Welcome to Our Summer Interns, Ryann and Rio!

We’re lucky to have two amazing interns joining us for the summer! Ryann Feldman is working with the Client Services Managers, and Rio Mizuno is part of the Marketing department.

Ryann is currently a senior at Michigan State University, studying in the School of Social Work to receive her Bachelor’s degree. She is thrilled to join the Feinberg team for the summer and learn about case management and client services. “I am interested and eager to learn as much as I can and I feel this company will provide me with great experiences and knowledge. I am so excited to be a part of this company because of the amazing care and services it provides people.”

When she’s not working or studying, Ryann enjoys hanging out with friends and family, volunteering in the community, cooking, and watching Netflix.

 

Rio is currently a junior at the University of Michigan, studying Environment and International Studies. Over the course of the internship, Rio is most excited to learn new skills in the marketing field and develop an understanding of how we provide our services. She’s also very interested in the intersections of design and health care advocacy. “I joined Feinberg because of the company’s compassionate culture and commitment to its clients. I am so excited to be a part of this warm and dedicated community.”

In her free time, Rio enjoys spending time with friends and family, reading, doing yoga, and watching movies. She is an animal lover, too! She has a toy poodle and her favorite animal is an alpaca.

Attention, Determination, & Compassion: Thoughts on Care Management from Bridgeway’s Karen Rosenberg

Human connection. It calls for attention, determination and, above all else, compassion. Seeing individuals beyond the physical body — acknowledging the depth and beauty within every human being — can be challenged by the process of aging and disease, which often present similarly and simultaneously. Is it dementia, or forgetfulness? Is a change in cognition a sign of decline, or the result of an underlying physical condition? Is newly discovered pain a sign of aging, or the revelation of a chronic disease?

Complex and varied, each person reflects a unique puzzle. Just as a puzzle requires time, effort, and strategy, so do people. Every set of circumstances invites different strategies for coping. In the context of word puzzles, broad metaphors can be used to illustrate the process of aging and disease.

A crossword puzzle offers clues that require thought and reflection to solve. A word jumble necessitates the skill to sort and organize into sensible answers. Word search puzzles provide answers, yet compel attention and focus to find them. Just as employing strategy helps to solve puzzles, navigating the myriad issues that come with aging and illness requires similar skills.

To truly be with another human being means to engage: to look into their eyes, to touch them, to hear them. Meaningful connection requires patience and understanding rather than placating. Whether compromised physically or mentally, connection will be undermined when a person feels condescended to, and thereby dismissed. Such lack of sensitivity, intended or not, results in a sense of invisibility that generates sadness and further decline.

When faced with the challenges of caring for someone with dementia, the puzzle can seem elusive. Moments of coherence can be misleading when they last only briefly and become repetitive patterns. Each moment of clarity reveals a glimmer of the person who once was; such fleeting lucidity can leave the person beholding it feeling powerless to affect change. Similar to a word jumble, the caregiver is expected to take information, sort it, and make sense of it. Depending on the degree of cognitive compromise, it may not be possible to find a coherent narrative within which to engage.

The puzzle looks different when it involves physical decline, especially when cognition is intact. The caregiver of someone experiencing physical challenges must summon empathy rather than sympathy, empowering the patient with shared understanding rather than demoralize with pity. A delicate balance, to be sure, and achievable with practice.

Each situation represents a new opportunity for connection. To learn new information, nurture a unique relationship, create previously unsought outcomes. Daunting at times, some puzzles can feel more overwhelming than others. Patience, kindness, and understanding —- both toward oneself and the person being helped — emerge as the requisite attributes to serve the well being and comfort of everyone.


About the Author
Karen Gordon Rosenberg has been a member of the Bridgeway team for 3 years. With an extensive background in gerontology and a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Michigan, Karen’s career has focused on the Detroit Jewish community, working with older adults and collaborating with professional and lay leaders in the community. Working in a congregate housing for older adults, Karen focused on achieving maximum well-being for residents while enabling them to age in place independently. This included helping families cope with the stress of caregiving for their aging loved ones. While addressing the needs of multi-generational families, Karen developed a depth and breadth of knowledge of valuable resources in the community. Helping people thrive by connecting them to the appropriate support systems continues to fulfill Karen both personally and professionally. Karen is devoted to her family, taking an active role in the lives of her four growing children. She takes pride in her volunteer work as a parent at school, an active member of her synagogue, and an advocate for her neighborhood. Commitment to her daily yoga practice helps her to maintain balance while nourishing body and mind.

