As the Health Care Supervisor for Northeast Arc’s Day Habilitation programs Casey McCarthy oversees a range of clinical needs for the Patton Center and Endeavor programs. These programs assist participants with the acquisition, retention, and improvement of self-help, socialization, and adaptive skills.
In her role, McCarthy acts as a nurse for both programs and is responsible for overseeing clinical care plans for participants and ensuring they are executed properly. She also manages two other nurses who handle much of the day-to-day nursing tasks for participants. These nurses provide clinical care at Northeast Arc program sites, but also in the community whenever Day Habilitation participants take field trips or volunteer.
Participants in the two Day Habilitation program have diverse medical needs, and the team of support providers is an interdisciplinary one that includes physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech language pathologists, and Board Certified Behavior Analysts. That’s why a key part of McCarthy’s job is not just working with the individuals, but working their families and health care providers.
“I participate in ongoing collaboration with guardians or residential providers to create clinical plans of care for participants while they are at day program. I also maintain and have frequent communication with physicians/providers regarding the adjustment of participants’ orders as needed,” says McCarthy, who also provides clincal training to staff and acts a health care consultant for The Learning Center.
The varied nature of McCarthy’s role is fitting given her diverse background. She became a Registered Nurse after first getting her B.S. in Exercise Physiology at Salem State University. “While I was in that program, I realized I loved anatomy and physiology and I’ve always enjoyed both learning and helping people, so I thought nursing would be a great way to combine all of those things,” says McCarthy.
Supports through the Day Habilitation program are arranged based upon a individual’s personal goals and dreams. Individualized plans are developed to focus on the skills and activities that best suit each participant. For McCarthy, this is an important part of her work: advocating for program participants so they can achieve the highest level of health and quality of life. That can often mean working with non-clinical staff (in the Patton Center and Endeavor programs or in residential homes) to work through ongoing issues, and to advcocate for the needs of participants.
McCarthy says that seeing the difference she makes for each participant is the most rewarding part of her job.
“Having involvement in the lives of such incredible individuals who I likely would not otherwise have had many encounters with feels like a special privilege,” says McCarthy. “Helping them advocate for their human rights and needs is so important and it’s nice to have a job where I can serve those who are so genuinely deserving.”