South Carolina Department of Mental Health

2012 DMH Center and Facility Outstanding Employees of the Year

2012 DMH Statewide Outstanding Employee of the Year:

Jerome "Roney" McCorkle from Physical Plant Services
Jerome "Roney" McCorkle from Physical Plant Services - 2012 DMH Outstanding Employee of the Year

CONGRATULATIONS to all of SCDMH's
Outstanding Employees for 2012!


DOAS/Central Administration

Ms. Jerri A. Veronee, Building Grounds Specialist IIIWhen it comes to Outstanding Employees, Ms. Jerri A. Veronee, Building Grounds Specialist III, is the South Carolina Department of Mental Health's (DMH) best kept secret. Jerri has given 10 years of dedicated service to the DOAS in this position arriving very early each morning, and beginning her job duties so when the DOAS workers arrive they can start their workday in a clean, pleasant environment. We highly recommend Ms. Jerri Veronee for Outstanding Employee of the Year.

Ms. Veronee has a job that demands careful attention to details and carries a huge responsibility. She works with a team of inmates, and is the one responsible to see that they carry out their duties in a timely, professional, and respectful manner. Ms. Veronee is willing to assist the DOAS workers beyond the regular duties if time permits. She is always there with a ready smile to do what she and her team can do to assist a DOAS worker with a special need. Since she does her job so well, Ms. Veronee is almost invisible as she goes about her duties.

Being in charge of a team that changes, sometimes weekly, is a challenge most supervisors do not deal with on their jobs. Most days Ms. Veronee has a team that is smaller than she needs and on those days she is limited for services that can be rendered, but she makes sure the basics are done, even if she must do them herself. Most of us do not realize what a hard job this is, but she performs it without us even noticing.

Ms. Veronee is a very positive role model for the inmates that she supervises. She is conscientious about her work duties and displays a superior work ethic. She leads by example, which ultimately instills these positive character-building qualities in the team that she supervises. Ms. Veronee is a liaison between two state agencies: the Department of Mental Health and the Department of Corrections. It is very important that she knows and follows the rules and regulations of both agencies.

Even though there are many outstanding employees at DMH, Ms. Veronee is exemplary. With the team Ms. Veronee supervises, she makes sure that ultimately what she and her team do is to support the SCDMH Mission of supporting the recovery of people with mental illnesses.

We respectfully request that you consider Ms. Jerri A. Veronee for the SCDMH Outstanding Employee.

DOAS/Physical Plant Services

Jerome “Roney” E. McCorkleMr. Jerome “Roney” E. McCorkle is a Trade Specialist V with DMH. He has been employed with DMH for twenty-eight years.  During his employment with DMH, Mr. McCorkle has held the positions of Vehicle Operator II, Automotive Maintenance Technician I, Mechanic III, Vehicle Maintenance Supervisor, and now Trades Specialist V. Several years ago, DMH operated two automotive maintenance repair shops with two maintenance supervisors. In 2006, the shops were combined into one repair shop. Mr. McCorkle had a tremendous challenge, but he took on his new responsibilities with grace and enthusiasm. This challenge gave him the responsibility of ensuring cost effectiveness, proper maintenance, and safety; and making certain that the shop maintained its certification.

During a particularly difficult time, just a little over a year ago, the maintenance shop was scheduled for certification. This certification is through the State Budget and Control Board and determines the shop’s ability to operate. During that time, Mr. McCorkle also suffered the loss of one of his three sons and approximately six months later, he lost his best friend and his father, Mr. Aaron McCorkle, Sr. Mr. McCorkle’s father had also worked for the department as an Automotive Maintenance Technician until his retirement. He also cared for his mother who lives with him. Although hurting on the inside, Mr. McCorkle’s spirit was still strong. He managed to draw strength from his faith, and through Mr. McCorkle's guidance, perseverance and tireless efforts with the forever presence of an extra mile attitude, the shop met the State Budget and Control Board’s criteria with high honors. In addition to the outstanding job Mr. McCorkle does maintaining the shop, he also oversees the department’s carwash operation, which continues to be cost effective.

Mr. McCorkle is an extremely loyal and committed employee to the service of DMH for our clients. He is a very talented recording artist, and a devoted husband to Jerri Kershaw McCorkle. He is the father of three sons, Rashad (with loving memories), Kartrell, and Markus. In his spare time he enjoys restoring Chevrolet vehicles and listening to music. Although a giant of a man, displaying such a sense of humor and compassion for his peers and people in general, he always has their best interest at heart. If you want an employee who gives exceptional support for whatever the cause, then you would want Mr. Jerome E. McCorkle. It is very easy to see why he is the Outstanding Employee for Physical Plant Services. We hope you agree that he should be the SCDMH Outstanding Employee of the Year.

Aiken-Barnwell CMHC

Dolly S. StillMs. Dolly S. Still, Human Services Coordinator I, has been with DMH for 3 years and 7 months. She has been a Perinatal Social Worker with Low Country Healthy Start from 2008 to 2009; a Human Services Coordinator II at Coastal Empire MHC for 4 months; a Social Worker with Low Country Health Care for 10 months and a Social Worker/Senior Human Services Specialist at DSS for 3 years and 5 months. Ms. Still is an exceptional candidate for Employee of the Year. She was placed in charge while our Supervisor, Larry Elledge, was out with an illness for several weeks. During this time, Ms. Still displayed her strong leadership skills. In addition to her normal duties, Ms. Still assisted staff in our office.

Ms. Still also serves as a liaison between the community and mental health as evidenced by her involvement outside her normal duties as a clinician. She arranged meetings with the local school districts to discuss implementing school-based services. Ms. Still, along with our physician and clinicians from the CAF Department met with all three districts in our county. These meetings were held during the day before Ms. Still was scheduled to report for work. The result was that one of the districts signed a contract for school-based services, and located a counselor in place. Another district is reviewing their contract. Plans are in place to begin school-based services in that district soon. Ms. Still has spoken at several community events which serves as an outreach to our community.

