South Carolina Department of Mental Health

2015 DMH Center and Facility
Outstanding Employees of the Year

2015 DMH Statewide
Outstanding Employee
of the Year


Irvin Nelms, Jr.

Monica Hugee - 2013 DMH Statewide Outstanding Employee of the Year

CONGRATULATIONS to each
DMH Center and Facility
Outstanding Employee of the Year!

Pee Dee Mental Health Center employee, Irvin Nelms, Jr. was selected from this group to be the 2015 DMH Statewide Outstanding Employee of the Year!!!

The Award Ceremony was held May 13, 2016 at 1:00 PM at Morris Village.

Division of Administrative Services (DOAS)

Community Mental Health Services

Division of Inpatient Services (DIS)


DOAS - Central Administration - Mallory Miller

Mallory MillerThe staff of Central Administration Building is very proud to submit Mallory Miller, our esteemed colleague, for consideration.  She has and continues to make outstanding contributions to the agency through dedicated services. She deserves this recognition for all of her hard work at SCDMH.    

With her sunny outlook and giving nature, Ms. Miller is an exemplary member of the Community Mental Health Services Division. Her compassionate and dedicated leadership of the TLC and Crisis Stabilization programs enables our clients to quickly access much-needed services as they become independent, productive citizens in the community. She does whatever it takes to assist clients; you will often see her working through lunch or staying well after closing time in order to secure housing or make treatment arrangements for clients. She is a tremendous asset to the agency and is truly worthy of the honor of being selected the SCDMH Outstanding Employee.            

Mallory is often overlooked for her role in putting into action many of the Department's most recognized programs such as HomeShare, TLC and, most recently, her work in implementing and overseeing the Department's response to the victims of last year's flood (Carolina United-FEMA group). Even though these projects have come with significant workload demands, Mallory has kept her sunny disposition and warm personality. An overriding concern for the welfare of clients guides Mallory in her work. She embodies the notion of “working behind the scenes” and will be surprised and embarrassed to learn she has been nominated.       

Mallory has also served in several leadership roles for the department such as the Employee Grievance Committee; Forensic Review Board, and the Irwin Phillips Fund to help with patient emergency needs.

Mallory readily accepts on-call phone for the Administration Building for back up when in need. She has a great supply of sweets on a daily basis.

DOAS - Physical Plant Services (PPS) - Stephen Morgan
Maintenance Shops Coordinator/PPS Building Maintenance

Stephen MorganMr. Stephen Morgan is not only an outstanding employee, he is also an outstanding individual. Mr. Morgan started his employment with DMH at the age of 21, working in the Transportation/Vehicle Maintenance department.

Stephen was instrumental in molding and building this program into an extremely functional and integral part of the HVAC program. Having a solid background in the technical side of HVAC repair and maintenance, he was able to spend time with the members of the PM shop and train them in the operational concepts of building and repairing these systems. This cross training was invaluable to the success of the shop as the members of the team were able to better assist each other in their daily duties.

In 2013 he was promoted to the position of Maintenance Shops Coordinator and is responsible for at least 30 buildings. Using his years of experience, he has been able to guide and advise the shops in their daily duties of maintaining and repairing both patient and administrative areas. His talents have been instrumental in providing the needed support for all of these areas.

Mr. Morgan operates under the mantra that the work is not complete until it is completed properly. His work ethic is such that he arrives early each day and although his “work day” ends at 4:00 PM, he will stay as long as it takes to accomplish the tasks hand. During the last year alone, there were multiple emergency situations during which he remained on duty for more than 24 hours straight. On many occasions, he has cancelled personal after hours activities and even come in on his days off to assist with projects.

Mr. Morgan is a strong believer in leading by example. Often times, you will see him with his sleeves rolled up and literally knee deep into a repair on equipment, broken water mains and a myriad of other activities that may happen on any given day. His first priority is to assure the comfort and safety of the patients at DMH as well as the staff.

Aiken-Barnwell Community Mental Health Center - Bianca Otterbein

Bianca OtterbeinBianca Otterbein personifies professional balance.  She puts 110% of effort into her role as supervisor of the CAF team as well as in the field of mental health. Bianca advocates and always examines “the other side”.  She supports challenges, while being flexible and clear about boundaries. She is wise and humble. Ms. Otterbein creates a safe environment that allows for a healthy mix of professionalism and enjoyment. Bianca has an open door policy, where she listens to all of the clinician's needs which directly impact the children and families. Although Bianca is a manager, she does not oppose doing any job that will ease the stress of her team. She is a real team player.  Her staff values her as being trustworthy, and respectful. Her reputation in the community is one who is passionate, a go-getter and most importantly, always seeks what is best for the clients.  Bianca is dedicated to the betterment of the children and families and this radiates from her on a daily basis.

The care that is provided to the clients is enriched and the clinicians are stronger because of Bianca.

On a personal note, Bianca is a supportive wife, a loyal daughter, a warm friend and an incredible mother to a beautiful, talented and kind little girl. She is a creator, traveler, designer and an implementer. Her character is one that motivates others.

