I have been working with the Muscular Dystrophy Association for two years. MDA fights to free individuals – and the families who love them – from the devastating effects of muscular dystrophy, ALS and related life-threatening diseases, so they can live longer and grow stronger. There are almost 1,500 clients in Northeast Pennsylvania serviced out of our Allentown based office. Muscular dystrophy is a broad term which encompasses the 43 different types of muscle wasting diseases.
When I first began with MDA my role was as a Heath Care Services Coordinator – ensuring that those we served were receiving excellent care at our care center, running a week-long summer camp for children ages 6-17, working with schools and workplaces to educate individuals on muscular dystrophy and ultimately being a resource for our clients. Not coming from a health care background, this was a daunting task, but ultimately working for our clients and my care center team I was able to excel in this role.
MDA runs a unique care center for those it serves in collaboration with Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Hospital. When patients arrive for their care center appointments, they are able to meet with their neurologist, a physical and occupational therapist, respiratory therapist, social worker, an MDA representative and have access to other services as needed. The group that is assembled at the care center is able to take a team approach to the patient’s care plan. Often patients are forced to meet with these individuals separately and lose the cohesiveness that a care center team like this affords.
This idea carries over to other aspects of patient and client experiences. Much can be learned from a team approach. When I was able to speak with all of the players at one time and ensure that the best care possible was given, it allowed me to reassure our patients of the care they were receiving and also feel confident in the plan in place. Due to this care structure, our patients have built lasting relationships with those healthcare professionals and are able to stay healthy longer knowing they have the best care possible.
Whether you are in a health care setting or another professional setting – taking the team approach and guiding a client through a unified plan can not only help the client, but the professional team as well. All players involved with that client know the whole plan and able to work with through any task or issue that arises. They are also actively involved with the other team members and can use them as a resource – knowing the appropriate person to utilize in a situation can expedite the process and come out with the best possible outcome.
Working with my team at Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Hospital was a wonderful experience. We were able to share knowledge eventually providing our patients ideal care plans. The collaborative approach might take more resources than a company is accustom to, however, it saves time and resources in the long run and gives the client a lasting, positive experience. I can personally testify to the team approach and know how fortunate I was to have worked with some of the best healthcare professionals in their field.
Director of Business Development
Muscular Dystrophy Association