John didn’t expect to become a nurse. When he first moved to the United States from Kenya, his goal was to be a teacher, and earn his Master’s in Education Administration. But soon after graduating, he realized teaching just wasn’t as rewarding as he had expected. “I felt unappreciated and quickly became disillusioned,” John explains.
While he was in school, John worked in group homes, helping people with a variety of behavioral challenges—something he found highly rewarding. When he realized he did not want to teach, John began thinking about that work in the group home, and decided to become a nurse. “I realized I wanted to continue working to help individuals with mental health problems,” John explains. Today, John is a certified psychiatric nurse, working at CCA as a mobile RN care partner.
Since joining CCA in 2016, John has been able to put his immersive experience working in mental health to good use. One CCA member John works with has many chronic conditions, including diabetes, obesity, and kidney failure, which have all contributed to ongoing depression. John began working with the member after a personal situation resulted in a lapse of her MassHealth coverage before she was re-enrolled in CCA.
John makes sure the member’s basic needs are met, helping her to manage her medications in unison with her VNA provider and her PCP. He has also accompanied her, at her request, to appointments with her primary care physician. Now that she is back with CCA, and working with John and her care team, she knows she will get the comprehensive support she needs. John’s holistic approach to helping her has given her the resources to maintain a more positive outlook, helping with her depression.
John is often assigned members with chronic conditions and depression because of his ability to manage members with complex clinical and behavioral health diagnoses in a creative way that takes into account their broad-reaching needs. “John approaches member care critically and sensitively—understanding that an individualized member approach is the key to long term success and engagement with our members,” says Sandra Munier, Director of Clinical Care Partnership at CCA. “He is committed to the CCA mission and ongoing enhancement of care delivery.”
John also uses skill development and coaching strategies to promote his members’ independence and build their confidence in managing their own daily needs. He thinks creatively about how to meet his members’ medical needs and also address their social determinants of health. “John understands the challenges of the community we serve at CCA and is intentional in his approach to work closely with our network of providers to promote interdisciplinary collaboration and care coordination,” says Sandra.
With the current coronavirus pandemic, John is using that same creativity to adapt the way he works—using the telephone to reach out. “It has been a challenge for me as I really enjoy meeting face-to-face with our members,” John says. But despite the challenges, John continues to help his members get the service and care they need.