Our Members' Stories

A retired industrial maintenance electrician, Bruce is living with several chronic health conditions including diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema and sleep apnea. He has also suffered a heart attack. To stay on top of his health, he regularly sees several doctors and takes multiple prescription medications. For additional support, Bruce participates in the CareFirst disease management program. Through this program, Bruce receives confidential, one-on-one phone-based support from a registered nurse at no additional cost.

Bruce’s nurse, Sharon, specializes in his specific health conditions and calls him once a month to see how he’s doing, answer any questions, provide condition-specific education and much more. “Sharon and I talk and she makes sure I’m taking my medications, visiting my doctors and taking care of myself. She wants to know if I’ve had any problems and she’ll make suggestions on how to deal with any symptoms I’m having,” Bruce says.

Bruce enjoys talking to Sharon and states, “She is sincerely concerned about me and not critical. She really inspires me to take care of myself.” Bruce acknowledges he knows what to do most of the time, but “having someone check in on you is so valuable.” In fact, one of the goals of the program is to help members learn how to better manage their own health and health conditions.

Sharon recognizes the importance of building a relationship with her members. She says, “It’s important to build trust; they’re sharing things with me that they might not share with their doctor.” She sees disease management coaching as a way to reinforce what the doctor is doing and is helping the member better prepare for their doctors’ appointments. She adds, “Usually, the member has 10-15 minutes with their doctor, so I want them to make the most of their time together.”

Bruce also appreciates the personal support adding, “This coaching program is helpful – people might be scared at first but if they listen to their coach, they will love it because it’s someone who’s looking out for you and making suggestions to help you feel better.”

"She is sincerely concerned about me and not critical. She really inspires me to take care of myself.” Bruce acknowledges he knows what to do most of the time, but “having someone check in on you is so valuable."

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