Author Archives: Tina Winslow

Meet The Team, PyxisCare’s Yolanda R.

The PyxisCare team examines the medical, psychological, and spiritual needs of every client and family member, and I’m grateful to bring my experience as a certified rehab nurse to the team..”

— Yolanda R., PyxisCare Nurse Client Advocate, CRRN, Nurse Client Advocate

Supporting her mom with diabetes care inspired Yolanda to learn everything she could about the disease, and her mother’s wellness plan. As an adult, she has earned multiple degrees and certificates in the healthcare field.  Now she brings her experience of helping others, with a specialty in rehab services, to the PyxisCare team as a Nurse Client Advocate (NCA) based in the Houston area.

How did you chose nursing as your career path?
My mom was diagnosed with diabetes when I was a child, and I helped by giving her insulin injections.  This sparked my curiosity and I researched how insulin works and how diabetes affects the body. With this knowledge, I taught my mom how to inject herself by the time I graduated from high school.  After high school, I attended college and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in sociology and another degree in nursing. Studying sociology helped me understand how our healthcare system affects people of different socioeconomic backgrounds, and with my nursing degree I put this knowledge to use taking care of patients. Since then, I have earned a master’s in nursing leadership and management.

After college I worked at a rehab facility caring for patients with traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries, and other complex medical conditions. Additionally, I served as a clinical rehab liaison where I evaluated patients in acute hospital settings to determine if they were ready to go home or needed to transfer to a rehab facility. For rehab, the patient needs to tolerate three hours of therapy a day.  Going home requires an understanding of how their medical condition affects their daily living. Will they need a heart monitor or oxygen?  Will the patient have incontinence issues and how can they be supported?  Does the patient require 24-hour supervision and how will this be provided?

At PyxisCare, I’m very fortunate to employ all the skills I’ve gained over my clinical career. We examine and make recommendations for the medical, psychological and spiritual needs of every client and family member. I’m grateful to bring my experience to this team.

What is your role at PyxisCare?
As an NCA, I am the first face our clients see. I partner with the talented PyxisCare team to provide integrated care coordination and health care solutions. Many of our clients and families struggle with complicated, multifaced medical situations. For example, I recently worked with a grandmother who was the sole provider for her grandson with a medically complex condition. Our team helped find respite care for the grandmother, transportation to and from appointments, and worked with the child’s school so that they were compliant with their responsibilities regarding the American with Disabilities Act (ADA).

What unique skills do you bring to PyxisCare?
As a certified rehab nurse, I have years of experience supporting clients with many conditions. Additionally, I have extensive experience working with clients facing bladder dysfunction and incontinence. This is a sensitive topic that must be handled with delicacy and compassion.  I educate clients facing this challenge with professionalism and kindness. I am grateful to be a resource for other PyxisCare team members with clients facing these issues.

Why did you choose PyxisCare?
When PyxisCare was expanding their team in Houston and central Texas, I thought, “Wow, this would be a great fit for me because I love advocating for patients and families.” I enjoy being part of a team that provides expertise, personalized service, and an integrated approach to managing the complexities of healthcare challenges.  The team is very supportive, and we work well together.

Meet The Team, PyxisCare’s Alisa M.

“As an advocate, we give voice to the client to ensure they are heard. We stand with the client in their greatest times of need, coordinating all the complex details surrounding their care challenges. My job is to help, and it’s the only job I’ve ever wanted to do.”

— Alisa M., PyxisCare Nurse Client Advocate, BSN, MSN, RN

My career has spanned more than twenty years of experience as a nursing professional with a variety of roles in clinical, compliance, regulatory, managerial, and risk management areas of nursing expertise. 

My greatest motivation has always been helping and connecting with people. At PyxisCare, we have a unique opportunity to combine every aspect learned in our professional and personal lives and help clients navigate a complex system.

I started my career in the military, with six years of active duty and two in the reserve. Once I left the military, I knew my next step was nursing school. I grew up in a family of nurses with my mother and aunt as my most impressive role models. Nursing felt like a natural progression in my life as I wanted to make an impact on people’s lives and help the most I could. I quickly found that behavioral health was the area I wanted to focus on because of the direct effect I could have on a patient.

At the core of who I am, I lead with compassion. I aim to be a person who serves in her community to make a difference for as many as possible. PyxisCare has given an opportunity for me to do that on a daily basis and I am excited to be a nurse client advocate (NCA). 

