EMPLOYEE SPOTLIGHT: Lauriza R.

Lauriza Portrait

Lauriza R.

Regulatory Compliance Specialist

Compliance

How long have you worked at Neighborhood, what do you do here and what part of your job do you most enjoy?
I have been with Neighborhood since November 2013. For most of my time with the organization, I served in a community care coordinator (CCC) position on the Medical Management team as part of the Medicare-Medicaid Plan (MMP) line of business. In February 2020, I  transitioned to a project coordinator position with the Project Management Office (PMO), which is part of the Strategic Transformation Office (STO). Then, in February 2022, I had a wonderful opportunity to join the Compliance team. What I enjoy the most about my job is being primarily focused on the Medicaid line of business. In this role I am able to continue my passion of working towards improving services that Neighborhood delivers to our members and providers.

Lauriza and Medical Management Team colleagues in celebration mode at the 2016 Neighborhood Gala. From left to right are: Ruben, Lauriza, Fatima, Sara, Simone, and Linda.
Lauriza and Medical Management Team colleagues in celebration mode at the 2016 Neighborhood Gala. From left to right are: Ruben, Lauriza, Fatima, Sara, Simone, and Linda.

What did you do before joining Neighborhood?
Most of my career has involved the direct care of patients and clients in the mental health field. Before I joined Neighborhood, I worked at Butler Hospital in their Patient Assessment department as an intake coordinator. Patient Assessment is the clinical way of referencing the “Emergency Room” of the hospital. Prior to my work at Butler Hospital, I was a case manager at a mental health clinic in Woonsocket. Both of these positions prepared me to organize my tasks and responsibilities, personally and professionally. They also helped me to improve my written, verbal and interpersonal communications skills. Most importantly, these roles prepared me to have important conversations, no matter how uncomfortable they were. All so important in the health care industry!

Of all the projects you have worked on at Neighborhood, which one stands out as being especially meaningful to you?
When I first joined the PMO team, I was able to work closely with a project manager who was managing the implementation of the Salesforce Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Implementation project. I enjoyed participating in this initiative because of the value that it brings to the organization. Having served as a community care coordinator who needed to access multiple systems to complete tasks, I was able to see firsthand how this new system would be beneficial for members and member facing employees. A very fulfilling project to work on!

The CRM system is intended to bring RingCentral and core systems together and help develop a standardized and consistent process for handling calls. When complete, it will also be used for workflow automation, leveraging its ticketing function to assign tasks to other areas within Neighborhood from the call center, in order to ensure a closed loop process. Additionally, the CRM implementation will allow for accurate first call resolution.

Tell us a little bit about the years you spent growing up – sharing what helped shaped your future.  
I am a child of Dominican immigrant parents, who like many parents, wanted the best for their children. My parents moved from the Dominican Republic to Providence in the late ‘70s. We moved to Warwick when I was five. I have an older brother – or like most of my family like to point out – I have an older “shorter” brother. This has been a running joke in my family for many years! Throughout my childhood, I was blessed to spend a lot of time with my 15 (yes 15!) cousins from Rhode Island and New York. It was not until I was an adult that I realized that not everyone was as fortunate as I was to have so many cousins. Such great times! To this day, we remain close.

Photo on Left: A young Lauriza (bottom right) in a family photo with her father Rafael, her mother Josefina and her brother Amaury. Photo on Right: Lauriza at 5 years old.

Most of my childhood into my teenage years I focused on art, basketball, track and volleyball. I am a hands-on learner and have a passion for art, specifically painting and drawing. While earning my college degrees, I made sure to incorporate my passion into my studies and took art courses as electives.

Lauriza expresses her creativity as Frida Kahlo for Halloween.

As for sports, volleyball has always been a constant in my life. After playing in high school, I went on to play on a scholarship at the Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI). Once I earned my associate’s degree there, I transferred to Rhode Island College (RIC) where I continued to play volleyball while earning my bachelor’s degree. While at RIC, I also switched my major and eventually completed my bachelor’s degree in Arts in Communication, Speech and Hearing Science. After that, I decided to further my education and pursue a master’s degree at Roger Williams University. I am currently working on my Master’s in Public Administration (MPA) with a Health Care concentration. 

The most memorable part of my teens and twenties was playing volleyball in high school and college. I absolutely loved the sport and enjoyed the opportunity to travel to different states I had never visited before and to meet so many different people. Through volleyball, I also developed lifelong friendships.

Lauriza (second from right) and volleyball teammates at Warwick Veterans Memorial High School.
Lauriza (back row, third from left) and volleyball teammates at Rhode Island College.

With regard to who inspired me during my formative years, I had several great role models, including family, friends, teachers, coaches, and especially my mother. When I turned six, my father was involved in an accident that ultimately changed our lives forever. As a result, my mother suddenly found herself a single mother of two young children with English as her second language and dreams of owning her own hair salon put on hold. Despite the many challenges and barriers my family faced, we managed to figure it out and move forward. Eventually, in the early ‘90s, my mother and a business partner opened up their own salon. While she did not realize it at the time, my mother demonstrated by example that barriers were meant to be broken. Her ability to stay focused on achieving her dreams, despite her challenging circumstances, taught me to live life to the fullest even when I fear it.

Lauriza and her inspiration – her Mother Josefina!

What is the best piece of advice you have ever received? Why?
I received the best piece of advice when I was about 23 years old – working at my very first full-time job. I worked at a group home with children that were in the care of the Rhode Island Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF) and I had a very energetic, goal oriented boss. Her saying was, “If you don’t have a plan, you plan to fail”. I have carried this advice into my personal and professional life and still think of it today. This advice reminds me to try to be as prepared as much as possible, whenever possible.

What do you like to do when you’re not working?
I am the mother of twin six-year-olds so most of my time, along with my husband’s time, is dedicated to them. When I am not working, I focus on creating experiences and memories for our kids. I also enjoy spending time with my husband as well as with family and friends. We try to get outside as much as possible for physical activities and we get crafty when we are indoors. I also enjoy helping others organize party themes, decorate their spaces, cook, and really anything that allows me to be creative.

Lauriza with husband Martin and their twins,
Jordan and Lilyana.
Lauriza with husband Martin and their twins, Jordan and Lilyana.

Share a “Fun Fact” with us. Something about you that others might find surprising or intriguing?
Since I love being creative, my “Fun Fact” is that if I changed careers, I would be a mixture of Chip and Joanna Gaines from Fixer Upper on HGTV. I love the physical work of demoing a space and then designing, remodeling and decorating it. I love creating something for someone else and observing their joy once they see it.

What advice or recommendations would you give to someone interested in the type of career you are in?
I would encourage others to be bold. If you are interested in learning then start asking who can provide you with guidance and knowledge. Throughout my career, I have asked others to mentor me even if they were in a different career than me.

Posted August 5, 2022