In 1994 I consulted on a personal injury case of a then-3-year-old little girl who had contracted E.coli from a Jack-in-the-Box hamburger, during the Jan 1993 outbreak in Seattle. After settlement and establishment of a special needs trust the case manager left and I was approached by the trust advisory committee to provide services in 1996.
My only case management experience had been in worker's comp as a vocational rehab counselor and in coordinating life care plan recommendations for personal injury cases, mostly for adults. I accepted the job and discovered that I was working on a team with:
- The most talented and compassionate attorney and paralegal (and human beings) as trust advisory committee members
- The most difficult parents and dysfunctional family I'd ever encountered
- The best and sweetest pediatric neurologist (and doctor in general)
- The neediest children (the client and her younger siblings) I'd ever known
- The most demanding, frustrating, heart-breaking, and challenging case of my career
- AND the most learning since my first day on the job as a VRC intern.
During the subsequent years I have experienced the rewards of making a difference in the lives of this little girl (now 13-years-old), her siblings and her mother. All of my subsequent child clients have benefited from my on-the-job training. I have experienced true job satisfaction through constant opportunities and challenges to communicate better, give and receive facts and wisdom and do what case management is intended to do.
I chose to change my practice late in 2001, and prioritize private case management services over the more lucrative litigation consultation. (I still do the latter; it does help keep costs down for the former.) I am a better person, as well as a better case manager, for this experience.
Kathryn Reid, MA, CRC, CCM
Reid Case Management, Inc.