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“I Am Meridian” Recipients – 2022-23

Billy Tatum, Senior Specialist-Health Information Management

Nomination Criteria:   ☒ Excellence  

Billy has become a mentor to all the HIM staff. He is always willing to help staff and clients even when it is not in his job requirements. He will take on any project even when he has more than enough work to keep him busy.

Billy was picking up his breakfast from outside, when a gentleman approached Billy asking to get him help as he was here to bring his wife for treatment. Without hesitation, Billy immediately went to find the future client and her husband the help they needed.

Christy McBee, Project Coordinator-CCBHC-North

Nomination Criteria:   ☒ Initiative       

Christy was hired to begin providing services for the newly appointed Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics for the north area, for 7 counties. She jumped in and made contact with community resources to build a rapport through the local Chamber of Commerce. She has attended meetings, and after-hours community events to establish her presence as a contact person for Meridian, within the community. Christy is also participating in the Mental Health First Aid Train-the-Trainer program, as she saw a need for more assistance with limited staff coverage, asked if she could help, and signed up.

Christy shows initiative by helping other programs, and working to ensure all of Meridian’s Clients are served, and directed to appropriate programs. While learning her new job role with CCBHC, and getting a feel for how the grant funded program works, she has also assisted new staff in the MAT Services/OTP Department with learning their job. Christy has gone to other offices to assist, and she has also worked after hours to ensure that documentation for the Clients served is on time, and done correctly for billing purposes. Christy also assists with managing the ARNP’s schedule for walk-ins and CCBHC Clients. She was not asked to do any of this, but has seen a need, and taken care of the tasks.

Barbara “Babi” Allen, Law Enforcement Clinical Specialist

Nomination Criteria:   ☒ Excellence  

Babi consistently exceeds standards of care and quality of services associated with the performance of her job duties. She has demonstrated, on multiple occasions, an exceptional ability to assist individuals with persistent MI in the community while assisting our partner agencies with crisis diversions. Babi exhibits professionalism and exceeds the expectations of her position, going above and beyond to enhance interactions in the community with stakeholders and clients alike. In the recent event involving the loss of a well-known Deputy, she assisted with providing assistance and support, beyond the scope of her typical job duties.

Babi consistently provides quality services to the community, stakeholders, and our clients. In the month of February, she responded to over 90 calls for service with her partner ASO Deputy and made 55 contacts with attempts to divert from crisis services. She demonstrates a response to need, excellence in performance of essential job duties, and is an exemplary clinician, exceling when providing de-escalation interventions.

Pam Kiselica, Care Coordinator-CCBHC-North

Nomination Criteria:   ☒ Excellence   ☒ Initiative

Pam goes well above what is required of her as a care coordinator. Pam makes sure that the clients are well taken care of, keeps their families involved in their care, and works to ensure the client has all needs met even outside of Meridian.

Pam searches in the most remote areas of the outer counties to ensure every resource that can be available for her clients is available. Pam works with their families to understand what steps are needed or what steps will be taken. Pam truly cares and works tirelessly for her clients.

Most recently, Pam has been working on behalf of 2 of her clients that struggle significantly with their mental health. Pam has remained by their side, advocating for them, and ensuring they are stable and get the care that they need.  

One of the clients needed immediate placement as his current living quarters was creating trauma for him. Pam advocated on his behalf and found a place for him to be moved immediately! Pam set up transport on that day, and continues to check in with this client even though all mental health and physical health needs are provided through his new placement. Pam ensured this client was in regular counselingto decrease the trauma he was struggling with at his placement. Pam is a gem! She takes initiative and exudes excellence is all she does.

CCBHC appreciate all the hard work Pam does for all of our clients and Meridian is lucky to have her.

Joy “Kay” Purnell, Finance Counselor

Nomination Criteria:   ☒ Excellence        

Kay has been an absolute rock for her co-worker.  Kay had been a true mentor for Akyssah. Kay is always patient and will help her step by step in making sure that she has an understanding of what it is she has a question about from filling Consent to treat verifying coverage and entering insurances into Essentia.    Kay has been helping Akyssah at the same time she has been assisting the new LC Financial Counselor get her footing in the Meridian Culture. 

We all have bits of knowledge and when we take time to share with other departments, we gain a greater understanding of OUR MERIDIAN.  Meridian is going places and if we all take time to help out our fellow departments within our Meridian family the sky is the Limit.  See one, Do one, Teach one!!

Kay has been amazing in Lake City. For several weeks she managed the Financial Counselor needs for entire Lake City campus by herself and did not skip a beat. In fact, she kept up on her tasks and continued to help others in the process. We are again fully staffed in lake City but her ability to keep her head above water while remaining kind and generous in her interactions with staff and clients is a stellar example of what we all strive to be.  

Ronnie Williams, Jr., Billing Analyst

Nomination Criteria:   ☒ Excellence   ☒ Innovation    ☒ Initiative       ☒ Integrity

Ronnie has been with Meridian for several years and while he has opportunities elsewhere, he remains committed to what we do and is dedicated to helping us grow and sustain that growth through claiming support in all aspects. He has worked with our largest inpatient payor tirelessly and keeps the AR tight and smooth with that payor. He has managed the lion’s share of the inpatient claiming process and the majority of the outpatient process as well for quite some time.

During all of this he has continued to be patient and generous with his knowledge with me and has also taken time to work side by side with the other Billing Analyst for distribution of work, plan of attack, and how best to engage other departments for training and consistency.

Ronnie is always pleasant, polite, inquisitive, thoughtful, and intentional. He is an unbelievable asset to Meridian because it is not just a job to him- he believes in the mission and knows he can help us be better and he puts that foot forward every day. He leads by example by asking questions and providing answers. I’ve added him to our monthly meetings with our Sunshine rep because he has such great insight into the ebb and flow of their members within the Meridian arena. He will also be a Super User for Smart Care and he is a dynamo with data and processes.

There are some really amazing folk on my team, but he is stellar and on top of being highly effective is also simply a joy to work with.

One of the changes we have been implementing involves upgrading and streamlining our claim process to take advantage of some electronic features – Ronnie has diligently worked in finding kinks, testing, retesting, investigating, and more. He displays such an attention to detail that he is a resource for not just his coworkers but many of his superiors as well.

He has created a tracking database that helps our “Core Four” do focused AR work and it is (if you’re a numbers gal, and I am), like watching the movie The Matrix as far as the story it tells – it is a unique and robust tool that he created on his own simply because he knew there had to be a better way to get to the meat of it. This tool saves us time and makes our efforts far more effective because of the way it tracks the data from balances outstanding to claims billed, broken down by payor and client in a succinct and singularly driven reporting mechanism. He even tracks and trends the payments as they come in to see if one is slowing down so we can tackle issues before they become problems.

I asked if he could help the staff understand inpatient billing and claiming a bit and he generously agreed to give the staff a full interactive presentation – that’s tomorrow and I cannot wait to see how well he will engage with his co-workers and how much they are going to learn.


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