A Case Manager Talks to a Motivational Speaker
We Need to Consider the WHOLE PATIENT
My guest for this episode of the podcast is Pamela Andrews, MBA, MSW, RN, CCM, ACM-RN. (Talk about a lot of letters! She must be super smart. Pssst—she is.)
I met her because I recently spoke at the national conference for the ACMA: The American Case Management Association (ACMA), a professional membership organization for nurses, social workers, physician leaders and other professionals in case management and transitions of care practice. She is the current president of ACMA, and was kind enough to help coach me before my program.
She is one of those bright, clever and sparkly people that just makes you feel good about life. So I knew I just had to have her as a guest on the show.
She didn’t disappoint. To get the whole flavor of this amazing woman you’ll need to listen to the recording. But allow me to share some of my favorite nuggets.
Pam is a ridiculously successful person. Besides being a nurse, a social worker, and an MBA, she’s a big leader at Inova, which is the health care system she works for. She shared that her parents did not go to college, and when I complimented her on her career, she was very quick to remind me that she did not get to where she is on her own. She was very quick to credit her parents, her church community, and scores of others who encouraged, mentored and taught her. She comes from a strong tradition of community based service to others. Everyone gives a hand out and a hand up to the next generation.
Our exchange seemed like textbook Pam Andrews. She is an unusual leader in that she is so quick to share credit. So many of our top leaders, either in business, politics or otherwise want to claim all of the credit for their success and even for others’ successes. However, Pam is an example of social and emotional support on steroids. One of the best examples of the concept of how social and emotional support works is that those who are experts at it almost never claim that they are. They continually lift others up even when someone like me is trying to compliment them. This was a good start to the podcast.
When we got talking about case management I asked Pam to share a story that I feel encapsulates medical case managers. She described a guy who needed to be released from the hospital to a rehab facility. For many reasons he wasn’t capable of taking care of himself, and she and her team worried that he would bounce back to the hospital. However, the man was balking and insisted he needed to return home. No matter how hard they pushed him to go to rehab, he refused. Well, it turns out the reason he insisted on going home was because he was worried about his cat. To shorten the story, in order to get him to agree to go get the additional services she felt he needed they were going to have to find a place for his cat.
His team, including Pam, ended up getting the police and the local animal shelter involved, after which the man was happy and went to where they felt he should go.
This is a textbook example of what case management does. Case managers are required to consider the entire patient and their particular and special needs. They understand that medical care cannot be disassociated from the rest of one’s life. And if this guy was worried about his cat there was no way he was going to heal.
Another highlight was talking about the business side of this philosophy. What I mean is how the holistic approach to patient care can also benefit the organization providing the care from a good business standpoint. What I love about Pam is that she comes from a place where taking care of other humans is just the right thing to do. She is a nurse and a social worker and there is no way that she is not going to focus on the human first. Pam leads with humanity and empathy.
But Pam is also an MBA. She has a crystal clear understanding of the business side of healthcare. And it is not lost on her that focusing on the individual needs of each and every patient also trickles down to bottom line success for the hospital system. She believes providing outstanding patient care is always the best financial choice.
I love the order of her priorities. Take care of the patient first, and the side effect is that the bottom line will thrive as well. For so many business professionals you have to convince them this is the right way to go. Not Pam and her team. They understand that prioritizing patient care and compassion always leads to healthier patients and a healthier business model.
We also talked about mentoring and social and emotional support. Just as Pam is very clear that she is the recipient of encouragement, so too is she a giver of encouragement. She spoke of one particular example of how she and another peer mentor each other. They meet regularly to coach and encourage each other. Again there is the understanding that the person to person connection is absolutely crucial to the success as a whole of the health care system. I think people forget that hospitals, businesses, governments, schools, associations, municipalities, etc etc are all made up of people. Meet the needs of the people and you meet the needs of the organization. It’s as simple and as complicated as that.
Pam is also deeply involved with mentoring younger, or more entry-level folks who work with her. Sometimes they are women. Sometimes they are people of color. Occasionally they are men. But no matter what, Pam seems to believe that she needs to “send the elevator back down.” Isn’t that a great metaphor? She has risen to a high level in her field, but she understands she needs to send that elevator down to the bottom to pick up the rest of folks coming along behind her. That’s emotional and social support in a nutshell. Or in an elevator car. Or whatever.
Selfishly, one of the best things about hosting a podcast is that I get to hang out with amazing people. And I can’t help but think that a tiny bit of their magic rubs off on me. Being able to spend so much time with this rockstar, Pamela Andrews, from Washington DC absolutely made my week.
You rock, Pam Andrews. You are the right person in the right job. Keep sending that elevator back down. You’re an inspiration to case managers, nurses and health care workers everywhere. Super proud to have you on the show!
Bio of a Motivational Speaker
Brad Montgomery is not a case manager. He is a motivational keynote speaker who tends to speak an awful lot in the healthcare arena. Most recently he spoke to the national association for case managers. If you are looking for an inspirational healthcare speaker we think you found the right place.
Oh, you want funny? Although Brad considers himself a business and healthcare speaker, his audiences love that he is laugh out loud funny. If you were looking for a funny motivational speaker you just found Brad Montgomery.
Give us a call and we’ll talk about customizing an event to help get your meeting or conference to where you feel it deserves to be. Ready to invest in your people? We are ready to help.