Kidney Heroes™: Empowering People with Kidney Disease Every Step of the WayStrive Health
Navigating the complexities of chronic kidney disease can be challenging. The Strive Health Kidney Heroes™ play a vital role in helping people with kidney disease manage their health.
The Kidney Heroes™ consist of nurse practitioners, nurses, social workers, care coordinators, medical assistants, office managers and dietitians. Through Strive’s value-based care model, they deliver highly specialized, holistic care while fostering meaningful relationships with each patient.
At the heart of the Kidney Heroes™ mission lies a profound drive to support patients to effectively manage their conditions, yet their motivations don’t end there. Each member of the Kidney Heroes™ team has a unique story instilled with empathy that propelled them to enter this field, all driven by the common goal to empower patients throughout every step of their kidney care journey.
Jaylin Chadwell, Kate Horowitz and Yobana Aguilar shared what drove them to join the Kidney Heroes™ team, reminisced their most memorable patient experiences and expressed the impact patients have made on them personally.
What do you do in your role at Strive and when did you join the team?
• Jaylin: I joined the team as a Care Coordinator in January 2023. In my role, I assist patients with locating resources, scheduling appointments and connecting with their providers. I do my best to help other Strivers with any additional tasks or visits.
• Kate: I’m a Licensed Clinical Social Worker for Regence/Cambia and Moda. I joined Strive in November 2021. In my role, I primarily focus on evaluating and assisting patients and caregivers with mental health and financial concerns while coordinating complex care. Social workers tackle a broad scope of challenges each day. Our team must think creatively and quickly while maintaining a supportive and calm presence. I hope to continue my work here for many years to come!
• Yobana: I started at Strive in April 2021 as a Market Operations Associate. I support the Care Coordinator Team and assist the Market Team with administrative needs. In my role, I wear many hats. Similar to parenting, you have to keep up with the latest trends and news as much as possible, all while still cultivating cool stories and relaying tips and tricks you’ve learned along the way when a teaching moment presents itself.
Why/how did you get into your chosen field and why do you Strive?
• Jaylin: In March 2022, I donated my kidney to a patient I met in a previous job. Throughout the donation and recovery process, I gained an appreciation for the hardships that kidney patients endure. I Strive because I feel passionate about helping patients with kidney disease understand their condition and empowering them to manage it well.
• Kate: I had a lot of respiratory challenges as a kid. Even though I was young, these experiences had an impact on my understanding of the challenges associated with chronic diseases. After considering several career paths, I decided to get my master’s degree in social work. In today’s healthcare system, many people lack the necessary support and resources to advocate for themselves. I feel fortunate to provide a positive experience for both my patients and their families.
• Yobana: I Strive to improve patient health education. I’ve watched my loved ones struggle with newly diagnosed conditions and witnessed their uncertainties around various health issues. Patients can feel incompetent when they don’t understand the medical information given to them during a doctor’s visit. I wanted to join a community that provides education for patients who experience similar struggles.
What is your most memorable patient story?
• Jaylin: I had multiple conversations with one inspiring patient struggling to manage his kidney disease. Over time I learned he had several comorbidities and was dealing with some financial issues. Through it all, he had an incredibly positive attitude every time I talked with him despite what he was going through.
• Kate: It’s so hard to pick one. It’s really more about those moments when someone finally starts to give themselves some credit for their own hard work. What I love most about my job is witnessing a patient develop their self-efficacy and confidence in managing their own care.
• Yobana: I had one patient who was continuously frustrated when I called. He would only give me three minutes to talk and then would disconnect whether or not the conversation was over. After a handful of calls, he stopped timing them and began having real conversations with me. He later sent me a boomerang key chain inside. The boomerang represented a sentiment he shared with me: “When one is kind and doesn’t give up easily on others, like a boomerang, others will come back no matter how far life throws them.”
How do you decompress during your free time when you’re not saving lives?
• Jaylin: I enjoy spending time with my family, boyfriend and cats. I also like going to the gym and cross-stitching.
• Kate: I’ve taken up Peloton riding this year and it’s been a wonderful way to alleviate some stress. I’ve found that making exercise a priority has helped improve my focus and productivity during work hours.
• Yobana: I decompress by driving out to the beach with a good cup of coffee, spending quality time with family and enjoying a good glass of bubbly.