Clinician Spotlight: Maria Reese

Senior Director, Health Equity and Community Service Programs

Clinical and support staff are the backbone of the healthcare industry. Often asked to work with few resources to deliver care at the most important times in a patient’s care journey, clinicians deserve recognition and appreciation for all they do. 

Faced with a workforce crisis like never before, health systems and hospitals need someone who understands these challenges — and at Get Well, we do understand. And we certainly appreciate those on our staff who have spent time as clinicians. That’s why we’re launching the Get Well Clinician Spotlight series — an opportunity to give the clinicians who work for Get Well the recognition they deserve and the space to share their stories and thoughts about the biggest challenges facing today’s clinician workforce.

Marie Reese
Senior Director, Health Equity and Community Service Programs

Please share a little about your clinical background and what brought you to Get Well.

I have been a public health practitioner for more than 25 years. I  have been working to build strategic partnerships and improve the health of the community with a focus on vulnerable populations. I came to Get Well because of the mission of personalized care for all and the focus on health equity and removing barriers of care for patients. 

How have you used Get Well solutions in the field? 

I have the privilege of leading our team of Get Well Navigators who text and call with our patients/members/participants directly, so I get to witness their tremendous impact every day. Get Well Navigators offer support, resources, education, and guide patients through their journey to ensure all needs are met. They are hired from the community they represent and always offer empathy and excellent customer service to our patients. They are the heartbeat of our organization. 

What do you enjoy most about your work? 

The navigators share patient love stories, which are testimonials of what our services have meant to our patients and how we have made an impact on their health (mental, emotional, or physical).  Additionally, our services are addressing health equity by screening for SDOH, providing resources, removing barriers, and ensuring that everyone has an opportunity to achieve optimal health outcomes. 

What are some of the biggest challenges facing today’s clinician workforce? 

  • Staffing shortages and shrinking budgets in healthcare are making it more difficult to provide personalized quality care to patients in a way that feels respectful, caring, and thorough. Expensive, fragmented care at multiple locations that are inconvenient to the patient. 
  • Focus is on treating an illness after it happens versus preventing illness and/or chronic diseases.
  • Racism, medical mistrust, and implicit bias are still an underlying cause for health disparities and inequities among our most vulnerable populations. 
  • Rural communities are lagging in medical providers, mental health services, and community resources resulting in health disparities and inequities. 
  • Medicaid expansion is needed in all states. 

What is the best way to address those challenges?

  • As we look to the future we need to better utilize health equity digital technology to augment staffing needs, while keeping the focus on empathetic personalized patient centered care to achieve positive health outcomes for All. 
  • Provide care that is affordable, accessible, and delivers a positive patient experience to our patients.  
  • Investment and focus on preventative care and healthy behaviors will result in lower health care costs, improved quality of life, and longer life expectancy. 
  • Providing comprehensive wrap around services, coordinated care, and screening for SDOH will help deliver excellent health outcomes regardless of race, ethnicity, payer, gender, sexual orientation, or ZIP code. Extensive provider training on health equity, implicit bias, and SDOH will also assist in improved outcomes.