Nominated by Teri Bunting from Help4 Seniors:
Theresa is an accomplished licensed social worker at Council on Aging (COA), who stands out for her determination to ensure her clients are given every possible chance to remain in their communities as long as possible.
Theresa is a case manager with the MyCare Ohio program, a managed care program for Ohioans who receive both Medicaid and Medicare benefits. COA is the administrator for the program in southwestern Ohio.
Those in the program are lower-income older adults. Through MyCare Ohio, clients receive home-based supportive services such as home-delivered meals, housekeeping assistance, and transportation to medical appointments, among other services, which are coordinated by case managers like Theresa.
Theresa thrives in her work, especially when working on behalf of clients who have more complicated needs. During her 25 years with COA, and eight years prior working in the behavioral health field, Theresa has helped hundreds of clients maintain their health and well-being. She not only manages the amount and timing of the services her clients receive, but she also has an innate ability to recognize when something is amiss in their lives, and then jumps into action going above and beyond to resolve the issue.
One example is a client who was already frail and underweight, and arrived home from a hospitalization for pneumonia looking even more underweight than normal. Theresa reviewed her discharge instructions and saw a note that the client was severely malnourished. Theresa coordinated with the client, family caregiver, primary care physician and staff, visiting nurse, pharmacy and dietitian for a plan to address the malnutrition issue.
Billie Elliott is Theresa’s manager and noted, “Theresa did an exceptional job of advocating for her client as well as collaborating with the client's interdisciplinary care team to create a plan of action to best care for the client. She has some really tough clients with a lot of complicated needs. She is very patient and takes her time to work with them.”
Thank you for all you do, Theresa, and congratulations as this year’s winner of the Mom’s Meals and USAging Community Champion award.