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 Case Management Week

This year’s theme for National Case Management Week is keeping the person at the heart of collaborative care. Celebrated the week of October 8-14, we’re recognizing the crucial role of case managers on healthcare teams. These individuals have the important responsibility navigating the complex healthcare system to facilitate care coordination and connecting members to the resources they need.

We’re spotlighting Valerie Lees, senior care manager for Magellan Behavioral Health of Pennsylvania. Lees is responsible for reviewing and approving mental health and substance use disorder services for members across five Pennsylvania counties and assisting providers with patient discharge, planning, and care coordination to provide the member with direct assistance.

Continue reading to learn more about what Lees does as a case manager and what National Case Management Week means to her:

What exciting projects are you currently working on as a case manager?

I’m excited to be part of a few very active and ongoing projects. One of them focuses on increasing care coordination, especially for those members in any kind of 24-hour level of care. Care coordination involves meeting with our 24-hour level of care treatment providers and in these meetings, we brainstorm, discuss, and collaborate on ways to assist the member to increase their community tenure. We look at many different factors, from the members’ clinical needs to their social needs.

I’m also working with a co-worker on presenting a trauma training that will be presented to all Magellan staff. This is an area of interest of mine and it’s great to be part of educating and learning about topics like trauma informed care and best practices for members who have experienced trauma.

Lastly, myself and other members of the 24-hour level of care team at Magellan will take part in a volunteer project at a local shelter in Lehigh Valley where we will be preparing and serving lunch for the shelter’s residents. It’s a wonderful opportunity to connect with the community.

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

Magellan has a large skilled and diverse staff, working with so many talented people does create the best environment to work on projects. Many of our members have complex needs that go beyond the clinical realm and it’s nice to have so many talented people come together to find new ways to help improve the quality of care our members receive and ultimately the quality of their lives.

What are your thoughts on the culture here at Magellan Behavioral Health of Pennsylvania? How has that culture had an impact on your projects?

I think the culture is truly one of connection and collaboration. I have always had the sense that everybody that works here, no matter what they do in what department, has a shared goal to improve the care and quality of our members lives. The Magellan managers are always encouraging my colleagues and I to think outside the box. I feel very supported in that way. It’s really a culture where projects can thrive because of this out-of-the-box thinking where people’s voices are heard.

October 8-14 is National Case Management Week. How did you first get involved with case management and what are some of the challenges and rewards of working in this field?

I started in case management when I worked in inpatient psychiatric hospitals. I met with case managers there who were discharge planning for patients and started meeting with case managers from different insurance companies as well. I started collaborating with them quite a bit, that’s when I really got a taste of case management. Ultimately, the goal is always to collaborate and figure out different ways to help people. I think that case management goes beyond just supporting people with their mental health or substance use disorder challenges, it’s all encompassing. A case manager looks at the whole person. So not only are we looking at what we can do treatment wise for any mental health challenges or substance use disorder challenges that a member may have, but we’re also looking at their social determinants of health issues as well.

What does it mean to be a case manager? Is there anything you’d like to highlight about this field for National Case Management Week?

To me it means that I get to collaborate and help people, which is what I’ve always wanted to be able to do. Being able to collaborate with people in other departments at Magellan allows me to learn new ways to assist our members. I also really enjoy collaborating with other case managers, social workers, nurses, etc. outside of Magellan. The entire process is very rewarding and fulfilling for me.

The theme for National Case Management Week this year has to do with keeping the client in the center of what we do and that’s something that I completely agree with. I see that happening every day here at Magellan and it’s an honor to be a part of it.