The connections to community resources made by our Support Navigators are one of the primary services that we provide at Healthy365. Just a few of these local resources include support groups, educational classes, and outreach events. Transitioning into a new role as Education Support Navigator Teri Gottschalk is now your main point of contact for these opportunities. As a part of our Super Support Navigator blog series, let us introduce you to Teri and her passion for our Hancock County community below.
Getting Started with Healthy365
Teri has actually been a participant of Healthy365 from its origin in 2016. At the time, she was working elsewhere in the community but with a similar mission of social outreach. “I’d been a part of several Hancock Health Foundation groups,” explained Teri, “And as Healthy365 was morphing into the Connection Center, I knew that was something that I wanted to be a part of.”
As she watched Healthy365 grow as an organization, she kept an eye out for a position that would be right for her skill set. “Last year when a general support navigator position opened up, I was extremely excited and fortunate to be able to fill that role,” Teri said.
A Passion for the Future of Healthcare
Teri’s excitement for joining the Healthy365 team extends beyond just her role and into how it fulfills the Hancock Health mission at large. “The main reason that I wanted to be a part of this group is the hospital leadership and in particular [President & CEO] Steve Long’s vision for not only current healthcare, but the future of healthcare,” said Teri. “It really needs to be not just reactive, but proactive.”
Teri wholeheartedly agrees with the Healthy365 and Hancock Health philosophy that healthcare should be meeting all of people’s needs, beyond just a medical diagnosis or prescription. “The appeal for me was being part of an organization that has a heart for the community and a proactive idea of how we, as a whole, can be better and healthier.”
A New Role in Education Outreach
After several months in her position as a more general support navigator, Teri is ready to transition into the newly created role of Education Navigator. “I’m going to be the point of contact for all of the education, outreach, support groups, classes, and events that are sponsored and supported by Hancock Regional Hospital, the Physician Network, and Healthy365,” explained Teri.
Before COVID-19 hit, there were more than 60 of these programs, and so the first task in her new role will be updating and organizing information in order to get these events and groups back up and running. “We are just to the point where we are able to open groups back up to meeting in person,” said Teri. “So we are working with clinical support to make sure we are following regulations to meet safely, for capacity and scheduling.”
She is also working to determine which programs have the capacity for virtual options, and spreading the message about programming to both those who’ve attended in the past and new participants. “When there are more than 60 programs, there’s probably something for everyone.”
The Satisfaction of Connection in Hancock County
Teri has lived in Hancock County for 37 years, and has truly enjoyed seeing it morph and grow, while still remaining a community that has a heart. “I think overall we’re a safe, cohesive, caring community,” she said. “That’s a great reason to live here and be a part of it.” And working with local residents to connect them with the resources they need gives Teri great satisfaction.
“Sometimes when people reach out or are referred to us, they are in a vulnerable position,” said Teri. “They are reaching for something, but they don’t know how to connect to it. As navigators, we try to be the people who know who’s doing what and where they are in the community so we can be that connection.”
And now for our Super Staff Series rapid-fire questions:
If you were a superhero, what superpower would you have?
“I’d like to fly because that would avoid all the traffic headaches and get me places quickly.”
What is your favorite Indiana season and why?
“I guess it’d be a toss up between spring and fall, kind of for the same reason. Winter is kind of dreary and cold, then spring is a breath of fresh air, with flowers coming up and things are green again. But then fall is again kind of a breath of fresh air with the beautiful colors. I don’t want to be too hot or too cold.”
What is your favorite way to kick off a Monday?
What’s your most recent favorite read or movie?
“It’s been so long since I’ve actually been to a movie; I used to go to the movies every weekend to see whatever first came out. I also love to read and usually read 4-5 books a month because that’s just one of the things I’ve always loved to do. But I think my all-time favorite book is ‘To Kill a Mockingbird.’ I’ve seen it on Broadway, I’ve seen it in a local theatre setting, and I will always take the time to support that.”