Allison Richards is the Visiting Nurse Association of Greater St. Louis’ (VNA) Advanced Illness Management (AIM) Medical Assistant as of November 2021. Her commitment to VNA is reflected in her passion for advocating for palliative care patients through her position, comforting caregivers and connecting both to valuable resources.
Born and raised in St. Charles, Allison has a Bachelor’s in social work, an interest she developed after wanting to help people with mental illnesses and substance abuse disorders. She considered becoming a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, but instead her professional career took her down the path of working as a technician, patient navigator and office coordinator in a variety of health settings.
Wanting a change in career path, Allison discovered VNA through a job site. She liked that it offered not just administrative responsibilities but that she could use a bit of her social work background making sure patients and caregivers get the support they need when in palliative care.
Behind the Scenes
Allison sees her basic responsibility as keeping the program running from a logistical standpoint. She likes operating behind the scenes, organizing things and making sure that doctors and nurse practitioners’ schedules are coordinated and convenient. She also spends a lot of time on the phone with caregivers making sure they’re being served effectively and doing status calls, making sure no palliative care patients are falling through the cracks.
Making a Difference
At the end of the day, Allison wants to advocate for palliative care patients and bring them comfort in any way she can, even as she works “behind the curtain” more so than the palliative care providers out in the field.
“It’s so different from all my past jobs,” says Allison. “It’s a new learning experience every day for me, which is great because I really value that. I love it here!”
For more staff profiles, visit our blog.