Making a Difference

Jessica Kollman: A tragic accident prompts positive change

Ten years ago, Jessica Kollman nearly lost her life. She was driving home from the gym and was hit head on by a drunk driver. The accident crushed both her feet and left her unable to walk for several months. “I spent a lot of time reflecting on how lucky I was to be alive,” says Jessica, a culture engagement specialist at CompHealth locum tenens. “I knew that I had lived through the accident for a reason and committed my life to making a difference.”

Driving change

After the accident, Jessica had “Be the Change” tattooed on her wrist and lives by those three little words. She spends most of her time and resources volunteering with the United Way and serving on its committees and women’s leadership council. She is also a Young Leader, as well as a mentor to a little girl.

She’s coordinated volunteer opportunities with the Utah Food Bank and dinners at the Road Home. She’s also volunteered with the Cancer Wellness House, the Festival of Trees and Equality Utah, as well as held bake sales to help people experiencing difficult times.

Rippling effects of kindness

Last year, Jessica led a team-building activity during CompHealth’s leadership summit. “I presented on kindness and compassion and how it can have an exponential ripple effect,” she says. Each table was given $160 to go out in to the community and spread some love. The next morning, they shared their acts of kindness.

The positive experience had a lasting impact on the leaders. They used some of the money dedicated to their division’s holiday party for a team-wide acts-of-kindness activity. “To see the entire division come together to make an impact in our community still overwhelms me today,” Jessica shares.

Finding Zen and forgiveness

“Thanks to the free classes offered at CHG, I was introduced to yoga,” Jessica shares. “Not only did yoga help me physically heal from the accident, it also helped me forgive the drunk driver who almost killed me.”

Jessica saw an opportunity to bring the healing power of yoga to others in need. She partnered with a United Way Community School to teach yoga and meditations that focus on love and kindness in an after-school program.

“I could have let my car accident define me,” Jessica shares. “But instead, I used a bad experience to help change the world.”

Jessica is one of our 13 Difference Maker finalists. CHG’s Difference Maker program celebrates our people who are committed to changing the world by making a positive social impact on others and in their communities.

About the author

Shonda Smith

Shonda Smith

Shonda Smith is a senior communications specialist for CHG Healthcare. When she’s not sharing stories about our awesome people and culture, she’s mountain biking, hiking, skydiving and enjoying Utah life with her hubby and pup.

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  • There is no one more inspirational, and motivating, to me like Jess! Love this story, and more so, Jessica’s spirit! She is such a beautiful example to us all. I am truly blessed to call her my friend!

  • Hi Jessica
    I teach yoga in the Norwalk office and your story is such an inspiration to us all!

    Yoga has helped me in all facets of my life, personally, professionally and emotionally.

    My goal is to inspire others to join me on the mat in the Norwalk office!

    Thank you so much for sharing your story!

  • Wow, Jessica! Your inner glow is all encompassing which I know from personal experience. 😉 You have the heart and the power to change to the world and you are – one person at a time. I commend you. Bravo!

  • Jess- You are truly such an inspiration to so many people here within CHG and outside. Thank you for spreading your love. You make me better.

  • Love the story and the person it’s about! Jess is a great example to all of us in choosing to live a positive life, despite a terribly negative experience. Thanks, Jess – for being the amazing person you are! You definitely make this world a better place – and I’m blessed to have you in my life!

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