 

8 Ways A Caregiver Can Support Your Family After A Hospitalization

The Behind-the-Scenes Superstars of Feinberg Consulting

If you’ve ever called our office, you’ve probably spoken with one of our Client Services Managers. The CSMs are an integral part of our company, providing assistance to both clients and case managers. They’re the behind-the-scenes multitaskers who make sure our clients receive the care they need. Here are six ways the CSMs are an important asset to our team.

They support our clients behind-the-scenes. Our four client service managers—Rebecca Clarke, Jaquita Green, Jessica Kowalchuk, and Rachel Walker—don’t regularly work with clients on a person-to-person basis. However, their role is vital to ensuring we can provide care because they work with both office staff and employees.

They work with case managers AND clients. One of the main responsibilities of a CSM is to serve as a resource to case managers. “We help case managers keep track of things,” says Rebecca Clarke. “We do things like let them know when certain prescriptions or forms are about to expire, take calls for them when they’re in appointments and unable to answer the phone, and make sure their case management reports and other important documents get to the  people who need them.”

They’re the first point of contact for anyone who calls the office. In addition to the supporting case managers, one of their most important roles is to be the first point of contact when new clients call our office. “For clients, we get them set up with a case manager when they first come to us and make sure the case manager gets all the information they need about the client’s situation; we’re a listening ear when their case manager is with another client and unavailable,” says Clarke.

They understand the challenges clients and case managers’ face. The Client Service Managers understand how difficult it can be to call and ask for help during a crisis. Communicating with families and helping meet their needs is one of the aspects of the job Rebecca Clarke finds most rewarding. “Hearing the relief of a person in crisis when they hear we can help them, hearing from clients once they’re through the hardest part of recovery, and how much of a difference Feinberg Consulting made to them.”

They’re multi-taskers. The day-in-the-life of a CSM tends to change constantly. “It is never the same,” says Clarke, “But it always involves being available for callers who need information or resources, reviewing case management reports and invoices and sending them to everyone who needs them, ensuring the appointment letters, prescription requests, and records get to who needs them, and making sure our team in the office and out working with clients are up to date on changes we’re making to continually improve the service we provide to the community.”

When you’re a CSM, every day changes. So what is it that makes the CSMs feel they’re making a difference in the lives of our clients? Jessica Kowalchuk, who works as a CSM for both the catastrophic and addiction service lines, has some insight. “Being a CSM is a balancing act, and every day can be drastically different from the last. One thing I have learned during my time as a CSM is that change is the only constant. I’ve heard that phrase often in my life, and have really learned to embrace it in this position. We are constantly striving to improve our processes in order to provide the highest level of care to our clients and their families.  It’s very rewarding to know that my work is supporting our case managers in helping our clients reach their maximum potential in healing.”

5 Ways to Help Someone Struggling With Mental Illness

Research shows that approximately 1 in 5 adults suffers from a mental health disorder, and only 44% of those individuals seek some form of treatment.¹ With this being the case, there is a great chance you know someone who is currently struggling with a mental health disorder of some kind.

Taking the time to acknowledge and talk about the daily battle a friend or family member is having with mental illness is a great way to create a safe space. It allows them to open up about what they are going through and reminds them that they don’t have to fight alone. The more we continue to have these conversations about mental health in our everyday lives, the more we will eradicate the stigma that surrounds mental health and develop a healthier approach to treating and caring for mental health disorders.

Here are 5 ways you can help someone struggling with mental illness.

1.) Recognize that mental illness is unique to each individual.
There are a wide variety of mental health disorders. Some are mild while others are severe, and they affect people in different ways. Treatments that work for one person may not necessarily work for another, so be patient. Take the time to understand your loved one’s individual situation, which is often as simple as having an open, honest conversation. It doesn’t have to be uncomfortable; just let them know you care about them and you’re available to support them.