Anderson-Oconee-Pickens Community Mental Health Center - Cynthia Perry

Cynthia PerryMs. Cynthia Perry has been employed with SC Department of Mental Health for over twelve years.  She currently serves as the Staff Development/Training Coordinator for the Anderson-Oconee-Pickens Mental Health Center. She works diligently with staff in all three county catchment areas providing new job responsibilities training as well as reinforcing skills related to administrative or clinical staff. She has many roles, which includes the Center's contact for students seeking internships, the Privacy Officer for the Center and she provides after-hours emergency coverage to our clients. She is always willing to help other staff outside of her program as needed. Ms. Perry is passionate about her job and dedicated to the success of the people and programs she works with. She is conscientious about her work and is pleasant to work with.

 

 


Beckman Center for Mental Health Services - Heidi Hoogstraal

Heidi HoogstraalMs. Heidi Hoogstraal currently serves as the Director of both the Abbeville and Edgefield Clinics. This dual role is the outcome of over 11 ½ years of agency service which has seen this employee rise from the ranks of full time clinician to one of our most respected leaders. Her potential was recognized early in her tenure as she was named to participate in both the Beckman and the DMH Mentoring Programs. Always ambitious and ready to face new challenges, she was selected to represent Beckman as one of their participants in the firefighters' response, “Helping Heroes”. A licensed professional (LPC), Ms. Hoogstraal did not stop there but continues to work toward her LPC supervision licensure in order to assist other staff in becoming licensed.

No matter what her role or job function, Ms. Hoogstraal has remained a true team player motivated by seeing the clients receive the best mental health care possible. Her supportive leadership rallies her staff in both clinics where she acts as a role model for multi-tasking and goal accomplishment. She voluntarily maintains active caseloads in each location as well as screening and assessing incoming clients. If the front desk needs coverage, she is no stranger to scheduling phone calls and processing payments simultaneously. She supervises her staff with patience and encouragement. Ms. Hoogstraal is an active participant in Beckman leadership where she is a member of the Management Team, Quality Improvement Team, and is a regular Quality Assurance Auditor. While a Beckman Mentoring participant, she identified the area of business and finance as one in which she would like to learn more, an interest she continues to pursue.

This past year, Ms. Hoogstraal has joined several committees helping the DMH System through our MTM Consultation. She is able to attend meetings and then articulate results back to other managers. As a mental health ambassador in the communities, she is active in the Abbeville Mental Health America, school systems, law enforcement, court processes, and civic organizations. The Abbeville Clinic is serving as the pilot site for Mental Health First Aid in the school system.

Berkeley Community Mental Health Center - J'Wanna Spann

J'Wanna SpannJ'Wanna came to Berkeley Community Mental Health Center in May 2012, full of energy and eager to learn. She possesses a strong work ethic, a positive attitude and compassion that she relays daily in her efforts to assist clients in their recovery. J'Wanna uses all opportunities to improve her skills, while remaining very flexible in meeting client's needs. She exceeds productivity expectations and completes her documentation in a timely manner. J'Wanna also utilizes home visits to reach out to clients and has made the highest of all office based Adult Services staff. She manages a large caseload as well as conducts two (2) groups for adult clients. She developed and leads a Grief and Loss group, and co-leads a Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) group for adults. J'Wanna participates extensively in DBT trainings and consultations, which resulted in the first DBT Program at BCMHC. She is a member of the Center's Bee Committee, which promotes positive interaction and recognition of staff members' hard work. The Center is fortunate to have such a valued member of the BCMHC team.

Catawba Community Mental Health Center - Amanda Storm

Amanda StormAmanda Storm known to many as “Mandy” is a licensed therapist who specializes in Marriage and Family therapy.  Mandy has been employed with the center for a year and a half and during this time, she has taken on the role as Program Coordinator for the Young Children's Program. She provides services for the youngest clients, ranging in age between 2-6 years old, and their families. Ms. Storm provides her services through many methods such as “play”. She explains and displays for the parents how important play is and how it can foster effective and healthy communication patterns with these young children.

Within this time frame, she has proven herself to be a wonderful employee. Mandy is energetic, hard-working, dedicated and responsible.  She is prompt, self-sufficient, and always maintains a level of respect and professionalism with staff, the community, partnering agencies, and the clients and families that she serves.  She demonstrates support and the willingness to assist her direct staff, as well as any staff member in need.

Amanda Storm is reliable and adheres to all policies and standards that are set for her. The prior year's EPMS shows a rating of Exceeds and she has yet to encounter any problems with meeting and exceeding her productivity standards.  Mandy has continued to make an impact on the lives of the young clients that she provides services for.  Her clients/families are always happy to come see her at the beginning of their sessions and they are even happier at the end of each session.

