Spotlight Magellan Health: June is National PTSD Awareness Month!

Recognizing National Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Awareness Month is crucial for raising public awareness about PTSD. This observance fosters understanding of symptoms, reduces stigma, and encourages those suffering to seek help. By promoting education and support, we can improve lives and support recovery efforts, ensuring that those affected receive the care they need. Magellan Health’s Dr. Yasmeen Benjamin, psychologist advisor, shares her thoughts on the importance of recognizing National PTSD Awareness Month, and what available resources there are to support the mental health of individuals living with PTSD.

What are some facts about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) that individuals may not be aware of?

The triggering event or stressor that causes PTSD can look very different for everyone. However, for all those who struggle with PTSD, the symptoms are the same. This is important because sometimes individuals with PTSD don’t know they have PTSD, or they will minimize their symptoms if they deem their trauma to be less severe in some way.

The symptoms of PTSD consist of re-experiencing the traumatic event in some way, avoidance, negative changes in thoughts and mood, and increased arousal or reactivity. To have a diagnosis of PTSD means these symptoms will cause significant distress in an individual’s life and persist following the traumatic event. It is also important to recognize that PTSD can negatively affect many aspects of a person’s life, which makes living with PTSD very difficult and isolating. Relationships can suffer as well as performance in a work or school environment. But there is hope to manage PTSD with scientifically proven treatments, such as evidence-based therapies. I am a believer in these treatments because I have seen first-hand how they work to significantly decrease symptoms and help individuals get their lives back. These treatments include, but aren’t limited to, Cognitive Processing Therapy and Prolonged Exposure Therapy. I highly encourage anyone experiencing PTSD to discuss these and other PTSD treatment options with a clinician who is well-trained in them.

Why is it important to recognize National PTSD Awareness Month?

PTSD affects many different types of people of all ages and backgrounds. Given that this condition doesn’t discriminate, it’s important to understand PTSD and to be able to identify the signs and symptoms so we could be a support to those individuals with this condition. Social support is an important variable in any recovery process and can be a huge help for individuals living with PTSD to receive that understanding and empathy needed to help them.

What are some available resources for individuals with PTSD?

The National Center for PTSD provides helpful resources and psycho-educational materials to individuals with PTSD as well as their family and friends. Additionally, there are helpful books and workbooks that individuals can read to learn more about their symptoms as well as learn helpful skills to better manage or decrease PTSD symptoms.

What are some ways that individuals with PTSD can take care of their mental health while navigating this condition?

PTSD does not have to feel like a lifetime sentence. With the right treatment, people can get their lives back. I highly encourage individuals with PTSD to find professionals who have the training and experience to effectively treat this condition. Additionally, I encourage individuals with PTSD to find a way to not only address their mental health, but also address their spiritual and physical health as well. PTSD affects the entire being.

Spotlight Magellan Health: World Schizophrenia Awareness Day is May 24!

World Schizophrenia Awareness Day is a vital reminder of the profound impact this complex mental health condition has on individuals and families worldwide. This day offers a platform to challenge stigmas, dispel myths, and advocate for greater understanding and support for those affected by schizophrenia. By acknowledging World Schizophrenia Awareness Day, we’re highlighting the need for improved access to mental health resources and service and taking a crucial step towards fostering inclusive communities and promoting mental well-being. Magellan Health’s Lyle Forehand, MD, is board certified in psychiatry and forensic psychiatry. Dr. Forehand shares his thoughts on the importance of recognizing World Schizophrenia Day, and what available resources there are to support the mental health of individuals living with schizophrenia.

What is some information about schizophrenia that people may not know?

Schizophrenia is a very serious, lifelong condition that affects how a person thinks, feels, and behaves. It shows up differently in different people, but it is almost always associated with decreased insight into what is, or is not, real. Usually starting between ages 16 and 30-years-old, individuals tend to respond better to earlier treatment. However, people who suffer with these symptoms are often very unwilling to share their scary, and often bizarre, experiences with others. That slows down, or even prevents, getting treatment. Many also have a neurological condition called anosognosia, that blocks their ability to know they are ill or need treatment.

Why is it important to recognize World Schizophrenia Day?

World Schizophrenia Awareness Day is celebrated every May 24th, in honor of the day in 1792 that Dr. Phillipe Pinel started releasing psychiatric patients from the chains that bound them at the Bicệtre Hospital outside Paris.  Many of his patients had been chained for 30 – 40 years!  Our hope, in recognizing this day, is that the stigma of schizophrenia (and of mental disorders in general) will lessen. More people will be able to live with dignity and with access to the same level of care as individuals without schizophrenia.

