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Smita’s story

December 5, 2023
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For anyone who knew Smita Mazumdar as a child, it’s no surprise she chose healthcare as a career. Today, Smita is the director of clinical operations for CCA Health Rhode Island. Her role is to monitor and oversee the team that cares for members. She also ensures the organization is efficient and compliant with regulations.

Smita says, “I always knew I wanted to get into healthcare. As a kid I would set up clinics in my house. I had band-aids and toy stethoscopes. I always knew I was destined to do this.”

She explains a key event in her life that affected her deeply. “My career solidified in my mind when I was 16, and I had a minor accident. I remember sitting in the emergency department waiting room, thinking it was cold and uninviting,” Smita recalls.

Once in an exam room, the physician was very focused on what he was going to do. Smita says the experience was overwhelming and frightening. But when the nurse came in, that was the moment it all changed. “She was humming and singing, and it turned out to be my music teacher, who was moonlighting as a nurse. Thanks to Vicky, my fear settled, and I stopped crying. She held my hand, and we got through the journey together. In college, I remembered how Vicky made me feel that day, and that’s why I went to nursing school.”

Smita’s career took her from the U.S. heartland where she grew up and attended school to New England in search of career opportunities. She served as a case manager for a health organization in a role she says helped her really understand what it takes to care for patients of all ages.

Through all her roles in healthcare, whether direct patient care or leadership, that experience was on Smita’s mind. “I thought of Vicky and the way she treated me. That has been the guiding force for me in the work that we do. And I feel like that’s what CCA is here to do,” Smita says.

Supporting members is a priority for Smita and her team. She explains, “We focus on a high-touch approach to care management. Our clinical team goes into homes, assesses members’ needs, meets them at doctors’ offices and checks on them by phone/email/virtually between visits.”

The team is also focused on our members’ quality of life. “We want to make sure we connect our members to the services they need to meet their health goals. That might include meals, transportation, and other home supports,” Smita says. “We must wrap our services around their care management and ensure that we address any gaps in care.”

They also focus on helping members get recommended screenings and vaccines. It’s also important to understand what new needs may arise. She adds, “No matter what the care plan looks like, our priority is to keep our members at the center of care while also respecting their autonomy, voice, and dignity.”

Smita notes that the team also creates individualized plans of care for members. She says, “We determine if their needs are physical, social, or mental, and we advocate for our members. We want them to know they are not alone in their journey to improved health.”

A text from a CCA team member about an open position originally attracted her to CCA. She started researching the company and learning more about it. “What I discovered is that CCA’s focus is on the vulnerable population and creating pathways to help these individuals get access to what they need. CCA’s team does this by thinking outside the box.”

Smita says CCA’s growth is another factor that appealed to her. “Besides our hub in Massachusetts, we are now in Michigan, California, and Rhode Island. It shows that CCA is thinking about the health of the population outside of where we started. Our mission is to transform healthcare for those who need it most.”

She adds there is another benefit to CCA’s growth. “It allows us to work with other care teams and clinical leadership in other states. We can share best practices and collaborate on how best to care for our members.”

When asked what makes CCA unique, she doesn’t hesitate with her response. “CCA is different because of its people. It’s the people who show up every day for the same purpose – to help our members.”

Smita says she has seen a commitment to members throughout CCA in her short time with the organization. “It doesn’t matter if you’re working directly with members. Everyone at CCA wants to educate better, train better, and focus more on the community – it’s a constant regrowth mindset. Everything that we do is always with a sense of compassion – and that’s what makes CCA different.”

She recalls one experience in her career that has stayed with her – her first call to a member as a case manager. Smita says that she explained her role and asked if he had time to talk to me. “Rather than simply asking him questions, we had a conversation that flowed naturally, and I learned so much about him. Even though he wasn’t well and was dealing with so much, it was a wonderful conversation. At the end of the conversation, he said I hope you call me again and we get to talk again. That was the best moment for me – it felt natural, like I was there to help, and he felt like he could talk to me.”

Her personal satisfaction comes from helping members and hearing from the people CCA helps. “I want to be out in the community helping members. That is a personal reward to me – to see the people we’re helping and to know that our presence means something to them.”

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