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news item News Friday, October 9, 2020 Friday, October 9, 2020 11:18 AM - Friday, October 9, 2020 11:18 AM

Celebrating National Case Managers Week

Care managers help families navigate their child’s health care journey

October 11-17 is National Case Management Week. At Shriners Hospitals for Children, we recognize and appreciate our case managers, who we call care managers. Their support and advocacy for our patients and families extend far beyond the walls of our Shriners Hospitals locations.

In today’s complex health care system, families are often stressed by many factors, needing guidance and reassurance along the way. At Shriners Hospitals for Children, the role of the care manager is to help families navigate their child’s health care journey.

Care managers help coordinate various elements of patient care, making the best possible use of available resources. This may include managing transportation arrangements, medical equipment and supplies, medications, transition assistance, therapy services and appointment coordination. Care managers work closely with the physician teams, coordinating the plan of care, including communicating and planning treatment with referring pediatricians and specialists, school nurses and therapists. Their keen understanding of the financial implications of care and insurance coverage enables them to assist families with their insurance benefits, as well.

There are approximately 130 care managers within the Shriners Hospitals for Children health care system. They are registered nurses and social workers using their clinical and professional skills to improve patient care and provide support for families. Many have received certification, a proud mark of distinction for their practice knowledge, from the American Case Management Association or Commission for Case Manager Certification.

While all health care professionals have been challenged by the COVID-19 pandemic, our care managers have stepped up to ensure that the families of Shriners Hospitals continue to be well-informed about their care during these uncertain times, organizing essential health appointments and interventions.

“Our care managers are the glue that helps our patients and families feel that Shriners Hospitals for Children is a special place and unlike any other health care system,” said Deborah Cook-Altonji, RN, MSN, CCM, SPHR, corporate director care management. “Our care managers are always there to problem-solve, lend a hand, and resolve many insurance challenges families may face along the process. The work they do is priceless to the families we serve.”