Every month, NCI profiles a local care manager to help the community learn more about the valuable role they play in our region’s healthcare system.
The “Care Manager of the Month” for June 2017 is Jennifer Meny!
Jen is the Depression Care and Chronic Care Manager for Howard T. Meny MD, PC in Lowville, NY. She is also a newly-certified practitioner of Problem-Solving Treatment, a form of psychotherapy designed to be used in the office setting. Jen is a North Country native and has worked as an registered nurse in many different settings over the years. To get to know her better, we sat down with Jen and asked her a few questions about herself and her job:
Q1: Where are you from?
“I grew up in Henderson Harbor and graduated from Henderson Central School (now Belleville-Henderson Central School). I graduated from Jefferson Community College with an AAS in Math Science and an AAS in Nursing.”
Jen then went on to graduate from the Onondaga School of Therapeutic Massage and received her Lymphedema Therapy Certification from the Academy of Lymphatic Studies. She has lived in Lewis County for the past 11 years.
Q2: What are some of the healthcare jobs you have held?
“Medically-related positions I have held include: RN in Med/Surg at Upstate University Hospital, Syracuse; RN in the Critical Care Unit and ER at Lewis County General Hospital, Lowville; RN in a private gastroenterology practice, and as a self-employed licensed massage therapist/lymphedema therapist.”
“Presently I am working as a Depression Care and Chronic Care Manager for my husband’s practice, Howard T. Meny, MD, PC, in Lowville, NY.”
Q3: What is a typical day like for you at work?
- “Review Each Provider’s Schedule — this lets me see if any chronic care patients are coming in and to touch base with them. I do this with depression care patients that are coming in for acute or revisit appointments with their PCP that have dropped out of care.”
- “Do transition of care calls for the patients that have been discharged from the hospital.”
- “See scheduled depression care patients that are scheduled to make follow up phone calls as needed, and see scheduled chronic care patients and make follow up phone calls as needed.”
- “I also assist the office manager with some of the ACO & PCMH tasks.”
Q4: Tell us more about Problem-Solving Treatment. How does it work?
“[Problem-Solving Treatment] is a type of behavioral therapy that is designed to assist the patient with problem identification, goal setting, and development of a list of ways to reach that goal, formalize an action plan, and create a list of pleasant activities for them to do. When the patient begins to breakdown their problems, they are taking control over them and the patient feels less overwhelmed. When the patient picks a problem to work on and begins to list ways to fix that problem and settles on the steps to start dealing with that problem, that gives the patient power over that problem and a clear and concise way in which to handle that problem. The purpose of PST is to remind the depressed patient that they can take back their life, break the cycle of depression, and move forward with positive steps that they will be able to use at any time in their life.”
Q5: Do you find it rewarding to work with patients on such a personal level?
“I have learned that collaborative care has its ups and downs. I am always excited for those patients that get engaged and with a little positive reinforcement from me, eventually turn their depression around. It is frustrating (personally) when a patient is unable or unwilling to engage in their care and effect the changes that will help them get better. Collaborative Care is definitely a team effort that requires effective communication, trust and support moving between the patient, care manager, PCP and the Psychiatric Consultant.”
“I think Collaborative Care fills a great need in our area. The feedback from the patients and from the PCPs in my office are very positive.”
Q6: What do you like to do outside of work? Any hobbies or interests?
“Read a good book, take a nap, garden, cooking and eating…I love being near and in the water, love live music, like to travel with my husband, spend time with our family/friends and all of our cats and dogs.”
Check back in July to see who our next Care Manager of the Month will be!
Do you have a care manager you’d like to nominate? Contact email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org!