Profile: Laura Cordeira
The power of human connection is a driving force for Laura Shulman Cordeira, MPH, Director of Community Health and Wellness at RVNAhealth. Cordeira, who made a career supporting people at challenging times in their lives through community health programming, is applying her expertise and compassion in a leadership role within the growing organization. RVNAhealth’s celebrated reputation was appealing to Cordeira who has held healthcare leadership roles in New York, Boston, Danbury and now Ridgefield in diverse fields such as HIV, international health, trauma, and end-of-life care.
As Director of Community Health and Wellness, Cordeira and her team facilitate community education, health promotion and disease prevention and aims to expand the agency’s existing programming to especially vulnerable neighbors, friends, and communities. She and her team work closely with colleagues, both inside the nonprofit and externally, to evaluate complex healthcare issues and identify innovative solutions.
“If 2020 has reminded us of anything, it is that there are huge healthcare inequalities in our society,” noted Cordeira, “It is a big reason I went into public health and I hope to provide resources, programming and support to people in our communities who need it most.”
Three focus areas fall under Cordeira’s leadership: Wellness, which includes immunizations, health and community education and child-focused healthcare; the Nurse-Family Partnership, a program funded by Connecticut’s Office of Early Childhood, that partners low-income, first-time mothers with a dedicated nurse until their child reaches age two; and the Chronic Care Health at Home program, which assists homebound individuals achieve optimal health. Prevention is significant focus for her team as they encourage individuals to take a proactive approach to health. “So often, we only seek out care when there is a problem and by then it can be too late,” Cordeira said. Providing patients with the tools they need to prevent illness or injury or teaching them to best manage existing conditions can have a positive impact at any age. “We try to keep people out of the hospital and well supported at home, if possible,” she said.
Cordeira’s interest in healthcare was modeled by her mother, a tenured home care physical therapist who immerses herself so intimately with her patient families that many write thank you notes and remain in touch. “It is her passion for her job that showed me the importance of human connection in the work we do,” she said. As a leader, Cordeira prides herself on transparency and inspiring others to achieve greatness in their own roles. “When I don’t know something, I say so,” she said “and I love it when my staff are my teachers. I lead by example and respect others’ professional and personal boundaries. With me, what you see is what you get.”
Cordeira is proud to be part of the leadership team at an organization that operates with authentic devotion to teamwork. “No task is too small for anyone I work with,” she said, “Our President and CEO is willing to call patients to reschedule appointments or give extra immunizations when we need an extra hand (as a Registered Nurse). That kind of humility sets the tone for the entire agency. I am really happy and grateful to be here.” Laura Shulman Cordeira can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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