How Edie Moran found ‘Home’ at Prospero Health
When the COVID-19 pandemic began sweeping through the United States late last winter, Edie Moran was settling into her new job as a medical social worker with Prospero Health in Chicago. Like many of us, Edie remembers those early days of the pandemic as a time of great anxiety and fear. But amidst all of the uncertainty, she had no doubt she and her team would rise to the challenges ahead: “After two months of being with Prospero, I knew that I didn’t have to worry because we were going to take care of our patients, no matter what we had to do.”
Before joining Prospero, Edie worked in the hospice field, which she found to be as rewarding as it was challenging. Each day brought her face to face with mortality, something most people prefer not to think about. But Edie is not like most people. While she was certainly nervous during her first days as a hospice social worker, she soon realized she had been given a life-changing opportunity.
“The world of hospice and palliative care is unlike any other. You deal with people when they are at their absolute worst, dealing with sometimes the most difficult thing they’re ever going to deal with—the loss of a loved one or the loss of their own life. And walking with people as they complete their journey of life is an absolute privilege and pleasure.”
After Edie had been working in hospice for several years, a recruiter reached out to see if she was interested in interviewing for a role with Prospero, which was about to launch in the Chicago area. During the interview, Edie learned that Prospero’s values and care model were perfectly aligned with how she wanted to engage with patients and families. Hospice care is reserved for terminally ill people with less than six months to live. In contrast, Prospero provides home-based support to people with complex health needs so they can focus on other things that give life meaning, like their relationships and passions.
“Working in hospice, I knew that those supportive services before [the final six months] just weren’t there,” Edie explained. “So, when I heard from [Emily Preston, Illinois Clinical Director] that I would get the opportunity to do that exact work, I said, ‘You don’t know how many times I’ve dreamed of these sorts of services for my patients.’”
Edie’s experience with Prospero has exceeded even her most optimistic expectations. She had been on the job for just two months when the pandemic struck. As the crisis worsened, Edie and her team members adapted to the new reality by shifting to telephone and video visits. At no point did they waver from the company’s mission—serving patients and their families with empathy and integrity.
“It was a masterpiece of corporate agility because [the leadership team] really took to heart this idea that the reason we all show up for work every day is to take care of people, to be a part of their lives. And no challenge is too big, no disaster too overwhelming, when you’re looking at the lives of your patients.”
Part of Edie’s role as a social worker involves seeing the person behind the illness and addressing other issues that cause worry and stress. Asked to describe a particularly memorable patient interaction, she instantly lights up. (“I am thinking about one of my patients who is just a joy—she’s a peach and a half.”) When Edie first met “Laura,” she had tens of thousands of dollars in medical debt. Laura could only afford to pay a small amount each month and feared the debt would just keep growing. So, the two of them sat down at Laura’s kitchen table and sifted through the stack of bills together. They discovered that the health insurance claims had been filed incorrectly. Laura wound up paying just a few hundred dollars out of the more than $20,000 she thought she owed.
Along with her devotion to her patients, Edie has committed herself to fighting for social justice through her participation in the Prosperity Coalition, an internal advisory board Prospero formed in the wake of the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and many other people of color. The protest movement that bloomed last summer acknowledges all the forms of oppression that plague the United States, including racism, sexism, xenophobia, and discrimination against people who identify as LGBTQIA+. As an openly transgender woman, Edie views the Prosperity Coalition as further evidence that she has found a true home at Prospero.
“I always had to approach jobs with an air of caution because I’ve been pushed out of jobs more than once, and I know it’s because I’m trans and I know it’s because I make people uncomfortable. I have been passed over for promotions. I’ve not gotten the raises. I’ve had to work twice as hard to get half as far. And finally I found a place where not only are they excited about me as a whole person, but they’re excited about the potential that that whole person brings to the table.”