2.) Remind them that they are not their diagnosis.
Anyone who has lived with a mental health disorder knows that they can feel isolating and all-consuming. There is still a negative stigma of shame surrounding mental illness in our society, and that makes things even more difficult. Take the time to remind them that they are more than their diagnosis without minimizing the seriousness of their condition. Letting them know that you accept them for who they are is a great way to show your support

3.) Show compassion. You don’t have to “understand” what they are going through to be there for them.
You don’t need to have personal experience with a mental health disorder to be a sounding board for someone who does. You also don’t need to feel as though you need to solve all of their problems. Sometimes the best way to show that you are there for them is to listen to them without judgement, and to show compassion for what they are going through.

4.) Let them know that treatment is available. They don’t have to suffer in silence.
So often people don’t seek professional treatment for mental health disorders for a variety of reasons. Sometimes all it takes is the support of someone who cares about them to remind them of the resources and treatment options that are available to them.

5.) Take care of your mental health.
While supporting someone with a mental health disorder is important, you also want to make sure that you are taking the time to care for your own physical, emotional, and mental well-being. It is easy to get caught up in the lives of others, but you need to remember that your own self-care is crucial to how good you can be for others.

 


  1. Any Mental Illness (AMI) Among Adults, National Institute of Mental Health, https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/prevalence/any-mental-illness-ami-among-us-adults.shtml

Getting To Know One of Our Case Managers: Jerri Osborne

Jerri (far right) with her husband and daughter

What is your position at Feinberg Consulting?

I am a Senior Case Manager for Feinberg Catastrophic Services.

How long have you worked here?

I’ve worked as a case manager in Michigan for 12 Years.

Why did you decide to join the company?

I was working as an emergency room nurse, and was considering changing careers and becoming a case manager. The company was recommended to me by a friend working in the rehabilitation arena. She informed me of the company’s integrity and ethics, with high respect for Pam Feinberg-Rivkin and her advocacy for clients.

What is your favorite part of your job?

There are so many parts of the job I enjoy.  I most enjoy being an advocate for clients with catastrophic injuries. Making sure they are educated and understand their injuries and treatment plan, and providing them with options and choices to make educated decisions in their recovery.  People that have such devastating injuries can become so overwhelmed with the rehabilitation process and navigating through the complexities of the medical systems and auto no-fault benefits. I love when I know they are relieved of any additional stress and worry, when I provide assistance to problem solve the issues.

What does a typical “day in the life” of a case manager include?

My family would tell you that I pretty much eat, breathe, and sleep my job, but they are very understanding because they know how compassionate I am about the work with my clients.  As the “problem solver,” my days change constantly, never going as planned.  I am either on my computer writing reports and correspondence for coordination of services, juggling outgoing and incoming calls with multiple team members, researching, planning, driving, or in appointments with my clients.  My favorite is having one-on-one time with the clients, interacting, educating them and providing advocacy during medical visits. I even often times will awaken during the night and come up with a solution to a problem.

In general, what are the main benefits of having a case manager following an auto accident?

The clients have an independent, trusted “go to” person that is advocating for their best interests, and problem solving so they can reach their maximum level of improvement.  The ever so changing complexities of multiple health care systems and insurance can create such an overwhelming experience while clients are recovering from their injuries, as well as the long term effects that can be a result of the injuries. The case manager is there to assist in coordination of their care, assessing and monitoring for any changes, and problem solving any issues that come up in the hopes that the clients can make a smoother, less complicated recovery.

What are your favorite hobbies outside of work?

I love spending time with my family—I rarely miss a family event! During the summer months I really enjoy being up north at our cottage relaxing and boating with my husband and daughter.  My parents and brother also have a cottage nearby, and we have more and more family visiting from out of state each year, as we have so much fun together.  Those family times are very precious to me. I enjoy cooking, gardening, creating scrapbook albums, and researching the heritage of my family.

Feinberg Consulting is now Joint Commission Accredited!

We are excited to announce that we’ve earned The Joint Commission Gold Seal of Approval® by demonstrating continuous compliance with its performance standards! This is an exciting accomplishment for our company and is a symbol of quality that reflects our organization’s commitment to providing safe and effective care.