Charleston/Dorchester Mental Health Center - Taryn Reed

Taryn ReedTaryn Reed is a CDMHC Procurement Coordinator since 2008, where she does an outstanding job, diligently, and consistently receiving "substantially exceeds" performance evaluations.  Additionally, within the last few years, she has completed a 12 month course and has gained her state procurement certificate in Information Technology Procurement. She is well trained in SCEIS and assists the accounts payable staff with any questions. Her profound knowledge comes from when she had worked with the center in CAF Administration and in CDMHC Accounting.   She is a reliable, loyal, hardworking, exceptional performer who has used her knowledge to assist the center with financial research, reports and data mining in SCEIS as well as assisting with the production of the monthly financials in the absence of her supervisor. Her skills and dedication are invaluable to this center and provide the safety net needed in these areas.  

In addition to serving as a Procurement Officer, Taryn has assumed other roles within the center. She serves as backup on financial reporting and contracts.  She totally revamped the fleet management internal system making it more  efficient and is always punctual in reporting the necessary information to DMH and State Fleet. The system that she developed has been shared with several other mental health centers at DMHs request. She is prompt and precise when requested information is needed. She also took on the responsibility of liaison for facility issues and serves on a committee to ensure swift execution of needed facility purchases, repairs and fixes as well as taking on the responsibility of Insurance coverage and claims processing for the vehicles and real property for the center. She readily comes in during the evenings and weekends to assist with facility projects in order to hurry them along and not disrupt business. She has always stepped up to the challenge, been a team player and always helped with anything asked of her. She is a dedicated and a steadfast employee to this center and its clients. 

This year we saw firsthand how important it is to have an employee like Taryn when tragedy strikes.  Taryn is a Disaster Coordinator and in that role she played a critical part in our response to the Mother Emanuel tragedy.   She became the organizer and the coordinator of the Center's response, as well as coordinating with other agencies like Red Cross.  Taryn organized all of the logistics as well as supplies to support the CDMHC's response to this tragedy.  She maintained Therapists schedules and made sure we had the right people in the right places at all times.  Taryn attended wakes and funerals supporting the families and the community during this difficult time.  She coordinated the placement of the CDMHC R.V. right down to finding parking where it could be most effective, as a mobile support and outreach to the people affected by this tragedy.  Taryn worked tirelessly many nights and weekends managing, organizing and supporting those families, the church and the Charleston community.   Her involvement didn't stop there.  She also coordinated a debriefing at her church by bringing in someone from another Mental Health Center for the CDMHC staff that was involved in providing support.  Taryn also recently was a member of a panel at the College of Charleston to discuss lessons learned in regards to the Mother Emanuel tragedy.  If all of that wasn't enough, during the flood in October, she was instrumental in keeping the senior staff informed and making sure that our Center was well prepared for this disaster.  She was in constant contact with State and local officials making sure that all of our staff were well informed and understood what they should do to be prepared for this event.  Again this effort required many long hours both nights and weekends which Taryn did willingly. 

Taryn's involvement within the community continues to exemplify her actions. Here is another community effort; when Joseph Floyd Manor had a fire this February, Taryn immediately began to coordinate a response getting services to help the Elderly and disabled people. 

Her efforts, involvements and tireless commitment to this center and the community are the reason Taryn is not only an outstanding employee but she is an outstanding member of this community. 

Coastal Empire Community Mental Health Center - Raymond Walker

Raymond WalkerRaymond Walker takes pride and professionalism in performing his duties during the past four and a half years at the center. He goes above and beyond in the day to day responsibilities of his duties as a maintenance employee. Raymond is creative in resolving problems regardless how difficult they may be. Thinking outside of the box, there is no task too complicated for him to solve.  For example, he will check the potted plants in the office to see if watering is needed or if he notices hanging cables, he will secure them for safety.  He is always doing his task with a smile and a song.  He has an excellent rapport with staff, clients, and our local contractors to ensure the job is completed to optimum standards.

Mr. Walker has 20 plus years of experience in housing maintenance. He is very involved in family and enjoys traveling. He is a strong family man and his dog is his best friend. He has a daughter and five (5) grandchildren.  Raymond is involved in his local community and a trustee at his church where he sings in the choir. It is a fact that he will do anything for anyone because of his big heart.

Columbia Area Mental Health Center - Dondi Nicholas

Dondi NicholasNursing is a profession that offers the opportunity to make a profound difference in the lives of people who truly need and appreciate it. They give not only their book knowledge, but a piece of their heart to each and every patient they care for. They are understanding, nonjudgmental, and have a strong ability to empathize with patients from all walks of life.

Dondi Nicholas is an astronomical nurse that advocates for her patients and anticipates their needs. Not only does she make sure our clients receive the necessary medical care to sustain an active and stable life, she reaches out with her heart by going above and beyond the call of duty (i.e., taking the time to make a cup of coffee for a client that has been sitting outside in the cold waiting on his appointment time, to purchasing coats, socks and shoes for a client that she noticed from his last visit was in need of.

Often when clients are hospitalized for medical reasons, Dondi visits the client. She also visits clients' relatives when hospitalized, to ensure the client that she's there for them if needed.   I have seen clients come into the clinic with the look of hopelessness, but once they see Dondi's smiling face, their face would shine with joy and they would greet her with warm hugs.  Dondi truly cares for the clients seen at Adult Clinic Services (ACS) at Columbia Area Mental Health Center.

