November 12, 2021
Employee Spotlight: Valerie Lopez
Valerie Lopez is a Care Coordinator in our Rochester offices. Every day, she is dedicated to helping people with intellectual and developmental disabilities connect to the care, support and opportunities that maximize their quality of life.
How long have you been with Person Centered Services?
I have been with Person Centered Services since the beginning, July 1, 2018.
How did you first hear about our company?
I was working as a Medicaid Service Coordinator (MSC) when the change from MSC to Care Coordinator was implemented. I was offered the opportunity to transition from Holy Childhood’s MSC position to a Care Coordinator position through Person Centered Services, and I am happy with this decision — three years and counting!
What is your favorite thing about working at Person Centered Services?
There is not just one specific thing, there are many! First is my supervisor — she is down to earth and has been a Care Coordinator herself, so she knows the struggles that can occur and usually has a solution or moral support to offer. Another would be the team I work with. All members have a different knowledge base which is nice. Having the ability to go to a team member and not always your supervisor allows the team to grow stronger, adding to a person’s list of resources other than their direct supervisor.
Another thing I like is the appreciation shown for all the work we do. Having those in upper management share their appreciation means a lot. Lastly, I enjoy having the ability to work from home.
How does your work help Person Centered Services thrive?
I believe my work helps Person Centered Services thrive because I am open to assisting whenever and wherever I can. I have been able to maintain most of my caseload since the transition and many of my families appreciate this. They share the Person Centered Services organization name with their friends when asked who their coordinator works for. To me this shows that I have been a steady presence in the life of those I support, allowing them to trust, support and at times recommend me or the agency for Care Coordination services to others in need.
I also have over 30 years of experience in the field, in many different areas from corporate compliance to quality assurance, CPAP staff, community habilitation and in home direct care. I understand the role and expectations of not just me, but those on the teams of the people I support. Having a wealth of knowledge is not always needed, and sometimes just the consistency of working with the same person, taking the time to connect to families and not just the person, and being there when needed helps keep those connections strong. Also just listening is important — sometimes this is all someone needs.
What do you enjoy doing outside of work or what is one interesting fact people may not know about you?
I enjoy spending time with my wife and new family addition; an individual with Down syndrome/autism. His mother passed unexpectedly in July 2021 and his younger brother (21 at the time) could not care for his older (24-year-old) brother. Since my wife was his self-hired respite staff and had been with him for just over 5 years, one of his mother’s last wishes was for us to become co-guardian with his brother and for him to live with us. I can say this has happened and things are going great. We enjoy going for walks, to GiGi’s Playhouse, and the zoo. We cook together and play games. Personally, I love to color on the iPad to relax or draw in my sketch book. A few interesting facts that people may not know about me is that I am a Reverend and have performed both weddings and funerals (mainly for friends and family). I am a cosmetologist/nail technician and pharmacy technician. I love to sew and even got back to sewing during the pandemic making masks to donate to our seasonal camp, family and friends.
Person Centered Services, appreciates the contributions of Care Coordinators like Valerie and all they do to help people succeed!