Meet Cassie Mitchell, Chief Operating Officer Clinical Services at Bluegrass Care Navigators

Mitchell

FAST FACTS

Hometown: Burgin, Kentucky
Family: Husband (Matt), Sons (Cole – 17 and Greyson – 15), Furry Children (Sampson and Emmett)
Hobbies: Traveling with family and friends, gardening and reading.
Currently reading: Personal –“The House We Grew Up In” by Lisa Jewell and for work – “The Vibrant Workplace: Overcoming the Obstacles to Building a Culture of Appreciation” by Dr. Paul White.
Favorite vacation spot: Trunk Bay, St. John USVI

Were you in leadership roles early on?
Yes, I’ve been involved in a variety of management and then leadership roles since starting my career some 25 years ago. I’ve had the blessed opportunity to be trusted with ever increasing responsibility and more than a few times, someone took a chance on me being able to lead a group or team of which I wasn’t so sure about myself.
If you asked my mother this question, she would tell you that I was in leadership long before my professional career (aka bossy)!

Tell me about your management approach in your new role.
I try to live by the golden rule “do unto others as you’d have done unto you”, both personally and professionally. My DiSC personality type is I-D (Inspiring and Dominant). I value the relationship component of leadership; truly caring about those I support as people first, then as my employees. As the same time, my D supports my desire to get things done and I live by accountability with compassion. I also work hard at servant leadership, with the clear understanding you cannot pour out of an empty well so ensuring good self-care is modeling good leadership in my book.

Tell me about your first job out of college.
While I was enrolled in nursing school, I worked as a CNA at the local hospital. Upon graduating with an ADN, I started working day shift in a weekend Baylor program while pursing my BSN during the week. In just a couple years, I was acting as weekend charge nurse, leading the very folks who supervised me while I was a CNA. It taught me a great deal about leadership and the way to (and not to) make the transition from supervised to supervisor – I also got some great lessons in humility.

What advice do you give to graduating college students?
First, I am of the school of thought that college isn’t for everyone. The world needs skilled tradesmen and I believe we have lost the value in those careers. With that, college or trade, take the job or do the thing that stretches you the most. This is where you grow. This is where you find yourself. If you end up failing, you learned invaluable lessons. If you succeed, and you likely will, you just proved to yourself a small measure of what you are capable of!

What might somebody say in a meeting that, to you, sounds like nails on a chalkboard?
“We’ve always done it this way”. Oh my, that tests my religion. I have to breathe and remind myself, fear of change often comes from one of two places … We believe we will lose something of value or we fear we will not be able to adapt to the new way of doing things. Change, even good, is hard. Honoring that and explaining the why is critical to positive progress.

What is your very best skill — the thing that sets you apart from others?
Cutting through the clutter to get at the heart of the matter, or so I am told. I actually asked a few of my teammates to help me here – it’s hard to identify your best skill by yourself! I thrive on working to make the complicated, simple.

Where do you do your best thinking?
I have a 45-minute commute one-way to and from the office each day, so I do my best thinking in the car. Some days I am on the phone (hands-free ?) both ways, other days I sing my heart out (and I cannot carry a note), other days I just let my mind float. Occasionally, I have one of those light bulb moments and I use talk to text to capture my thoughts because I shift into mom mode when the car enters the garage.

Any final big-picture thoughts on how you’re approaching your new role, and how you want to make your mark?
Well, I just hit the 1-year mark in my “new role” and it remains an honor to be entrusted to support and lead our team, most of whom are out in our communities, delivering exceptional care in the home. Those folks, they are the ones making a difference in the lives of patients, families, clients, partners and each other and I get to play a supporting role in making that happen.
I hope to make my mark by improving the patient experience and access to care by creating synergy in our processes and opportunities to continually improve our complex and diverse organization. I am committed to creating and supporting an environment that supports changing and growing to serve the needs of our team and those we care for.

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