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Two of Reema’s Community Guides, Tasha Orr-Holmes and Jennifer Lares, sat down with Jenn Dellwo, Director of Marketing, to discuss their experience at Reema.

A few weeks ago, we asked for the perspective of Reema’s co-founders on the formation and future of Reema. Now, we’re talking to our team on the ground—Reema’s Community Guides—to hear what they think, what this work means to them, and where we’re headed.

What drew you to Reema?

Tasha:
There were multiple things that drew me to Reema, but the one thing that really stuck out was the mission. Reema wants to help people navigate the gaps between health care and social care, which to me means that Reema is dedicated to helping members find easier ways to get resources and services to make their lives better. This felt like really meaningful work to be a part of.

Jennifer:
I have first hand experience living without healthcare and I know what it means to need a community to help. These things impacted how I view healthcare and working at Reema has given me the opportunity to be part of the change.

My ‘why’ for being at Reema is simple. i’m driven by a passion for helping people be able to live healthier and happier lives.”

— Tasha Orr-Holmes, Reema Lead Community Guide

What’s your “why” for being at Reema?

Tasha:
My “why” for being at Reema is simple. I’m driven by a passion for helping people be able to live healthier and happier lives. Reema’s mission and vision allows me to do just that while building relationships with members and the community.

Jennifer:
My “why” for being a part of Reema is the work that we do with members. My members have become the people I talk to on a weekly basis and together we have created a healthy and supportive relationship.

How do you view the Community Guide role?

Tasha:
I see Community Guides working in the “gap”. Our role is to help provide free resources, services, and our time to members who have chronic physical and mental health issues. We are able to support them as they navigate different social determinants of health.

Jennifer:
Ultimately, you feel useful. You realize that your actions and your tasks as a Community Guide have a real impact on other people and the environment.

The team I work with really cares for each member and the community they live in.”

— Jennifer Lares, Reema Community Guide

What do you think makes Reema different?

Tasha:
What makes Reema Health different is we deliver on our promises. We promise to address our members’ targeted needs so they stay healthy, stress free, and hopefully out of the hospital.

Jennifer:
The team I work with really cares for each member and the community they live in.

 

How do your experiences within the community help the work you do every day?

Tasha:
My love for the Milwaukee community and the different partnerships I have with several community organizations has allowed me to work closely with them to provide information, support, and resources for our Reema Members.

Jennifer:
The work we do every day is rewarding because you get to see firsthand how it impacts members.

 

What is the most important thing that Reema can do to make a difference for more people?

Tasha:
The most important thing Reema can do to make a difference for our Members is to care, provide resources and listen to their needs, so that we can continue to support them.

Jennifer:
Create a strong support system to increase community resilience.

 

How does Reema’s mission influence your approach to your day-to-day work?

Tasha:
I approach every day at Reema with the purpose of helping our members navigate through the system. That means being there to listen, building a strong relationship, and easing their burden so that they can live healthier lives.

Jennifer:
You learn a lot from the community around you and your sensitivity to social problems is sharpened.

 

What’s your favorite part about working at Reema?

Tasha:
The best part about working for Reema are my members. They have become like family to me and knowing that they can count on me and Reema to help them in time of need, warms my heart.

Jennifer:
The team I am a part of, the members I get to work with, and volunteering in the community.

 

Do you have any examples of the direct impact you’ve had on a members’ life? Or, how have you directly impacted a members’ health or social needs?

Tasha:
I have been with Reema since June 2021. It makes me feel good to know that the members I serve trust me to help them. I’ve helped many members who told me when we first met that they often went to the hospital, urgent care, or the emergency department. Because I was able to identify their social, economic, and health needs, I was able to help many of them stay healthy and not have to frequent those places.

Jennifer:
A lot of times members don’t have anyone checking in on them. I have a couple members who just want to talk to someone or go on a walk.

 

What’s most exciting to you about Reema’s future?

Tasha:
I am excited to see where Reema is going and how instrumental I will be in that journey.

Jennifer:
I continue to be excited about the work that we are doing, and I’m eager to see just how far our impact can go.

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