Ken Rupp has always wanted to be a nurse—well, at one point he also considered becoming a firefighter or a paramedic, but life ultimately set him up to become a nurse.
While working in human services, Ken found his passion in helping individuals with behavioral health issues, dual diagnoses, and developmental disabilities.
“Early on in my career, I realized that empathy and compassionate care are critical to promoting well-being.”
After 10 years of honing his therapeutic communication skills as a social worker, nursing was the logical next step for Ken. He says it is “surreal” to know and learn more about the human body and its complexities.
“Combining my social work skills and my nursing skills has given me great perspective and I’m grateful for the opportunity,” he says.
After working as a care partner at CCA, Ken now works in the iCMP PLUS program. In both roles, he has been responsible for care coordination and making sure members get the services they need. His colleagues have recognized him in particular for going above and beyond to ensure that members’ requests for medical equipment are completed in a timely manner.
Ken is motivated by seeing his members’ quality of life improve. Once case that has stood out to him was working with a member who was homeless, had behavioral health issues, and struggled with alcohol use disorder. At one point, the member had been to the emergency department (ED) more than 200 times. Last year, he has had only three ED visits. It took persistence, luck, and all the tools in his toolbox to reach the member, Ken says, but it was worth it to finally establish that connection and get the member placed in a non-traditional shelter. That experience proved to be a valuable lesson.
“I learned that complex care means never giving up and meeting the patient where they are.”
This story was originally published on May 6, 2021.