Gary C.

Manager of Clinical Engagement

RHO Product Management

How long have you worked at Neighborhood, what do you do here and what part of your job do you most enjoy?
I’ve been with Neighborhood for 11 years now! I joined the organization because of its commitment to our members and the citizens of Rhode Island. I also heard great things about the culture and the amazing growth and development opportunities within the organization.

Gary striking a pose with Yvonne Heredia, senior manager of care management, at Neighborhood’s 2011 Gala.

In your current role at Neighborhood, what are your key job responsibilities and what aspect of your position do you most enjoy?
In my current role as Manager of Clinical Engagement under RHO Product, I supervise a team of eight Community Engagement Coordinators who are responsible for delivering the Medicare-Medicaid Plan (MMP) Health Risk Assessment and Welcome Call. In addition, the team goes above and beyond locating and re-engaging our hard-to-reach members to help reconnect them with their care managers, providers, and community partners. My favorite thing about the role is that it has allowed me to give back to my community through volunteering and other civic engagements, alongside my team.

What did you do before joining Neighborhood?
Before I joined Neighborhood, I was working as a customer service representative for Bank of America. I was responsible for account inquiries, text support for online banking, credit card sales, bill pay and bank fees. The role gave me excellent experience in how to manage my own personal finances, time management, and how to provide excellent customer service. This experience has served me well at Neighborhood.

Of all the projects and initiatives you have worked on at Neighborhood, which one stands out as being especially meaningful to you?
One of my favorite projects so far has been building the new Clinical Engagement Team under RHO Product with our team lead, Jennifer. I’ve been afforded an opportunity to think outside the box regarding engagement efforts, strategies, and internal processes. The results have been very impressive and I am very proud of the great work that the team has accomplished throughout their first year!

Tell us a little bit about your upbringing – sharing what helped shaped your future.
I am originally from the Dominican Republic but was raised in Providence, Rhode Island. As a child I always loved school, reading, and showed a great interest in health care. In my early teens, I was accepted into a four-year Nurse Assistant Program at Mount Pleasant High School where I went on to graduate with my CNA license. Unfortunately, I learned very quickly that I did not do well with blood or wounds, so I had to revisit my career strategy and goals. My late teens and early twenties were fun, exciting, and at times, difficult. However, I felt as if the world had many lessons to teach me, and I was ready for whatever they were.

As a first generation college student, navigating school was a bit of a challenge at first. I took many different courses until I finally decided to complete my undergrad in Communications. I worked full-time at Neighborhood during the day and then commuted to the University of Rhode Island’s (URI’s) Feinstein Campus in downtown Providence for my evening classes. I attended school full-time, four times a week, until I finally obtained my bachelor’s degree.

Later in life, I returned to URI to obtain my master’s degree in Public Administration, and a few years after that I enrolled in a master’s degree program for Healthcare Management which I completed in the summer of 2021. In between this time, I obtained certifications in management, project management, and now six sigma.

I will always be grateful to Jean M., our Manager of Clinical Informatics at Neighborhood, and to Yvonne H. who served as our Senior Manager of Care Management until earlier this year when this amazing person left us for eternal rest. Both Jean and Yvonne always encouraged me to continue my education. Also, to Neighborhood for the generous tuition reimbursement, which was a lifesaver. Last, but definitely not least, I could not have done all this without the help and support of my parents who always made sure I had something to eat after I got out of class at 10 o’clock at night.

As for a hobby that helped shape who I am, I picked up reading and collecting comic books in 2001, which is something that I still do today. Reading the “funny-books”, as they used to be called, helped reinforce the values that my parents taught me in relation to responsibility, helping others, and always doing the right thing.

Gary as a toddler

What is something about you that others might find surprising or intriguing?
Something that most do not know about me is that I can play the violin. It has been a very long time since I have played, but I still remember the strings as if the instrument was still in my hand. A “Fun Fact” about me is that in first grade (here in America), I won a Mother’s Day drawing contest and it was showcased in a local Latino newspaper along with a picture of my family and me. Finally, as you can imagine, I am very passionate about education and health care, so I taught a Self-Management Diabetes course as a side project not too long ago!

Gary's winning Mother's Day drawing as a first grader

What advice or recommendations would you give to someone interested in pursuing the type of career you are in?
My advice to someone who is interested in pursuing the type of career that I am in, would be the same advice that I received when I was 16…“Learn and read as much as you can. Never stop your education.”

Posted August 5, 2022