What are some available resources for individuals with schizophrenia?

Information is helpful in managing most difficulties. For schizophrenia, which is often quite scary to those who suffer from the condition and to those who love them, this is even more important.  NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, has been a source of information and support since 1979.  The Treatment Advocacy Center, founded in 1998, has been controversial because of its advocacy for forced treatment of some people with schizophrenia, but it remains a great information resource as well as a vigorous advocate of legal changes that could enhance treatment.

Schizophrenia requires lifelong treatment.  That treatment should include some amount of medication.  Not all psychiatrists are comfortable prescribing these medicines, but many are willing to work with schizophrenic patients until a regimen can be found that works well for them.  These regimens often change over time, or in response to fluctuations in stress, or symptoms, or both.  A good relationship with a consistent provider is very important.  A relationship with a full-service team is even better.  This team can provide some combination of psychotherapy, social skills training, vocational rehabilitation, supported housing, and supported employment.

What are some ways that individuals with schizophrenia can take care of their mental health while navigating this condition?

Just as everyone else does, people with schizophrenia have some amount of stress (not just from their disorder!) and some amount of resilience (the ability to “bounce back” from difficulties).  Resilience is a skill that all of us can improve. The four steps are: making positive lifestyle choices, forming positive social relationships, having a sense of meaning and/or purpose, and the practice of mindfulness/meditation (even just three minutes a day).

Spotlight Magellan Health: National Volunteer Month

National Volunteer Month serves as a pivotal reminder of the invaluable contributions volunteers make to communities nationwide. Throughout April, we’re celebrating the selflessness, dedication, and impact of those who generously give their time, skills, and resources to support the causes and organizations they believe in. National Volunteer Month not only honors those individuals who devote themselves to volunteerism, but also inspire others to join in and find a cause they’re passionate about. Talia Hammer, manager, network development, OCONUS MFLC/PFC, is an active volunteer with Share Pregnancy and Infant Loss Support. Talia was also the first-place recipient of the Barry Smith Caring Award and was awarded a $5,000 donation for Share Pregnancy and Infant Loss, an organization that has significant meaning to Talia. Continue reading to learn more about the volunteer work Talia does with Share Pregnancy and Infant Loss:

What volunteer work do you participate in and for what organizations?

I am currently very active in volunteering with Share Pregnancy and Infant Loss Support to help parents who have experienced the heartache of a pregnancy loss, stillbirth, or infant death. I became a trained Parent Companion and co-facilitate grief support groups offering peer support to other bereaved families. I served on the Parent Panel and was filmed telling my story at a Sharing and Caring Training to trained professionals in the community to learn how to serve families at their time of loss. I became Share’s first Social Media Ambassador to increase awareness about Share and baby loss through personal advocacy on Facebook and Instagram. I volunteer with an open heart and generosity of my time serving on event planning committees, help with the annual walk, plan, and volunteer at fundraisers. I am the Secretary of the Social Board and attend every Share event and I organize a donation drive yearly on my daughter’s birthday to give items to the Share office in honor of her.

How did you get involved with this organization and volunteering in general? How long have you been volunteering?

In November 2016, our daughter was born at 32 weeks gestation and lived for 35 minutes as she was born with no kidneys. After the loss of my daughter, I turned to Share for help with my grief. Two years later, I decided I wanted to give back to other grieving parents. I have been volunteering with Share for the past 5 years. Volunteering with Share is how I keep my daughter’s memory alive.

Why is it important for others to volunteer in their communities?

It is important for others to volunteer in their community as there are many non-profit organizations that depend on volunteers to help the organization operate daily and to give back to the community in need. With the wide range of organizations that need volunteers, I believe there is something out there for everyone to volunteer and to give their time.  Find the organization or organizations that is closest to your heart and donate your time to them as they will forever be thankful for all the help they receive. When you find commonality with others who have experienced what you have, volunteering will come so easily.

Is there anything else about what National Volunteer Week you’d like to highlight (could also highlight specific organization)?

In 2023, I received the Heart and Hands volunteer of the year award from Share. Statistics show that 1 in 4 families experience pregnancy/infant loss and I’m honored to partner with Share to help bereaved parents find hope and healing, all while honoring my daughter’s life. I feel very luck to work for Magellan who also gives us Volunteer Time Off (VTO) hours to be able to help our community. I appreciate the opportunities Magellan offers to us to help make the world a better place.