Greenville Mental Health Center - Belinda Wilson

Belinda WilsonBelinda Wilson's actions inside and outside of Greenville Mental Health Center exemplify what it means to be outstanding. As a Peer Support Specialist, she uses her own story of adversity and recovery to inspire change and commitment to recover in the clients she encounters. Belinda goes above and beyond her roles in Individual Placement and Support (IPS) employment and Drug and Alcohol Programs; she is always bringing new ideas and volunteering to help anywhere needed.  She is a member of the Dartmouth Learning Collaborative, where she has been chosen to represent South Carolina on a national board of peer support service providers.  She collaborates and promotes growth for peer support services.   In 2014, her efforts in client outreach were essential to the IPS Program in achieving its goal of winning the national Dartmouth Achievement Award. Belinda organizes and leads client advisory sessions, where she can be depended on to advocate for the clients' concerns and/or suggestions.

Belinda's bright smile and story of resilience is well known and respected outside the walls of GMHC. She is often invited to speak at community events to raise awareness of mental illness, addiction and recovery.  She is very active at Serenity Place, a recovery center for women in addiction, where she dedicates her time on the weekends to empower the women.  Recently, Belinda had one of Serenity Place's new transitional homes named in her honor to signify the journey she has made and how she continues to use her experiences as a powerful tool to help others.  Her journey shows that change is possible and life can be what we choose to make it. Belinda wears many hats from a peer support specialist, a counselor, a job coach, mentor and a cheerleader; perhaps her most significant role is Advocate. She advocates for those with mental illness, for those fighting addiction, for a better community, and for her coworkers. Belinda is an exceptional representative of the center, the community, and the state. 

Lexington County Community Mental Health Center - Toemeko Bryd

Toemeko BrydDuring the past year, Toemeko (Meko) has helped the center through numerous challenges.  

One challenge was when Meko stepped up to fill the void when the Center's Accounts Payable Supervisor was out for an extended period of time. She approached learning new skills and procedures by seeking out those who could educate and guide her, Meko also maintained her own area, which included overseeing of maintenance, transportation, and supply distribution for the center's eight offices; meanwhile taking on all of the accounts payable duties making sure that the Homeshare Providers, vendors, utilities and leases were paid, as well as supplies were ordered and contracts were honored. 

To help the center financially, Toemeko accepted another challenge. The Center's Administration decided to move some programs to new locations. This involved a complicated three way move.  Meko worked with the Center Administrator and made sure storage areas were cleared out, boxes were packed, furniture was disassembled and everything was tagged to assure its arrival at the correct location. She didn't just direct her staff, she threw herself in to assist.

Toemeko's character relies on her firm faith that speaks volumes through her actions. With kindness, compassion and friendship, she volunteers weekly with her church at a soup kitchen serving those in need. She is a strong support system for her neighbors and friends as she provides help, advice and comfort. She is a trusted co-worker that provides a sympathetic ear and checks on her co-workers when they are out sick. She is dedicated to family and loved ones. She is a devoted mother who is raising her daughter as a single parent and soon to be a proud grandmother.

Those who know Toemeko Byrd know she is dedicated, loyal, and giving. She really would give someone the “shirt off her back” if they needed it.

Orangeburg Area Mental Health Center - Jasamine Carter

Jasamine CarterJasamine Carter is not only an outstanding clinician, but also a loyal, kind-natured individual.  She is a lifelong learner and is eager to glean as much as possible for her personal and professional development.   Jasamine demonstrated her eagerness and dedication to professional development by adhering to a stringent regiment of study to pass her licensure exam within a year of coming on staff with OAMHC.  She is full of Faith, and every day she doesn't miss to demonstrate it in her conduct and character.  She is a very thoughtful person, never missing an opportunity to send employees thoughtful and encouraging emails.

What makes Jasamine the best nominee for this recognition, occurred over the summer of 2015 when a team was formed to offer counseling to the families of the Charleston 9. Jasamine rose to the occasion as a leader for our team. She coordinated with the Charleston Dorchester Mental Health Center to organize and collaborate as a liaison to communicate all necessary details. Most notable was the funeral of one of the victims when seats were being offered at the funeral, Jasmine elected to stand and be visible for any family member or guest needing comfort.  She stood her post for over 3 ½ hours without so much as asking for a seat or drink of water (the sanctuary was filled to capacity and hot).  She represented OAMHC and the clinicians in such a profound way.  Jasamine has been working in the Adult Crisis Unit since October 17, 2013; however, most recently she has been reassigned to the Child, Adolescent, and Families (CAF) Unit.  When asked about her recent transfer she stated “I hope that I can somehow prevent the children and adolescents from needing Crisis services in their adult life”.

