Abigail Strukel

Faces of Careforth: Abigail Strukel

In our Faces of Careforth series, we’re taking a closer look at the lives and careers of our amazing Careforth associates. Join us as we share their unique journeys, gain insights into their day-to-day roles, and uncover the passion that drives them in their work. Let’s get inspired by their stories and learn more about the heart and soul of Careforth. 

This month, we spoke with Abigail Strukel, a Clinical Content Specialist. Abigail shares her journey from starting as a Care Manager to her current role, where she plays a crucial part in enhancing our Careforth Learn platform, a source of information and support for caregivers. She provides valuable insights into her work, her inspiration, and how she supports caregivers and care teams. Here are her thoughts and experiences: 

What is your role and how long have you worked at Careforth? 

I started as a Care Manager in Indiana in November 2020. I then moved to my current position as Clinical Content Specialist with Clinical Programs and Services in August 2022. In this role, I manage the content experience in Careforth Learn including incoming requests and feedback on assets in the site. Most recently I supported the upgrade and re-platforming of Vela Learn to Careforth Learn in partnership with many teams including Digital & Technology, Health Plan Partners, Marketing, and Data & Analytics. 

What inspired you to join our care team? 

I was inspired by the company’s mission to support and celebrate caregivers. Everyone knows someone who is a caregiver, and their selfless work deserves recognition and support. Additionally, I was impressed by the company’s app. It offers a centralized, HIPAA-secure platform for communicating with caregivers. Having an app made it easier to communicate with caregivers in one place vs. managing multiple channels like emails, texts, and voicemails. This approach was a significant improvement compared to other companies I’ve worked for in the past. 

How do you support families and caregivers in your role, and why is it important? 

Over the past year I have really dove into our content library. I have tried putting myself in the shoes of our end users, caregivers and care teams. This includes receiving feedback directly from care teams and caregivers via feedback groups, the feedback form on Careforth Learn assets, and my team’s Clinical Systems Enhancement Request form. I use this feedback to make decisions on how to improve the experience of the Careforth Learn library of assets. There is a lot of important information to share with caregivers and making it easy to find, share, and access has been important.  

What do you enjoy most about your role? 

Feedback! I love receiving feedback about Careforth Learn content, whether positive or negative. It helps me assist our caregivers and teams better. Direct feedback from end users is invaluable as it continuously helps me understand where there are gaps and how content is used.  

How do you contribute to our company’s mission and values? 

I want our caregivers to have access to the education and support they need to be successful. I strive to ensure our content is not only relevant and timely but also reliable, which helps in cultivating trust with our caregivers. Content should go beyond by speaking directly to our caregivers and their experience. We do this by leading with heart and taking steps to understand the caregiver experience and what they need to feel empowered.  

What’s something interesting about your job that people might not know?  

Our Careforth-created assets in Careforth Learn are pretty unique. There aren’t many options for libraries of information directed at caregivers. Content often skips the caregiver and speaks directly to the consumer or is focused on conditions and treatment. This is very different from Careforth’s content that aims to support caregivers by speaking directly to their experience as they care for someone else. We have so much knowledge and experience across teams that influences our content and how we support our caregivers!  

How do you maintain a positive work-life balance in this field? 

I try to bring a little bit of fun to our teams, meetings, and trainings when I can. I think fun and humor has its place at work to help support engagement and relationships. I fully believe we can get important work done and have fun while doing it! 

What advice would you give to someone considering a career in healthcare? 

Healthcare is incredibly rewarding, but practicing good self-care is essential. Healthcare is a field where you can give a lot of yourself to the people you serve. There can be many emotional ups and downs. We often remind caregivers of the importance of self-care, but we must also follow that advice ourselves. Taking care of yourself and setting boundaries is important and helps to avoid burnout. 

What is one fun fact about you that your colleagues may not know about? 

While some of you might already know this, I have a passion for knitting! It’s something I thoroughly enjoy doing for myself. I love the knitting community and have created several sweaters, socks, shawls, and even tried knitting a pair of shorts! For the past few years, I’ve traveled to the Rhinebeck Sheep and Wool Festival in New York, which is always a highlight for me. I’ve also established knitting and crafting groups in my community and have used knitting to help build ADL (Activities of Daily Living) skills when working in mental health centers. Knitting is truly a passion of mine and brings me a lot of joy. 

What is your favorite quote? 

“Trust is earned in the smallest of moments. It is earned not through heroic deeds, or even highly visible actions, but through paying attention, listening, and gestures of genuine care and connection.” – Brene Brown 

Thank you for joining us for this month’s Faces of Careforth Spotlight. Careforth is a pioneer in the caregiving space, supporting family caregivers across the United States. If you’re inspired by Abigail’s story and want to be part of a team that leads with heart, cultivates trust, and goes beyond, visit Careforth.com/careers to learn more and explore our opportunities. 

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