Meet Jerry Perez, Regional Manager for North Central Washington.
Jerry has a passion for engagement and making connections. We sat down with him to learn what’s going on in the (North Central Washington) region.
“Having the opportunity to support the unique health needs of the community I call home by leveraging my past health care experience and community relationships is extremely rewarding. Working closely with local residents allows me to contribute to CHPW’s ongoing community efforts. I am excited to be part of an amazing Regional Manager team that values the relationship between the Community Health
Centers and health providers to better understand members’ health concerns.”
– Jerry Perez, Regional Manager, Regional Systems Integration, North Central region at Community Health Plan of Washington
I started this year as the Regional Manager for the North Central Washington Region, which includes Chelan, Douglas, Grant, and Okanogan Counties.
I’m part of the Regional Systems Integration Team. Part of what we do is act as regional liaisons between the Community Health Centers and health providers should there be questions or feedback. We also attend community events to learn about local needs and opportunities for collaboration. Then we coordinate that back across CHPW.
In short, we’re a set of eyes keeping a vigil on our regions, supporting the implementation of Integrated Managed Care (IMC), and advocating for members.
What about the job description or CHPW inspired you to apply for the role?
I’ll share the “serious” answer along with the “fun” answer. I’ve been in health care for seven years, and along the way, I’ve learned quite a bit about Apple Health and the unique health care needs facing the people of North Central Washington. So when a past coworker shared this Regional Manager position, I thought it would allow me to continue helping the communities I call home.
As for the fun answer, I’m a big fan of the sitcom The Office. It tickles me pink that I share a job title with Michael Scott, a fellow Regional Manager.
Why did you choose to pursue a career in health care?
It started innocently enough. I had recently finished my Master of Law and Justice degree from Central Washington University, noticed my sizeable amount of student debt, and knew I needed to get to work. I saw a strong connection between criminal justice and behavioral health, so when I saw a job post for an Office Support position with the Chelan/Douglas Regional Support Network (RSN), I applied. I felt fortunate to get the job and excited for the opportunity. In that role, I frequently engaged with providers and community stakeholders. After three years, I was hired by Beacon Health Options to develop those relationships on a larger scale as their Community Engagement Coordinator.
What excites me the most about being in health care is when the stars align, and a new program or service is started!
What is something you have recently learned or accomplished that you are proud of?
In my past role with Beacon Health Options, there were two projects I was really proud to be a part of. One is Triple Point of North Central Washington, a support program for LGBTQ+ youth in partnership with Children’s Home Society. The program provides a safe place to make positive connections, receive support, and learn about community resources. My team helped fund this program, which is modeled on a similar program in the Southwest region of Washington, in the Chelan, Douglas, Grant, and Okanogan counties.
The second project was providing funding for the North Central Washington Naloxone Vending Machine Project with the North Central Accountable Community of Health and their Recovery Coach Network. With high overdose rates and the need for a low-barrier way to distribute naloxone in the community, this vending machine project aims to reduce opioid overdoses and hopefully connect these community members to long-term treatment.
If you have visitors from out of town where do you like to take them to experience the Pacific Northwest?
I live in Wenatchee, which I consider a gateway to either the Cascades or Eastern Washington. I think if you wanted to get a taste of the Cascades, I would encourage a visit to Leavenworth, a Bavarian-themed town with tasty food and awesome sights and hikes.
For Eastern Washington, I would encourage a hike to Saddle Rock/Two Bears. The summit gives a stellar view of Wenatchee Valley.