Pee Dee Mental Health Center
Irvin Nelms Jr.
- State Employee of the Year

Irvin Nelms, Jr.Irvin Nelms, Jr. has been employed for over 25 years.  Mr. Nelms is an outstanding employee who works diligently to meet deadlines established by myself and the Center Director.  He excels because he works to ensure that continuity of care is continued with his intensive community based clients daily.  Mr. Nelms consistently exceeds his monthly requirements. He has established a great rapport with school administration, faculty, staff, clients and their families.  Mr. Nelms is diligently devoted to utilization of multisystemic therapy (MST) model in identifying and providing appropriate intervention services for his assigned clients.   

Mr. Nelms is a man of little words, but a big “Heart”. He is deserving of this award because he's polite and considerate to others.  He shares what he has with others, which includes words of encouragement, a smile, and the kindness towards his clients and co-workers. Mr. Nelms is known to be an advocate for his clients and co-workers. He is a man that thinks outside of the box to find solutions for the families that he serves. He continues to be very generous by purchasing clothes and school supplies for his clients when the parents are unable to provide for them.

Mr. Nelms comes to work early and stays late in spite of how he is feeling. Co-workers tease him about having so much time in the SCEIS system that it can't keep up with the time because he does not utilize it often. When Irvin is under the weather, he still calls and checks on his staff, clients and his co-workers. This displays dedication.

He has a great character, one who does not "toot his own horn". He is sincere. He is truly the kind of person we need more of in this world. Mr. Nelms is one that cares in spite of how his day goes. He puts others first before he thinks about himself. On a personal note, Mr. Nelms is more than qualified for all the criteria for this great honor. If nothing else is read in this description, just remember that he makes sure everyone's light shines at Pee Dee Mental Health with his smile and concern for his clients and co-workers.

State Director John H. Magill presents check to DMH Outstanding Employee of the Year, Irvin Nelms, Jr.
State Director John H. Magill presents award check to the DMH Outstanding Employee of the Year, Irvin Nelms, Jr.

Piedmont Center for Mental Health Services - Tom Lanford

Tom LanfordTom Lanford is currently an Administrative Assistant at Piedmont Center, who was originally hired to serve as an Entitlement Specialist. He has taken on more roles to do whatever is needed to improve the quality of life for clients. Tom continues to assist clients in the process of accessing any benefits for which they qualify, which includes discussing with the clients their particular situations. He helps clients apply for resources such as disability, social security, Medicare, Medicaid, SC SNAP Programs and other benefits. Tom demonstrates a tremendous level of compassion and genuine care with all clients.

Tom works closely with the Center's psychiatrists, nurses, and counselors to identify clients who do not have financial resources to purchase their essential medications.  He tracks the latest updates on the qualifying criteria of the various pharmaceutical companies. He assists clients with the application process for the Patient Assistance Medication Program. Following the initial arrival of medication, Tom is careful that reorders are done at the appropriate time. Many patients require assistance in choosing the Medicare Part D plan or the Advantage Plan that best addresses their particular needs. Tom is available to provide needed help for patients as they struggle with those decisions.

Tom bridges the gap between Patient Care Coordinators and patients to ensure that they get the assistance needed in accessing services from other agencies and community resources. He also collaborates with the APS Pharmacy staff; this close working relationship helps to benefit patients better.

Tom is a valuable resource for all clerical staff. He stays current in Medicare and Medicaid, specifically any changes that impact pharmacy and medical benefits. His knowledge of benefits is a great asset for patients and staff. He reads bulletins, attends webinars, teleconferences, and attends workshops to update his vast knowledge. Tom serves as chairperson of the Piedmont Center's Health and Safety Committee. His thoroughness and attention to every detail based on CARF standards earned him high praise during the November 2015 CARF survey.

The surveyors stated that this was the first Mental Health Center they had surveyed with no recommendations in the area of health and safety. This speaks volumes to the quality of Tom's performance. Tom takes every opportunity to learn new things to make his job more meaningful and beneficial to the clients.

Tom is a graduate of the Citadel (1979) with a BA degree in education. He also earned an AS degree in Respiratory Therapy in 1982. He is married to his wife, Elizabeth, of 34 years. They are proud parents of Justin, Jessica, and Jacob. Their grandson, Bennett, is a great joy. Tom is active in his church and the community.

Santee-Wateree Community Mental Health Center - Roslyn Sanders

Ms. Roslyn Sanders has been with SWCHC since 1994. In 2004, she received her Master's Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from the University of South Carolina School of Medicine. In December 2007, she completed the Mentoring Succession Program sponsored by DMH, and in 2008, she successfully completed the Southeast Addictive Technology Transfer Center Network (ATTC) Leadership Institute devoted to enhancing leadership skills. In 2009, she became a Commission on Accreditation for Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF)surveyor which has been an asset to SWCMHC. She serves as the Santee Wateree Community Mental Health CARF Coordinator. She received special acknowledgment from  Sumter County Adult Education for promotion of education for persons living with severe and persistent mental illness in Sumter County.

