Linking on LinkedIn: Connecting with Case Managers Around the World

Source: CMSA Today


I am a LinkedIn aficionado. I love connecting with people and connecting people, and LinkedIn has increased my ability to do so exponentially. When CMSA first started discussing the creation of the International Special Interest Group (ISIG), I utilized LinkedIn to purposefully connect with case managers around the world and learn about how they work and impact their populations.

I have been fortunate to have created links with case managers around the world but wanted to highlight my discussions with case managers from Uganda (Joan Katano) and Bangladesh (Munny Akter) as I have learned so much from them and wanted to specifically recognize their efforts on behalf of the people they serve.

Uganda and Bangladesh, like many countries, have been grappling with the challenges posed by large influxes of refugees. Uganda hosts one of the largest refugee populations in Africa, primarily from South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Somalia. Bangladesh has been accommodating hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees fleeing violence and persecution in Myanmar. Case managers play a crucial role in providing comprehensive support to refugees, aiding in their integration and facilitating access to essential services.

The Role of Case Managers in Uganda

In Uganda, case managers serve as lifelines for refugees, providing a wide range of services to support their integration and well-being. Case managers conduct comprehensive assessments to identify refugees’ needs and develop tailored support plans. They gather information on refugees’ backgrounds, vulnerabilities and aspirations, laying the groundwork for effective intervention.

With limited resources available, case managers in Uganda play a critical role in coordinating assistance from various stakeholders. They collaborate with government agencies, NGOs and community-based organizations to ensure refugees have access to shelter, food, healthcare and education.

Many refugees in Uganda have experienced trauma and displacement, making psychosocial support a priority. Case managers provide counseling, mental health services and trauma-informed care to help refugees cope with their experiences and rebuild their lives.

Case managers advocate for refugees’ rights and needs within the broader community and work to empower refugees to become self-sufficient. They facilitate access to legal aid, education, vocational training and income-generating activities, fostering resilience and independence.

Recognizing the diverse cultural backgrounds of refugees, case managers in Uganda promote cultural sensitivity and inclusion. They facilitate cultural orientation sessions, language classes, and community events to bridge cultural gaps and promote social cohesion.

The Role of Case Managers in Bangladesh

In Bangladesh, the Rohingya refugee crisis has placed immense strain on resources and infrastructure. Case managers play a pivotal role in addressing the complex needs of Rohingya refugees. In the chaotic aftermath of displacement, case managers provide vital emergency assistance, including food, water, shelter and medical care. They work tirelessly to ensure refugees’ immediate needs are met and coordinate with humanitarian agencies to scale up response efforts.

Rohingya refugees face significant protection risks, including gender-based violence, child exploitation and trafficking. Case managers advocate for the rights of refugees, provide protection services and facilitate access to legal aid and justice mechanisms.

Access to education is essential for Rohingya children’s future prospects. Case managers help establish and support temporary learning centers, provide educational materials and promote child protection initiatives to safeguard vulnerable children from harm.

Ensuring access to healthcare is paramount in refugee settings. Case managers coordinate medical services, immunization campaigns and nutrition programs to address the health needs of refugees, particularly women, children and the elderly.

Building trust and collaboration within the refugee community is crucial for effective service delivery. Case managers engage with community leaders, facilitate participatory decision-making processes and empower refugees to actively participate in shaping their own futures.

In both Uganda and Bangladesh, case managers play indispensable roles in supporting refugees, promoting their well-being and fostering their integration into host communities. Despite facing immense challenges, these dedicated professionals continue to make a positive impact on the lives of refugees, embodying the spirit of compassion, resilience and solidarity. As refugee crises persist globally, the vital role of case managers remains more critical than ever, underscoring the urgent need for sustained support and investment in refugee assistance programs.

Dr. Colleen Morley-Grabowski, DNP, RN, CCM, CMAC, CMCN, ACM-RN, FCM, is the associate chief clinical operations officer, care continuum for University of Illinois Health System and the president of the Case Management Society of America National Board of Directors. She has held positions in acute care as director of case management at several acute care facilities and managed care entities in Illinois, overseeing utilization review, case management and social services for over 14 years; piloting quality improvement initiatives focused on readmission reduction, care coordination through better communication and population health management.

Her current passion is in the area of improving health literacy. She is the recipient of the CMSA Foundation Practice Improvement Award (2020) and ANA Illinois Practice Improvement Award (2020) for her work in this area. She also received the AAMCN Managed Care Nurse Leader of the Year in 2010 and the CMSA Fellow of Case Management designation in 2022. Her first book, A Practical Guide to Acute Care Case Management, published by Blue Bayou Press, was released in February 2022.

She has over 20 years of nursing experience. Her clinical specialties include med/surg, oncology and pediatric nursing. She received her ADN at South Suburban College in South Holland, Illinois, BSN at Jacksonville University in Jacksonville, Florida, MSN from Norwich University in Northfield, Vermont and her DNP at Chamberlain College of Nursing.


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