Through my experience, I am able to understand the complexities of the healthcare system and provide a bridge for clients to better take charge of their needs without the worry of being misunderstood or misguided. Ultimately, my job is to help and that is the only job I have ever wanted to do.

Mindy’s Thanksgiving Letter

Happy Thanksgiving Friends,

The PyxisCare team spends the month of November celebrating all that we’re thankful for. Our loyal clients, collaborators, referral network and friends continue to serve as inspiration for our work, and are responsible for the success of our services.

Caregiving is not a simple task; it requires compassion, kindness, expertise and a drive to help people that outweighs the emotional and physical toll.  We are grateful for the millions of family and friends who provide caregiving to loved ones, especially those who are making difficult end of life decisions or who are experiencing life changes due to medical conditions.

My team is grateful to corporate and small business leaders who make smart and compassionate decisions for their employees everyday, ensuring they have the best in benefits and wellness support. And we thank the many advisors who work closely with PyxisCare to ensure holistic solutions for our shared clients.

I am especially humbled to work with the finest team of nurses, advocates, client service specialists and benefits experts in the business of care coordination and caregiving.

We are honored to work with you, and for you. Best wishes for a restful holiday.

Happy Thanksgiving!


Mindy Jones

Founding Principal, PyxisCare Management

Chris Klemme: Senior Vice President, Trust Officer

“We owe the highest duty of care to our clients.”

Chris Klemme
Senior Vice President/Trust Officer

PyxisCare Management is proud to work with other expert service providers on a daily basis to ensure that a range of client needs are met. Chris Klemme, a Senior Vice President and Trust Officer at American National Bank and Trust Co., is an executive trust officer who brings a wealth of knowledge and a law degree to serving the complex needs of trust clients. Learn more about how the trust process works for clients in need of wholistic care coordination.

What do you think is most valuable for a trust officer from an initial assessment?

A trust officer needs to have a good understanding of the full range of services available to their clients that are both helpful and pragmatic, based upon the specific medical or mental condition of the client.

What are things everyone should know about working with a trust officer?

We are fiduciaries – which means we owe the highest duty of care to our clients.   We are also heavily regulated – our departments typically go through a third-party audit and a government examination every year.   Documentation is the key to a good results.   The documentation provides justification for the money we are expending, or are about to spend; it is also extremely helpful so that any team member in the trust department can review monthly reports to quickly get up to speed on what the clients’ needs have been in the recent past.

How can trust officers utilize care management on behalf of their beneficiaries? 

We receive most of our referrals from attorneys. Many times, they expect a bank employee to serve  almost as a legal guardian for their clients, when we are often not equipped to do so.  Retaining case management partners, like the Nurse Client Advocates at PyxisCare Management, provides the corporate fiduciary with additional eyes and ears on a clients’  situation. Because of their expertise, there have been several times over the years that the case manager for a client has apprised us of needs that the family, for whatever reason, has not.

Why do trust officers need initial assessments of beneficiaries?   

Many times, especially by the time a client arrives to us, it has been several months, if not a year or more, since there has been an updated assessment. This is especially important in brain trauma cases, where most specialists say there is a two-year window after the injury for maximum improvement to occur. Trust professionals need an accurate baseline of our client’s medical circumstances at the time the relationship begins, so we can provide the funds for the most critical needs of the client.

What is the biggest benefit of care coordination to your clients? 

Having additional qualified professionals who focus on our clients, means that we are always updated on new needs that can be addressed quickly and compassionately.  These are items that most bank-trained professionals are not going to pick up, even making house calls. For instance, care coordination professionals might identify the client’s need for therapy or counseling more quickly than others. In some cases, 24/7 caregiving is necessary, and it’s always important to ensure that there is consistent assessment of medical, financial and emotional health.

PyxisCare Education: Mary N

“Trusting PyxisCare to guide us through getting our son the educational
support he needed was the best decision we ever made. We finally felt like
our son wasn’t being seen for the diagnosis he has, but for who he has the
potential to become.” 
—Mary N.  
 (working mother of autistic child)

Every parent wants their children to be happy and to feel loved.

