My Baystate Story:
Michelle Roberson, Care Coordinator
My name is Michelle Roberson and I’m a care coordinator at Baystate Mason Square Neighborhood Health Center in Springfield. I first came to Baystate Health 18 years ago after a friend who was a nurse practitioner told me she thought I would be a good candidate to work at Mason Square Neighborhood Health Center because I grew up in the community. She was right. I started working in registration and then worked my way up to where I am now.
Many people in our community are in situations where meeting their basic needs such as housing, healthy food and healthcare is a struggle. I am proud that I am able to enhance the lives of patients and empower them with healthcare and social services. I coordinate patients’ treatment plans, educate them about their conditions, connect them with health care providers and services, and evaluate their progress. I let patients know I’m here to make their life easier if possible.
For instance, Springfield has a lot of old buildings with mold and other elements that trigger asthma. We have some of the highest asthma rates in the state. I help patients learn about ways to overcome asthma triggers in their homes and feel better. I might also connect them with our partner, Revitalize CDC, which does in-home visits to assess triggers and find solutions. Last year, I also turned to Revitalize CDC to deliver food to the home of a COVID patient.
The best part of my job is the success stories. In one case, we had a patient who was struggling and scared of losing their housing and possibly being homeless. It was not easy to communicate with them at first, but I was able to overcome barriers, gain the patient’s trust and personally guide them through how to work with the state housing authorities, fill out forms and more. The happy outcome was that they were able to keep their housing.
Patients tell me they are grateful for the time I take to explain and teach them how to take advantage of services so they can now do things by themselves. Helping people has always been my interest. I try to treat people the way I was raised by my parents. You treat a patient as if they were one of your loved ones needing assistance.