Kevin Price understands that health ambitions are different for everyone. For some people, the goal might be running a marathon. For others, it’s learning to live with a chronic illness.
Since 2014, Kevin has been a clinical care manager for the long-term services and support team at the Aetna Better Health of Illinois Plan. He works with members with a variety of medical and mental health conditions, including diabetes, depression and chronic heart failure. Kevin assesses what services people need to continue living comfortably at home and avoid moving to a long-term care facility. He is also an active member of ANGLE, Aetna’s advocacy group for LGBTQ employees, and has run and biked more than 500 miles to raise money for people living with HIV/AIDS.
Here, Kevin reflects on the people he’s helped, whom he admires most and his love for the Chicago Cubs.
Q: What do you like most about being a clinical care manager?
A: I like that I’m out in the field with the people I’m helping. I visit them at their homes, see their living situations and get a better picture of the challenges they face so I can help develop the best care plan to fit their needs.
Q: Is there a particular member story that stands out in your mind?
A: I have been working with one woman for about two years now and have helped her gain access to primary care, specialists and medications. She had been struggling with a number of chronic conditions including HIV, depression and rheumatoid arthritis. She also lost her brother a few years ago, which took a big toll on her emotionally.
I speak with her on the phone once a month and visit her home every other month, so we’ve gotten close. I’ve been able to provide emotional support, connect her with a clinic that supports most of her needs, and helped her develop a care plan with her doctors. She’s doing really well now.
Q: Do you have any advice for someone starting out in the health care field?
A: Be flexible and try not to be too hard on yourself. Prior to working at Aetna, I worked in community mental health. It’s really important to adapt to whatever the day brings you because you just never know what is going to happen. You might have three appointments scheduled, but then a client calls in the morning with a crisis and you need to figure out a way to prioritize.
Q: June is Pride Month. What does that mean to you?
A: For me it is a month for reflection on the advances that we’ve made in LGBTQ and civil rights over the decades.
Q: Who do you admire most in the world?
A: I really admire my family: my mom, dad, step mom, sister and brother. They are all important people to me, and I truly value their feedback.
Q: What is the one word that people most often use to describe you?
A: Hard worker. That’s two words, but still counts!
Q: What’s the best piece of health advice you ever received?
A: Don’t be afraid to go to the doctor or ask for help when you need it. It’s important to get checkups and keep up with routine tests to stay healthy.
Q: Do you have a health ambition?
A: I’ve run four marathons and completed two 200-mile bike rides to support people living with HIV/AIDS in Chicago. I like the idea of tying together healthy lifestyle choices and helping my community.
Q: What is your go-to healthy snack?
A: I make salsa. I chop tomato, green pepper and onion, put a little lemon juice in it, and just eat it like that, with no salt or anything.
Q: Where is your favorite place in the world to visit?
A: Wrigley Field! I live a couple of miles from the ballpark. I get to 20 or 30 games a year. I love baseball. I’m trying to see all 30 of the Major League Baseball parks.
Q: What was your most fulfilling professional moment so far?
A: It’s really hard to pick one specific moment. Some of the things I have found fulfilling at Aetna and my previous jobs include helping people find housing and get access to medication. I’ve also helped clients take steps to travel and see their family across the country. Sometimes it’s something smaller, like obtaining a walker or shower chair, or showing someone how to open a checking account. Even the little things can be very meaningful in someone’s life.
Emily Leland is a writer and marketing professional living in Charleston, SC. Her goal is more exercise, less caffeine and finding balance as a working mom.
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