As a field-based care manager for WellCare of Florida, my goal each day is to help our members live better, healthier lives. I bring the health care system directly to the homes of our sickest and most vulnerable members.
At first many are surprised that a health plan would make house calls, but they appreciate the personalized service.
Some members need help finding specialists or understanding the importance of seeing one regularly to help manage chronic conditions, such as asthma or diabetes. Other members may need a home health aide or physical therapy to help them recover from a surgery or simply achieve and maintain optimal health. Because so many of our members face challenges in life that go beyond health care, I also connect them to needed social services, like transportation or food assistance.
Helping our members overcome barriers to good health can be challenging, but it’s also extremely rewarding. As care managers, we form strong bonds with our members—a closeness I believe is key to success. This mutual investment provides the motivation many members need to take steps that lead to better health.
Jeremy Lucas was 30 years old when he suffered a traumatic brain injury and lost a leg as a result of a motorcycle accident. His mother Amelia quit working because she wanted to care for him at home. When I met Amelia, she was overwhelmed. She hadn’t expected it to be so difficult to coordinate the supplies and services Jeremy needed.
When I sat down with Amelia for the first time, I felt both her strength and fatigue. I knew that I would have to earn her trust and that I could help them. Jeremy and Amelia have really shown me how much of an impact I have on our members’ lives and how important it is to support caregivers, who dedicate themselves to helping their loved ones.
What I didn’t expect was the significant influence they would have on my life. Amelia has taught me about the kind of person and mother I want to be to my only son, who is still just a toddler. She is a fierce advocate for Jeremy, and is humble and grateful for WellCare’s assistance. Despite all she faces, she has an incredible outlook on life.
Today Jeremy is receiving the supplies and services he needs and Amelia is getting respite care to keep her from burning out.
Their story is a great example of how important it is to advocate for ourselves and those we care about, to ask questions and to seek assistance. Amelia is now an advocate for people with traumatic brain injuries. Sharing Jeremy’s story has given her another purpose in life—giving others hope during a time when, as she knows all too well, it can be difficult to have any.
WellCare and Diamond View Studios were recently the recipients of a Best in Class – Short Form Documentary Telly Award for “My Story: Jeremy Lucas, WellCare Member.” Click here to learn more. Watch Jeremy’s Story:
Laura is a licensed clinical social worker. She has worked as a field-based care manager at WellCare Health Plans for five years.