Spotlight Magellan Health: National Doctor’s Day is March 30!

In celebration of National Doctors Day, we honor the unwavering commitment and exceptional dedication of our Magellan Health physicians. This annual observance on March 30, serves as a meaningful reminder of the invaluable contributions made by doctors worldwide in improving and safeguarding public health. We recognize the vital role our physicians play in providing compassionate care, fostering innovation, and driving positive outcomes for those we serve. We’re spotlighting two of Magellan Health’s doctors, who each explain why they chose to become physicians, and share some of the most rewarding and challenging aspects of working in this field:

  • Andrew Sassani, M.D., Vice President, Magellan Health, Chief Medical Officer, California, Human Affairs International and Magellan Health Services of California
  • Steven Pratt, M.D., Senior Medical Director, Magellan Healthcare

Continue reading to learn more from Drs. Sassani and Pratt:

Why did you want to become a physician?

Dr. Sassani: Interestingly, I did not set out to be a physician at first. My career plan was to become an attorney all the way through the mid-point of my junior year in college. During the Christmas/Winter break of my junior year, I decided to change course. While studying with my friends at the college library (many of whom were “Pre-Med” students), I found myself being more interested in the subjects they were studying. That led to a bit of self-reflection and questioning my career-path choices. It made me think about the impact I could (or not) have on peoples’ lives and wellbeing depending on the career choices I was making. Eventually this resulted in me changing course towards the field of medicine. Although, truth be told, my mind is still triggered occasionally to take the LSAT and enroll in a part-time (nights/weekends) law program.

Dr. Pratt: I originally wanted to be a neurogenetic researcher. I was planning on graduate school in genetics. I had a friend who was a post-doctoral student in genetics making the switch to become a physician rather than continue to work as a genetics researcher. After many long, heart to heart discussions she talked me into applying for medical school. I planned to become a human neurogenetic researcher and did get involved in human neurogenetic research while in medical school. In the end, I found I liked clinical work more than research and higher brain function more than neurology, so I chose psychiatry and have loved my career.

What is the most rewarding aspect of working in this field? 

Dr. Sassani: Although I find the field of medicine rewarding, it carries a heavy burden of responsibility and expectations which can lead to burnout in the healthcare field for so many. This was never more evident than during the pandemic. However difficult, I think it reminded us all how important and crucial healthcare providers and medical sciences are to the lives and wellbeing of all people.

Is there anything you’d like to highlight about working in this field? 

Dr. Pratt: I have been told many times by my patients that I saved their lives. Before working with me, one individual made a serious suicide attempt, coded, and was resuscitated. After I worked with them in a state hospital for about a year and they were being discharged, they gave me a card made with flowers on the cover and inside it said, “Thank you, Dr. Pratt, when I killed myself, everything went dark. There was no light I was moving toward. Now, for the first time in my life I see light thanks to you!”

What does National Doctor’s Day mean to you? 

Dr. Sassani: As clinicians, we join the field because we truly care for others and have a true desire to help those in need. Putting others first is our number one priority and we don’t focus on ourselves, much less celebrate a day of honor and recognition. I think that for many doctors we have a true calling to serve, and we share the sentiment that Doctor’s Day is just another day on the calendar.

Dr. Pratt: I am appreciative that there is a National Doctor’s Day. But the rewards that come day in and day out are more meaningful to me.

Spotlight Magellan Health: National Social Worker Month

National Social Worker Month, observed every March, is a time to honor and celebrate the invaluable contributions of social workers to our communities. From empowering individuals and families to navigating complex systems, social workers embody compassion, resilience, and a steadfast commitment to fostering positive change. As we acknowledge National Social Worker Month, we not only express gratitude for their unwavering dedication but also underscore the importance of their role as champions of change! We’re spotlighting three of Magellan Health’s social workers so continue reading to learn more about their experiences:

  • Erin Mason, MSW, LCSW, Licensed Care Coordinator
  • Julie Mattingly, MSW, LCSW, Senior Care Manager
  • Madeline Adams, MSW, LCSW, Clinical Manager, Employee Center of Excellence

Why did you become a social worker and what is the most rewarding aspect of working in this field? 

Erin: I have always really enjoyed working with people and helping others. I chose to earn a Master of Social Work specifically because it presented opportunities to influence change at the individual, group, and system level. I felt that it had the most diverse opportunities and made the best use of my different skills. I also was drawn to the ethics that guide our profession. It has been rewarding to see how those ethics drive social progress and foster individual achievement. I have been very fortunate to be a part of innovative programs that expand access to diverse populations, including the collaborative care program at Magellan Health. Whether it’s helping connect one member to care or looking at the total population served in a pilot project, seeing the results of improved access is what I find most rewarding.