She continues to organize the Mental Health Forum which allows representatives from the community to meet and share concerns, as well as develop solutions to allow these agencies to work together more effectively. Ms. Still is presently attending the University of South Carolina, School of Social Work, to obtain a certificate in substance abuse treatment so she can better meet the needs of the clients in our area. Ms. Still is very compassionate when dealing with our clients and is willing to go the second mile to help both staff and clients. We are honored to submit Ms. Dolly S. Still for the Outstanding Employee Award.

Anderson-Oconee-Pickens CMHC

Michael A. YoungMr. Michael A. Young has worked for DMH for 10 years and six months. He is currently in the position of Human Services Specialist I. Mr. Young is an employee who consistently goes above and beyond his job duties to help others. Not only has he been exceptional throughout his years of services, but  he enters the Pickens MHC with a smile not only for his co-workers, but for all clients. Mr. Young spends 95% of his job in the community, working with some of the most challenging clients within the ACT-Like program. He consistently re-engages clients back with their families, and always includes the families as a support system for his clients. He always helps his co-workers with their clients. For example, one of his co-workers was at their wits end with a challenging client, and Mr. Young helped this co-worker find funds for food for the client, as well as helped his co-worker meet the client's other needs. Also, Mr. Young offered to assist his co-worker by going on a home visit with him to assist and help as needed. This example is one that shows Mr. Young's selfless acts not only for his co-workers, but also for his clients. His personality radiates a calming presence for the clients, as well as for staff. He is able to strategically de-escalate the most challenging clients and at the same time, teach the clients how to utilize their coping skills to maintain community tenure.

Mr. Young also does an exceptional job at leading the BEST training programs and presents the information in such a way that his co-workers learn something new each time. He also helps others to succeed by sharing information his co-workers need to help them understand their clients' needs. This in turn helps not only his clients, but the clients in Pickens County. His patience and understanding really helps with the care of his clients. When he needs to express to his clients that they need to try a little harder, they accept his advice and appreciate him for it. Mr. Young has been in all kinds of difficult situations, and is excellent in handling them for the good of the clients and staff. Working in the community can present challenging situations. Mr. Young consistently steps up to the challenge in such a way that portrays clinical skills that only experience and academia enhances.

Outside of the workplace, Mr. Young serves as the director of the music program at his local church. Mr. Young is a former member of the Grammy-winning gospel group, The Tri-City Singers. In his spare time he continues his music ministry to the community through mentoring children in his church in regards to improving their vocal skills, and in consultation with other musicians. This helps in the delivery of vocal ministry within the community.

Mr. Young should be employee of the year for the Department of Mental Health because he has performed above the call of duty, in such a way that he epitomizes a true missionary of God's work. Mr. Young has always been compassionate, caring, empathetic, hard-working, selfless, friendly, a promoter of teamwork, dedicated, giving, and motivated. These qualities, without question, establish him to be well deserving of not only Employee of the Year for AOP/MHC, but employee of the year for DMH. He is a front-line clinician whose persona has created an environment that is not only above and beyond for the clients, but also for his co-workers. All in all, Mr. Michael A. Young is an outstanding employee who has been able to harness his work ethic for the success of his clients and his co-workers and should be the DMH Outstanding Employee for this year.

Beckman Center for Mental Health Services

Dr. Alfred R. EbertDr. Alfred R. Ebert has worked for DMH for 22 years. During his time working at DMH he has held the positions of Medical Officer, Psychiatry Resident, and currently Psychiatrist. Dr. Ebert has worked at the Beckman Center for Mental Health Services for seventeen years and is an outstanding psychiatrist. He is a sound clinical leader in each clinic in which he works. He provides guidance to staff in treatment team meetings around the proper course of treatment for their clients. Dr. Ebert has been loyal to the Beckman Center and the clients he serves. He is dependable, dedicated to his clients, positive and upbeat, and compassionate to the needs of others.

Clients speak highly of Dr. Ebert and value his services. At the Client Recovery Conference, a client during her public testimony stated that she would like to thank "God and Dr. Ebert" for her recovery. Beckman Center is fortunate to have Dr. Alfred R. Ebert as part of its medical team. He is truly the "picture" of an Outstanding Employee and as such, we are putting him forth to be named the SCDMH Outstanding Employee.

Berkeley CMHC

Mr. Ralph L. Butler has been employed with the state for 21 years and seven months, and of this time he has spent 4 years and six months working for DMH. He is currently employed as a Program Manager I. Mr. Butler is always willing to assist in any way he can, and always goes beyond his own job duties to help others who are in need. He is always there with words of encouragement, and is very thoughtful of everyone with whom he works. Also, he knows his position and responsibility exceptionally well, including budgeting.

He takes pride in his job and makes sure that it is always done correctly. He is very loyal, and is always ready to rise to any challenge he may face. Anytime Mr. Butler's coworkers or clients are in need, he is always willing to help to make sure that the problem is solved. It is for these reasons that we believe Mr. Ralph L. Butler is deserving of the honor of Outstanding Employee.

Catawba CMHC

Ms. Summer L. SmithMs. Summer L. Smith has been employed with DMH for 13 years and 5 months. She has held the positions of Clinical Counselor from 1999 to 2003; Mental Health Counselor II and III from 2003-2006; Chief Mental Health Counselor/Clinical Coordinator from 2006-2007, and is currently a Human Services Coordinator I/Program Supervisor. Ms. Smith has worked for many years for CCMHC.

