In Good Hands: Why a Care Coordination Director is Essential at Coterie

Coterie Cathedral Hill’s Care Coordination Director, Shirley Cheung, starts each morning by reviewing the reports from the overnight caregivers. She’s very familiar with each resident and the level of support they receive, and she looks for any changes that need to be noted in their individual care plans going forward.

“Care needs are as distinct and different as people are,” Cheung said. “My role is to implement all the elements of personal care a resident needs to live well here.”

The Care Coordination Director is a unique linchpin position at Coterie.

Unlike many senior living communities where care and wellness and services often fall under the auspices of a single director, Coterie’s Care Coordination Director is solely focused on the care needs of residents and advocates for them at every turn. By meeting personally with every resident – getting to know their interests, life story, and medical history – the Care Coordination Director can determine the scope of assistance that resident will need.

Coterie’s Care Coordination Director not only crafts every individual care plan, but also ensures that plan continuously evolves along with the resident’s medical needs. Often, this means liaising with primary care physicians, pharmacies, and family members so that everyone has the correct information and works together to support the individual.

It also means connecting with other elements of Coterie staff – the Wellness Director, Resident Engagement, or even the culinary team – to ensure care needs are met holistically, and that a person has no obstacles preventing them from pursuing what brings them joy and meaning.

“All the aspects of life at Coterie – whether it’s wellness or programming or culinary – can overlap. It’s like a Venn diagram, with the resident at the center,” Cheung said. The Care Coordination Director ensures a resident’s care needs are supported in that center.

Truly tailored caregiving also channels the full potential of Coterie’s resources. As an example, Cheung recalls the story of a woman who had experienced a hip fracture.

Healthcare providers at the attending hospital believed she would require weeks of rehabilitation and physical therapy at a skilled nursing facility before she could be discharged to a more comfortable living environment. But the team worked with family members and doctors at every step to meet the resident’s care and rehab needs at Coterie. This included physical therapy every day of the week, pain medication management, and caregiver coordination to prevent a relapse.

“Not many places can facilitate that level of expert support. But Coterie can,” Cheung said.

Coterie’s partnership with Sollis Health – an on-site medical center and emergency room – is poised to take these capabilities even further. “Sollis is such an exciting addition,” Cheung said. “People want to be treated without the stress that comes from hospital visits. For the peace of mind of residents and family members, the Coterie-Sollis partnership is a game changer.”

Coterie’s Care Coordination Director ties all the threads together. Whether it’s coordinating a diagnostic imaging appointment at Sollis Health, ensuring a primary care physician’s orders are scrupulously followed, conveying direction from a pharmacist to Coterie’s team of caregivers, or keeping family members up to date with the latest information, the Care Coordination Director keeps the focus where it belongs – on the total care needs of each resident.


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