Julie: I knew from early age that I would be a social worker. I used to go with my mom to visit residents of a local nursing home and deliver Meals on Wheels to the homebound. The most rewarding part of being a social worker is knowing I made a positive difference, for a person, family, or community.

Madeline: I originally wanted to be a lawyer. As I was studying pre-law at the Legal Studies Degree Program at Webster University, the more I learned about our laws and the history of oppression in America, the more I just wanted to help. I switched to a major in political science and history and began working with juvenile offenders in Missouri after graduating. My work supervising and providing treatment to juvenile offenders led me to pursue a master’s in social work. The most rewarding aspect of working in this field is when you get to see a successful outcome from an intervention you implemented.

What are some challenges you face being a social worker and how do you overcome them?

Erin: Sometimes, the sheer need of the world can be exhausting. People are not always able to make changes, or the supports they need are not available. I try to focus on what I can offer. Social workers are often the people bringing hope or comfort to a person in an otherwise difficult situation. In addition to knowledge and skills, I can offer compassion and kindness to those individuals. I can advocate for those that may not have a voice. Working closely with my peers and other team members helps me remember I am never on my own. Their experience can help me when I feel unsure of how to move forward.

Julie: Actually, earning an MSW was a challenge. I was a single mom at the time and grad school is expensive. I worked three part-time jobs my first year of grad school. Keeping up with required continuing education is vital for my growth as a social worker but it can be difficult to find challenging and new coursework that is relevant to my work.

Madeline: My biggest challenge as a social worker has always been practicing healthy boundaries with my work. Whether working for the federal government, state government, a nonprofit, or a corporation, our work is never-ending. I constantly must remind myself that everything is not urgent, some things can wait, and some things will never get done and it will be okay.  As someone who likes to cross every “T” and dot every “I”, I must constantly work at monitoring my own temperature and practicing healthy boundaries. When I’m overdoing it, I call myself crispy, and my body lets me know I’m overcooked by giving me sleepless nights, body aches, migraines and a short fuse.

Is there anything you’d like to highlight about working in this field?

Erin: For me and most of my peers, social work is not just a job, it is a set of ethics and beliefs about humanity. I am proud to be a social worker, in which we concern ourselves with the most vulnerable populations, the larger systems and the way people are impacted by their environment. It is based on a frame of reference that understands people are limited by their circumstances and values their self-efficacy.

Julie: When you ask someone what a social worker does, you’ll get different answers from different people. That’s because for a social worker, the actual job can vary widely. There are medical social workers; administrative social workers; clinical social workers; school social workers and many other social work positions.

Madeline: It’s that moment in your interaction when you have planted a seed but also get to watch it begin to grow.  When you see that little stem of energy coming out of the dirt and muck yet pointing up toward the sun in search of light, this is the reward. You can see their resilience and have steered them in the right direction during a time when they didn’t know where to turn.

What does National Social Worker Month mean to you? 

Erin: I think National Social Worker Month is a great time to reflect on my chosen profession and to celebrate my peers and our predecessors. It is a time to think about how I am applying my ethics and skills in my daily practice.

Julie: National Social Worker month started in 1984. It’s a month to celebrate where we’ve come from and where we’re going as social workers.

Madeline: National Social Work Month is a time for us to celebrate the important work we do and highlight our achievements. It’s crucial we promote the good work we do to help uplift each other and continue doing this important work.

Spotlight Magellan Health: Healthcare HR Professionals

National Healthcare Human Resources Professionals Week recognizes the indispensable contributions of human resources professionals within the healthcare sector. Celebrated the week of March 11-15, these dedicated individuals serve as the backbone of healthcare institutions. Human resources professionals navigate complex regulatory landscapes, address personnel challenges, and cultivate environments that focus on employee well-being. We’re spotlighting three of Magellan Health’s HR professionals who each explain why they chose a career in healthcare HR, and the most rewarding and challenging aspects of working in this field:

  • Angela Navarro, human resources business consultant, Magellan Federal
  • Angie Pinto, compensation consultant, human resources, Magellan Federal
  • Kathy Fox, senior director, payroll and Workday technology, Magellan Health

Continue reading to learn more from Angela, Angie, and Kathy on their experiences as healthcare HR professionals:

Why did you want to pursue healthcare HR and what is the most rewarding aspect of working in this field? 

