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Employee Stories

Jenn’s story

August 15, 2023
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CCA Senior Behavioral Health Clinician Jenn has always known that helping people was her calling. As a teen, she recalls visiting her grandmother at a care facility and being drawn to interacting with other patients.

“Even in my personal life, I’ve always wanted to help people,” says Jenn. “I picked social work as a career, but I think it also picked me.”

Jenn joined Commonwealth Care Alliance (CCA) nearly a decade ago and is currently a senior clinician in behavioral health. Through CCA’s unique approach to care, Jenn and her team help coordinate medical and mental health services for some of the most vulnerable members of the community.

Her role is to assist members in connecting with community mental health providers such as therapists, psychiatrists, or addiction recovery specialists. This means that she helps break down barriers to the services her members need. She also helps members receive a variety of services to allow them to remain in their home, get access to food, and other help they require to live their best lives. She notes that often includes house calls for those members who are homebound.

Her past roles involved helping children and families, which gave her the ideal experience for her position at CCA. “My previous jobs have involved a great deal of communication, coordination of services or care, and support for caregivers and families. I have worked with individuals of all ages who have been affected by social factors such as poverty, trauma, emotional needs, and more. All that work greatly prepared me to dive into my role with CCA,” Jenn says.

When asked what she likes best about her role, it comes as no surprise that helping members is at the top of her list.What we do every day at CCA to better the lives of our members is extremely rewarding,” Jenn says.

She remarks that in her role, members must often disclose sensitive information when asking for help, and this may be connected to negative experiences from their past. “I am truly in awe of our CCA member’s strength in coming to me to ask for help, as this is no easy task. I am even more honored that I am the one that gets to support our members through this process,” Jenn adds.

While she knows she is doing the job she was meant to do, Jenn recognizes that it’s not always easy. “There are times I wish I could take all the pain away…all the unfairness that comes with the human experience. This is the most challenging part of my job,” Jenn says.

She adds, “There are things that happen that we cannot control, but the silver lining is that I truly believe that with the support and services CCA has to offer, we can take steps together to progress to the other side.”

“We get to know our members for who they are and not just their member ID numbers,” she adds. “We place the member at the center of all that we do so they can lead and guide their care. We work across multiple disciplines to ensure there are no gaps in care.”

When asked what she believes is most important for her patients, Jenn notes that trust is essential. “We need to show our members that they can rely on us and trust us. Many of them haven’t always had the best experience with the health system,” she said. “Sometimes, just having someone consistently show up can be effective. So, I’m there for my members because we’re here to show that we’re different.”

When she’s not caring for CCA members, she’s helping people in her free time as well. Jenn is a mentor in Sibling Connections, a program that reunites siblings who have been separated through the foster care system. She also volunteers in a reading program with her dog, Leila, to help children improve their reading skills and build confidence – by reading aloud to therapy dogs!

“I have an ability to engage people who have a history of not wanting to be engaged. I feel it’s my main strength,” she said. “I bring a level of energy to the work because I enjoy meeting people from all different walks of life who are on many different paths. I let them know that I’m here for them.”

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