BY, MSN, BSN, NE-BC, CCM, FAAN
I always look forward to sharing my thoughts with each of you via the Case Management Society of America (CMSA) President’s message for CMSA Today. For this edition, I experienced a dilemma: struggling with so many things to say, and yet not being able to choose the right thing to say. Spring is in full bloom, there is anticipation and expectation across the country for a “re-opened” world and plans are solidifying for family, work and play. I was stuck…but in a good way!
I had so many “R” words dancing around in my head. I wanted to write about themes of Rebirth, Rejuvenation, Resilience, Restoration, Revitalizing, Rebranding and Rejoicing. I often write outside, on my patio, and this time I was distracted by the beauty and bravery of flowering bulbs. The bulbs were breaking through the still frosty soil to restore beauty to a flower bed stuck in the last gasps of winter. I realized the bulb shoots were not erupting from the place where I originally planted them. Yes, they were in the general area of the flower bed, but I know I didn’t plant a bulb within the holes of a brick. And yet, this tulip bulb found its way up in spite of the barriers that could have held it back, that could have kept it stuck underneath the soil’s surface where it would have been a very late and small bloom or withered away completely.
As you have probably figured out, I love metaphors! As I gazed at the budding trees and flowers around me and reflected on an email from a colleague about this issue’s themes of adversity and adapting to obstacles, I knew I had found the perfect metaphor for where we are as a case management profession. The year 2020 may have seemed like a long winter, but winters provide time to build up and store what is needed to rise up in the spring. Summer brings an opportunity to display the restored and revitalized version. This is our story as a profession and as an association. We will not allow the pandemic, unexpected changes in the healthcare industry or personal/professional challenges to keep us stuck in the same place.
As case managers who may have experienced personal losses or significant changes COME to our professional careers, we have an uncanny ability to persevere. Our profession is rooted in the ideals of resiliency and restoration; we find a way to apply these concepts to our own lives. As a case management workforce, we have been spinning with more expectations, less time, new constraints and chaos. In some ways, it is like the spinning circle you see on a computer when a window tab is trying to open. That spinning circle appears to be stuck, but what do we do? We hit the refresh icon and try a different window. Case managers will find a way.
This issue is exciting because it is filled with stories about a profession that tackles complex situations and is leading the way in adapting to the challenges of today’s work environment. Patients and clients will continue to experience complicated healthcare scenarios, but case managers are adept at breaking through the complexities of ever-changing healthcare environments. Years of experiences, the way we value networking and the pursuit of continuing education make case managers uniquely prepared to restore hope in patients, revitalize workplace culture or re-brand oneself for new opportunities.
It’s an exciting time as we pause and enjoy the beauty around us. Sometimes we must look in different places to find what is blooming, but the blooms are definitely present. The seasons of 2021 are filled with metaphors that depict CMSA evolving into full bloom. In addition to the inspirational articles in this issue, be sure to read about the annual membership conference that is just around the corner!
I am SO excited about this year’s virtual conference. The online platform will give me the ability to experience much more that I could possibly achieve otherwise, and I can’t wait! The summer conference will be an explosion of “many blooms” as speakers share new information through our educational programs. Companies, vendors and organizations are excited to share their offerings and may just be the spark that re-ignites your passion for helping patients/clients navigate a complicated system to manage complex care issues. Our partners are also ready to demonstrate how they can help and support our profession. This year’s conference will provide fun and unique ways of networking and collaboration. All I can say is that you must see it to believe it, so register now!
Case managers continue to demonstrate how we can transform adversity into triumph. In many ways, we are a beacon of hope and resilience for families who are traveling what may seem to be impossible roads to recovery. This is what we do, and I am inspired by our profession every day. Similarly, CMSA is poised to uplift the case management profession as it prepares for a healthcare arena of new possibilities. CMSA celebrates where we have been and boldly launches into a journey of uncharted waters to stake our claim in the evolving world of healthcare, public policy and a beautiful bouquet of partnerships. Are you ready? If not, be inspired by this issue…unstick…refresh…and let’s push on and upward!