Angela: My family consists of nurses, doctors, and other healthcare professionals. I knew those fields were not my passion, however I still wanted to help people and make a difference. Instead of saying, “I help care for people,” I can now say, “I care for the people, who care for the people.” I find it most rewarding to see how I can assist healthcare workers and take some of the weight off their backs during their times of need.

Angie: I love helping people! Working with people, solving problems, and coming up with a resolution together is so rewarding. That combined with my love of compensation has brought me to HR.

Kathy: HR found me, and it has been great! I come from a process improvement background and then transferred to HR. Working in payroll and HR technology provided me with the opportunity to help create a positive environment for company employees through timely pay and ensuring personal data is documented and protected.

What are some challenges you face in this profession and how do you overcome them?

Angela: In every profession there are both good and bad aspects. Employee relations may have challenges, but it is up to me to find the positive aspects and propose a solution for every challenge.

Angie: There are challenges (or adventures as I sometimes call it). It could be the market and specific jobs, new business and contracts, updated policies, etc. We overcome these challenges by working with leadership and fellow HR partners collaboratively. Working in this field requires a team effort!

Kathy: Working with a diverse group of individuals can be daunting, but by truly seeking to understand and address needs, it becomes manageable. I find that listening and providing guidance or education can go a long way to resolving issues. Many times, it just comes down to a misunderstanding or lack of knowledge about how something works.

Is there anything you would like to highlight about working in healthcare HR? 

Angela: At Magellan, the highlight is that our staff cares for members of our armed forces who are fighting for our freedoms and that is something to be proud of.

Angie: Working in healthcare HR is rewarding, and we have so many groups that include compensation, payroll, benefits, etc. I truly believe we are making a positive impact for our employees and continue to strive to improve our processes to ensure the best results.

Kathy: The Magellan employees have demanding jobs. We must make sure that they have the support network to address their HR needs. If we do it right, it allows our employees to focus on their clients.

What does National Healthcare HR Professionals Week mean to you? 

Angela: It is a time we say thank you to all those employees who pour their hearts into their HR support roles in the healthcare system. It’s also a time to recognize those who promote both the organization and employees in an unbiased manner.

Angie: It gives recognition to those that work in this field a moment to be seen when many times we are working behind the scenes. I love that it gives an opportunity for HR professionals to be recognized for their work and given a spotlight to shine.

Kathy: We are recognizing individuals who are normally working behind the scenes to help support the company’s workforce in so many ways such as talent acquisition, training, compliance, payroll, staffing levels, and so many more services.

Spotlight Magellan Health: Bryan Simms

Bryan Simms, a dedicated professional with 16 years of experience at Magellan Health, serves as the director of proposals. In his role he oversees a team responsible for crafting customized, competitive, and most importantly compliant proposals to meet the unique behavioral health needs of employers. Additionally, Simms serves as the product liaison for iMclusion, an employer diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) solution, where he plays a pivotal role in overseeing product development, driving customer implementation, managing the relationship between Magellan and its vendor, and fostering strategic enhancements to improve product efficiency and the overall customer experience.

Continue reading to learn more about iMclusion, and other ways in which Simms is encouraging DEI initiatives at Magellan and other companies:

What new and innovative projects are you currently working on?

In August 2023 we launched iMclusion which is Magellan’s first DEI solution. It’s designed to help develop inclusive and culturally competent organizations and individuals as well as foster a safe work environment for employees of all backgrounds to feel valued for who they are and what they bring to their organization. Since not every organization is at the same level of DEI readiness, iMclusion is able to assist our customers wherever they are on their DEI journey. We assist customers by first measuring their organizational readiness, meaning their ability to initiate, implement, and maintain a successful DEI program, and providing them with recommendations and deliverables to achieve their desired goals.

We then turn our focus to training with an emphasis on inspiring the employees to positively change their perspectives and create a DEI friendly culture within the organization. We found throughout the research that you can’t mandate DEI or treat it like compliance training because employees could end up viewing it as inauthentic. So, it should be viewed as organic to have any long-term success. Lastly, we guide customers through the establishment of a DEI council and ongoing support. The job of the council is to drive cultural change by creating accountability for the company’s DEI strategy as well as promoting a healthy work environment that fosters engagement and productivity.

I’m also proud to be an inaugural member of Magellan’s DEI council. We’re striving to persistently promote cultural awareness and competency as well as sensitivity across Magellan at every opportunity. We aim to create an environment where every individual feels valued, respected, and empowered. And we do this by cultivating and embracing their unique ideas, talents, and background.