As parents, we want those things for our child too, but as our son grew up, our wants and desires for him also grew and changed. At the age of three James was diagnosed with Autism and a speech impairment. With the diagnosis we jumped into early intervention strategies, participating in therapy through the early childhood center and through our public school district as well.

At age five, James transitioned into kindergarten communicating with the support of an AAC (augmentative and alternative) device. He knew his colors and shapes; he knew his numbers and letters as well. We thought he was ready. It wasn’t long into his kindergarten year that we learned that the school district did not feel the same.

This was the first time since the diagnosis that we felt that our son wasn’t “being seen” and that the system we had worked beside for so long, was now working against us. We turned to friends and parents that had worked through similar experiences and they led us to seek the support of an advocate.

Trusting PyxisCare to guide us through getting James the educational support he needed was the best decision we have ever made. PyxisCare walked us through understanding his FIE (full individual and initial valuation) and his IEP (individual education plan), breaking down each section and explaining what it meant in respect to his potential growth, as well as his participation across different settings within the school.

PyxisCare guided us through a process to ensure our “wants” for him came to fruition. They attend ARD (admission, review and dismissal) meetings to support us, and they did a wonderful job collaborating with teachers and administrators to revise goals and schedules to explicitly meet his needs. We finally felt like James wasn’t being seen for the diagnosis he has, but for who he has the potential to become.

PyxisCare has worked with us to develop a meaningful relationship with the staff at his school. Every day we drop him off, we know James is going to be loved and included, and when he comes home – we know he will be genuinely happy.

Back To School Headaches & Heartaches

At my house, we’ve just survived back-to-school season – the drama of haircuts, new uniforms neatly pressed, the books, the backpacks and the return to early mornings, after school activities and late-night studying. These few weeks have been a headache of summer homework and finding the right school supplies.  And now we have two teens who are studiously – if not happily – back to school.

However, my BTS headache pales in comparison to the BTS heartache that many of my friends and clients experience as they near the BTS season.

Because at my office, some of our nurse client advocates (NCAs) have been working closely with clients to ensure their children’s special needs are being met, which can be a quagmire of endless paperwork, a battery of expensive diagnostic testing, documentation and meetings with administrators to prepare for the year ahead.

Our school systems have done an admirable job of ensuring that every child’s needs are met to the best of their ability. However, accessing those services and ensuring the complex range of needs varying from neurodiversity and autism to mental illness to the physical limitations of blindness, lack of mobility and more – is often daunting. And because it’s daunting and time consuming, it can be overwhelming to those parents and guardians who navigate these muddied processes that sometimes require local, state and federal services to cooperate.

If you’ve ever had to oversee a child’s 504 plan is being implemented to ensure they’re receiving all necessary accommodations; or conference with teachers and administrators to ensure everyone understands the services a child is set to receive within their IEP (individual education plan), then you know how exhausting and tricky the process can be. All we ever want is to advocate for the best educational experience for our loved ones, and at the minimum, voice that they deserve the same physical, social and academic opportunities as their peers.

This year has been an unusually busy one with clients requesting help with special needs advocacy.  While many of us are trained in navigating this particular need, our resident experts are true leaders in coordinating the timing and strategy for each unique challenge.

My goal this year is to appreciate the relative normalcy of my back to school woes and to continue to work hard to ensure that every kid gets a chance to participate, learn and develop into their very best.

Welcome back to school!

Just in Time: From Tipping Point to Turning Point

Two of the most common words that we hear in client interviews and as we begin engagements with individuals and companies are: TIPPING POINT.

As in….“We had passed a tipping point for my mother and we didn’t know it because we were so overwhelmed with our day to day.”

“I knew we were approaching a tipping point, but I felt like we couldn’t avoid a crisis.”

“Our company hit a tipping point where many of us were balancing caregiving duties with full time jobs and I could see the wear and tear on our team.”

You tend to HIT a tipping point. Usually “tipping points” like these, force decision-making
because action has to be taken. PyxisCare shines in this area—we take pride in intervening and mitigating crisis as it happens and making a difference immediately.  Often clients come to us needed immediate help.

However, we DO have clients who are focused solely on wellness and prevention strategies to ensure they avoid costly mistakes down the road. Our vision is that one day, health and wellness transition into a proactive space where there is more planning and preparation for the challenges that people face…BEFORE you hit a dangerous tipping point.

