December 16, 2013 at 9:21 am #468
Cathy has always been a helper. She was always the person her friends turned to with their problems and woes: a confidant, a problem-solver, a peace maker. Not surprisingly, she was always drawn to the helping professions and wasn’t sure if she wanted to be a nurse, doctor or counselor.
In college she did some volunteer work at the student center as a peer counselor, and she loved it. She decided to get a master’s degree in counseling and started working at a treatment program once she was licensed. She was a quick study and a natural leader, and her boss encouraged her to go back to school. She got another master’s in public health with an emphasis in administration.
She worked her way up from counselor, to supervisor, to assistant director to director. As the administrator of a treatment program, wants to reach more people, free up clinician time and find ways to extend services to people who need it.
After all these years, the changes before her sometimes feel overwhelming. The Affordable Care Act has the potential of increasing patient access to care, and therefore increasing the number of clients they will see. She’s excited by the possibilities but the unknowns of her clinic’s capacity to see new clients is daunting.
She has a variety of other challenges before her, including staff buy-in, managing change in the agency and integrating new technologies, like electronic medical records, social media and telehealth, into best practices. She knows she has to change with the times but isn’t sure how she’s going to make it happen.
She’s also committed to her staff’s professional development, following the example of her boss long ago who mentored and encouraged her along the way. She has to find the resources in her budget to provide continuing education and time off for her staff to pursue their goals.
Cathy is a 55 year old women, married with two grown children. She’ll be ready to retire in less than 10 years and looks forward to spending more time doing what she loves: traveling, ballroom dancing and knitting. She also is an avid volunteer, and donates her time and money to causes that support the arts, education and the equality of women and girls.
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