Skip to main content

As Chief People Officer at Rippl, I’m grateful to be part of building out our amazing care teams (we call them pods). A pod not only includes a licensed social worker and nurse practitioner but, importantly – the glue that holds the care plan together – care coordinators. This role is critical to delivering personalized, wrap-around dementia care. Not only do they support our patients and caregivers but they ensure the entire care team, including the primary care physician, are in the loop.  One Ripple Changemaker that exemplifies this commitment to deliver the right care when you need it is care coordinator Paula Blanchard.  Paula joined me from her home office in Pierce County, WA to take the Rippl Changemaker Quiz!  

Tell us your “why” for joining Rippl.

To know my “why”you must first know my beginning. My interest in healthcare started after spending so much time in and out of the hospital with my sister who was diagnosed with Leukemia at the age of nineteen.  It wasn’t until my sister lost her battle with Leukemia that my drive to make a difference in the lives of others was fueled. Over the course of the past 20 years I have been in different areas of healthcare and it has become more apparent there is a  lack of resources,  care and access for mental health services. There is even less for our elderly  population.  I have watched many friends and family  struggle to navigate how to  care for their loved ones who have been diagnosed with mental illness, cognitive decline, dementia or  Alzheimer’s.  So when the Rippl opportunity was presented to me I jumped at the chance to help a population that is near and dear to my heart. Being able to help patients and their families everyday feels more like a privilege than a career.    

Rippl is pioneering a new care model to dramatically expand access to high quality, wraparound behavioral healthcare for seniors, their families and caregivers. What is the most important thing you are doing right now to help achieve that?

The most important thing I am doing right now is meeting seniors, families and caregivers where they are. Learning their stories, their struggles, their goals so that I can provide the best patient centered care that I can. 

Tell us a story about a recent patient experience that had an effect on you.

It is hard to pick just one when you are helping change someone’s life. My most recent experience is about a daughter who had no idea who we were or what we did but found us because her friend heard about us on a podcast. Her mom has dementia with agitation and anxiety and is still living at home.  She shared her story and the difficulties that they were having with the high level of care that her mom requires and the goals they had as a family.  I was able to assure her that we can help, by supporting her mom and well as the family and that they would have a care team that would support them through this journey.  The relief in her voice was palpable. It was at that moment that she knew that she did not have to go through this alone.  It is times like this where I can support someone in their toughest moments is why I do what I do.

OK, now for the fun part. 

Who on the Rippl team do you want to celebrate today and why?

I would celebrate the TEAM. This mission is bigger than just one person. Rippl has put together a strong team with  many years of experience in the medical and mental health field and we have come together to do things differently for the betterment of the patients and families that we serve. It is rare that you can find a group of people who care so deeply for what we are doing to help others. This team’s passion and dedication is unmatched  and I am just proud to be a small part of it.

Please share one thing about you that our readers would be surprised to learn?

People are usually surprised that I have grandchildren. I have 3  and 1 on the way that will make  2 boys and 2 girls.

What profession, other than being the rockstar clinician you are,  would you like to try?

I would love to be a crime scene investigator!

What is the last thing you binge-watched (or -listened)?

I listen to a lot of podcasts depending on my mood, some to give me a much needed laugh and others to make me feel like that crime scene investigator I mentioned above. Smartless, Armchair Expert, Financial Feminist, Straight up with Trent Shelton, This Podcast Will Kill you, Sinisterhood, Crime Junkie, and HypocondriActor are my usual rotation. 

Tell us a corny joke (a favorite activity in Rippl’s g-chat).

My 7 year old grandson loves to tell jokes so I have a lot! His favorite one at the moment is: Why did the skeleton not cross the road? Because he didn’t have any guts.

Jesse Schlueter is Rippl’s Chief People Officer