like a high schooler slash freshman college mastery. Yeah.

Jamie Walker  53:34  
Okay, next just don't look at my refrigerator. When

Sarah Huffman  53:38  
is there anything in it? No. Number two,

Jamie Walker  53:41  
there's jello on it. I have jello is vodka is the answer for her.

William Huffman  53:49  
I love this so much. This is beautiful. This is beautiful. Okay, please say popsicle or something like

Sarah Huffman  53:59  
so we're on number two. Number two.

Jamie Walker  54:04  
The cottage is beach bread. There's a beach bar in Fort Myers named the cottage and they make a beach bread. That is mind blowing.

William Huffman  54:15  
What is beet bread?

Jorie  54:16  
It's literally just Bouchet on ciabatta bread but phenomenal thing it's just balsamic and oil and salt pepper. I don't know it's it's baked in my broiled it has cheese I think I actually just went back there and it was my friends. Yeah, who were there we went there sober and we ordered it and it's literally

Jamie Walker  54:39  
went there sober. That is yet issue.

William Huffman  54:42  
Yeah. You really screwed that one up, Jory.

Jorie  54:46  
Everybody just said it was shut up. Please.

Sarah Huffman  54:50  
This is amazing. Number one, number one.

Jamie Walker  54:56  
It got taken out by the last hurricane. So it's not there. But there used to be a place on the beach named Jimmy's. And they had this like shake thing called Liquid love. Oh, and it was fantastic. And I called it a meal. Even though it was cocktail. Was it an ice cream cocktail? No. Okay.

Sarah Huffman  55:20  
That's the Bushwacker beach.

Jorie  55:26  
Did you happen to drink this cocktail? Whatever you are not Denise got picked up on the beach outside of Fort Myers Beach outside of the cottage after you ate your beach bread at like 330 in the morning? Or is that a different podcast?

William Huffman  55:37  
I hope there's a sonic somewhere in the store. No, not

Jorie  55:40  
in Florida.

Sarah Huffman  55:41  
So you said there's a lot of food in your fridge. Do you then go out to eat a lot?

Jorie  55:45  
No, there's big potatoes in the cabinet. And instapot okay, this is what she has to cook for my dad she has.

Jamie Walker  55:56  
We don't? Well, that's what DoorDash is for.

Sarah Huffman  56:01  
So I asked the question wrong. You don't go out to eat food comes in.

Jamie Walker  56:09  
I live on protein shakes and jello.

Sarah Huffman  56:14  
In a baked potato, your content?

Jamie Walker  56:18  
I'm very happy. Yes.

William Huffman  56:20  
That's not gonna lie. If I could be happy if a baked potatoes and jello. The world would be a better place. We all

Jorie  56:28  
did that girl. I would freak out. Actually, if I saw you doing that.

William Huffman  56:34  
I am such a complete jerk face when it comes to what I need to consume. Yeah. I'm extremely picky

Sarah Huffman  56:41  
goals will

Jamie Walker  56:42  
well and then there's protein bars. Yeah, I like protein shakes. Good. No, the bars like if you have to eat something.

William Huffman  56:49  
No, I said it right. I like protein shakes. Awesome. This has been absolutely fantastic. Literally, I didn't know where this was gonna go. We got from Sonic to Congress where he

Sarah Huffman  57:03  
was like, can I give my mom an outline of your podcasts? Like this was beautiful. That's not what we do. Jory. I know this, like she asked

Jamie Walker  57:10  
for it. Have you many others? Yeah, I know many times. Here's

Sarah Huffman  57:14  
here's the beautiful part about this podcast is if we had outlined it, I don't think we would have gotten we wouldn't have gotten I mean,

William Huffman  57:21  
like we saw. I just want to say thank you for coming on. Like we kind of knew what you did but I didn't know your passion level for it. And it's through the roof. It's apparent when you speak in this this. You're everything. Joe and Jody Joe and God like that's so cool. So I want to say thank you for coming on. I appreciate you. And as always, we out deuces.

Accouncer  57:47  
tune in each week. For more in depth conversations about life behind the highlight reel. Follow us on your favorite podcast platform to make sure you never miss an episode. For today's show notes head over to lb

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