She started her career as a bachelor's level staff member working in a rehabilitative psychosocial therapy program (RPT). She went back to school and got her master's degree, and has worked as an outpatient therapist for many years now. However, her heart is never far away from her beginnings, working with the chronically mentally ill population.

Ms. Smith is not one to look for the limelight, and often does things quietly to assist the clients. She has been known to collect clothes and toiletry items for a client who was burned out of their home. She assisted a client who was living in a bad neighborhood to move to a safer housing area. She also helped find a dog sitter for a client that was hospitalized. These are just a few situations where Ms. Smith went beyond the call of duty to help others in need. Ms. Smith started her career at Catawba but she longed for the bright lights and big city, so she transferred to the Lexington County Mental Health Center. After a little while the city lights dimmed and she realized that CCMHC was her home. We gladly welcomed Ms. Smith back and are proud that she is our nominee.

In the summer of 2007, Catawba had to close the residential program (Greenway) that Ms. Smith ran. This was necessitated by budgetary concerns, orchestrated the closing of this program with her customary compassion the clients and for the staff. Not one staff person left the program until all the residents were placed in other residential programs in other catchment areas, and that was due to Ms. Smith's leadership. We are proud that Ms. Summer L. Smith is the Catawba CMHC Employee of the year and place her candidacy before you for consideration as DMH's Outstanding Employee of the Year.

Charleston/Dorchester MHC

Ms. Michelle R. Scott has been employed with DMH since 1994 and has been an employee of CDMHC since 2006. She has always been flexible in filling needs in various parts of the center and has worked as a school-based counselor, clinic based counselor and assisted with the off-site Fetter Clinic services (primary care). She is driven to help people that are in need. She ran a camp for the children of the fire fighters who lost their lives in the incident at Sofa Superstore, and she has worked with the anger management group at the Department of Juvenile Justice. Ms. Scott’s current position is with the Dee Norton Low Country Children’s Center (LCC). As her supervisor, I am amazed to witness her presentations at multi-agency staffing.  She has a remarkable memory, is thorough, concise, and has appropriate client centered recommendations. LCC staff report how much they appreciate having Ms. Scott at LCC and commend her quality of work. In fact, Dr. Don Elsey of LCC noted: Ms. Michelle R. Scott has been employed with DMH since 1994 and has been an employee of CDMHC since 2006. She has always been flexible in filling needs in various parts of the center and has worked as a school-based counselor, clinic based counselor and assisted with the off-site Fetter Clinic services (primary care). She is driven to help people that are in need. She ran a camp for the children of the fire fighters who lost their lives in the incident at Sofa Superstore, and she has worked with the anger management group at the Department of Juvenile Justice. Ms. Scott’s current position is with the Dee Norton Low Country Children’s Center (LCC). As her supervisor, I am amazed to witness her presentations at multi-agency staffing. She has a remarkable memory, is thorough, concise, and has appropriate client centered recommendations. LCC staff report how much they appreciate having Ms. Scott at LCC and commend her quality of work. In fact, Dr. Don Elsey of LCC noted:

“Ms. Scott does an excellent job conducting forensic interviews with children when there are concerns of child abuse, and also has provided evidence based treatment to children and families who have suffered trauma. Ms. Scott is eloquent in her case presentations at multi-disciplinary team meetings, making her recommendations in the best interest of the children. Ms. Scott always has the best interest of her clients in mind, advocating for the safety and appropriate treatment of these families. Even when giving feedback to families that can be difficult to hear, Ms. Scott does this in an empathetic and professional manner. We are proud to have her at DNLCC”.

In this role, Ms. Scott also has to manage not only DMH electronic medical records (EMR), but also LCC’s new system of electronic records and additional performance measures. When this new software was introduced, it expanded the assessment information necessary for LCC staff to gather, which now includes a Mental Status Exam portion. LCC was grateful that Ms. Scott was able to provide training for their staff on how to conduct a thorough mental status exam, as most clinicians have not practiced in this area of assessment. Ms. Scott readily seeks out new opportunities for training and expanding her knowledge. She has received specialized training in sexual behavior problems; trauma focused cognitive behavior therapy (TFCBT) and Child First Forensic Interviewing for neglected and sexually abused children. Ms. Scott recently attended parent- child interactive therapy (PCIT) of The Carolina’sTraining Conference, and is one of only a handful of PCIT trained and practicing therapists at CDMHC.

Ms. Scott is conscientious, compassionate, dedicated and despite the difficult work she does, amazingly, Ms. Scott always has a smile on her face on even the toughest days! We strongly support Ms. Michelle R. Scott as CDMHC employee of the year!

Coastal Empire CMHC

Sandra “Clydette” P. McDanielMs. Sandra “Clydette” P. McDaniel is a Nurse III of great integrity who consistently shows compassion for both clients and staff. Ms. McDaniel has been with DMH for over 22 years starting in 1990. She retired and returned in July of 2012. She is the first to suggest ideas to help members of the staff who are struggling with professional and personal issues. She works with an “open door” policy, which makes staff feel comfortable going to her with questions or a problem that they may be experiencing. She is a true leader with the ability to communicate clearly, and foster communication between staff members. In team assignments, she facilitates overall team productivity and always achieves outstanding results. She is innovative, consistently proposing new services or improved ways of performing functions. Although she could retire at any time, she chooses to remain current with education and changes that happen in the field.

Ms. McDaniel manages six nurses who are located in different, far-flung locations, and her assigned duties are myriad. She works beautifully with the drug representatives, and keeps all eight of our clinics supplied with drug samples and the latest documentation for our learning and for the client’s education. Even though she faces challenges of her own, she is usually the first clinical person to arrive in the morning and the last to leave in the evenings. She remains in tune with everyone in the clinic and seems to know what everyone needs, even if it is just a shoulder to cry on.

