Consumer Affairs Substance Abuse (SA) Specialist
Cardinal Innovations Healthcare Solutions - Charlotte, NC

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This position is primarily professional advocacy work for consumers of Substance Abuse and family members in and around the Mecklenburg County. Such work will primarily serve to provide direct empowerment and support of consumers and their families who require the services and supports of the public system for Substance Abuse. This position will represent in meetings and public outreach the perspective of family members of individuals who utilize Substance Abuse, substance use/addictive disorders, intellectual and developmental disabilities, autism spectrum disorders and dual diagnosis services.

The Consumer Affairs (CA) Specialist is responsible for (though not limited to):

Acting as an Ombudsman for Consumers and Family Members –

Incumbent receives and logs initial concerns or complaint calls from consumers, family members and Stakeholders. Timely follow-up for all appropriate complaints are vital to ensuring resolutions within 30 days as per Cardinal Innovations procedure.

Advocacy –

Participation in meetings to bring the needs of consumers to CA Department/MCO and community stakeholders regarding problems with access to appropriate care. Incumbent will focus on advocating within the Community Operations Center (COC) catchment area through local organizations.

Evidence Based Practices –

Provide leadership and consultation in the area of Evidence Based practices in MH; SA; I/DD including Person Centered Planning. Provide information to MCO committees and teams on Best Practices, Evidence Based Practice, laws, regulations and policies, and special legislation that impacts family members in order to provide current information and consultation.

Family Assistance –

Incumbent will serve as a resource for educational opportunities, empowerment and satisfaction and quality of life issues for family members and guardians through general community contacts and response to family inquiries for assistance; and provide consultation and guidance to family members in the interpretation of policy, regulations, services, rights, responsibilities, and other general information.

Information Development and Dissemination –

Incumbent will assist in the development of MCO educational materials and will participate in staff support for the Client Rights Committee (CRC), Consumer & Family Advocacy Committee (CFAC) and any other committee deemed necessary. Incumbent will participate in and plan consumer related training for Cardinal Innovations and provider staff. This training is instrumental in ensuring that consumer services are being provided adequately and appropriately by knowledgeable staff. Incumbent will serve as a Cardinal Innovations representative at related community events and function in numerous capacities as an advocate and assistant for consumers and their families.

Consumer Affairs Liaison –

Incumbent will serve as a liaison on several cross functional teams within COC. Incumbent’s role on these teams is to advise management of the effects policies and procedures have on consumers and family members, recommend changes and improvements, and stay abreast on all Cardinal Innovations activities and developments.

Special Projects –

Incumbent will assist the Director/Manager with coordination of various special projects and committees throughout the year. These projects, such as Peer Support Specialist Trainings, Recovery Initiative projects, Client Rights Committee projects, Consumer/Family Meetings, allow the Incumbent the opportunity to represent the Office of Consumer Affairs in a public capacity.

Desired Skills & Abilities

A high level of diplomacy and discretion is required to effectively negotiate and resolve issues with minimal assistance from the Director of Consumer Affairs and CA Manager. This will require exceptional interpersonal skills, highly effective communication ability, and the propensity to make prompt independent decisions based upon relevant facts. Problem solving and conflict resolution skills are essential.

As Consumer Affairs Specialist, the Incumbent must exhibit an extensive understanding of agency business and have considerable knowledge of community resources and services available to Cardinal Innovations consumers. The ability to establish and maintain favorable working relationships with consumers, families, stakeholders and Cardinal Innovations Incumbent s is necessary. The ability to express oneself clearly and effectively in oral and written form as well as knowledge of cultural awareness and differences, and the ability to work with/or serve a diverse population is also needed.

A Bachelor’s degree in Public or Human Service field (such as Psychology, Social Work, etc.) is required. Incumbent must also have at least four years of progressive experience in one or more of the following fields: public health, public assistance, or government services for those with DD, MH or SA needs.

Experience may be substituted for education on a case by case basis and only during exceptional circumstances.

The Incumbent must be an openly declared and primary consumer (past or present) of Substance Abuse services.

Experience in any of the following areas would be valuable for this Incumbent: Public speaking, presentation development, group facilitation, regulations compliance and project management.

Working Conditions

This is a community-based position. A flexible schedule is needed to meet the requirements of the position.

Cardinal Innovations reserve the right to call upon this incumbent during non-business hours as needed to meet the needs

of the position.

Company Description

Cardinal Innovations is North Carolina’s largest Managed Care Organization providing Medicaid managed care and state-funded behavioral health plans. Our mission is to enhance the health and well-being of individuals and their families by creating and managing quality healthcare solutions for those who depend on the public system for care. Our plans reflect the uniqueness of our local communities and are capable of making continual adjustments and improvements to meet the changing needs and priorities of our clients. Cardinal Innovations values the contribution of all stakeholders, and our businesses are based on the principles of respect, collaboration, and mutual accountability.

Cardinal Innovations is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Visit our website at to view all vacant positions and apply on line.

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