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Behind the Scenes – Get to Know the CMN Coordinators

Over the past year, the CMN has grown to include more than 250 members from different professions and backgrounds with a passion for chronic pain and/or substance use. Behind every Virtual Collaboration Forum, educational event, member welcome email, and more are CMN Coordinators Kerri McNabb (pictured left) and Agatha Grochowski (pictured right). When you reach out to mentorship@acfp.ca, they are most likely your first point of contact.

Starting with the ACFP in September 2019, Kerri’s background is in non-profit disability services. Her main CMN focus is with member engagement and CME/CPD development. Kerri is passionate about connecting with members to better understand the reality of their practice and engaging with speakers to create relevant, practice-changing educational sessions. She believes in the power of community, relationships and the impact of the “mighty small”.

Agatha joined the ACFP to work on the CMN in August 2020. Her background is in marketing and non-profit organizations. She is passionate about continuously improving and growing the CMN so that members can learn as much as possible and grow their confidence in treating individuals with chronic pain and/or substance use disorder. Agatha focuses primarily on communications, graphic design, member engagement, and event/technical support.

The CMN Coordinators have answered the following questions to help you get to know them better.

Why are you so passionate about this community?

KM: Human services and impact work is in my blood – I’m always rooting for the underdog! But since I’m much too squeamish to be a medical professional myself (yes, there are stories here), I feel lucky to support those with stronger stomachs!

AG: For as long as I remember I have looked for work that makes me feel like I’m making a difference. This community is full of amazing professionals who care so deeply about their patients/clients and want to go above and beyond to not just improve themselves, but the system as a whole for patients/clients to come. It’s truly inspiring to support and grow this community.

What’s one skillset from your past work, that helps you the most with the CMN?

KM: From my previous work in disability services, I learned the value of “nothing for them, without them”. Nothing meaningful can be done or created without the inclusion of those you are trying to serve. I think this is essential in putting together effective CME and programming to support primary care teams. I feel privileged to work with our committees and hear their first-hand accounts of what is valuable to them.

AG: When I worked for the Utilities Consumer Advocate, one portion of my work was creating comics and other dynamic graphics to help explain complicated utility concepts to the public in a way that was interesting and easy to understand. I really enjoy applying these skills to creating visual resources to highlight the most important takeaways from sessions for our busy CMN members to refer to.   

What’s something you’re good at now that you didn’t feel as confident in before?

KM: Medical jargon – I have reduced my daily Google searches to only about 15 times per day.

AG: Video editing. Before working for the CMN, I had ZERO experience in creating videos. Now I’m happy to have created a number of videos for the CMN and ACFP. Also, medical jargon and abbreviations – now I even use it at home and confuse my spouse.

When you’re experiencing these problems, I’m the person you should reach out to.

KM: I’m “all ears” all the time – if you have thoughts on CMN services, events, mentorship, general member experiences, etc., I want to hear about it! Our best ideas always come from members. Big or small, your feedback shapes the CMN!

AG: I’m always happy to hear from you! But specifically, if you have noticed any technical issues on the CMN website or the CMN Community, reach out to me and I can fix it (most of the time). I’m also happy to receive suggestions or feedback on any communications released by the CMN – the CMN newsletter (The Catch Up) is my baby, and I’d love to hear from you to make sure it meets your needs.  

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter who you reach out to, the whole CMN team is here to help you feel confident and comfortable as you seek out more ways to improve your practice.

Learn more about the CMN on the website: www.cmnalberta.com.

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