Tamara Samuels is a recent Humber College nursing graduate who worked as a Registered Nurse in oncology and general medicine at a hospital for about five years before becoming a Case Manager at the Central West Community Care Access Centre in Brampton, Ont.
Although the majority of Case Managers tend to be RNs, they can also be Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists, Social Workers, Speech Language Pathologists or Registered Dieticians with membership in good standing with a regulatory body in Ontario.
Tamara is an “intake” Case Manager. She receives the referrals from clients, family members, doctors and hospitals, then speaks with the clients or their substitute decision maker to determine what their care needs are and how she can help them navigate through the healthcare system. Assessments are a big part of what Case Managers do – Tamara creates a service plan for each client to map out the services that the CCAC will provide as well as any community services the client may require.
Tamara typically works at a desk talking to people on the phone as an intake Case Manager, but she says she’s still fulfilling the care she wants to provide to people, just in a different way. She loves her job so much she’s stayed there for about two and a half years. She also has the opportunity to work out of hospitals and various locations in the community.
Community Care Access Centres connect people with the care they need, at home and in their communities. CCACs help people find their way through Ontario’s health care system, understand their options and connect them to quality community based health care and resources.
In total, there are 14 CCACs in communities across Ontario that are funded by Local Health Integration Networks through the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. This means that CCAC advice and services are covered by OHIP.