Q: How long have you been with Community Health Plan of Washington and what is your current role?
It has been just over one month. I was brought on as the new Integrated Managed Care Regional Manager for the Spokane region which includes six counties: Spokane, Ferry, Stevens, Lincoln, Adams, and Pend Oreille. I will be helping transition the region to Integrated Managed Care by providing technical assistance, education, support, and to just be the local expert on how things are done in this area. The role will include overseeing the day-to-day operations of the new Spokane satellite office that will be opening in early 2019. We have a variety of remote workers that live in the greater Spokane region and our new regional office will enable us to bring everyone together in a centralized location to better serve the community
Q: What challenges do you foresee taking on in your role?
I think that this role is specifically designed to take on the challenges of integration. This includes helping CHPW learn about what makes the Spokane region unique and how behavioral healthcare in our area is not the same as other regions in the state. We use different terminology, and geographically we cover a larger area which serves both urban and frontier rural counties, and all of this impacts how our providers implement and deliver services. It seems that every year we deal with Mother Nature, whether fires, floods, or snow, which cause a temporary closure of roads that are the only points of access to remote areas. Each instance generates opportunities to explore our creativity on how to reach our communities. I look forward to taking on these challenges and using this overhaul of healthcare in our region as an opportunity to help partner our local providers with CHPW to best serve our members.
Q: Why did you choose to pursue a career in health care?
I have worked in behavioral health in some aspect for my entire career. My education and background are in social work and when asked if I like being a social worker, I always say I am a social worker at heart. I fight for social justice and hope to help those in need. I think that working for CHPW is a perfect fit for me as I can use my knowledge and skills to do both.
Q: What is something you have recently learned or accomplished that you are proud of?
My greatest joy in life is my 6-year-old son. In preparation for the years to come, I have been trying to learn new ways to do the math. It is still a work in progress, but I have been following the easy stuff and we are learning together. It is a lot of fun actually.
Q: Do you look forward to Washington winters? What is your strategy to manage the short days and long nights?
After living on the west side of Washington for 20 years, I enjoy all of the four seasons here in Spokane. I don’t look forward to snow, but I love the crisp sunny days we have. And it is beautiful when there is snow on the ground the sun is shining, which makes the shorter days seem longer.