Her pleasing personality and positive attitude is a true asset to the agency. Roslyn has a unique role in shaping both Psychosocial Rehabilitation Services (PRS) and Individual Placement and Support (IPS). She has worked to enhance awareness and education around psycho-social and employment issues and reducing the stigma surrounding persons living with mental illnesses. Her guidance and leadership in both programs has consistently produced high outcomes. These outcomes have been reflected in her consistently meeting all productivity expectations. She has worked diligently to maintain community resources to improve the interface between clinical services and community outreach. This mission will enable adults who have been affected by mental illness to create a positive change in their lives and become leaders among their peers and in their communities. Her professionalism and dedication to those she serves is unwavering.

Spartanburg Area Mental Health Center - Kristin James

Kristin JamesKristin James had been in the role as Disaster Coordinator for 8 years and serves on the Upstate Health Care Coalition as part of these duties. She is presently the Co-Chairman of the Behavior Health Mass Fatality and Volunteer management subcommittee for Upstate Health Care Coalition. She was instrumental in developing a regional plan in 11 counties to establish a plan to assist families affected by a disaster. She meets regularly with other disaster coordinators to ensure that DMH disaster response is ready. She presented at the 2012 SC Emergency Managers Conference on the behavior health disaster response. She was called in to assist with a multi fatality wreck on the interstate to be of assistance to the first responders. Since then she has worked with first responder's groups, insuring that the Behavior Health component is available to first responders. Kristin was recognized by the Upstate Health Coalition as their Member of the Year in 2015. She has worked in School- Based Services most of her time in Spartanburg in District 5 as the coordinator and supervisor. Under her leadership, School Based services expanded to all schools in District 5. She was part of the team that developed the School Crisis response plan that makes immediate on site counseling to a school, both for students and staff, in the event of a death of a student or staff. This service has been used by several schools served by school based contracts and those who do not participate in being a part of the SBS program.

Kristin has been SAMHC's mainstream contact when problems need to be solved. Presently she serves on numerous center committees and has been serving on the MTM LOC work group and is a DLA trainer.

Kristin became CAF Coordinator on 01/02/2016. One of the psychiatrists in CAF made this comment when nominating Kristin for the Outstanding Employee -“She is doing a great job getting things organized and problem solving issues in CAF.  We have needed this type of approach for years! “ Kristin was part of the SCDMH Mentoring class of 2015.

Tri- County Community Mental Health Center - Mary Woods

Mary WoodsMary Woods is a dedicated employee who has served the State of South Carolina since 12/18/2000. She has been a member of the TCCMHC team since 9/17/2003. Mary began as an Administrative Specialist in the Bennettsville clinical office and then was promoted to a Records Analyst I. She is diligent in completing her duties as a Records Analyst as well as assisting on the administrative side. Mary's diligence and attention to detail are characteristics that shine in the quality assurance audits that are performed. She is a true team player who works exceptionally well with others. She has a bright, positive personality and rarely complains about anything. Mary has a great sense of humor and has developed an excellent working rapport with all staff she has encountered. Her loyalty and dedication to the Center has motivated staff that she assisted in the training of other staff. Recently, she began assisting with Records Analyst duties for the other TCCMHC clinics. Mary is a very honest person and the wielding of her “red” pen and her “eagle eye” has saved the center enormous amounts of revenue.

She developed checklists for clinicians to utilize in documenting deficiencies in documentations. She goes above and beyond the call of duty by assisting others such as providing transportation for clients if other staff is not available. She never displays anger or agitation. Mary is considered to be the “Mother Hen” for the Bennettsville staff.

She deserves to be the Employee of the Year because she gives 100% to her job daily.

Mary is married to her husband of 25 years, Gregory Woods. They have two children, Kendall and Kayla. Mary has an active personal life with many roles, one being the First Lady of the House of Faith Ministries located in Clio, South Carolina, where her spouse pastors.

Waccamaw Center for Mental Health - Mark Bellamy

Mark BellamyMark Bellamy is a dedicated and faithful employee who has always been willing to help. Mark currently serves as WCMH's Multi-Cultural Disaster and Occupational Coordinator. He is involved in many committees at Waccamaw as well as the South Carolina Department of Mental Health. Mark has many other roles such as an instructor for the DMH Mentor Program, the BEST Instructor, and Chair for the SCDMH Multi Cultural Council and Member of the Executive Steering Committee for the Joint Council for Children and Adolescents' Workforce/Training. He is also involved in the Collaborative Committee, Planning Development Implementation Committee Member, and Chair for the Action Council for Cross Cultural Mental Health and Human Services. Mark is married to his spiritual soul mate, Kathy, for 24 years. He is involved in his community as well as a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity. Mark is a member of Mount Chapel Baptist Church where he serves as chairman of the Trustee Board and the financial chairperson. He is on the gospel and male chorus and serves in their education department. He is also the church's custodian.

During the recent flood that affected South Carolina, he served as the Emergency Management Response Coordinator as well as the lead person for the Mental Health Response Go Teams.

