A Day in the Life at SACA with Jacqueline Fisher

We are proud of our SACA employees because they always rise to the occasion. Right now, in the midst of our pandemic, our essential employees are on the front lines bringing their determination and compassion to their work. We want to let you know what a day in the life at SACA looks like for those employees right now. Our executive director is excited to share her day with you.


Name Jacqueline Fisher
Tenure 14 years at SACA
Education Master of Human Services Administration, Lincoln University, Philadelphia
Areas of Expertise Management, Procedures, Supervision, Substance Abuse, Detoxification Process, Mental Health, Claims-Medical Insurance, and Clinical Care, and Crisis Management
Experience 20+ years of leadership within the social and human services industries
Hobbies Swimming, reading, gardening
4:30 AM The sun isn’t up yet, but it’s still time to rise and shine…and shower.
5:00 AM I prepare coffee, turn on the news, and respond to emails that came in last night.
6:00 AM I receive my first call of the day. It’s from our psychiatrist to go over the tele-health appointments scheduled for the day. By 6:30, I have put the client list together and emailed it back to the psychiatrist. Our clients are in need of this service especially with the anxiety of the unknown factors surrounding COVID 19.
6:45 AM I make breakfast for my son, and leave it out with a note to remind him to get online for school by 9am. I walk out the door to (physically) go to work. I always have coffee in transit and the caffeine starts to hit me half way there. I listen to Elvis Duran on 96.9 on my drive, his morning “phone tap” all makes me laugh before the seriousness of the day sets in.

I receive a call while driving, and I answer it with my hands-free headset. It’s from an employee who has tested positive for COVID-19 and needs medical supplies. She’s anxious as she has been in quarantine for 14 days already and now her husband is positive as well. She has a lot of chest pain and is coughing a ton. I console and support her, and I do my best to comfort her over the phone; I reroute to drop off supplies at her house. At 7:40, I finally enter our residential facility.

7:45 AM I open more emails and check my voicemail.
8:00 AM I listen in on a COVID-19 telehealth conference with our insurance company. I need to know what help we can offer to our employees and clients, and this is the best way for me to get that information.
8:45 AM I receive a text from our kitchen – they need lids for our Community Meals food distribution. It’s normal for us to bring meals to the community, but with this pandemic, we need to bring even more than we ever expected, and we’re constantly running through supplies. I email them the order and requisition information for the lids.
9:00 AM I drive to the kitchen on Pershing Ave. While driving, I call my son at home to make sure he’s online taking his classes. Adjusting to this crisis has been hard on all of us, but I’m so proud of how he’s adjusting to learning remotely. He misses gym, and his friends. Also while driving, I interview and accept a client for our residential program.
9:28 AM Most of my day is spent on the phone, especially in our socially distant world. I start by calling a pharmacy regarding a client’s medication. I hop onto a human resources conference call. I take a call from our mental health unit: they’re fielding calls from new clients requesting treatment. We’re working to schedule telehealth appointments for everyone who needs help. I talk with our COO about staffing patterns.

Finally, I participate in a conference on bridge payments during COVID-19. Insurance will estimate payments going forward which will help to keep services running. During the call, I receive separate call from our mental health therapist with questions on COVID-19. All in all, seven calls in two and a half hours.

12:00 PM I’m off the phone and the computer for the first time all day! I return to the kitchen to speak to our staff about community meals. Times are tough, so we are all trying to step up and do what we can to support members of our community who are struggling with underemployment and unemployment.
12:30 PM I drive to all three of our locations to speak to our volunteers and staff. Their support and time is invaluable, so I want to thank them in person – from a safe distance, of course. I am so proud of and thankful for them.
12:50 PM I’m back in the office, and I sit down to brainstorm a plan to continue Community Meals. There is a lot of demand because of COVID-19, so I create a plan to schedule meal prep with alternate volunteers, and I schedule transportation of frozen meals to seniors.
1:10 PM We are low on staff during the pandemic at NCR. I drive to our residential facility to admit a client myself. I complete the intake process and notify their insurance carrier.
2:30 PM I order food for residential facilities for the weekend and holiday.
3:00 PM More phone time! I do numerous conference calls with SACA leadership on various topics including: HR, payroll, and crisis management updates.
4:30 PM I leave for home. While driving, I take a phone call and screen a new client for admission at our residential facility.
5:15 PM I arrive home, and begin homework review with my son. This new math – it’s always a challenge.  I prepare dinner for my son, husband, and elderly mother. Tonight, we’re having stuffed shells. A favorite for all!
6:00 PM I receive a call from one of our clients who was in crisis on the streets. He called from outside of Allentown and was afraid he was going to overdose. I talked him through his feelings, got the address, and immediately arranged transportation and treatment for him at Lehigh Center for Recovery. Once medically stable, he will be eligible to enter his second phase of treatment at our residential facility.
6:25 PM I receive a call from our Senior Center’s cook. She is calling off sick. I make arrangements for coverage and wish her a speedy recovery. This will impact our Community Meals program, but her health comes first.

Shortly after, I receive another call from a staff member with concerns about the COVID-19 crisis. He is worried that his coming and going to work puts him at risk. I explained that utilizing social distancing, and using a mask and gloves while commuting lessens the risk. All staff have their temperatures taken upon arrival to the facility daily. All residents at the facility have and remain symptom free for over a month. We are working safely, but if there is ever a time that he should feel that he is not able to work, I will support him, and lessen the fear of job loss for the employee as I can.

8:00 PM I check my emails…again, and schedule my conference calls for tomorrow. With that done, I finally begin to complete some of my take-home work, including a review of physical charts for a licensing audit of our halfway house and outpatient mental health.
10:15 PM I take another shower and say my prayers. I find comfort in the words of the bible tonight. It was Proverbs 12:25, (NIV) “An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up”.
11:00 PM I go to bed with hopes of the morning burning bright.

SACA’s employees work tirelessly for the health and well-being of our local community. As you can see, Jacqueline leads by example. It is through leadership like hers, and the rest of the SACA team, that SACA will continue to succeed through this crisis.