Learn More About Teresa

1. Tell us about your background.

I started my career as a clinical social worker and have worked in different healthcare delivery settings. Although, I have moved on from providing direct clinical services, the core of my being remains as a social worker – a person- and family- centered advocate, a systems thinker and change agent.

My family and I relocated to the Maryland in 2011, after the passing of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), where I joined the start-up management team for CMS’ Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation. I had the great pleasure to be on the forefront of the launch of new healthcare delivery models, such as the Accountable Care Organizations (ACO) and the Community-based Care Transitions Program (CCTP), which The Coordinating Center led in Maryland. It was an exciting time in healthcare reform.

After leaving CMS, as a healthcare consultant and executive leader, I have had the pleasure of overseeing key programs that focused on practice transformation and payment reform related to the passing of ground breaking legislation called the Medicare Access and CHIP Re-authorization Act of 2015 (MACRA), which changes the way that CMS rewards clinicians for value over volume, including effective care coordination of patient services by reducing hospital readmissions. I look forward to applying my experience and passion to the benefit of The Center.

2. What excites you about coming to work at The Coordinating Center?

I am looking forward to being a part of a mission-driven culture and working with our partners and coworkers to support the goals and needs of clients and their families. The Center plays such a critical role in helping individuals and families navigate a very complex healthcare delivery system, and essential social service programs. What an honor it will be to serve them, if only in a small way, to lead stronger and healthier lives in their respective communities.

3. Why is person-centered care important?

Person-centered care is one of the things I truly love about The Coordinating Center. Knowing that all care plans are developed with the client and focus on client goals, is so important. The client must be in the driver seat of their care. The job of the coordinator is to build trust and support the vision and goals of the client. It is well-proven that a well-supported and coordinated partnership between the client and coordinator leads to better outcomes and satisfaction by both. If the client is unable to make decisions on their behalf, the person’s family member or appointed representative should be just as involved with the clinician and healthcare delivery team.

4. What would you say are the key ingredients to ensuring a successful public – private partnership?

I thoroughly enjoy bringing together public and private sector stakeholders who share a vision and passion about a common public health or community issue. One of the key ingredients to a successful public-private partnership is the building of trust among partners, which can be accomplished through open, transparent and frequent communication among all partners. Another vital element is creating space and time for partners to openly collaborate with one another to address and improve a common area of interest by discussing, planning for, implementing and measuring outcomes of their efforts. When a well-coordinated and trusted partnership is created, the possibilities for change are endless.

5. How do you plan to carry out the mission and uphold the values of The Coordinating Center?

The mission, vision and values held by The Center are like no other I have come across in my professional career, which is why I am so thrilled to be a part of the team. My plan is to work alongside our partners, the Board of Directors and all my new co-workers to support all current and future clients to achieve their maximum potential in their respective communities. Together, we will continue to build upon The Center’s person-centered philosophy and 36 years of success in the community working with people with disabilities and complex needs. Additionally, we will pursue new opportunities for growth and prosperity, while at the same time providing excellent service to our clients.

Photo courtesy of Jason Putsche Photography.

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