Colleen Swedberg, MSN, RN, CNL
Director for Care Coordination and Integration
Colleen Swedberg MSN, RN, CNL is certified with the American Association of Colleges of Nursing as a Clinical Nurse Leader. She obtained her nursing degree at the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada and worked first in surgical trauma in Calgary and then surgical oncology at Tulane Medical Center in New Orleans. As preparation for work abroad, Colleen also did home health care with Tulane’s hospital based home care agency, primarily in the 9th ward of New Orleans.
From 1989 to 1996 Colleen worked in Haiti both in Port-au-Prince and on the Central Plateau. In Port-au-Prince she worked with a community health program providing technical assistance to an immunization outreach project and was also a member of an evaluation team reviewing child survival activities funded by a U.S. government grant (micronutrients, diarrhea, health education, immunizations). In the Central Plateau she worked with the Save the Children team, developing the reproductive health subsector with local government and agency medical staff including curriculum development, all-sector (field) staff training related to family planning and information systems for tracking of clients. Colleen shared responsibility for supervision of health staff in four satellite rural clinics providing preventative and curative services to a population of 48,000 people.
After transitioning to Connecticut and an interim position with Save the Children in reproductive health, desiring to return to a local health care context Colleen began working with United VNA (now VNS of CT). This opportunity developed into team leadership of the maternal child health program providing home-based skilled care to antenatal, postpartum, premature and normal maternal/newborn duos. A particularly satisfying connection was the fostering of consulting services with a local pediatrician lactation expert. The goal of the program was to improve access of a medically underserved population to community health services.
Beginning in 2004, Colleen worked with the first Connecticut branch of a national home health care agency, Bayada Home Health Care, progressing to the clinical lead in 2007 of over 30 multidisciplinary field staff providing skilled services to acutely ill patients at home. Provision of skilled nursing care to patients at home focused on building capacity of patients to self-manage chronic diseases including diabetes and CHF. During this time she also obtained her Master of Science in Nursing and the Clinical Nurse Leader certification. The clinical improvement capstone project focused on securing safer medication self-management in the home.
These experiences, education and her recent role as SVHP’s first Care Coordinator has given Colleen many chances to reflect on the considerable challenges posed currently in the provision of best practice based care, particularly with respect to the need for a robust coordination of care model. As Director for Care Coordination and Integration she appreciates the capacity of SVHP as a clinically integrated network to be successful in simultaneously pursuing the three dimensions of the ‘Triple Aim’: to improve our patients’ experience of health care, to improve the health of the population with whom we have been entrusted and to reduce the per capita cost of that health care.