Flying Home From Louisiana

I am sitting on the plane flying home from New Orleans for the last time (for work), listening to Valse de Opelousas and reflecting on the past 11 months. I haven’t done as good of a job of chronicling my time in Louisiana as I should have, but I can simply say that it has been a fantastic experience.

For the past eleven months, I have been traveling to Louisiana weekly (with very few exceptions) to build the provider network for a new Medicaid health plan, Louisiana Healthcare Connections (LHC), a subsidiary of Centene Corporation. When I started, there were five of us in Baton Rouge developing strategy and starting to do outreach for contracting. Now, LHC has 140 employees and provides health insurance to ~168,000 individuals in Louisiana generating estimated annual revenue in the hundreds of millions of dollars. We were key players in essentially building a start-up into a major contributor to its Fortune 500 parent. I am very proud of the work we have done.

When I started this job eleven months ago, I essentially knew nothing about what I was to be doing. While I still have a lot to learn, I have helped train several people on contracting/network development and have been a point person for escalated issues. I appreciate all of the people who have taken time to train me, share with me, support me, and trust me. I am excited to keep growing in this position.

I have been to every corner of Louisiana and many places in between. I’ve seen some places that I would love to visit again – and some that I hope to never visit again. I’ve met some great people and have heard some very interesting stories. I’ve sampled local culture and cuisine. Louisiana is a great state with so much to offer, I highly recommend it to everyone. Just be sure to get off the beaten path and explore a little bit. You never know what you might find. That is certainly a lesson I am taking forward myself.

Importantly, I have worked with some amazing people and made some great new friends. These people really made my time in Louisiana enjoyable – and are making leaving Louisiana much harder than I had anticipated. I hope to visit soon.

I do not yet know what the next state is in which I will work. I should be finding out soon. Regardless of where it is, I am looking forward to applying the skills I have learned in a new market, continuing to learn and grow, and see what the future holds!


Update Upon Arrival in St. Louis:

I found out upon landing that I will be helping with our Missouri health plan, Home State Health Plan, for a few weeks. Likely working on provider data and accuracy/usability. After that I am on to the next plan. That is still up in the air.

Last Week of School / Quote #8 – Saying Goodbye

It is June!  How did that happen?!?  (This was posted at 12:15 a.m. on June 1 – WordPress didn’t quite get the memo) Time goes so fast…  It is now finals week at the University of Denver.  It is our last week of school before graduation.  I’ve been trying to put off thinking about saying goodbye to people.  My post earlier in May described my feelings then and they pretty much remain the same – I do not like leaving people or being left by people but we are at a place in life when these transitions do/must occur.  Hopefully, what happens will happen for the betterment of all of us.

The following quote was just shared with me:

“Don’t be dismayed at goodbyes.  A farewell is necessary before you can meet again.  And meeting again, after moments or lifetime, is certain for those who are friends.”
Richard Bach

I hope to meet my friends again, after next weekend, soon – and often.  I know that our caring about one another will continue.  Our graduation from the University of Denver should allow us to share that caring beyond DU and improve the world, just as we have improved each other.

From DU commencement website