Exemplary Professional Practice

Transition from direct care to care coordination – I still make a difference
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After 25 years of direct patient care, on June 23, 2019, Jennifer Mohr, MSN, RN, made the transition to care coordination as a manager at Health Alliance. It was a major change for her personally and professionally.

“When I look back at my time with direct patient care, I see challenges and victories that shaped me into the leader I am today,” Mohr said. “I’ve been fortunate to be surrounded by amazing leaders and mentors who took a personal interest in my career, professional and personal growth.”

Mohr started at Carle in October 2003 in outpatient Neurology, Neurosurgery and Neuro-ophthalmology. And since teaching was valuable in her practice, it inspired her to advance her education.

In the fall of 2015, she became the RN coordinator of Head and Neck Cancer and Otolaryngology. At the same time, she began her master’s in Nursing and Health Care Administration. The advancement in Otolaryngology gave Mohr opportunities to work in a different theater of healthcare.

“I obtained my Master of Science in Nursing while in this department, and I was able to apply my nursing leadership skills immediately,” Mohr said.

When she was interviewing for her current role at Health Alliance, she asked herself, “How can you make a difference?” And “How do you make a difference?” Those questions resonated with her.

“I wanted to advance my career, but I needed to know I could still impact lives and healthcare,” Mohr said. “My first few months at Health Alliance began with onboarding to the insurance side of our enterprise. Onboarding couldn’t replace the changes that needed to occur within me, and my daily routine after being in direct patient care for so long.

“My morning no longer consists of a list of patients needing a follow-up by phone. When I walk in the door there’s not an urgent phone call, a medical crisis, a patient in the lobby with a question or a surgical patient with complications.”

For the first few months, Mohr felt like she wasn’t needed. She’d ask herself, “How am I making a difference? My staff are well trained and capable, so how am I improving patients’ and members’ lives?” That answer has evolved during her time at Health Alliance.

Mohr took the position at Health Alliance because she wanted to impact the health and well-being of not 100-500 patients a day, but potentially hundreds of thousands of members a day.

“What I’ve learned working for this enterprise is, we’re all doing the same thing just on different platforms,” she said. “We all want the best care possible for our members and patients. I have approximately 35 nurses and 15 social workers in my department that go above and beyond every single day. I have supervisors that manage their teams with a high level of professionalism.”

But her best days are when other nurses ask her things like what she would do? Or how can we help this person? That’s how Mohr knows she’s making a difference.

While at Health Alliance, Mohr has been able to support the Population Health initiative and assist with expansion by adding a health plan nurse to the Population Health team. This ensures that patients receive smooth and consistent care across the enterprise. Parts of her team are embedded in this initiative, so she can support them with Epic and ambulatory practices.

“I work with multidisciplinary teams, and I am a part of operational meetings and propose business plans to help the success of both Carle and Health Alliance,” Mohr said. “I’ve been able to bridge gaps due to my expertise with both sides of our enterprise.

Mohr is proud to be a part of this enterprise. Regardless if she’s an RN in direct patient care or at Health Alliance. She’s confident to say that she makes a difference, adding, “We all make a difference; we are all a part of the same team.”