Dedicated, compassionate care managers are in abundance at CICOA. These individuals comprise the direct, personal link between the organization’s services and its clients. Delivering exceptional experiences is what they do.
So it’s easy to understand Assistant Director of BDDS Case Management Jen Kugler’s moment of disbelief when she learned that she had been chosen Care Manager of the Year, not just from within CICOA, but from care managers throughout the United States.
“I thought, ‘Is this real?’” she said.
Jen was indeed chosen the nation’s top care manager for 2023 by MedScope, a producer of emergency response devices for seniors and people with disabilities. The award celebrates the extraordinary compassion and skill care managers provide clients every day. Nominations were reviewed by an in-house team of MedScope employees who selected the top honorees and honorable mentions.
Recognition for her dedication to clients
It was Flourish Care Manager Cathy Delaney who brought Jen to MedScope’s attention. In her nomination, Cathy cited the “many times I have seen Jen exceed all expectations for care management.”
“I have seen this woman go without sleep in order to assist clients,” Cathy said.
Cathy also recounted a situation that found a client stranded at the CICOA offices. Jen stayed late into the evening to arrange a ride home for the wheelchair-bound individual.
In addition to the thrill of receiving the award, Jen took special pride in being singled out by Cathy. Having her work noticed by a CICOA colleague was especially gratifying to Jen, who admittedly thrives on affirmation.
“There are a lot of feelings that come along with the award other than just satisfaction. To be seen and heard and valued by someone like Cathy, from a CICOA department other than the one where I work, it really humbled me.”
Giving back to the CICOA Foundation
The award included a $1,000 grant from MedScope to the charity or organization of Jen’s choice. She decided to contribute the entire amount to the CICOA Foundation’s general fund, where it will provide support to the areas of greatest need.
“I specifically chose CICOA to get the entire portion because we have an incredible mission to support people of all ages to live, love, work, play and pursue their own life aspirations,” she said.
CICOA Chief Development Officer Steve Gerber said Jen’s generosity demonstrates the value of employee participation to the overall fundraising effort.
“Investors have commented to me that they are impressed when employees give back to the organizational mission directly. External donors have choices when it comes to directing their support, so when they see an organization like CICOA that connects so strongly with their employees, that makes a big impression,” he said.
With a family history of cancer, a daughter with Down syndrome and a father with diabetes, Jen’s life has been touched in ways that could have led her to contribute the money to many worthy causes.
“I could have chosen any organization, but I just really believe in the philosophy and the philanthropy of CICOA,” she said.
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Pictured above: Assistant Director of BDDS Case Management Jen Kugler, MedScope Regional Director Alexi Chumley, Chief Development Officer Stephen Gerber