Johnnie McCracken’s “can-do” attitude lets her accomplish what she sets out to do, no matter the situation. Her positivity and the way she advocates for the persons she serves are among the reasons she was selected as Pittsburgh Mercy’s October Colleague of the Month.
“There has never been a day during my three-plus years of supervising Johnnie that she has never let her persons served, colleagues, or me, her supervisor, down,” says Laura Stainbrook, Service Coordination (SC) supervisor. “During the time I have known Johnnie, she has always been positive, honest, dependable, passionate and supportive to the other SCs and to persons served. She is a fierce advocate who wants the best for persons served and will stop at nothing to help them. She treats everyone she meets with the utmost respect and her positivity is infectious.”
Johnnie is a resource coordinator, which is a step-down level of care from regular service coordination. She works sometimes triple the number of persons served than a regular service coordinator, guiding the persons served toward closure from resource service coordination within six to 12 months. Laura says that Johnnie unabashedly advocates for the needs of those with whom she works.
“She brings reassurance to persons served when they are experiencing a crisis and whenever they need community resources, she is a wealth of information,” Laura says.
When one of Johnnie’s older persons served was fearful of attending in-person therapy out of concern about contracting COVID, Johnnie advocated with the outpatient department to have her consumer continue with teletherapy. When the waiver for teletherapy ended, Johnnie found another provider who works specifically with the senior population and would provide several new resources to her person served, including teletherapy.
Johnnie has been with Pittsburgh Mercy for more than 10 years. She worked first with the Community Treatment Teams for about a year, then transferred to SC. She has been a resource coordinator for the past six years. Previously, she served as a mentor in the SC department.
She says she likes the flexibility her position provides and also enjoys working in the community and meeting resource people who are able to assist the persons she serves.
“I do enjoy advocating for the persons served I work with,” Johnnie says. “It is always a pleasure to see resources that work to assist my consumers’ needs and the appreciation I get from the majority of the persons served when I help them.”
Johnnie acknowledges that all the hoops and paperwork that must be completed to help persons served get resources make the job challenging. She says many persons served believe resource coordinators “have special powers” to be able to get them resources they want, although they might not always be eligible to receive those services.
“I would just like to thank Pittsburgh Mercy for this award and especially my supervisor, Laura Stainbrook, for the nomination,” Johnnie says. “It makes me want to do better knowing that someone is always watching.”