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New Clinical Care Manager in Arizona

ImageShannon joined the AdvisaCare team January 1st of this year and is responsible for overseeing patient care at our Phoenix, Arizona branch. She brings with her 7.5 years of rehabilitation experience from her work at Craig Hospital in Englewood, Colorado and is currently enlisted in the Army Reserves.  She has a strong background in spinal cord injury rehabilitation and disability care.  It is our privilege to introduce Shannon King, AdvisaCare newest Clinical Manager.

Tell us a little about you…

I started at Craig when I was only 18 years old. I worked there as a CNA for 2 years on the less acute Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) floor (3 East) while I completed my RN. Once I completed my RN, I transferred over to the acute SCI floor (3 West) and worked there for 5 ½ years. I was also a night shift charge nurse and the hospital IV expert which meant that if there was ever a code no matter where I was, I got paged overhead.

What an amazing experience! I learned so much from simply talking to my patients while listening to and asking questions of the other nurses, CNAs and respiratory therapist all over the hospital.

Philosophy on rehabilitationShannon and patient

I always joke that psych nurses ask you how you feel and a rehab nurses tell you, “you can do this yourself”. The best rehab nurses are the combination of the two. You have got to know when to push and when to pull. This means being able to read your client’s needs and encourage them from where they now are in order to get them to where they want to be.

I truly believe that I was born to be a rehab nurse. This means advocating for my patients but most importantly teaching them to advocate for themselves. Knowledge is power and the more a patient knows about their disability and their own bodies the better they can direct their care. And of course that is the ultimate goal, complete independence. I think sometimes people think that independence means being able to do everything yourself, but, post SCI independence is being able to be responsible for all aspects of you life, even if you have to direct/delegate a task.

So from the bottom of my heart, with all the support and encouragement I can muster, you CAN do this yourself!

What does Craig hospital mean to you

Craig was my home and my family for so long. I will always remember it like the house I grew up in, with the same fondness and pleasant memories. The things that I learned there shaped my vision for my own future and taught me, as Craig says, “The Strength of Family”.  It is this knowledge and spirit that I bring with me as I transition to AdvisaCare.


I am a wife and mother as well as a nurse. My son is the most adorable, most intelligent, 7 month old I have ever met. (Could I be biased by the fact that I am his mother?)

ArmyMy husband is the most supportive, kindest man I have ever met. It is with his support that I completed my Bachelors in Nursing, my Masters in Nursing, obtained my certification as a rehabilitation nurse and now he is supporting me as I apply for Doctoral programs. Did I mention that he also supports me as I serve as a nurse in the Army Reserves…Huah!

What an amazing man that will support me in everything that I do and what an amazing man who will stay home with our son and take care of everything at home. I am so blessed!

Your goals for AdvisaCare

My goal is to optimize quality of life for all of our clients. This includes providing superior care, educating the public and other health care professionals as well as partnering with advocacy groups to make sure that each client’s holistic needs are met to the best of our abilities. I would love to be able to use my passion and knowledge to serve people with disabilities. AdvisaCare and its CEO, Kris Skogen, have an amazing vision that I share!

What does a Clinical Care Manager do?

I ensure that AdvisaCare, Arizona provides excellent care. I provide oversight and supervision to all services we provide throughout the State of Arizona. I personally meet with clients and families to discuss the whole picture (health, support, employment, education, home disposition, supply, Doctors and Specialists). I truly enjoy getting to meet patients in their home because that is the best way to learn their story and assess their personal needs from self care to transfers, showers, home modifications, and case management.  I learn about different organizations available in the community like the Arizona Spinal Cord Injury Association and Raising Special Kids and recommend these resources to ensure a sense of community and support. At AdvisaCare, our mission is to help our clients maintain optimum health and independence.

Mental health and speech services now available in Saginaw

A representative of the Saginaw branch of AdvisaCare just announced the addition of speech and behavioral health therapy to their local home health care services.  Among the ten employees hired recently, including branch director, Peggy Fritz RN, a speech pathologist and a nurse certified in behavioral health will soon be working with patients requiring behavioral health/speech services.  “These are exciting additions because we will be able to help homebound patients who could really benefit from these services.” says Fritz.

In their research of the needs of the Tri-City area, Peggy and the outreach team discovered a gap in behavioral health services.  “There are not many nurses (certified in behavioral health) working in home health, or many home health agencies in this area that provide these services.”   Quickly the team stepped in to help and made sure that the services would be available to all private pay and homebound Medicare patients.   Behavioral health and speech therapy as well as select home health services are also covered by most health insurances.

What does this mean for the Tri-City area? Families with loved ones needing behavioral health and speech services will now have more options available to them. They will not have to worry about the safety and security of their homebound loved one because they can now receive care in the privacy of their own home, under the care of an MD or Psychiatrist.

Why is speech and cognitive therapy important?

Peggy- “Speech therapy is a part of recovery programs for many illnesses and may be used to help manage conditions that affect speech, language, eating or swallowing. For many adults, a medical issue such as stroke or the onset of conditions like Parkinson’s Disease or Multiple Sclerosis can affect motor skills necessary for communication. Brain injury and accidents that cause damage to the throat, jaw, or facial structure can also impair speaking ability. People may require adult speech therapy due to mental difficulties which affect comprehension of language or the ability to speak intelligibly. Communication is essential to independence and such therapy helps people gain greater control over speaking and language skills.”

Why is psych therapy important?  

Peggy- “If we approach the care of a patient with a mental illness from a holistic perspective, within his/her chosen environment, we will be successful in preventing frequent hospitalizations, thereby, making psychiatric home health care the most cost-effective treatment available for this patient population. Research has shown that each time a psychiatric patient is hospitalized, the overall impact on the lifetime management of his/her disease is compounded in a negative way, affecting the ability to obtain and maintain a stable, independent and desirable quality of life.”

To learn more about home health care services in you area, visit our website or call our office!  Care assessments area available at no cost.  For more information on brain injury, please subscribe to our blog, For Caregivers.