Raluca is a nurse who joined CCA as a care partner in April, 2022. In her role, she is responsible for coordinating all aspects of care for our members.
CCA’s care partners play a key role, serving as the go-to person to help members get the care and services they need. Another important part of the role is checking in with members to understand their needs or challenges impacting care and identifying resources and solutions to address those issues.
Raluca enjoys the case management focus of the role, which offers the opportunity to work with members on an ongoing basis.
“It’s important to get to know each member and to meet them where they are,” she said, noting their care plan must account for their reality and any struggles they may be facing. “Understanding their situation and getting the family and other caregivers involved as much as possible is important to well-coordinated care.”
Practicing as a nurse for nearly ten years, she began her career at a hospital, then transitioned to home healthcare. She then led a clinic for an organization dedicated to the care and well-being of seniors, where she helped them stay independent in their homes as long as possible.
She said, “My experience working with seniors taught me that there is such a need to reach out to this community to determine what resources are available for them.”
CCA was a natural next step for Raluca, given her passion and expertise. She serves Medicare Advantage members and individuals dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid. Most of the members Raluca works with have significant medical, mental health, and social support needs.
She is quick to answer when asked what she feels is most important about developing a relationship with members. “What helps the most is really listening to our members and taking the time to understand what they need. It lets our members know that we care. To us, they are not just a number.”
“Letting members know you understand their frustrations and that you will try to help them shows them you’re on their side,” she added.
Raluca’s background has given her a unique perspective in advocating for individuals who need care. Born in Romania, she still has family there and recently traveled back to her home country when her grandmother needed surgery. She is quick to note the differences in healthcare between the two countries. While the healthcare and health insurance landscape in the U.S. can be complicated, the baseline level of care and available resources in healthcare settings is much higher.
“I grew up with a vastly different framework for healthcare. It really highlights how much we have available here. It’s an additional motivator to me to encourage our members to get the care they need and deserve,” she said.
Raluca said she is especially appreciative of one aspect of her role as a care partner. “There has been a lot of flexibility in shaping the program to what works for our members. Sometimes it’s important to go out for home or hospital visits with members to learn about their environment,” she said.
This hands-on approach allows Raluca to get insight into any barriers that may be keeping her members from meeting their medical needs or reaching their health goals.
“Sometimes you can’t understand what is happening with a member until you see firsthand what they are experiencing,” she said.
Raluca is deeply committed to the well-being of individuals in her care. This is evident throughout each of her diverse professional experiences. Before joining CCA, she participated in a week-long volunteer humanitarian mission to a remote rainforest region of Panama. With her team, they delivered essential health and dental care. Through seeking out opportunities to serve people in many different places and circumstances, Raluca has cultivated a special devotion to her patients.
As for the near future, she plans on pursuing her case management certification. Then, she feels she will be able to offer even richer support to the members she serves. For CCA members, Raluca has a message. “There’s so much more good stuff coming. Just wait and see.”