“It’s all hands on deck.”

Since the coronavirus pandemic hit New York City, Odyssey House staff and clients alike have been stepping up, taking on new responsibilities to keep their colleagues and fellow clients safe and healthy.

Since joining Odyssey House two years ago as a housing specialist, Ledescia’s main duties have involved helping our ElderCare clients secure post-treatment housing. She assists them with applications, escorts them to interviews, helps them apply for social security benefits, find assisted living or adult day care centers, and access various community resources.

Now, amid the coronavirus pandemic, Ledescia has taken on another role: that of medical expediter. Effectively, she is coordinating telehealth visits between providers and clients, ensuring appointments are upheld and clients’ privacy is protected. With in-person doctor visits discouraged for all but the most serious cases, this has become a crucial responsibility.

Coordinating telehealth visits for all of the GRCR’s clients between three different clinics is a big undertaking, but one Ledescia is happy to take on.

“In times like these, when you see a gap in services, you jump in. It’s all hands on deck,” she said.

Jeremy King, who as Senior Manager and Director of OASAS Residential Services works closely with Ledescia, says that her performance during the COVID crisis has only underscored what her colleagues have known throughout her tenure with Odyssey House: Ledescia is a caring, sensitive, and intelligent health care professional who excels in all aspects of her role.

“Ledescia brings energy and compassion to her work with clients. She is consistently willing to address client issues, even when they fall outside of her area of responsibility,” he said. “She cares – and, for our clients, having a professional who cares is often the difference between staying in treatment for program completion and leaving treatment before attaining their recovery goals.”

Though her responsibilities have broadened, Ledescia is still meeting with her ElderCare clients to keep them calm and safe and is continuing to submit applications and prepare them for life outside Odyssey House.

“I just want all their needs to be met,” she said. “I try to reassure them, ‘Your needs may have to be met in a different way, but at the end of the day, they will be met and I will be here with you.’”