Key Projects

The White Buffalo Website Template:
In 2014 I decided to focus on making websites as well as apps. After a year of making websites, I developed a template as a starting point for my websites and put the template on GitHub as open source code. The template uses PHP, Javascript, HTML, and CSS and relies heavily on Twitter Bootstrap. It is responsive, which means that it works on desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones. Because of my ongoing committment to education, I heavily commented the code so that the template could be used for students with a minimal knowledge of HTML and CSS. Susan's Github Page.

Walking in Their Shoes Training Kit:
Medica had diversity and health literacy training programs for its internal employees, but did not have programs available for the network of contracted clinics and hospitals. In order to address that gap, I lead a team of Medica employees to create a training program health care providers could use for their own employees. We took Medica's existing training programs and retooled them into a training kit for health care providers. The kit is provided to trainers in hospitals and clinics, and in turn trainers use the materials for their own training programs. Medica has distributed hundreds of kits, and for two years Stratis Health distributed the kits to providers in their cultural competency program. All of the materials are now available on-line on the Medica website: Walking In Their Shoes

Strategic Planning: Voice of the Customer:
I conducted a Voice of the Customer strategic planning exercise for Medica's Medicaid program. I led a team through crafting a list of open ended questions to use in interviews. The team conducted interviews with chosen county, state, and provider employees with a variety of responsibilities. I then summarized the findings and wrote up an internal and external report. From the findings I led the team in developing and implementing a plan of action based on what we learned in the interviews.

Career Path Program for Employees:
My Medica department scored relatively low in the area of career paths for its employees on a standardized employee survey. In order to improve results on the employee satisfaction survey, I led a department initiative to identify and train staff on career paths. We conducted approximately a dozen interviews with leaders in other departments within Medica to learn more about how our employees could follow career paths into their work areas. From this information we developed career paths for each position in the department. We held separate trainings on career paths for each of the position types and improved our score on the next survey.

Strategic Planning: The Members We Serve:
I led a team in developing improved understanding of the members we serve in order to improve our programs and services. The team researched Medicaid enrollees extensively through interviews and population studies. This work had three primary outputs:

  1. A creative and educational presentation on Medicaid enrollees This presentation was given to a dozen work groups.
  2. The launching of our ongoing work on cultural competency, a committee that continued for several years.
  3. A process and data repository for maintaining member demographic data for strategic planning.

Personal Care Assistant (PCA) Cost-Containment Initiatives:
From 2005 to 2010 I led initiatives at Medica and the Minnesota Council of Health Plans to address the sharp rise in PCA costs and fraud in the program. In 2008 I led the PCA Program Integrity Subcommittee at the Minnesota Department of Human Services. In 2009 the Minnesota Office of the Legislative Auditor chose PCA for a program report, and documents from my committees were quoted in the report. Here is the report: Auditor's Report