ANCOR News - 06.05.18

ANCOR’s 2018 Annual Conference: Convergence and Collaboration in New Orleans

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My favorite part of working as a Senior Project Manager on the Client Services Team is spending time with customers in person. While the countless hours we spend meeting over the phone allow us to do our jobs effectively, sometimes that in-person connection adds an extra boost to our partnerships.

In April, I had the pleasure of spending some real quality time with two of our customers—The Arc of Bergen and Passaic and Jewish Service for the Developmentally Disabled (JSDD)—as we presented together at ANCOR’s 2018 Annual Conference in New Orleans.

Quite appropriately, our session was about collaboration.

Over the past four years, I have worked closely with our contingent of 20+ New Jersey-based customers who provide services to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) as they have made the state-mandated switch to Medicaid billing and electronic health records. Like many other agencies across the nation, this transition has not been an easy journey for our New Jersey customers. Fortunately, with some support from Foothold to get things off the ground, these providers have banded together and formed a cross-agency committee that works collaboratively to navigate the murky and challenging waters of the Medicaid transition. Through their work together, the agencies were able to create a unified voice to advocate to state partners and evaluate operations, ultimately resulting in improved service delivery.

During our session in New Orleans, Michele Meyer from JSDD spoke about how the group initially came together, how they pool resources and share knowledge to avoid reinventing the wheel, and how they use each other as a resource when they have questions or encounter barriers. Alice Siegel of The Arc of Bergen and Passaic spoke about how the group has leveraged their strength in numbers to push the state for needed regulatory changes and clarifications, as well as to push us here at Foothold to collaborate with them to enhance AWARDS, Foothold complete electronic record, so that it more fully meets their needs. Finally, I shared some of the ways in which this committee is a wonderful resource for me: it lets me rest easy knowing there is always someone I can count on to help assist a customer by sharing the lessons learned from their own experiences. When I make these connections, I find more often than not that my customers already know each other and are eager to lend a helping hand.

While we weren’t working, Alice, Michele and I made sure to take advantage of the fabulous location of ANCOR’s Conference to “Converge in the Big Easy!” While browsing in shops and art galleries in the French Quarter, we got to know each other a bit more as people. While enjoying warm beignets and sipping delicious coffee at Café Du Monde, we shared stories about our work, helping each other to better understand our daily work lives—which I know will only enhance how we work together in the future. I left New Orleans feeling energized for ongoing collaboration with this amazing group of providers, thankful for the opportunity to present with them, and thrilled that ANCOR gave me the chance to get to know them as friends and not just as customers!

(From left) Alice Siegel, Senior Vice President, The Arc of Bergen & Passaic; Rachel Miller, Senior Project Manager, Foothold Technology; Nick Scharlatt, Co-Founder, Foothold Technology;

Jim Butz, Account Manager, Foothold Technology; Michele Meyer, Director of Quality Assurance and Compliance, Jewish Service for the Developmentally Disabled