Girl on Fire: Molina kinda made some poor decisions & Clare definitely made a single excellent choice

As you know, Clare passed away at the end of October. In my strongest opinion, backed by how many times I held Clare as she either cried or bodily-shook while talking about her work at Molina (usually, it was both crying and shaking), the management at Molina New Mexico seriously contributed to Clare’s declining health, or perhaps exacerbated her declining health is more in line with the tort-proof term “allegedly.”

The thing is, Clare and I once would be able to escape in to the wilds of New Mexico, including the wilds of Albuquerque, and she would not think of her toxic work environment and the management that fostered an environment of fear and anxiety. We’d simply “live our moments” as we coined the time we spent together.

It got to the point where even when we were hundreds of miles away from Molina on a dirt road that was barely a road where Clare’s mind and conversation was focused SOLELY on her boss (Ana Bisono), her little members, and how her little members would be affected by her resignation.

This period in our relationship also took a toll on me. I had my offer to work at the NMCAL Warm Line rescinded (this is a separate blog), and the funding from this employment was intended to help Clare transition into a work environment free of the stressors of a place like Molina.

Her anxiety, sadness, frustration, and fear became my anxiety, sadness, frustration, and fear. There was nothing she went through that I didn’t go through with her.

Clare has been gone for nearly two months now, and I’m posting her resignation letter. Why? Because it was truly the last time I saw her 100% happy and empowered, on the very day she walked into the lobby in Molina and handed HR her resignation letter.

Sadly, the impact of working at Molina under such toxic conditions followed her, and she continued to be affected by just this. Molina and the management continued to haunt her, manifesting in continued conversation about the woes of Molina, and even following her into her slumber as nightmares.

The impact upon me was significant, and ultimately this is why I’m posting Clare’s resignation letter. It is part my recovery journey, being there for Clare during her struggles and hard personal decisions.

Also, and I feel more importantly, Clare’s resignation and how she did so on her terms serves as the finest embodiment of self-empowerment I’ve seen in years. Clare is one of the strongest, most admirable human beings I’ve ever known, and that we’ve lost her to the hereafter has the world poorer in so many cherished, caring ways.

I’ve decided to post Clare’s resignation letter to Molina because of the importance for those who love her and those who may find themselves in a similar situation to know that we always have a choice when it comes to our wellness … even if it is not the ideal choice.

Her resigning from Molina was not the choice she wanted to make, and it was her choice to take herself out of reach of the carcinogenic management that plagued her night and day… and intruded upon our relationship and our happiness together. Still, it was her long-debated and well-considered choice that completely floored her managers at Molina. Beautiful move on the part of the most beautiful woman.

Do you want to know what concerned Clare the most about resigning from Molina, and what kept her at Molina longer than she should have stayed? She was afraid for her little members, afraid for them not getting a good replacement CC and not getting the essential services she had worked so hard to achieve for them. Her little members took priority over her own wellness. It’s both admirable (on Clare’s part) and deplorable (on Molina’s part).

Clare and I spoke often about me posting her resignation letter to Thoughtcrimes because we both felt her situation would benefit and empower others who were essentially (as Clare termed it) being bullied at work like she was.

Postponing sharing her resignation letter was by her request. She wanted to have new employment first, so as not to be seen as a “troublemaker.” I would tell her the trouble was not made by her, and if anything she was a “troublebreaker.” Gotta love wordplay of Oscar Wilde-caliber.

When I saw her coming out of the Molina building with boxes of her belongings, the day of her resignation, it was one of the biggest smiles with the brightest, hopeful eyes I ever saw on my Clare.

She empowered herself, and her strength inspired me to resign from a number of toxic committees and boards I sat on. Her strength inspires others.

There is a reason I loved calling her “Katniss.”

A deservedly-proud Clare Castellano with her Molina resignation letter ... you don't hurt the ones I love ... c'est fin?

August 3, 2017

Amir Wodajo
Molina Healthcare New Mexico
400 Tijeras Ave NW, #200
Albuquerque, NM 87102

Dear Mrs. Wodajo,

I am resigning as Care Coordinator 3 (CC3) effective immediately. My resignation is entirely to do with the hostile, unprofessional, and unaccountable behaviors of my immediate supervisor Ana Bisono, Supervisor of Case Management of Centennial Care.

Ms. Bisono’s unprofessional behaviors I strongly believe are a direct result of my providing essential input and feedback to better serve our company’s members and employees, the type of input and feedback I was mistakenly led to believe are critical to the successful care of Molina New Mexico Centennial Care members. That this input and feedback was given during our team huddle directly challenged Ms. Bisono’s misplaced authority and professional ego.

Ms. Bisono’s specific unprofessional behaviors over the past several months include:

  • Questionable demotion as mentor without foreknowledge or justifiable cause, immediately following the described team huddle
  • Unreasonable timelines given a 40 hour work week
  • No approved overtime to accommodate increased workload
  • Time-wasting targeted performance reviews with no useful outcomes
  • Over ten new members assigned in the space of less than two weeks
  • All of these new members were inpatient leading to difficult to near impossible required follow up expectations defined by supervisor
  • Unproductive micromanagement that did not facilitate timely work product
  • Completely inappropriate (and possibly in violation of Molina policy) revelation of performance-dictated wage increase percentage range, specifically to isolate the lowest percentage awarded
  • Supervisory focus on perceived “failings” with no support offered on successful achievement
  • Lack of demonstrable leadership acumen during “Life of a Case” event witnessed by all in attendance
  • Promoting an environment not conducive to success, growth or employee morale<.

It is important to recognize that even though I was demoted as mentor for two teams, my colleagues continued to professionally consider me their mentor, coming to me for the same professional support I had offered in an official capacity.

Ultimately, my decision rests upon my respect for self and prioritizing my personal mental, emotional, and physical wellness over a job environment that worked in direct opposition to just this.

I thank Molina Healthcare for the wonderful opportunity to provide the support, love, and caring to my members over the last three years. The personal connection I made with my members is exactly why I chose my profession, and I am confident the skills and experiences I’ve had proudly serving our Molina members I will carry with me as I move forward with my career.

With greatest sincerity,

Clarissa N. Castellano, LMSW
Care Coordinator 3, Molina New Mexico

1 Comment

  1. Stevethink

    I’m not approving comments, so apologies. The answer is, yes, the letter was ghost-written by me. It took me less than fifteen minutes. Not because I’m a superstar writer who can pound out a letter of resignation in fifteen minutes.

    It’s because Clare and I lived together every day and every night for seven months, and it’s impossible not to learn her every professional woe at Molina when I’m holding her crying and listening to her every word, wishing there was a way for me to help take her pain away.

    The letter might have taken only minutes to write, and I had been thinking about everything in the letter for months. So, it took many months and fifteen minutes to compose this letter.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *