JeDon, a senior payroll specialist in California, signed up for Maven’s maternity program during her company’s open enrollment period. At the time she thought, “This is going to be so cool to take advantage of this whenever I become pregnant.” JeDon immediately logged into Maven and started exploring. When she became pregnant just months later, she was ready to reach out. “When I got pregnant, I got on with my Maven Care Advocate and the rest is history,” she said.
Throughout her pregnancy and beyond, JeDon felt heard and cared for by Maven, whether gaining rapid access to specialty care, being matched with African American providers upon request, or receiving guidance on infant care during a challenging time.
Rapid access to multiple specialty providers
With help from her Care Advocate, JeDon was able to access multiple specialty providers on Maven without worrying about getting a referral to a specialist or proving that she needed one.
When JeDon began experiencing discomfort in her tailbone area, for example, her Maven Care Advocate immediately set her up with a physical therapist. JeDon had previously told her regular in-person doctor about her tailbone discomfort and other physical problems, but the doctor “just made it seem like they were normal. That’s fine, but I still need help with those normal things.”
In contrast, she explained, “You can go to your Care Advocate and say, ‘Hey, I need to see someone for this concern. Can you help me?' Your regular doctors say, ‘We can refer you to somebody but we're not going to keep referring you to someone, because we think that you're ok.’”
In addition to helping her find the right provider for a specific issue, JeDon was impressed with Maven’s efficiency in responding to her messages. “The response time has always been perfect.”
Being matched with African-American providers helped her feel more at ease
JeDon faced a major challenge just as she was ready to deliver her daughter. “Literally, the weekend I gave birth, the governor of California shut down the state due to COVID.” Realizing she wouldn’t be able to receive the postpartum help she had expected from her family, JeDon found that Maven providers filled the gap, especially when she faced a variety of challenges.
Her physical therapist on Maven explained that the incision from her emergency C-section, which was giving her a burning sensation, could be a form of trauma. Not feeling heard by her in-person OB-GYN about her concerns, JeDon turned to her Maven Care Advocate, specifically requesting to be matched with African-American providers. “I just felt a little more comfortable speaking with someone who was African American, because sometimes I feel like I’m trying to be an advocate for myself and it’s just still not working,” she explained.
I just felt a little more comfortable speaking with someone who was African American, because sometimes I feel like I’m trying to be an advocate for myself and it’s just still not working.
Through Maven’s care matching, JeDon received support from an African-American midwife and an African-American mental health specialist. They helped her with the burning sensation of the C-section incision, postpartum anxiety, and “for all the things that I was feeling or thinking,” she said. Both Maven providers helped her feel more comfortable and able to express her needs—especially compared with her in-person visits to her OB-GYN.
JeDon’s experience of feeling more supported and comfortable with African American providers is consistent with studies that show matching patients with providers of the same race promotes greater patient engagement and feelings of self-efficacy, and also leads to better patient outcomes.
Which is why care matching, as represented in Maven’s commitment to health equity and ability to match members with providers of the same race, ethnicity, gender identity, and/or sexual orientation, is an important part of Maven’s patient-centered delivery model. Having two African American providers made a crucial difference for JeDon, as did the immediacy with which her Care Advocate was able to connect her with these providers. “I think within a day she had a midwife for me to talk to and a therapist.”
They made me feel important at a time where sometimes you feel like you’re being pulled in all these different directions. But they’re on your side. They want you to be ok.
Receiving postpartum support during a pandemic
And JeDon found particular support from Maven’s “awesome” online pediatrician, who not only provided her with compassionate and readily available guidance on newborn and infant care but most important, eased her doubts as a new mother. “As a first-time mom, you just have all these questions. She always made me feel like no question was stupid. She's always made me feel like what I was feeling was ok.”
JeDon also credits the online pediatrician for relieving her anxiety about her baby’s teething phases and reaching developmental milestones. “She really made me realize that every child is different.”
As a first-time mom, you just have all these questions. [My Maven pediatrician] always made me feel like no question was stupid. She's always made me feel like what I was feeling was ok.
Despite the challenges she faced during her journey to parenthood, JeDon feels that “everyone on Maven made the experience a lot better.” And that experience led JeDon to stay on as a Maven member when she changed employers and was no longer receiving the service through her benefits plan.
For JeDon, the best thing about Maven is feeling heard and important. "They made me feel important, at a time where sometimes you feel like you’re being pulled in all these different directions. But they’re on your side. They want you to be ok.”
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