TRC announces promotion of director of care coordination

As part of The Resource Center’s efforts toward implementing a more comprehensive, integrated approach to system transformation, Executive Director Paul Cesana has appointed Leanna Luka-Conley to the position of director of care coordination and behavioral services.

In her new role, Luka-Conley helps facilitate the integration of mental health and social services throughout the organization. “I have a great team that has been assisting me with the transition period, as well as providing essential leadership toward the future,” she said.

As part of TRC’s broad-scale system integration, Luka-Conley works in close collaboration with The Resource Center’s health services, employment services and children’s services environments. The system integration is a key component of TRC’s “STARS” health care model. STARS stands for System Transformation with Accountability, Results and Satisfaction.

“We recently co-located our dental, primary care, behavioral health services, care coordination, and the various social service areas under one roof at our Carl Cappa Building” on East Second Street in Jamestown, Ms. Luka-Conley said. “This was the easy part. The integration between all the departments to streamline services for the quality care we want to continue to provide and enhance to the individuals we provide services to, will be challenging.

“We will meet people’s identified needs – such as dental, primary care, housing, mental health, basic needs, and employment and/or education – by assisting them in accessing services, as well as providing consistency throughout all areas by having a centralized plan and team. It is a comprehensive look at us as an agency instead of individual, silo program areas.”

Luka-Conley said that having one, consistent plan will not only enable The Resource Center to achieve successful outcomes, but the individual as well. “When someone comes to our agency asking about employment, for example, we need to ask them about the other aspects of their lives and make sure we utilize all our services and community partnerships,” she said.

In addition to TRC’s efforts in moving forward with its broad-scale system integration, the agency is also building partnerships with other organizations, such as Chautauqua Tapestry, the Chautauqua County Jail and Probation Office, the P2 Collaborative of WNY, the Child Advocacy Program, the Chautauqua County Health Network, Lutheran, Evergreen Health Services of Western New York, and Chautauqua Opportunities, Inc.

“This is only a few of the many partnerships we have established,” Ms. Luka-Conley said. “It is my goal to continue to add to our growing list of partners to enhance what we can do for our community members. The goal is to not only have TRC services but the other agencies represented on the individual’s plan, to assist them in moving toward independence by either helping the person move into the community or leading them on a path to live a healthier lifestyle.”

Luka-Conley joined The Resource Center in 2010 as a social work specialist in the children’s services department. She subsequently was promoted to the position of director of social services, and after serving in that role for a year, she accepted the offer to take on the dual roles of overseeing care coordination and behavioral health services.

“I was overwhelmed and excited when this opportunity was presented to me,” Ms. Luka-Conley said. “It’s a great opportunity with lots of responsibility to ensure the continued success and growth of these two departments that have many valuable services within them. I have always seen myself as a community social worker, and this position is about our community in every way.”

She first became interested in social work when she was a young, single mother and personally experienced the system from the other side.

“I chose this career path because I wanted to make a change,” Luka-Conley said. “I love the community connection and to see how all the groups work together. I’m up for the challenge. I’m about building community. It’s all about the individuals we work with and providing quality care.”

Luka-Conley earned her bachelor’s degree in sociology from Fredonia State and her master’s in social work from the University at Buffalo. She holds a certification in Bridges Out of Poverty. She also teaches at Jamestown Community College and Fredonia State. Her past employment was with JCC as the assistant director of the Bridge College to Work Program. She is a board member at the YWCA, a United Way volunteer and a graduate of the Chautauqua Leadership Network.

Luka-Conley has been married to her husband, John, for 15 years. She has three children: Ashley, John-John and Lyla. Ms. Luka-Conley enjoys attending church, traveling and spending time with family and friends.