A case manager’s job is difficult. But working in a rural community with limited resources brings a new set of challenges.
“We’re an hour away from an ICU, there’s not a lot of rehab facilities and we don’t have a transportation system,” says Brannon Evans, case manager at Calhoun Liberty Hospital, a 25-bed facility in rural Blountstown, Florida. “But we work with what we have.”
That might include helping patients coordinate care post-discharge, educating patients in their home, or finding community resources for things like building a wheelchair ramp or driving people to doctor appointments.
Think outside the box
“In our community, people don’t always take care of themselves and they don’t always follow up with their doctors as they should,” she says. “We see a lot of sick people who can’t afford to see a doctor or pay for their medication. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve picked up someone’s medication to help them stay in compliance. Sometimes you have to be willing to step outside of the box to do what’s right for the patient.”
Evans was born at Calhoun Liberty in 1985, and lives in Blountstown with her family. She sees about 40 patients a month, many who come in with diabetes or heart disease. When you live and work in a small town, she says people depend on you even when they’re not patients.
“We get phone calls all the time from people who are no longer in our care,” says Evans. “They know us by name and we know them. When they call us, they want answers. That’s what they expect. If there’s something I can help them with, I’ll do it.”
Often, the job becomes personal. “I’m surprised by the number of people we see who don’t have anyone to advocate for them,” she says. “I try to step in and be that person for them.”
Despite the challenges, Evans says there are many rewards.
“What I love about the job is you have your hand in every aspect of care from the time they admit to the time they go home. Our patients often come in tired and sick, many are elderly, and when they get better and get to go home, that’s awesome to see.”
Going above and beyond
Says Janna Matautia, director of nursing at Calhoun Liberty: “Brannon goes above and beyond regularly to assist patients in their discharge process. She has helped patients with complex chronic disease find the correct placement to meet their financial and emotional needs. She has the real capacity to understand and support the patient, family, staff, physicians and organization in a positive manner. Brannon is an advocate who helps our patients have the best-quality outcome in any situation.”
Case managers are often the unsung heroes in a patient’s recovery. In conjunction with National Case Management Week, we asked for nominations for outstanding case managers who deserve some extra recognition. We continue to share the stories of some of the case managers who have been nominated. Read More