Tales From The Front and How We Can Use Them


Last year at the CMSA National Conference held at McCormick Place in Chicago, Eric Bergman and I were invited to present at a pre-conference writer's workshop.  We talked about telling our stories and led the group through some exercises to get the creative juices flowing.  After this experience, I said to Eric my 2 magic words "what if".  What if we collected stories like the ones we heard in that session, from our members, and published them?  1. give members an opportunity to "get published", 2. tell the story of case management and 3. validate what we do, celebrate what we do and bring our story to a wider audience.  What if????

At our 26th annual conference on 4/11/19, CMSA Chicago unveiled "Case Management: It's Not Luck, It's Skill", an anthology of stories by CMSA Chicago members.  These essays described memorable patients, process improvement and very personal stories about why the contributors do what they do everyday or what led them to case management.  Serving as the collector of the stories and one of the editors (Eric Bergman, Jeff Crofoot and Edna Heatherington: partners in editing), I felt honored to have been entrusted with these works. We worked very hard on a very short timeline to have this ready for our conference and while there were some very tense moments waiting for the shipment to arrive just days before the conference, hard copies of the book were indeed debuted as planned.  (Bonus: I learned a new skill:Desktop Publishing) 

I cannot begin to describe to you how it felt when I received the 1st PROOF copy for review.  Thrill? Elation?  Great words, but still cannot convey the sheer joy of seeing these stories, OUR STORIES, in print and available to the world to see what we do.  One of CMSA Chicago's goals is to educate; ourselves, each other and the world about what we do and how we do it.  This book gets it out into the mainstream (It's on AMAZON!!!).  If you haven't picked up a copy, by all means, treat yourself today.  I read one of the stories aloud at a meeting I was at recently...the room went silent and then erupted in thunderous applause.  Each one of the entries is a triumph for the authors and for case management as a profession.  

The Amazon review by Ellen Fink-Samnick says it all:

Case Management....It's Not Luck, It's Skill provides an authentic and inspiring look at the Professional Case Management experience. Each entry is like sitting down to have a conversation with a close colleague; honest, often emotional, yet empowering. Case managers obtain a clear sense of the realities faced by the workforce across disciplines, practice settings, and experiences. The essence of the many faces of humanity are front and center.

The stories in this book are exquisitely written, and reflect the essence of case management practice: the ethical principles of advocacy, beneficence, fidelity, justice, non-malfeasance, and veracity. Reflected on each page are the struggles, yet opportunities that come from engaging with clients and caregivers at their most vulnerable, emotional, and often unexpected times of life. One is reminded of the global Case Management knowledge-base required to be successful on the job, including robust education, dedicated knowledge, attention to regulations, practice standards, ethical codes, and continued life long learning. Case Management is not just something you do, but a professional pathway you commit to that is ever-evolving.

This book provides valuable learning for all levels of case manager; students and those new to the workforce, those considering case management, as well as those who are more seasoned. Case Management....It's Not Luck, It's Skill should be on every case manager's bookshelf.

Congratulations to all involved for authoring this novel and powerful contribution to the Professional Case Management workforce.

Think about your stories, the ones you live everyday.  The patient/client/member you always carry with you.  The change you identified, implemented and made the case management world a better place, even if it was just your corner of the world.  Or how about the "why you got into this crazy field anyway" story.  We are collecting for Volume 2.... let your voice be heard!  (and don't worry, we will help you through it, because that's why we are...FOR YOU!)

Colleen Morley DNP RN CMCN ACM-RN                                                                                                                                                                                                     President Elect 2017-19

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