"My heart has always been dedicated to serving others. I just have that innate desire to help."
When asked what she enjoys the most about her job, Rachel Lopez, Broadspire National Product Manager, Care Management responds with much ease. “I’ve always had the passion to be a helper, especially to those who don’t know how to advocate for themselves or feel like they don’t have a voice,” she says.
In her 20 years with Broadspire, Rachel has played an integral role in the lives of many injured workers. From coordinating the proper treatment to providing emotional support, she continuously goes the extra mile to help them on their road to recovery.
But for Rachel, serving others does not stop there. In her hometown of Mesquite, Texas, Rachel uses her skills from care management to make a difference through social work.
On March 31, 2021, Rachel was recognized for having served her local community in numerous capacities. In an intimate ceremony, Mesquite City Mayor Bruce Archer declared the date “Rachel Lopez Day” as she received the proclamation.
Becoming a voice for others and a champion of change
In 2005, Rachel founded the Hispanic Forum of Mesquite (HFM), an organization that seeks to provide communication opportunities for issues affecting the Hispanic community in their city. She says it began out of the necessity to provide a platform for the Hispanic community to be heard in their town. Eventually, its purpose evolved and began to focus on education and community involvement. Through the organization, she has helped provide over $56,000 worth of scholarships to support Hispanic youth to pursue higher education and has provided a means for educational growth among its members.
“Ever since I was young, I’ve always had an aspiration to do things on a bigger level,” she states. “Whether it’s at work, within the community, or at the state level, I knew I wanted to do something more for others.”
Throughout the past couple of years, Rachel has also given her time to work with many other organizations and agencies, including serving as a member of the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board and Tree Board and the City of Mesquite Firefighters’ and Police Officers’ Personnel/Trial Board and Civil Service Commission. She has also worked with several municipal departments and key officials on various initiatives.
“It’s important to get involved and to give back,” she emphasizes. “Get to know the people in the city, understand the why’s, be a part of the process, and be a champion of change.”
Finding the parallel in career and community
While the roles she plays vary in scope, Rachel says there are many parallels.
“As care managers, we’re always advocating for others. That’s our job – to make sure our clients are well taken care of – and we do that by understanding the unique factors in each case.”
Looking back over her 25+ years in the industry, she recounts one of the most memorable cases she’s handled. A large 6-foot man with a passion for truck driving was in a motor vehicle accident. As the accident resulted in him becoming paraplegic, Rachel coordinated to get him into a new, fully modified home, connected him with a nutritionist to help him understand the diet appropriate for his diabetes, and coordinated in-home care.
“But what I am most proud of,” Rachel looks back, “was when I discovered a specialized type of wheelchair for persons with disability who like to go out. This man loved going fishing and being on the road, so his condition left him really depressed. But the moment he received the chair, his whole demeanor changed – it was like he became free.”
Similarly, in her local community, Rachel often represents and advocates for others. Here, she applies her skills of being a good listener and thinking out of the box – skills that she has learned in care management – to help bring her community forward.
“I’m frequently asked to speak on behalf of a group,” she shares. “So when I do, I have to know how things work, be cognizant of the policies, and so on. In the same way that I connect with physicians, therapists, and many other people for care management cases, I have the responsibility to connect people with local state officials and other contacts to help bring resolution to their situations.”
But, it isn’t always easy. Case managers and those involved in social work both encounter all kinds of cases and people with different attitudes. And when things get difficult, Rachel comes back to the reason why she does what she does.
“The things I do at work and in my community don’t come without their challenges,” she admits. “But I’ve never shied away from a challenge. Sometimes, these people just feel like they’re navigating through everything by themselves, so I hope to be that person who can help bring support and relief.”
A continuing mission to serve
With this new accolade to add to her list of achievements, Rachel says there is still no stopping for her. She knows that because new cases will come in and the community won’t stop coming to her, her mission continues.
“I feel very blessed to be doing what I’m doing and that I love what I do for a living. It’s something very personal to me. This proclamation is humbling and I appreciate that the community did this for me. But at the end of the day, I do things not for recognition. I do it because I truly want to help others.”
To read the full proclamation and watch the video of the ceremony for Rachel, click here