DIS - G. Werber Bryan Psychiatric Hospital (BPH) - Dr. Ahmad Ismail, Pharmacist

Dr. Ahmad IsmailDr. Ahmad Ismail applied to work as a Pharmacy Technician shortly after completing pharmacy school. He wanted to gain experience in the work setting as he prepared for the pharmacy board exam. The technicians were patient, teaching him to be a technician from "scratch." He surprised everyone with how quickly he learned the duties and functions required to work in this setting. Fortunately, a full-time, staff pharmacist position opened and he made the decision to join the team as a pharmacist. Dr. Ismail is exceptionally good at all aspects of being a pharmacist.  His overall productivity is "off the charts". He reviews and completes order input efficiently and thoroughly. When the medication orders, including inpatient, outpatient, and controlled substances have been prepared for dispensing, he executes quickly while still carefully checking.

His treatment teams value his input and he enjoys contributing to the patient's care. His clinical knowledge and ability to problem-solve and work with providers is a huge asset to the programs served. Dr. Ismail is a gifted teacher and loves sharing his knowledge. He has been actively involved with students since joining the staff, and now precepts his own advanced practice students.  Dr. Ismail participates in various hospital-wide committees, one being the DIS Clinical Guidelines Committee. His work on these committees is always thorough and valuable.  Dr. lsmail's creativity and sense of humor is a welcome diversion and is greatly valued in the department. Each year he creates puzzles and games in recognition of National Pharmacy Week. These creative, knowledge-testing tools are amazing, and include anagrams, crossword puzzles, word searches, Sudoku and even a medication based "Jeopardy" game. Dr. Ismail's contribution to patient care is undisputed and he is a treasured member of the team.

DIS - Centralized Services 

Thomasina AngoyMs. Thomasina S. Angoy goes above and beyond her scheduled duties. She works at the Morris Village Post Office and she is truly a great asset to Morris Village. The patients know when they have mail because when the mail comes in she calls each cottage to let them know “the mail is in”. She keeps sufficient monies at the Post Office for the patients she serves. When a patient has money at A & D she will ask the patient if they can wait until she goes to get the money, she is so kind and has such a sweet spirit. The patients and staff compliment her on all she does. She will stay late to make sure all the patients have gotten their money, especially on Fridays. Her office is so neat, clean and organized. She is really good for Morris Village. She works diligently at her church. She has three grandsons- Terry, Andre Jr. and Thomas. She is a person of her word. If she tells you she is going to do something you can take it to the bank. She is a person of integrity, good character traits, and an all-around good person. She is a person of her word.

DIS - C. M. Tucker, Jr., Nursing Care Center - Leroy Dreher
Trade Specialist/Administration

Leroy DreherMr. Leroy Dreher is an exceptional employee at Tucker Center. He is dependable, reliable, and volunteers for extra duties to assist other employees or services. He delivers medicine carts to the Stone building for the pharmacy. He is a kind person and takes the time to speak to both his co-workers and the residents at Tucker. He is the type of employee that looks for ways he can assist or help his co-workers on a daily basis. He treats people with respect and encourages those around him.  He volunteers on Christmas Day to come to Tucker Center and pass out gifts to the residents.  He goes above and beyond in many ways, whether it is rearranging file cabinets or office furniture or picking up mail or packages from the VA Hospital or other facilities. You can always count on Mr. Dreher to lend a hand with any special project you may have at Tucker. 

DIS - Morris Village Alcohol & Drug Addiction Treatment Center - Chad C. Lominick - Program Manager II, Quality Improvement Director

Chad C. LominickChad Lominick is the epitome of a DMH employee who wears one hundred hats. He served as a Treatment Team Coordinator for four years until a title change to Morris Village Quality Improvement Director. But these are just titles, as the following is only a partial list of the many hats he wears.  He serves as:  Patient Input Forum/Patient Rights Committee Chair; Triage Team Coordinator; MV Liaison with Physical Plant Services; Performance Improvement Facility Representative; Head of the MV Policy and Procedure Committee; Patient and Visitor Survey Analyst among many others.  All of these jobs could not be done without some of his main attributes. He is hardworking, persistent, a Clemson Tiger, and never drops the ball or gives up achieving goals for improving the environment for patients and staff. He has an elephant's memory for detail, with a “to-do” list a mile long. No job is too big or too small or beneath him. He is the Morris Village energizer bunny, positive, innovative and constantly on the go!  Even his leisure time is ready, set, go! He serves as a member of the Statewide Tennis Team and is in tournaments throughout the Southeast.  He is also on the USC Psychological Services Center Community Board.  All of this pales to his major strength which is his ability to collaborate with others.  He exhibits courtesy and respect to all, no matter what title they hold or job they do. He is' always willing to listen and lend a helping hand, no matter how many tasks he is tackling at the time.

He is an excellent communicator, using both courtesy and humor to reach out and draw you in to make you a part of the MV, DIS or DMH group and its goals.  He cares about Morris Village patients and goes the extra mile to make things better for them and the staff who serve them. We are proud  that he is part of the MV family as he is an asset to MV, DIS and DMH, and is justly deserving of the honor.