In order to earn the Gold Seal of Approval®, all three of our divisions—Feinberg Catastrophic Services, Feinberg Addiction Services, and Bridgeway Care Management & Home Care—underwent a rigorous onsite survey on March 16th and 17th. Bridgeway Care Management & Home Care was evaluated for its compliance with home care standards, including care policies, treatment plans, environment of care, and leadership to name a few. Feinberg Addiction Services and Feinberg Catastrophic Services were evaluated for compliance with behavioral health standards, encompassing many of the same areas as Bridgeway, as well as screening procedures for the early detection of imminent harm. On-site observations and interviews were part of the survey process.

“Our catastrophic care, senior care, and addiction care clients can now know that we follow the highest quality standards in the country,” said Pam Feinberg, RN, BSN, CCM, CRRN, the Founder and CEO of Feinberg Consulting and Bridgeway Home Care. “For more than 40 years, The Joint Commission’s Behavioral Health Care Accreditation has recognized excellence within our field. Earning the Gold Seal of Approval® is a testament to our home care and behavioral health team members, who focus on providing care every day with accuracy, efficiency, and compassion.”

This accreditation is a wonderful testimony to our amazing team and the work they do every day. Receiving the Gold Seal of Approval is a representation of how hard they work and how dedicated they are to ensuring our clients are treated with the dignity, quality, and respect they deserve.

What Our 4 New Moms Are Celebrating on Mother’s Day

Jessalyn, Rachel, Jessica, and Jenny during their pregnancies in July 2016

For the past year, there has been a running joke in our office between our employees to not “drink the water” at Feinberg Consulting. The joke began after we had multiple women announce their pregnancies a few months apart. Since then they have all welcomed beautiful and healthy babies into this world, and we asked 4 of our first-time moms to reflect on the new journey of motherhood as their first Mother’s Day quickly approaches.

 

 

Rachel Walker

Client Services Manager

“To my sweet Jackson, I am so proud to be your mommy. You bring so much happiness, laughter, and adventure into my life that I cannot put into words the amount of love I have for you. As my first Mother’s Day approaches, I can’t help but smile and be so thankful for you. Thank you for making me a better, stronger person. Thank you for challenging me every day. Thank you for showing me the purest of loves. You make every day better. So on this Mother’s Day, it isn’t about celebrating me, it’s about celebrating you and how lucky I am to be your mom.”

 

 

 

 

Jessica Kowalchuk

Operations Assistant and Client Services Manager

“I had a very difficult pregnancy. I was diagnosed with prenatal depression and identified as high-risk for postpartum depression. I felt so inadequate and guilty, like I was never going to be able to provide a stable and happy life for my daughter. Late in my third trimester, I agreed to take an anti-depressant after my daughter was born. With the support of my family, friends, and modern medicine, the transition to motherhood went way better than I had anticipated. The feelings of inadequacy and guilt quickly subsided and were replace with feelings of confidence and gratitude. People often tell me that Riley is lucky to have me as her mother, but I think I am the lucky one. In the past four months, I have learned more from watching her grow and discover the world than I have from anything else in life. The word Riley (n) means a luxurious and carefree existence. This Mother’s Day I am looking forward to celebrating the life of Riley, as well as how far I have come as a mother.”

 

 

 

Jessalyn Seramur

Vice President of Operations

“Becoming a mother is one of the most rewarding and challenging things I have ever experienced. Sophie Jane lights up my life in a way I never thought was possible and I am so grateful for the support of my husband, family, friends, and co-workers throughout this wild ride called Motherhood.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jenny Klonowski

Marketing and Creative Director

“I’m excited to celebrate my first mother’s day this month because I have so much to be grateful for. Last December my husband and I welcomed a beautiful baby girl, Ella, into the world, and life as we knew it changed in so many challenging and magnificent ways. Upon experiencing the adjustments that all new parents go through when caring for a newborn baby, and having a rough time physically recovering from my c-section, I was also diagnosed with postpartum depression. It was devastating, but after seeking treatment and getting the support I needed I was able to experience motherhood in a whole new light. This Mother’s Day, I am celebrating that I get to wake up every day, with joy and love in my heart that I get to be the mom to my precious Ella. Prior to having her, I had always heard that the love you have for your children is unlike any type of love you have experienced before, and I finally know what they were talking about. She lights up my days and motivates me to be the best woman that I can for her, my husband, and myself. I am also so thankful for my own parents and the way that they inspired me and raised me to be who I am today. I can finally understand the love that they have for me on a whole new level, and I look forward to being that source of strength and inspiration for Ella.”

 

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