She is a tremendous advocate for her clients and does many wonderful things for them. One holiday she purchased a desk for a client’s daughter, having heard that the child wanted one, but the mom could not provide one. Ms. McDaniel and some of her staff members borrowed a truck and delivered the desk to the mom and daughter. The mother exclaimed in gratitude, “I don’t know what I would have done without Coastal all these years.”

Although she could have been nominated any year, in this year of “The Future is Now” (FIN), she has more than met the new challenges in the demands of the Affordable Health Care Act. Ms. Sandra P. McDaniel is deserving of the honor of Outstanding Employee.

Columbia Area MHC

Nurse Manager Patricia “Pat” W. HicksThere are many reasons why we believe Nurse Manager Patricia “Pat” W. Hicks deserves to be Employee of the Year, but I’ll begin with the most important one first: her clear and evident display of total commitment to the clients she serves. Ms. Hicks has been with Columbia Area since 1988 and with DMH for 28 years. Ms. Hicks unselfishly gives of her time day in and day out with dedication and without complaint. We have observed her going the extra mile for any client who needs it. Ms. Hicks is well liked and extremely respected by every client she has ever had a hand in helping.

Recently when the Carter Street Residential Program RN unexpectedly resigned, Ms. Hicks stepped in to provide direct RN services to over 50 clients daily, in addition to maintaining her essential responsibilities at Independence House/Homeshare. When she undertook that responsibility, we knew it would mean that she would have very little time for anything or anyone else; however, she still found time to provide needed consults with the clinicians and program coordinators. As her supervisor, I was concerned about the cumbersome workload she had on her shoulder, so I would constantly ask what I could do to help, knowing full well that I did not possess the skills or credentials to give her what she actually needed. Instead, I aggressively sought out an RN to work in a temporary position while waiting to hire a permanent RN.

Each time we thought we had a suitable RN temporary to provide some relief for Ms. Hicks, the temporary RN would unfortunately end-up "not" working out for the needs of the program. Well, this carried on for what seemed like an eternity. I can only imagine the stress and strain that Ms. Hicks was under, but there she was each day, showing up to work, giving injections, linking clients to needed services. She was also assisting in psychiatric medical assessment clinics (PMA clinics), reviewing lab results, ordering medications, checking vitals. I dare not fail to mention, checking on the ever so important little scratch or small bump that a client just had to know was not a serious medical condition. Yes, she just had a way of making time for it all. That is why the clients and staff all genuinely care about her the same way.

Not only does Ms. Hicks care about her clients, but also she also equally cares about her co-workers. She has one of the most generous spirits I have ever seen. On any given day, we would walk into the office and find a special treat waiting. She enjoys baking, cooking and creating special decorations to mark the season or holiday. Many staff at CAMHC have had the privilege of working with Ms. Hicks, and they have all said the same things about her that I have already mentioned. I truly do not know anyone who thinks differently.

Ms. Hicks is a walking human resource for several different areas: Nursing, co-occurring disorders, alcohol and drug issues, NAMI, and so many others. Repeatedly, family members have called or stopped by the office, to inquire about one thing or another, and no matter what she was doing, Ms. Hicks would take the time to answer their questions and help ease any concerns they had. That is classic Ms. Pat Hicks.

Finally, I would like to conclude by saying that Ms. Hicks has the healthiest sense of humor. She likes to lift others' spirits by sending a quick comical email or tell a quick story about something that happened to her. Her laugh is so infectious that if you are not in the room, and overheard her laughing, you would be making your way in the direction of her laughter just to have your tickle box touched. So for all of the aforementioned reasons, we firmly believe that Ms. Patricia W. Hicks should be named Employee of the Year.

Greenville MHC

Anthony “Tony” Schmidt, RN IMr. Anthony “Tony” Schmidt, RN I, has been employed with DMH for three years. During this time Mr. Schmidt has shown great character with his clients and coworkers. He is a person who never complains and is always in a good mood. Mr. Schmidt is always willing to lend a helping hand to anyone who is in need. Everyday he has a smile on his face no matter what the situation. Mr. Schmidt gives excellent treatment to his clients and is willing to go beyond his own personal duties to help someone else who is in need. He serves as a mentor and friend to staff, and the patients reap the benefits of it.

Mr. Schmidt plays in a heavy metal band, and watching him perform reveals his pure love of music. The smile on his face is much like the smile he exhibits when he relates a patient’s success with managing symptoms, getting a job, finding housing, or achieving any milestone. Although Mr. Schmidt would never take credit for his patients' successes, we all know that Mr. Schmidt has played a large part in their progress. We are happy that Mr. Schmidt left Washington State to journey cross-country and become a part of the Greenville team. Mr. Anthony Schmidt's excellent service to DMH makes him the ideal candidate to be named the SCDMH Outstanding Employee of the Year.

Lexington County CMHC

Christine Lee FerdausMs. Christine Lee Ferdaus is knowledgeable, competent, and keeps everything running smoothly and efficiently. Ms. Ferdaus is indispensable as an Administrative Specialist II/Administrative Assistant in the LCCMHC Child and Family (CAF) front office! She has been with DMH since 2008. She is always calm and handles difficult client situations or problems that arise in our lobby with thoughtfulness and appropriateness. She is so efficient and helpful, that when she is not at work, even the clients miss her!
Ms. Ferdaus has always taken an interest in motivating and supporting co-workers, and CAF clinicians by baking each person a special birthday cake on the appointed day. She coordinates the annual CAF Thanksgiving luncheon and other special events such as CAF worker wedding and baby showers. She does it all! Besides having a husband and young child at home, Ms. Ferdaus is in school studying dental hygiene, and she can often be seen on her lunch break reviewing anatomy flashcards or writing a history paper. She manages to do this without skipping a beat, and has kept our front office running, even when times have been tough with budget cuts and increased workloads. She is a natural leader and problem solver, and she quite simply gets the job done. We would not be able to do what we do without her, and I cannot imagine a more worthy person than Ms. Christine Lee Ferdaus to be named SCDMH's Outstanding Employee of the Year.

Orangeburg Area MHC

Cynthia D. HallmonMs. Cynthia D. Hallmon, Clinical Counselor, has been employed with DMH for 10 years, and during her time here she has been stationed at OAMHC. During this time she has shown that she is dependable, consistent and very passionate about what she does. She performs all her duties above and beyond those required to ensure that the needs of the individuals we serve are met. Ms. Hallmon has always demonstrated teamwork and is dependable in meeting deadlines.  She has worked hard at being a change agent for the clients.

Ms. Hallmon strives to ensure that her clients meet their treatment goals to remain in the least restrictive setting. Ms. Hallmon is willing to do whatever it takes to ensure her clients do not re-enter the juvenile justice system. She has outstanding relationships with the stakeholders, the families she serves and her co-workers. Ms. Cynthia D. Hallmon is a valuable asset to OAMHC and we are proud to send her forth as our nominee for the SCDMH Outstanding Employee of the Year Award.

Pee Dee MHC

Ms. Brenda C. Lawson has worked for DMH for more than 14 years, and of that time she has been employed in adult services for over two years. During 2001 to 2002 she  moved to intensive case management. Now she is serving as a Human Service Coordinator I.  On a daily basis Ms. Lawson is instrumental in advancing the mission and purpose of the Linda M. Summer Family Services (LMSFS).  She contributes to the cause by aiding the clerical staff with pertinent information on how to address some of the clients that need customer service help. For example, a child and parent came and were in distress. The child was experiencing defiant and suicidal thoughts. There was a time when the  clerical staff was trying to assist by getting basic information from the parent, but could not due to the stress level and condition of the child.  Brenda stepped in and assisted the clerical staff with obtaining the information needed to process this case. This incident does not completely explain Ms. Lawson’s strong work ethic. Ms. Brenda C. Lawson has worked for DMH for more than 14 years, and of that time she has been employed in adult services for over two years. During 2001 to 2002 she moved to intensive case management. Now she is serving as a Human Service Coordinator I. On a daily basis Ms. Lawson is instrumental in advancing the mission and purpose of the Linda M. Summer Family Services (LMSFS). She contributes to the cause by aiding the clerical staff with pertinent information on how to address some of the clients that need customer service help. For example, a child and parent came and were in distress. The child was experiencing defiant and suicidal thoughts. There was a time when the clerical staff was trying to assist by getting basic information from the parent, but could not due to the stress level and condition of the child. Brenda stepped in and assisted the clerical staff with obtaining the information needed to process this case. This incident does not completely explain Ms. Lawson's strong work ethic.

Ms. Lawson's work attitude is a fulltime debate on what she can do to help the children and families that are served here at LMSFS. She has the endurance and team player spirit that is valuable to be in a leadership role. She has a special talent for forecasting the needs of the individuals that need mental health services, and working with her co-workers and superiors to accomplish those demands. Ms. Lawson has a strong desire to see LMSFS expand their services. With her knowledge and creative inspiration, this center could become a giant haven for children with mental health issues. Because of her belief, she does what she can with her abilities to offer groups with children, and to assist the families as often as possible. She surrounds her personal life by learning and helping in her community in what can be done to assist the mentally ill. Ms. Lawson even uses her personal time to keep abreast of her workload, and to maintain an exceptionally high productivity level. We recommend, with distinction, that Ms. Brenda C. Lawson be named the SCDMH Outstanding Employee of the Year.

Piedmont Center for Mental Health Services

Amanda A. GeddingsMs. Amanda A. Geddings has been a part of DMH and Piedmont Center for over five years. She is currently a Nurse Practitioner III, Advance Practice Registered Nurse (APRN). She is very dependable and consistent in her attendance. She always does a very thorough and efficient job when performing all of her duties. She carries a very heavy caseload of mentally ill clients. Ms. Geddings is frequently heard saying “ I love my patients." You can see that the clients that she works with share the same feeling from the way that they communicate and operate around each other.

Ms. Geddings is supervised by Dr. Lynn Wright, Center Medical Director. In Ms. Geddings' evaluation dated January 31, 2013, Dr. Wright wrote, “Ms. Geddings is outstanding in every aspect of her job - knowledge base, rapport, empathy, work ethic; and her quality of service delivery is incomparable. PCMHS is extremely fortunate to have her as an essential worker of our medical team.”

Ms. Geddings is married to Trent and they are the parents of three children. She received a B.S. in Nursing from the University of South Carolina in 1997 and a M.S. in Nursing (Family NP) from USC in 2001. She has worked as an APRN since 2001. Since August 2009 she has served on the SC Board of Nursing Advanced Practice Committee. Ms. Geddings is very regular and active in her local church in Fountain Inn serving as a Sunday school teacher and in other voluntary capacities. Ms. Amanda A. Geddings is our Outstanding Employee and she should be the agency’s.

Santee-Wateree CMHC

Ms. Pamela J. Williams is an Administrative Specialist II, and has worked for DMH for fifteen years. During this time she has managed to establish a reputation among her peers at Santee-Wateree CMHC for being a diligent worker, always with a smile and positive outlook. She has successfully taken on multiple projects during the time I have been here and is often complemented for her leadership skills. These qualities are the reason why Ms. Williams should be named Employee of the Year. Ms. Williams exemplifies an exceptionally committed employee with great passion. She strives to do the best for Santee-Wateree. The needs of today do not absorb her; she looks forward with planned vision to determine the needs for the future. I consider myself fortunate to work with someone like Ms. Williams. She always has a full workload, but she is always available when needed.

Ms. Williams' knowledge of policies and procedures is unparalleled. So many times she has gone above the call of duty, working late to resolve a crisis. She has proven herself repeatedly since coming to working here and because of her efforts, clients who need services are successful in beginning their path to recovery. Through it all, Ms. Williams has always had a calm and humble demeanor with the thousands of patients that she serves. Without her service we would have a huge void that would be almost impossible to fill. Ms. Williams has also recently assumed the position of office manager for the Sumter Adult Clinic, and has done an excellent job. For this diligence and commitment, Ms. Pamela J. Williams deserves to be the SCDMH Outstanding Employee.

Spartanburg Area MHC

Paula Gilliam-SmithMs. Paula Gilliam-Smith, Administrative Specialist II, began working at Spartanburg Area Mental Health Center on April 17, 2000. During her time here, she has performed many duties to include administrative support for the intake department, administrative support for child and adolescent (C&A) doctors, processed medication requests and prior authorizations, scheduler, switchboard operator and front window receptionist, which is her current position. As the needs of the center changed, Ms. Gilliam-Smith was able to be flexible and meet those changes. She learned each job quickly, and supported and helped her co-workers and clients.

A few things that her fellow co-workers said about Ms. Gilliam-Smith:

“...Ms. Paula Gilliam-Smith has a friendly disposition and caring attitude when serving the clients. This is especially important, as she is one of the first people a future client or visitor meets. It is always nice to see someone who greets you with a smile."

"...She brightens up anyone’s day. She keeps a smile on her face and through it all...just awesome."

“Has good rapport with staff and clients, multi- tasks and has various work experience in different SAMHC job positions.”

Ms. Gilliam-Smith is a United States Veteran. She served in the United States Army from November 1989 to March 1993. She has two children: Christopher, 20, who attends the University of South Carolina and is majoring in engineering; Mattilyn, 8, who is in the second grade at Chapman Elementary School. She is an active member of the Greater Bible Way Tabernacle Miracle Temple in Inman, SC. She sings in the sanctuary choir, serves in the women’s ministry, serves on the finance committee and is executive secretary of the Western North Carolina Diocese. When she is not serving her church, Ms. Gilliam-Smith enjoys couponing, reading, spending time with family and volunteering at the Boys & Girls Club where her daughter attends.

Ms. Paula Gilliam-Smith is deserving of being voted Employee of the Year from Spartanburg Area Mental Health Center.

Tri County Community Mental Health Center

Ms. Ridgill L. DuBose, RN I, has been working for DMH for 2 years and 11 months. Ms. DuBose is a “client first” caring professional whose positive attitude infects all with whom she has contact. She is a team member who offers assistance to co-workers while performing her own job exceptionally well.

During the centers’ CARF preparation, she agreed to be the safety committee chair, and provided the leadership that resulted in a clean safety survey. Ms. DuBose excels at being a nurse, co-worker, friend, mother, and wife. With a smile she is a problem solver who is not hesitant to invest her time and talents in providing a solution. Even though her tenure with DMH is short, her accomplishments are long. For this reason, we recommend Ms. Ridgill L. DuBose be named the SCDMH Outstanding Employee.

Waccamaw Center for Mental Health

Dave A. MoenWaccamaw Center has selected Mr. Dave A. Moen as their candidate for Outstanding Employee of the Year. Mr. Moen has been working for DMH for six years and eight months. He is currently an Information Resource Consultant I. Mr. Moen is always accommodating and helpful when assisting staff for creation of a variety of computer reports and projects. He is extremely knowledgeable about computer software and associated accessories. He has been instrumental in creating an interactive web site for the WCMH, and he has always gone above and beyond any responsibility given to him.

Mr. Moen has developed a program of recycling toner cartridges called the Client Med. Program. The funds received assist clients with medications. He is also very involved with the lives and activities of his two girls. He is very active and connected to his Beach Church family and participates with a special needs ministry. Our description of Mr. Moen pales in comparison to his excellent work and the extra mile he goes for our Center. Mr. Dave A. Moen is everyone's Outstanding Employee.

Bryan Psychiatric Hospital (BPH)/Activity Therapy

Pamela V. RobersonMs. Pamela V. Roberson works as a Human Services Coordinator I. She has been selected to represent BPH/Activity Therapy as their candidate for the 2012 Outstanding Employee of the year award. Ms. Roberson has been working for the state for twenty-six years, and of that time, she has dedicated sixteen of those years to DMH. Ms. Roberson has been very instrumental in assisting with the re-organization of the Activity Therapy Department at BPH.

She has played a major role in the leadership and training toward our patient centered care philosophy. She has taken on the task of assisting with the performance improvement (PI) program by auditing charts and reporting the results to the A.T. Director and the performance improvement department. Her initiative will reduce the department's deficiencies with documentation.

Ms. Roberson has organized and planned to implement a presentation for therapeutic recreation week to assist with team building for the department. She scheduled a tour of Patrick B. Harris Psychiatric Hospital to broaden our program and encourage networking. She provides exceptional therapeutic and recreational activities for approximately 20 patients. Ms. Roberson focuses on the patient and the patient's recovery. Her documentation is completed with 100% accuracy. She really steps in when others are absent covering assessments, progress notes, and treatment team without being told to do so. Ms. Roberson acts in the absence of the supervisor as Activity Therapy Director (ATD).

The morale of the activity therapists, librarian, and hair care specialists in the ATS department has increased, which is attributed to the leadership of Ms. Roberson. She portrays a positive attitude and is dedicated, resourceful, flexible, thorough and organized. She independently formulates plans to reach our department’s goals.

Even though she has no children of her own, Ms. “Pam” Roberson has devoted much of her time to her twin nephews who just started college, and played an instrumental maternal role in their development and growth. She is active in her church and community with special programs for children and elders. As a hoppy and pastime, she directs weddings and decorates with impeccable taste.

Ms. Pamela V. Roberson is highly recommended as Outstanding Employee because she is an outstanding asset to BPH and DMH.

DIS/Forensic Evaluation Services (FES)

Dr. Jeffrey MusickIf any DMH employee deserves to be awarded for their deep commitment to providing the highest quality of services, level-headedness and fairness, it would be Dr. Jeffrey Musick, Chief Psychologist. It seems everyone who has been fortunate enough to work with Dr. Musick appreciates his exceptional problem solving abilities and willingness to help in any way possible. Dr. Musick is known to work weekends and late hours to assure an exemplary quality of work is carried out in FES. Dr. Musick also has a way about him that boosts the morale of all disciplines of staff.  His main goal is to get the work accomplished while being fair to everyone involved. He has a special sense of humor that is particularly appreciated at celebrations when he always finds something to say that brings laughter to the occasion.

It is obvious that Dr. Musick cares equally about the work at FES as does the staff fortunate enough to know him. Another special characteristic of Dr. Musick is his ability to rectify problems by breaking them down to determine exactly what is needed to resolve them. Even in the midst of a crisis, Dr. Musick is able to keep a level head and address exactly what needs to be done. There are many DMH staff that look forward to carrying out their duties just a little bit more because of the positive environment at FES, working with Dr. Jeff Musick. We enthusiastically endorse Dr. Jeffrey Musick for the DMH Outstanding Employee of the Year.

C. M. Tucker, Jr., Nursing Care Center

C.M. Tucker, Jr., Nursing Care Center has nominated Ms. Linda D. Finney for Outstanding Employee of the Year for 2012. Ms. Finney has worked for the state for 11 years and 9 months. Six years of that time has been spent at DMH. Ms. Finney is a Behavioral Health Specialist/CNA-C who is an excellent role model to all staff. She is compassionate and is an advocate for residents, always putting their needs first. She treats residents with the utmost respect. She is responsible, takes initiative, and works well with little to no supervision. She is dedicated to resident care, staff needs, and the support of leadership.

Ms. Finney is organized and manages her time effectively. She has a positive attitude even when circumstances are not favorable. She performs her duties with a smile that can brighten anyone's day. She has earned the trust of several residents who have been difficult for other staff to manage. She is able to provide care for these residents when no one else can. Ms. Finney is dependable and committed, not afraid of challenges, and adapts well to change. She loves her job and strives to maintain a harmonious work environment. She is instrumental in assisting with the unit based training for new CNA staff for both units.

Ms. Finney has taken on the responsibility of ensuring residents have the appropriate clothing to wear when attending off campus trips. She personally irons clothing, polishes shoes, and has even used her own funds to buy items that may be needed. Ms. Finney is constantly seeking opportunities to improve the quality of life for the residents on Unit 120. She is creative when it comes to snack time, making it enjoyable for the residents. She participates in the planning and execution of activities for the residents during the 3pm - 11pm shifts. Ms. Finney always goes the extra mile for residents, peers and management. Ms. Linda D. Finney is not easily influenced or intimidated. She believes in doing what is right and is certainly an Outstanding Employee for the Department.

Division of Inpatient Services (DIS) Centralized Services 

Ms. Rebekah Player-GraberMs. Rebekah Player-Graber has consistently provided over 14 years of outstanding service and contributions to long-term Care and most recently to the Division of Inpatient Services. As Director of Physical Therapy, she has led her team in providing excellent physical therapy treatment. She ensured that a customized physical therapy program was developed for patients/residents. Ms. Player-Graber chaired the falls committee at Tucker and under her leadership, falls were significantly reduced at Roddey & Stone. She and her staff played a significant role in issuing and tracking the use of patient alarm devices. At the request of the Roddey Pavilion residents, she started an exercise class in the afternoon and worked with the nursing staff to avoid any scheduling conflicts. She provided leadership and guidance to her staff as they provided outstanding services to patients and residents located in eight different treatment areas within Inpatient Services.

Due to Ms. Player-Graber's positive work ethic and "can do" spirit, she was provided additional opportunities for professional growth, to participate with the nursing staff in safety awareness, and positioning equipment available for care. She was selected to be the Director for the Rehabilitative Services Department when the DIS leadership made the decision to reorganize the four rehabilitative services into one department.

Ms. Player-Graber leads with a team approach across all disciplines. Consumer/client based excellence in care is her main focus. She works in conjunction with the business office and supply to ensure cost containment for DIS regarding durable medical equipment. Ms. Player-Graber has developed a Safety/DME manual for each unit at TNCC to ensure nursing staff is aware of safety and positioning equipment available for care. Ms. Player-Graber was selected to participate in the SCDMH Mentoring Program and the TNCC Administrator in Training Program.

In coordination with ETR and her staff, Ms. Player-Graber led the development of a training class for each individual rehabilitative service for the Certified Nursing Assistant Program. She assisted the nursing staff with yearly completion of in-services and policy and procedure reviews. She frequently encourages each rehabilitative service to provide community education through student programs such as Career Day at local schools, Midlands Technical College Physical Therapy Assistant Program, C.A. Johnson High School Shadow Career Program, and the USC Exercise Science Program. Ms. Player-Graber participates in the Tucker Nursing Care Center Citizen Advisory Board where she provides periodic rehabilitative services updates. With qualities like these, we hope that you will agree that Ms. Rebekah Player-Graber should be named the Outstanding Employee of the Year.

Morris Village

Ms. Tammy C. Cleveland Ms. Tammy C. Cleveland began her position as the Nursing Director for Morris Village in July of 2006. Ms. Cleveland immediately brought a spirit of teamwork and camaraderie between all disciplines - nursing, medical, counseling and administrative staff. She always goes the extra mile with both staff and patients to ensure that good communication ensues, and that patients are provided excellent nursing care.

Over the last two years, Ms. Cleveland has gone above and beyond her job duties to ensure that the service disciplines within each treatment team work hand-in-hand, together "as one,” to provide the best treatment services to patients. At her own expense she always attends meaningful trainings on addictive disease and treatment in order to ensure that nursing staff know and understand the unique dynamics of addiction and recovery. She has led team building sessions for both the men's and women's team and the co-occurring disorder treatment team. During these team building sessions, Ms. Cleveland encourages open and honest multi-disciplinary communication in order to identify barriers to great teamwork.

Ms. Cleveland has a knack for making all staff feel they are valued, needed and are important. During this time, Ms. Cleveland was appointed by George McConnell, the Morris Village Director, to lead the MV Program Director's newly developed employee morale committee. One of the many results of her gifted leadership is a quarterly employee social event such as an ice cream social or special staff meal. She often contributes out of pocket to ensure that these events are successful. Since becoming involved in the leadership of team building efforts as well as the morale committee, employee surveys have reflected a significant improvement in staff perceptions that their input is valued, and that they are heard.

Several words come to mind when recognizing and appreciating the work, effort, and leadership of Ms. Tammy Cleveland. They are dedication, commitment, unselfishness and teamwork. This ability to positively influence people, empowering them to “give their all” is a special gift that has made Morris Village a better place than before she arrived! Our endorsement of Ms. Tammy C. Cleveland as the Outstanding Employee is unwavering.

Patrick B. Harris Psychiatric Hospital

Mr. Jonathan J. Worth, Jamie as he is known to everyone at HPH, has been nominated for the Outstanding Employee Award. Mr. Worth has worked for DMH as a Registered Nurse I from August 2, 1999 to November 1, 2000; and he is now a Nurse Administrator/Manager I. Mr. Worth is the head nurse on the long-term lodge and he runs a tight and efficient ship. Mr. Worth is a proven leader, and the staff members look up to him for guidance. Mr. Worth approaches each situation with the best interest of the patients in mind. His inservice on "Teamwork" should be mandatory for all staff.

During the annual talent show for the patients, Mr. Worth always wows the crowd with his brilliant singing voice. He is a very involved parent, going to different school events to support and motivate his son. He has been a coach for little league baseball and basketball from 2005 through 2012. He helps his grandmother on a continuous basis while she's living at her assisted living facility. Mr. Jonathan J. Worth assists at HPH when needed as a CPR instructor in addition to his other duties. We highly recommend this well-rounded employee for the Outstanding Employee of the Year Award.

Sexual Violent Predators Treatment Program

Mr. Roger E. DannelsSVPTP has selected Mr. Roger E. Dannels, Human Services Coordinator I, as their nominee for the Outstanding Employee award. He has been employed with the state for thirteen years and eight months. Mr. Dannels has been employed with DMH one year and eleven months. Mr. Dannels consistently goes above and beyond the call of duty, without prompting or being asked to do so and without complaint. He has played a tremendous role in mentoring new, less experienced staff members.

Mr. Dannels has offered numerous trainings to the clinical staff in order to share his expertise from his long career in the treatment of sexual offenders. This information has been extremely helpful to our staff. Mr. Dannels is a natural leader. He has used those skills to help foster a very cooperative and well functioning treatment team. He has volunteered to lead more groups than his colleagues, and he carries a higher caseload. He is extremely dedicated to the field of sexual offender treatment and treats all of the program residents with respect. He helps them recognize and live up to their potential. When his supervisor unexpectedly left on medical leave, he offered his assistance to his current supervisor who had been recently hired. He provided very helpful assistance, consultation, and support during an otherwise difficult time of transition in the program. Mr. Dannels has an excellent sense of humor and plays a vital role in maintaining positive morale among his colleagues. We send forth Mr. Roger E. Dannels as our candidate for the Outstanding Employee Award.

WSHPI/Child & Adolescent Division

Mr. Richard SellsMr. Richard Sells has been nominated by WSHPI for the award of Outstanding Employee. He has worked for  DMH for twenty-four years. He is currently an Activity Therapist II (AT). Mr. Sells is deserving of the Outstanding Employee Award for Hall. He completes his duties way ahead of the scheduled time frame and takes pride in performing his duties. He assists as needed with coverage and even volunteers to take on more duties. He works well with AT staff and co-workers in his assigned unit. Mr. Sells has a good relationship with his patients. He  coordinates bingo supplies for each unit and purchases and distributes bingo supplies to each unit on a weekly basis.

Mr. Sells adheres to all facets of corporate compliance. He takes great pride in providing a variety of goal oriented groups and leisure activities that enhance the patients' overall self-awareness. He purchases supplies and needed items for his patients and unit out of his pocket. Mr. Sells is an exceptional employee, who when asked to complete a task, it’s done.  His documentation is completed with accuracy in a timely manner and he is a team player. He's willing to assist as needed with coverage for other units. Mr. Sells' last performance rating was substantially exceeds.

In the past, Mr. Sells has provided fitness programs for staff at Hall, attended several cross cultural conferences and received outstanding achievement awards. He attends Brookland Baptist Church and serves on the usher board ministry. Mr. Sells volunteers time and gives monetary donations to Harvest Hope and The Oliver Gospel Mission organizations. On February 17, 2012, Mr. Sells was inducted into the Wilson High School Athletic Association Inc., Hall of Fame. He was also inducted into the Florence Athletic Hall of Fame on January 8, 2011. Mr. Sells Supported the United States Olympic Committee in 2011. We are happy to submit Mr. Richard Sells as Hall's candidate for the agency's Outstanding Employee Award.

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