Community Health Workers and other Patient Engagement staff gather during a recent annual patient engagement conference.

Colette Lee promoted to Director of Patient Engagement

Director of Patient Engagement Colette Lee, LPN-IVC

Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas is proud to announce the promotion of Colette Lee, LPN-IVC, to Director of Patient Engagement.  

Colette started working at CHC/SEK as a Family Resource Specialist almost four years ago. Later she became the second nurse for OneCare Kansas and Chronic Care Management Care Teams before moving into the role of Patient Engagement Manager.

Having worked at practices that limited seeing the number of patients with insurance such as Medicaid, it was CHC/SEK’s mission to serve all patients regardless of insurance and ability to pay that encouraged her to join the health center. In the past two years Colette has worked side by side with Leah Gagnon, Senior Director of Patient Engagement.

“She made me see nursing in a new light,” Colette says. “Leah also gently reminded me of what I love the most — supporting the people supporting the people. I have a great passion for mentoring and empowering staff. They are my ‘why’.” 

When CHC/SEK began to integrate and grow the services at Wesley House, Colette was instrumental in making sure staff and patient needs were met. 

“Without her loyalty to our Community Health Workers (CHWs) and to the mission of CHC/SEK, we would not have been able to expand services not only at Wesley House, but also in jails, schools, hospitals, and long-term care settings across our communities,” Leah says. 

Additionally, Colette has spent extra time learning grant requirements and meeting with partners to sustain the work CHWs do for each of the communities they serve. Her experience as a nurse gives a clinical insight that is needed for her role and understanding of complete wrap around care from CHWs to Clinical Care Management Teams.  

“Before I was one person with two hands and a single mission of helping,” Colette says. “In this position I can feed their fire so they can give to our patients — that’s almost 140 hands in this fight versus my two.” 

It’s the “never enough approach” that sets us at a higher standard in all aspects of CHC/SEK, Colette says.

“We see people for who they are, not what we want them to be, or society says they are and meet them where they are at,” she says. “We don’t give up on people, period! Every interview I attend I explain a simple fact, ‘we do not stand in front of people pulling them, we do not stand behind them pushing them. We stand beside them and walk this journey together.” 

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