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Putting members first – no matter what

Living the mission

Carol Smolij understands the sacrifices that come with being a nurse. As the Director of the Dual Special Needs Plan, she oversees a team of Care Managers who are trained and fully licensed health care professionals and registered nurses. Long hours, nights and weekends are part of the job, but caring for those who are the most sick and vulnerable – especially during times of crisis - shows how dedicated this team truly is. “It’s not an easy time to be a Care Manager, and our members are facing even more challenges now than ever before,” Carol explained. “Thankfully, we are a company built by people who believe in going above and beyond, and sometimes that means delivering groceries right to their doorstep.”

Answering the call

When Dina Cheney heard that an oxygen-dependent member was running out of basic supplies like toilet paper and water during the COVID-19 pandemic, she sprang into action. Outside of her role as a Care Manager, she personally purchased items from several stores and pulled some things from her family’s own pantry. After safely delivering these necessities, she told the member not to hesitate to call her again with any needs. For Dana, this was one small way she could help someone who really needed it, “It wasn’t a big deal for me, but it was a big deal for her.”

Delivering compassion

After connecting with a member who relied on resources that were temporarily unavailable due to COVID-19, Jamie Lewis made a plan to get him the groceries he needed. “Sometimes I feel like our members aren’t given enough compassion from the world around them,” she said. Jamie has spent a lifetime trying to bring that compassion to those in need, so it was natural for her to step up during this tough time and help. She delivered essential supplies from her church’s food pantry and bought fresh items from the grocery store right to his doorstep. When Jamie later called to check on the member, it was clear the difference this simple, but powerful, act of kindness had made. “We were both crying on the phone,” she added.

The 3 H’s: Hope, help and health

Many people are facing challenges right now – and it can be even more difficult if English is not your first language. When one of our members in that exact situation needed help, Care Manager Sophia White was ready to rise to the occasion. She bought two weeks’ worth of groceries for the member, visiting different stores over a couple of days to get all of the essentials. Sophia knew that the member had no family in the area and was vulnerable, so she also exchanged contact information with a neighbor who could translate and be there in case of an emergency. “The member was feeling hopeless. So we gave her hope,” said Sophia.

Doing the right thing, every day

Our strength as a company comes from the people who work here. We aren’t just employees; we’re fellow New Jerseyans who care about our members and our communities. “People never think of an insurance company taking care of others this way, but we do and that makes me proud,” Sophia said.