As chemical health care coordinator at Community-University Health Care Center (CUHCC) in Minneapolis, Ana Enriquez is always connecting and communicating. She meets with patients, their families, doctors, nurses, and other therapists continuously to ensure treatment is effective and appropriate.
Along the way, she establishes a type of partnership with her patients. “What I enjoy most about my job is the direct patient care that I'm able to provide,” she says. “I work on a one-on-one basis with the patients and have the ability to build trusting relationships with them. I see their ups and downs as they work on their recovery, and they know this is a safe place to come and talk to someone when they are struggling.”
“I wanted to help.”
With an undergraduate degree in Spanish, Enriquez began her career in health care as an interpreter for a home health agency. She then worked at the front desk of a bilingual clinic before becoming a patient service representative at CUHCC.
“At CUHCC, I really became more aware of the mental health and chemical dependency needs in the community—something that I didn't have a lot of experience with. I began to form relationships with the patients who frequented the clinic… but I realized that I wanted to learn more. I wanted to help.”
Enriquez came to the College through the addiction counseling certificate program, which later became the Master of Professional Studies in Addictions Counseling (ADDC), which she applied for “to have the added benefit of obtaining a higher degree.” With the ADDC degree, she will be prepared for Minnesota Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (MNLADC) licensure.
A Many-layered Approach
At CUHCC, she works with patients in the suboxone program (suboxone is a drug used to treat narcotic addiction). “I work very closely with an integrated team of coworkers (MDs, RNs, psychiatrists/therapists), and the patients know that they have a team on their side as they work on their recovery.”
“(Patients) have the opportunity to receive whole-person care without having to deal with barriers.”
She is completing her internship there by adjusting her responsibilities and engaging in more direct patient care and individual counseling. Enriquez hopes to expand the chemical health services offered to patients at CUHCC in the suboxone program, which began in 2016.
“I want to continue working in a primary care setting because of the team-based approach that our patients receive,” she says. “The patients in the suboxone program have the ability to address their chemical health, medical, mental health, and dental services all in one location. They have the opportunity to receive whole-person care without having to deal with barriers.”
“I believe it gives people peace of mind knowing that all of their providers are in communication and all their needs can be addressed.”
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Assessment and Treatment Planning