Until then, we at PyxisCare are focused on turning tipping points into TURNING POINTS.
And we have a proprietary process that creates that turning point for our clients. It’s our
thorough custom assessment that kicks off most engagements.

I’ve been passionate about ensuring the “whole person view” is used when we are working with individuals; our assessment uses a multi-factor approach. Your health and sustainable wellness is a combination of many factors, chiefly: medical, psychosocial, environmental, legal and financial. These key drivers define your capacity to progress in the right direction and stay the course with treatment, prevention and intervention.

A client recently said: “When I look back on that time in my mother’s life, I see the IA (initial assessment) and care plan as the turning point to get her back on the road to self- sufficiency.”

I think often about this statement, and dozens of others like it, when I think about what we do and what makes PyxisCare special. That particular person used the resulting care plan as a road map back to health for her loved one.

Some clients even go back and do an assessment if we onboarded as a result of a crisis. They want that full spectrum view of their needs without the pressure of an urgent issue needing resolution. One client said the assessment put him “out of his comfort zone” but also mentioned it was the most valuable part of the service because it allowed him to prioritize some unresolved safety issues in his environment.

This feedback and other customer-centric data helps us to be better partners. To provide a consistently improved experience for clients. To proactively identify pain points and step in to help.

I’m heartened to know that we are offering something unique and valuable that truly allows people to reach their TURNING POINT.

PyxisCare Anywhere Client Story: Jennifer C

“PyxisCare didn’t just help my dad as he transitioned towards end-of-life-care, they cared deeply about my and my mom’s well-being. They supported our entire family holistically, finding solutions and helping us to understand our options and make the best decisions.”

 Jennifer C.

My dad lived a great life but like most of our parents, had normal complications as he aged. That is, until he started exhibiting signs of dementia. My mom was able to take care of him at the beginning, but soon his symptoms worsened to the point that he started acting aggressively towards her. He wouldn’t let her help him, and for her safety, my mom moved into a hotel. At this point we were clearly in crisis.

I realized I needed immediate answers to help both of my parents, but as a business executive I couldn’t stop working to care for my dad, and I didn’t have time to research all the possible options that could help them. A friend referred me to PyxisCare for assistance.  I needed to meet with them immediately and get started – and didn’t have time to stop for an in-person meeting.  We met virtually and during their initial assessment, they asked about my dad’s diagnosis, his medical history, financial limitations, insurance options, and my mom’s ability to care for my dad. We enrolled in PyxisCare Anywhere on the spot because we needed maximum flexibility.

As a Veteran in his mid-80s, I knew my dad was eligible for VA benefits and Medicaid, but I did not know how or who to contact to get these benefits started. To complicate matters, my dad’s Veterans records were stored inside a VA facility in St. Louis that had been destroyed by a fire. The PyxisCare team had experience accessing hard to reach records and initiating the benefits he deserved. They oversaw the complicated process and paperwork required between the Medicaid office and the VA.

As a daughter, it was my responsibility to help my parents, but I was losing sleep and going in circles trying to figure it out on my own.  PyxisCare understands that getting answers is more complicated than just making one phone call, and sometimes you must dig deep to find solutions. They partnered with me, advising and aiding me step-by-step what I needed to do next as we moved closer to getting my dad the help he needed. They explained everything along the way, such as how an ombudsman can help, where do we get information, what documents do I need to gather, and more. They listened to me, helping to ease the stress and emotions I felt as I watched my dad’s health fail. And all of the support was provided virtually by zoom and over the phone.

With the support of PyxisCare Anywhere, we untangled his benefits and used Medicaid and VA to pay for a quality facility to care for him. Mom moved back into house and started focusing on her own health. Dad went into hospice and soon passed at the facility – his dignity intact with the support from the PyxisCare team. It was not a heavy lift for PyxisCare, but for me it was everything for them to support me when and where I needed their help most. Their care and service gave me peace of mind as I moved through this important life transition of losing a parent.

PyxisCare didn’t just help my dad as he transitioned towards end-of-life-care, they cared deeply about my and my mom’s well-being. They supported our entire family holistically, finding solutions and helping us to understand our options and make the best decisions.

PyxisCare Anywhere

I founded PyxisCare more than 12 years ago to help people in a way that I hadn’t seen done before.  Our team could make a difference – I was certain – and I believe we have. Over those years we’ve become much more sophisticated as a company, serving hundreds of individuals and partnering with many companies to offer peace of mind, better health and wellness.