Why is Magellan Health the best place to do these projects?

Magellan has a commitment to total wellbeing as well as valuing outside the box thinking. DEI is not looked at in our industry as a necessary component of a viable behavioral health and wellbeing solution. But Magellan’s willingness to challenge the status quo of what behavioral health and wellbeing looks like fostered the type of innovation that recognizes DEI necessary as a crucial piece to any holistic behavioral health and wellbeing solution.

What are your thoughts on Magellan’s culture? How has that culture impacted your projects?

Magellan promotes an environment of collaborations amongst our many different teams. Diversity of thought increases innovation and improves overall employee satisfaction, all of which allows us to serve our customers better and continues to demonstrate why Magellan is an industry leader in behavioral health.

Spotlight Magellan Health: National Healthcare Quality Week

National Healthcare Quality Week, observed on October 15 to 21, celebrates the many healthcare quality professionals who tirelessly work toward ensuring that quality service is delivered. This week is also a time to spread awareness of the importance of quality healthcare services and create policies that facilitate the safety of both patients and healthcare professionals.

In honor of National Healthcare Quality Week, we’re spotlighting Magellan Health’s Allie Kelley, quality specialist. Some of Kelley’s responsibilities to ensure quality healthcare include managing certain member notifications, generating internal reports for customer requirements, and assisting with EAP record requests within our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provider network. Continue reading to learn more about Kelley’s work in healthcare quality:

What sort of projects are you currently working on?

I am brand new to the responsibility of running a Quality Improvement Activity (QIA) so I’m learning responsibilities such as barrier analysis, which examines limitations or obstacles to the efficiency of a process or desired outcome, investigating root causes, developing, and discussing interventions, and ongoing monitoring are my biggest tasks right now.  I am very excited about how this process can improve the level of service we provide to our members. It is awesome to have different department leaders come together to talk about barriers and interventions to improve identified metrics and then be able to measure the success of these interventions.

Why is Magellan Health the best place to do this project?

Magellan’s values include integrity, accountability, knowledge, collaboration, caring, creativity, and results. Every one of those values is critical to the success of any QIA. Leadership also shows great support of the overall QI department, and ultimately Magellan as a whole.

What are your thoughts on the culture here at Magellan?

I have been a part of Magellan Health for 25 years and have had the opportunity to work in many different roles. I have seen this company grow in the healthcare industry, and I have never once doubted how much Magellan cares for and believes in their employees. Magellan has been an industry leader when it comes to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and offering comprehensive employee benefits.

Beyond that, the member lives we cover, especially the most vulnerable populations, have always been the most important thing to me in every position I’ve held here. Magellan’s philosophy and mission have always aligned with this. Positively influencing the health and wellbeing of our members has always been a top priority throughout this organization.

How did you get involved with the Healthcare Quality field?

My heart and my passion have always been with our members and working to make sure they are receiving the best care possible. I am a social worker at heart, so when I read the job description for my current role, it was very clear to me that the role in a strong Quality Department is not at all separate from what my mission in the clinical department had always been! I became excited about the possibility of stepping out of my comfort zone while keeping in mind what I came here to do, which is to help people.

What are some of the most challenging and rewarding aspects of working in Healthcare Quality?

Some of the more challenging aspects have been learning the more technical side of things, while the most rewarding part of being in this department has been being a part of a team so committed to integrity, accountability, and data driven results. This is demonstrated in the preparation of the annual Trilogy documents, where everyone on the team comes together to work toward a common objective. Trilogy is our annual evaluation of the QI Program that evaluates outcomes, reviews effectiveness, assesses goal achievements, evaluates the deployment of resources, documents, and trends input from advisory groups. Seeing that final document come together was amazing. I was so proud to have contributed to that and we are getting ready to do it all over!

What does Healthcare Quality Week mean to you? Is there anything else you’d like to highlight about Healthcare Quality?

Healthcare Quality Week to me is a time to raise awareness of the positive impact healthcare quality professionals have in our organizations and communities. At Magellan Health, healthcare quality is organized around the positive influence of the health and wellbeing of individuals by identifying gaps in care and service, improving clinical outcomes, assuring patient safety, and adding value through efficiency. In healthcare quality we’re also focused on enhancing services and the individual’s experience of care. We also work to assure that all core business processes are innovative and meet or exceed contract, regulatory, and accreditation guidance while leading to system and cost efficiencies.