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SUD Supervisor Brooke Robertson Recognized for Work on Opioid Survey

Cardinal Innovations Healthcare — August 9, 2019 — 4 min read
When Substance Use Disorder Supervisor Brooke Robertson worked in direct care, seeing an individual who was in pain move to a place of peace using the tools they learned inspired her.

“Although many people struggled, it was seeing that one person succeed at something they were trying so hard to overcome," she said. “Now it is a broader picture. Of course, it is about our members getting the care they need, but it is also about our providers, the community, the state and the nation succeeding in making sure we all work collaboratively to achieve a common goal."

Recently, Robertson helped facilitate a survey intended to have a national impact on helping to improve the understanding of the opioid epidemic and how to provide the best treatment to the population impacted by it.

“This survey had to be rolled out quickly, and from a (Utilization Management) perspective, we had to swiftly develop the best way to educate providers on its implementation, and ensure that all appropriate members were given the opportunity to respond," said UM Manager Britney Phifer, who is Robertson's supervisor. “Brooke quickly jumped on this task, collaborated with other departments, and ultimately did what needed to be done to ensure all identified members had the opportunity to participate." 

Phifer said Robertson is a supportive and focused leader who truly embodies Cardinal Innovations' values of collaboration and support. “(She) is consistently focused on our member's best interest and is truly collaborative in her approach to leading her team," Phifer said. “It is clear that Brooke's focus is on quality and thorough member care, and this drives her leadership of her team, interaction cross departmentally, and in her work with providers. When faced with a challenge or problem, Brooke readily seeks solutions with innovative and creative thinking."

Some other initiatives Robertson has worked on include Opioid Use Disorder trainings, volunteering at Cardinal Innovations' town hall meetings and distributing Naloxone (Narcan) rescue kits throughout communities covered by Cardinal Innovations. She also has presented a training on intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) and substance use disorder (SUD) comorbidity, visited residential SUD providers to discuss Section 1115 Medicaid waiver updates and assisted with developing revised SUD triggers, authorization guidelines and Unable to Process (UTP) clarifications.

“I work with some very amazing people here at Cardinal Innovations, including the entire SUD team as well as my manager, Britney Phifer. I enjoy working collaboratively with the other teams in UM as well as the other departments at Cardinal Innovations," she said.

Robertson first joined Cardinal Innovations in April 2015 as UM Care Management Clinician and later became SUD Supervisor. As a supervisor I manage the day to day activities on the SUD UM team, she is responsible for training new staff, providing technical assistance to the team and to providers, assessing staff workload and facilitating rounds. She also serves on three different committees and gave several presentations last fiscal year.

“I contribute to helping the members we serve by making sure the services requested for them are medically necessary and that the most appropriate recommendations are made," she said. “I also help our members by helping our providers provide the most appropriate level of care for them." 

Prior to joining Cardinal Innovations, Robertson worked for over six years as a clinician that specialized in substance use disorders, co-morbid substance use disorders and mental illness, and treatment. She a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and a Licensed Clinical Addiction Specialist (LCAS) and has been dually licensed since 2010.

She also has a passion for volunteering. “I think one of the most important things I can do is volunteer for activities when help is needed," Robertson said.

Before joining Cardinal Innovations, Robertson volunteered for two years at a therapeutic horseback riding camp. Angelic Riders works with children, adolescents and adults who are living with an IDD, mental illness or SUD, she said.

“Now, I go back every October for their Annual Walk-a-thon," she said. “My goal is to engage in more animal-assisted therapies because there is so much research about the efficacy of these types of programs. I also have a 3-year-old child that I would like to involve in these endeavors."
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