Brain Support Network (BSN), a non-profit based in Menlo Park (California), is hiring a brain donation case manager. Case managers, located in Northern California, work from home to help families arrange the donation of a loved one’s brain for purposes of (a) definitive diagnosis and (b) research for a cure. Brain donors are located across the United States.
Generally, donors have been clinically diagnosed by a neurologist with one of several neurological disorders. Because many neurological disorders have overlapping symptoms, brain autopsy is necessary to know with certainty the precise disorder. Knowing the precise disorder is valuable to families (a) as a warning of disorders that have genetic transmission and (b) because certain diagnosis provides emotional closure. The brain tissue, generally delivered to the Mayo Clinic’s brain bank for autopsy, is essential to support research for a cure. Our service fills the gap between families that want to donate a loved one’s brain, and brain banks that want to make available brain tissue for research.
Employees are expected to work at least 20 hours/week. Typical hours are 20 to 30 hours/week, but always less than 40 hours. Weekly work hours can vary, but employees must share availability at the beginning of each week. Case Managers report to senior brain donation case manager Sharon Hu.
The employee organizes brain donations by facilitating communication among parties in the brain donation process (e.g. families, care facilities, hospice staff, pathology specialists, brain bank). Employees must be able to work from home with minimal distractions. Specific duties include:
- Respond to email and phone inquiries, and counsel families interested in the process of brain donation. Maintain online donor case information including all contacts, emails, notes from phone conversations, instructions, and other donation-related documents.
- Prioritize urgent brain donations (near-death or post-mortem inquiries) over advance planning brain donations. Urgent cases require immediate response to the family.
- Prepare detailed personalized instructions for each family, typically by customizing components of previous brain donation instructions.
- Share with donor families BSN’s request to “Pay it forward” through memorial donations and/or honorary donations to ensure BSN can continue our work.
- Use internet search, phone, and email to update and expand BSN online spreadsheets of resources for brain donation (e.g. pathology services and cooperative funeral homes).
- Suggest ways to improve all BSN processes.
- Other duties or special projects, as assigned. Once a Case Manager achieves the necessary level of expertise, he/she may be asked to participate in BSN outreach programs (e.g. conference staffing, medical industry events, speaking engagements).
- Exceptional attention to detail to ensure accuracy and prevent errors that disrupt the family during their grieving period.
- Ability to work independently and check one’s own work for errors.
- Demonstrated strong communication skills, both via phone, text and email.
- Experienced at achieving time-sensitive targets while ensuring complete accuracy in all transactions.
- Ability to strictly adhere to policies for donor/family confidentiality.
- Ability to speak compassionately with families about death and dying.
- Completion of a Bachelor’s degree. (Advanced degrees preferred.)
- California residency. (Preferably located in San Francisco Bay Area.)
Required Technical Skills and Resources
- Skilled in using a personal computer. BSN will supply a Windows laptop, if needed.
- Fluency with Gmail (for email), Google Drive (for file sharing), and Adobe Acrobat (for PDF documents).
- Fluency with G-Suite (Docs and Sheets) or Microsoft Office (Word and Excel).
- Access to a cell phone for calls and texts.
- Internet access (e.g. DSL or cable broadband).
Employee Hours and Benefits
- Hourly rate begins at $20/hour and advances with demonstrated performance.
- Employees are paid hourly, every two weeks; no health or retirement benefits are provided.
- BSN provides a stipend to offset mobile phone expenses.
- Employees are not eligible for over-time pay (i.e. more than 40 hours/week). Employees are expected to work a minimum of 20 hours/week.
- Flexibility to perform occasional weekend work is preferred.
- Employees must be adaptable to caseload fluctuations and prepared to provide rapid response in urgent situations.
- Contact with businesses (e.g. funeral homes, hospitals) is performed during normal work week (Monday – Friday, 6:00 am – 5:00 pm PT).
- Contact with families is best performed at times preferred by family members, typically between the hours of 6:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. PT, daily.