“I probably wouldn’t be here right now… I do want to thank Magellan for that.”
DENNIS PERRY - MCC OF VA MEMBER
Despite this striking statement, Dennis Perry is never one to be melodramatic. In fact, he says his “personal attitude toward life is that if you can’t laugh about it, it’s not worth living.” In 2018, Dennis was facing so many serious challenges, they caused him to question even this motto. Following a suicide attempt, Dennis was admitted to a psychiatric hospital. Dennis has long been diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder with depression and has struggled with multiple chronic health conditions, all while still trying to cope with the aftermath and trauma of a terrible accident in which he lost his left leg. “It changed my whole life in one second,” is how Dennis describes the 2017 accident in which he was struck and pinned by a car to a gas station wall. “It’s very, very hard to lose a limb, and I see that accident every day.” He could understandably be embittered.
Instead, Dennis says, “I forgive the person who did it. They were young, and it was an accident. But it is hard to take – really, really hard to take.” Dennis was at a crisis point—his physical health issues were compounded by his mental health issues and drug and alcohol addictions. After a week’s stay, Dennis was scheduled to be discharged from the psychiatric facility – without a set plan in place, stable housing, or any support for substance abuse. Magellan Complete Care of Virginia (MCC of VA) stepped in and recommended an inpatient substance abuse treatment program to Dennis.
The Difference is Coordinated Caring
MCC of VA is a full-service health plan serving members of the Commonwealth Coordinated Care Plus (CCC Plus) program. CCC Plus is the program for Medicaid members with multiple comorbid conditions who need long-term services and supports. Working hand-in-hand with our members, providers and families, our MCC of VA associates help each person live a healthy, vibrant life and achieve his or her fullest potential.
As a CCC Plus member, Dennis has support from the MCC of VA team, which has a long history of serving the complex needs of special populations, and broad expertise in managing physical health, behavioral health, pharmacy benefits and other services. Magellan Complete Care’s (MCC’s) dedication to offering choices to the individuals they serve sets Magellan apart.
Gigi Edwards, RN, who is now a maternal child health manager for MCC, was Dennis’ original care coordinator. She was the first to get a call from the discharge planner at the psychiatric hospital about Dennis. But she was far from alone in caring for him. With more than 25 years of experience as a registered nurse, Gigi knew that Dennis’ mental health condition was urgent and only part of his complex needs. Gigi says, “I called my colleague and friend Amy Stephan and said, ‘I need your help’
Amy Stephan is an Addiction Recovery and Treatment Services (ARTS) Care Coordinator with MCC. She has more than 25 years of mental healthcare and substance abuse care experience. Based on Dennis’ records, Amy recommended monitored detox and residential service.
Amy says: “We have to make sure the program matches the person. In this case, we needed to ensure that Dennis was monitored during detox for the safety of his health. We also needed to ensure that the treatment facility had space available and was able to accommodate Dennis’ wheelchair. Plus, we had to gauge Dennis’ motivation to recover.” Gigi says: “It’s a very fragile time, and I needed him to see the importance of going into inpatient stay. He wanted a better life, and I wanted that for him. So he agreed to go. And that made me happy, because I knew we were on our way.”
Gigi worked with local community services to ensure that his housing was secured during his absence. She also obtained enough supplies of his medications for the duration of his stay. When Dennis’ wheelchair was damaged, potentially jeopardizing the residential placement, Gigi worked to get him a new one prior to admission. She also worked with MCC’s transportation vendor to take Dennis to the facility.
Starting Over with Continued Care and Support
It was a team effort to support Dennis on his journey to successful recovery and continued sobriety. His current MCC Coordinator Greta McCray, RN, says: “We don’t give up on any one of our members. Dennis had a care coordinator like me at Magellan, a case manager with the Community Services Board, and others assisting him – he wasn’t alone.”
Dennis says, “I do want to thank Magellan. It means a lot to me. Magellan helped me out so much with going to rehab. I believe we are here for a purpose, and I am glad I have a chance to tell my story because a lot of people don’t. “If you need help, ask for it. That’s what people are there for. Life is so fun and enjoyable and, therefore, I chose to live another day!”