Speaking of triathlons, Liz competed in a half Ironman competition in California in 2010. In 2013, she persevered through a half Ironman in Colorado and a full Ironman in Texas. Currently she is registered for a full Ironman triathlon in Colorado set for June 2017. Oh, and just in case you didn’t know, an Ironman triathlon consists of a 2.4 mile swim, followed by 112 miles of cycling and a 26.2 mile run!
“Cycling is an essential component of my life,” says Liz. “When Joey Dale died, biking was my saving grace. When Kevin joined me in cycling adventures, it brought us closer together and strengthened our marriage.” Last year, Liz and Kevin participated in the 20th annual Tour de Wyoming, cycling 365 miles in six days. The 2016 Tour de Wyoming, which started and ended in Sheridan, included two mountain ascents. “It’s definitely a testament of your true grit,” says Liz who has participated in the Tour three times now. Liz does her winter fitness training mostly indoors using a stationary bike trainer that her bike mounts onto. “I do basic fitness training all year long,” she says. “But in preparation for the events this summer, the intensity and distance training regimen will get a lot more serious starting in January.” Cycling is now a family affair. In fact, Liz, Kevin and three of their four adult children cycle and have applied to ride together in the 2017 Tour de Wyoming. Liz is passionate about biking and recommends it to anyone interested. She says, “age should not be a barrier to anyone interested in cycling.” She estimates the average age of the 350 cyclists who participated in the 2016 Tour de Wyoming to be around 55 and as many as 16 of those riders over the age of 75.
On the job, Liz is a social worker by profession and manager of the case management department.
Hospital case managers advocate on the patient’s behalf to make sure they receive the care that is medically necessary. Starting at admission, they work collaboratively with physicians and members of the healthcare team to assess and predict what the patient’s medical needs will be when they are discharged. Together they develop a care plan for the patient. Case managers are also experts in identifying and securing community resources for patients and their families in support of that care plan. A case manager also works to prevent insurance claim denials and, at times may negotiate with insurance companies to pay for a treatment that the patient needs in order to get better.
“To initiate the care plan in the most efficient and cost effective way possible, we case managers have to know a little about a lot of things,” says Liz. “We have to understand human behavior, recognize life altering changes in a person and comprehend complex legal and healthcare payment systems. It is our job to help patients and their families find solutions to challenging medical and mental health circumstances in all hospital settings. Sometimes that calls upon us to get very creative.”