By Carley Dangonacarley@thereminder.com
HOLYOKE – Sandra Picard has returned to Western Massachusetts upon accepting a position as director of Care Transitions for Holyoke Medical Center
Picard, now a resident of Agawam, has a longstanding career in the medical field including jobs as director of Case Management at Noble Hospital in Westfield and as Critical Care manager for HMC. Most recently, she served as director of Nursing Informatics at St. Francis Hospital in Columbus, Georgia.
She began her new position on April 1 and is directly involved with projects and initiatives related to patient navigation and care coordination.
“It’s wonderful [to be back in the area],” Picard said. “Where care occurs in no longer [just] in the hospital. Patients need help navigating [the healthcare system]. The process can be exasperating at times. It can be absolutely overwhelming.”
Picard explained that patients are no longer passive participants in their medical treatment. After choosing a provider for treatment, patients must understand the terminology and impact of their diagnosis; comprehend the jargon and legalese of health insurance coverage; and choose a setting for treatment.
Picard said the patients are her first priority. “I have worked by my patients’ bedside. That work will always be with me,” she said. The first question she asks herself when working with a patient is “What do they need and how am I going to get it for them?”
For Picard, the evolution of the healthcare industry has always fascinated her. “I have always been interested in the momentum that healthcare has taken in its evolutions. I wish I could live long enough to see it written up in history,” she said.
Picard added that her knowledge has increased from interacting with the different agencies that offer services to patients.
She stated that each professional brings a unique perspective to the table that helps Picard expand her ideas to provide even more tools to meet the needs of her patients.