Stacey Rokoff joined Koinonia as the Vice President of Programs in July 2021. In her role, Stacey works closely with the Chief Clinical and Program Officer to design and develop the growth of expansive programs that model best practice in holistic, integrated, trauma-informed care for populations with coexisting conditions. She also serves as a steadfast advocate for the people Koinonia serves, ensuring that they are receiving the best possible, whole-person care.
How did you first hear about Koinonia?
I had heard about Koinonia through my professional network. The organization has a great reputation as a leading provider of services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), and the work they do really interested me. I heard about the opportunity to join as a Vice President of Programs, did my own homework and exploration into Koinonia’s mission and recent rebranding, and was really intrigued by the whole-person care approach and other innovative healthcare service offerings.
Was there anything about Koinonia that you were particularly drawn to?
From my first meeting with Jeanne Greene, I was fired-up by the overwhelming sense of passion, teamwork, and collaboration within the organization to serve as advocates for people with IDD. Throughout my career I have focused on working with and serving the most vulnerable populations. Being able to adapt that drive to my new role at Koinonia intrigued me. Koinonia’s focus on treating the whole person resonated with me and drew me in as an organization where I wanted to work.
Are there any particular experiences or skills from your previous work that you’ve drawn upon in your role?
I’ve done a lot of work advocating for people with cognitive impairments and health concerns to ensure key providers are arranging the best, the most respectful, and the most adequate services. There are times when we have to be the voice for the people we serve and collaborate with other providers to make sure that the individuals are receiving the best possible care. We have to hold the healthcare system and providers accountable for the care they are administering. I’m proud to be that voice.
I’ve had personal experience advocating for family members with cognitive impairment and extensive health issues. I always said if we were going to experience these issues and we were going to walk this this difficult road, then I wanted to be sure it helped others. I think it’s made me more authentic in the work that I do because I understand both the family members’ and caregivers’ perspectives, and understand how far we have to push in healthcare to get the desired outcomes. Individuals deserve to be respected and communicated with as part of the healthcare team. We’re not just treating them, we’re working together, and that’s a key piece in healthcare that often gets missed and/or overlooked.
Your role as Vice President of Programs is new to Koinonia. What has it been like to develop this role?
It’s been fun. I’m proud to work alongside Jeanne Greene and the entire Program Team. I’m in awe of the expertise, passion, and strength of this team. In my new role, we’ve looked at different ways to streamline our services and adapt new innovative strategies to create a more holistic approach.
For example, Worklife Balance is something that we need to acknowledge and highlight because it is an innovative, new strategy and approach to our work. Koinonia is bringing this proven model to Ohio as a leader in the field. We are responding to the workforce crisis with an effective business model that demonstrates the value and appreciation we have for our Frontline Staff. Our Frontline Staff are providing the individuals we serve with vital day-to-day care. Our way of showing appreciation for them is to make sure that they’re taking better care of themselves and ensuring a healthy work-life balance. Our ICF team adapted to the new model first and we’re seeing the success. We have managers who are now saying that they see the success we’re having, and they’re able to spend more time with their families and focus on the training and other aspects of their jobs.
Additionally, I’m happy to be working with our VP of Business Development, Ryan Wood to be able to continue moving Worklife Balance across the organization. Our Waiver services will be utilizing Worklife Balance in their staffing early next year, so then all of our service lines will be utilizing this approach to our work.
In addition to the Worklife Balance Project, are there any other initiatives that you’re particularly excited about?
I’m excited to about our Behavioral Health initiative and to be working alongside Ryan Wood to develop these services. We want to be able to provide in-house resources for therapy, intervention, and training for our individuals and staff. Behavioral health supports are a critical need right now, not just for the people we serve, but for our community as we continue to go endure and recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our ability to be able to have an internal team to respond to our individuals and guide our staff helps us to have that whole-person perspective in providing the best care possible.
Another attribute of Koinonia that I appreciate is our support to family members and guardians. I would like to expand upon our caregiver supports, respite, and resources. I’d like our families and guardians to know they can rely on Koinonia to provide the best service and direct them to the best care for their families. Truly a leader in the field of IDD services.