When Eric Lee finished his Masters of Science in Occupational Therapy in 2009, he promptly began a career as an Occupational Therapist.
Referred to various clients with care needs by the Community Care Access Centre (CCAC), Eric conducted in-home visits identifying and addressing safety concerns, recommending modifications and connecting individuals with community resources.
While the University of Toronto grad enjoyed his work, he was eager to explore a career path that offered more hands-on engagement.
“I liked the idea of building a relationship with my clients and caregivers and being that one reliable contact that they can count on as they navigate the complexities of the healthcare system,” he says.
For Eric, a career as a Care Coordinator at CCAC was a natural choice.
“I had always had a good impression of CCAC based on what I’d learned while in school and also during my first professional job as an Occupational Therapist working directly with CCAC,” says Eric.
He began working at CCAC in March of 2012.
A healthy start
Eric’s start at CCAC came with an extensive training session which lasted five weeks. After a technical introduction, Eric was paired with an experienced practitioner who worked with him on some of the practical aspects of his job.
This mentor stayed in contact with him during his first year with CCAC, so Eric always felt supported in his role.
“I felt competent and prepared after training, but there was also a team there to provide support whenever I needed it,” he says.
This ongoing support is reflected in CCAC’s commitment to training and skill development. The organization hosts an online database with resources for guided learning experiences as well as self-taught development.
CCAC also creates a collaborative environment.
“CCAC provides many opportunities for staff to be involved in various committees and projects,” Eric says. “We all come from different professional backgrounds and our perspectives are all different.”
For someone who wanted a more engaging job, it’s a perfect fit.
“I have taken advantage of these opportunities to meet staff from other departments and contribute my own perspective as we continue to evolve as an organization and improve our services,” says Eric.
“It’s one of my favourite aspects of working here.”
On the job
Eric has settled into his new role and is enjoying the challenges he encounters on a daily basis.
“In the past year I have seen the full spectrum of complex medical diagnoses, personalities, living arrangements, family dynamics, cultural practices, you name it,” he says. “Every client is different and they each come with a unique set of assets and challenges.”
A big part of meeting these challenges is effective collaboration – something Eric really enjoys.
“Working on a multi-disciplinary team is a very stimulating experience,” he says. “Being able to interact, discuss client cases and work through difficult scenarios with other Care Coordinators helps me to become better informed and rounds out my skillset.”
The work environment at CCAC also offers a great balance of independence and support, says Eric.
“I enjoy being in the office surrounded by colleagues and resources that I can utilize to improve my skills and knowledge, but at the same time having the autonomy to manage my caseload in my own style without someone constantly looking over my shoulders.”
He’s also thrilled with some of the more formal components of his job at CCAC, noting that the organization offers a competitive salary with annual increases and offers financial support for work-related continuing education.
Even the time off gets a nod.
“I am taking two weeks this fall to travel and I will still have several weeks banked to carry into next year,” Eric says.
Planning a future at CCAC
Eric is looking forward to expanding his skills and knowledge with CCAC in the years to come.
“I feel there are endless opportunities at the CCAC to learn and grow my skill-set,” he says.
He plans to spend the next three years exploring different Care Coordinator roles.
“It is common for Care Coordinators to move between departments or take on special projects and many employees here enjoy the opportunity to gain new skills and experience,” Eric says.
He’s looking forward to developing a well-rounded sense of the services CCAC provides and figuring out which position he eventually wants to settle into. So far, he couldn’t be happier with the decisions he’s made.
“My experiences at CCAC have set an excellent foundation on which to build a career.”