We’ve also launched services that support every aspect of need from analyzing corporate benefits to helping elderly parents secure safe and affordable housing to planning for end of life. In many ways, PyxisCare Anywhere, our completely virtual service, is an homage to our roots. We have clients across several states and many of the conditions we manage require multi-state and multi-agency support. Achieving success for our clients requires a team that’s willing to work when YOU need us. Whether in person or virtual, it’s in our DNA from our original founding.

Technology has made our lives easier and over those 12 years, we have taken full advantage of everything and every service technology has enabled, while keeping our empathy and compassion at the very center of our mission.

And still, we keep innovating.

Part of what drives our team at PyxisCare is sharing our knowledge to help people better understand how they can live better. And in the past few years, how companies can take better care of their employees while spending less on medical expenses but investing more in health.

In the spirit of innovation and sharing our knowledge, this month we also launched a podcast.  That’s right! It’s a chance for me to interview thought leaders in medicine, healthcare, mental health and insurance so YOU can be informed as a consumer, and employer and potentially a caregiver. I’m excited and humbled to interview Ben Isgur, Vice President, Health Care Thought Leadership at Fidelity Investments, who is a friend and respected colleague for our inaugural podcast. Listen here to learn more about what’s changing in benefits and employee-paid insurance, including the importance of mental health benefits.

At PyxisCare, we do our work quietly and respectfully, focusing every energy into planning for and supporting our clients and their health. We deeply appreciate the opportunity to share our passion for wellness with you – in this blog, on social, in our newsletter and now, in a podcast we call Boundaries Vs. Bridges.

Thanks for being on the journey with us at PyxisCare.

PyxisCare Choice Client Story: John and Sally W.

Thanks to the PyxisCare Choice team we have a clear understanding of our end-of-life directives and a positive way to share our desires regarding future medical care with our children and other family members.”                                                 

–Sally and John W.  

Advance Care Planning bridges the gap between a person’s wishes for their end-of-life care, their family members, medical providers and legal counsel, and nearly 2/3 of Americans do not have an advanced care directive. In addition to offering a wide range of valuable services, from medical crisis management to the ongoing maintenance of chronic illness, PyxisCare Management provides personalized, comprehensive advance care planning (ACP) called PyxisCare Choice. Our experienced nurses partner with estate planning attorneys and financial planners to ensure clients are empowered to achieve their wishes. Recently we chatted with Sally and John W. about their experience with the PyxisCare Choice program.

What led you to PyxisCare Choice? We wanted a personalized approach to ACP, more than what just an attorney could offer. We were looking for a relationship where we could have an ongoing conversation about estate planning and updates in legal and fiduciary choices as our health status changes. PyxisCare Choice brings in medical expertise that you won’t find at an attorney’s office. A colleague who works with PyxisCare recommended PyxisCare Choice.

How was meeting with a PyxisCare expert valuable?  Thanks to the PyxisCare Choice team we have a clearer understanding of our end-of-life directives and a positive way to share our desires regarding future medical care with our children and other family members. Our meeting also pushed us to ensure we had all the documents we would need. The team was informative and navigated issues that we had not thought about. We now have peace of mind that our ACP has been taken care of and everyone is on the same page.

What do you expect the outcome to be? We now have confidence that as we move towards end-of-life care, our wishes and directives will be understood and carried out by our family and health care providers. Teaming up with PyxisCare is not just one meeting and done. We will continue to have ongoing conversations about our wishes and goals as our medical needs change. For example, if we become incapacitated for any reason, we know that the PyxisCare team will be there to support our family.

How does PyxisCare Choice help with family dynamics when planning for the future? Through the support and guidance of the PyxisCare Choice team, we can discuss our desires with our children and emotions during the conversation. Our family learned many details about the process that attorneys don’t usually cover in ACP. The bonus is that our children will be ready to plan their ACP through everything they’ve learned with the PyxisCare experts.

What did you discover about advance care planning by using PyxisCare Choice? The PyxisCare Choice team took time to educate us about everything related to ACP. We had a general knowledge before we started but the team provided comprehensive information about estate planning, the importance of advanced directive documentation, legal and fiduciary choices, and so much more. We are ready to move into our future with confidence and peace of mind.