Meet our new Director of Practice Operations

07.03.24

Q&A with Cecelia Lane


Meet our new Director of Practice Operations Cecelia Lane! A DMV native with 18 years of experience in health care operations, Cecelia is coming to us after several years in leadership positions on the West coast, as well as her work as a community health consultant. In her new position, Cecelia will oversee registration, benefits enrollment and referrals, improving access to care throughout the agency. Learn more about her plans (and her two Yorkshire terriers!) below. 


You have a long history in health care operations, including more than 10 years at Federally qualified health centers. what first drew you to the field?

I actually started working in health care right out of high school and immediately fell in love with the purpose it provided me. It’s the only job I’ve ever had that never felt like work. I think that’s because I’m someone who’s drawn to being in and of service, and health care is one of the most tangible ways to do so. 

Why Health Care for the Homeless in particular?

The extensive support services that the Agency provides were most prominent in my desire to join the organization. Working in community health has taught how important a wholistic and person-centric approach is to people’s health and well being. Health Care for the Homeless is a shining example of an organization focused on the entire person to improve their overall health outcomes. 

As Director of Practice Operations, you will oversee registration, benefits enrollment and referrals. What are some of the priorities or goals you have coming into the year for these key elements of client experience?

I’ve always believed that support services are as critical to our clients as is the direct clinical care they receive. The services we provide connect clients to the entire system; we are often the first and last point of contact, so we have the power to make a real difference in a client’s life. I want to highlight that importance and empower our staff with that value we bring to client care. I also want to bring to the forefront the integral role that support services plays in RCM and the overall quality of delivered care.

What are one or two ways you anticipate improving access to care through an anti-racist approach?

Empathy is one of the most powerful tools to eradicate racial biases. An approach I’ve coined and love is the Triple As: Acknowledge, Apologize and Act. First acknowledge someone’s current frustrations ("this sounds like it’s been very frustrating"), apologize for their current situation ("I’m sorry you’re going through this"), and take action ("let’s see how we can help you"). This process puts the individual into the client’s shoes and instantly creates empathy for whatever they’re currently facing, diffusing tension and reducing or eliminating inherent biases. 

Throughout your career you’ve worked in a number of places around the US, from the DMV to New Orleans and California. How would you describe your connection to Maryland or Baltimore?

Growing up in the DMV as a bi-racial woman has exposed me to the socioeconomic and cultural diversity that is the DMV. Working in community health has further expanded my experiences. I work with populations that many others would prefer go unseen. I can relate to that “invisibility” from my own personal experiences. It’s something that has always drawn me to the marginalized communities that we serve.

Everyone is important and has a right to exceptional holistic care. Baltimore, like so many other areas I’ve lived and worked in the DMV is a strong reflection of the inequality still so prevalent in our society, especially our health care systems. I see it as a personal responsibility to help break down those systems that separate and keep us hidden and lacking.

What should staff (and others) know about your approach to the position?

I’m 100% homegrown which has resulted in collaboration and teamwork sitting at the forefront over all else. I constantly seek input and feedback from the experts who actually do the work so we can continuously work towards being better and doing better.

What helps you find balance or joy outside of work?

My family and friends are very dear to me. I spend every Sunday cooking and eating with them and they keep me grateful and grounded. I also have two Yorkshire Terrier brothers who have stolen my heart and refuse to give it back. I love long walks and meditating with them. They’re great meditation partners!


Give Cecelia a warm welcome to the agency when you see her! 

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