Maureen Smith of Middletown, Director of Consumer Relations for Connecticut’s Office of the Healthcare Advocate, has been presented with the 2008 Governor’s Service Award. This award was established to reinforce the importance of quality customer service by recognizing the achievements and successes of State employees.
“It’s an honor to have received this recognition for doing a job that I love dearly,” Maureen said. “I have been advocating for people for the last 7 years, helping them resolve issues that they found overwhelming. My goal is always to reach consistent, positive resolutions for families once I intercede on their behalf.”
In June 2007, Maureen assisted the family of a 39-year old father of two, whose family’s healthcare options became very limited after he suffered a stroke. It was recommended he be placed in permanent convalescent care; however, just as all seemed lost, the family called the Office of the Healthcare Advocate.
Maureen quickly became a part of the family’s support system and their personal healthcare advocate. She secured 4 months of intensive medical and rehabilitation services, and as a result, the father’s condition has continued to improve. He has made major strides and is able to live at home with his loved ones, to be involved in his community, and to make progress toward his goal of returning to work.
Maureen’s nominator wrote, “It is impossible to imagine how our family would have endured this ordeal without her help and assistance…. She is truly an asset to State government and an exemplary role model in her profession.
State Healthcare Advocate Kevin Lembo said, “Maureen represents the epitome of service to her community through her compassionate care and expert knowledge of the state’s managed care systems and their impact on Connecticut families. Her award is testament to her tireless work in support of consumers.”
Maureen, who co-chairs the Partnership’s Survivorship Committee, was re-elected to her second 2-year term on the Partnership’s Board of Directors at the Annual Meeting on September 19. She is also on the Board of Directors for the Connecticut Cancer Care Program, is a member of the Connecticut Family Support Council, and participates in the Department of Public Health’s Diabetes Program.