DIS - Nutritional Services - Elaine Tobin
Nutritionist IV/ DIS Nutritional Services

Elaine TobinMs. Elaine Tobin is a dedicated State employee who is passionate about her profession. Her passion for her work is exhibited through her care for children at Hall Institute. Whenever a child has a special need, she hops bus number 23 and shows up at Hall Institute. She is always available for residents at CM Tucker Nursing Center, helping to meet their specialized needs. Ms. Tobin is always accessible via pager and phone for those who need her. She does not hesitate to come to work on off-duty hours to resolve resident-related issues. She is a resource for all staff members, including medical and nursing, as well as Nutritional Services. Her co-workers rely on her advice either for a tube feeding, policy, or a problem regarding certification. Her cheer has brought happiness to many families in the Columbia area by participating in the “adopt a family” program during Christmas.

Ms. Tobin volunteered to work in the production kitchen in Building 29 during the flood emergency, due to staffing shortages while still finding time to perform her normal duties on the Tucker campus. On Tuesday, March 15, 2016, I received this quote from a co-worker regarding how Ms. Tobin handled a client issue: “As I've said before, Ms. Tobin, you are PERFECTION!!! I've had a crummy work week already, so you're my bright and shiny, heart -warming star!!! Thank you.” Ms. Tobin does her best every day.

DIS - Patrick B. Harris Psychiatric Hospital - Vickie Ballard

Vicki BallardPatrick B. Harris Psychiatric Hospital is proud to recognize our outstanding employee of the year, Ms. Vickie Ballard. Ms. Ballard has been employed with HPH since 2013 as a Food Service Specialist I within our nutritional services department and has diligently served our patients with a loving and caring can-do attitude. When Ms. Ballard was announced as HPH's employee of the year she was extremely surprised to say the least. She was even heard saying, "What, me"? Humility is a word that best describes Ms. Ballard in her role at HPH; she cares for the patients and ensures that they are served according to their diet restrictions and offers a helping hand to her co-workers.

Through recent changes within the department due to retirement of staff, Ms. Ballard has risen to the occasion and helped make sure that the nutritional department is equipped with the tools necessary to complete the task no matter the obstacle.

HPH is extremely grateful to have an employee like Ms. Ballard serving our patients and wish her the best as she celebrates this year being our outstanding employee.

DIS - Sexually Violent Predators Treatment Program - Anastasia Dukes
BHA-B/ SVPTP/Edisto/Nursing

Anastasia DukesMs. Anastasia Dukes works as a Behavioral Health Assistant-B and is a dedicated, knowledgeable, and a dependable employee. She has great interpersonal skills and works well with the residents and staff. She performs her duties independently with minimal to no direction from supervisory staff. Some of her duties include maintaining a safe environment by enforcing the rules and regulations of the Sexually Violent Predator Treatment Program and preparing medical records for scanning/imaging, organizing files, scheduling residents for outside appointments, etc. Outside of her job description, she has taken on the initiative to create forms that are useful in the day to day operations of the unit. Ms. Dukes is a great asset to the Sexually Violent Predator Treatment program.

DIS - Specialty Clinics/Centralized Services - Rosa N. Wiley, Registered Nurse II

Rosa N. WileyDIS Specialty Clinic is proud to nominate Rosa N. Wiley as a candidate for the Outstanding Employee Award. Rosa is a Registered Nurse with primary duties in Employee Health.  She is knowledgeable and competent with the ability to multitask, manage stressful situations, accepts new tasks willingly always bringing a positive attitude with creativity and ethical values. She demonstrates empathy daily toward co-workers, patients and employees. Her co-workers describe her as:  “a great team leader”, “always there when you need her”, “dependable and reliable with a great personality” and “a team player”. 

Her creativity enhances the work environment with decorative touches that make the Employee Health office feel warm and friendly for both the new employees and current employees who visit for services. Her selection of hard candies, which she freely makes available to all, is unsurpassable. She cares deeply for the health and well-being of our current employees, especially those who may be struggling with high blood pressure and takes the opportunity to educate regarding health issues and how they can take responsibility for healthier lifestyle.  For her co-workers she has implemented a personal touch to acknowledge birthdays by listening enough to know what little special touch can be added to make their day special.

Her faith is paramount and her charity reaches beyond work to her extended family and church community. Regularly she provides food and needed items to the elderly in her family and her church.  She has been and continues to be involved in the coordination of health and wellness programs for all ages in her church and participates in many ministries. Rosa's career started as a CNA at CMT with expansion of her education at the USC School of Nursing. Rosa demonstrates her beliefs each day: “If you have faith, nothing will be impossible for you”.   We are most fortunate to have Rosa as a TEAM member of the DIS Specialty Clinics and are very proud to have such a competent, compassionate and dedicated employee.

DIS - William S. Hall Psychiatric Institute Child & Adolescent Services at G. Werber Bryan Psychiatric Hospital - Michelle L. Mathis, Administrative Specialist I

Michelle MathisMs. Michelle Mathis has worked as an Administrative Specialist for WSHPI-Ward170 and now BPH-Lodge D since October of 2011. Since being assigned as a ward clerk, she has been instrumental in the daily operation of the unit and has been an essential member of the administrative team within the department. She has shown the ability to quickly grasp the concepts of her duties and has been able to educate other Administrative Specialists within the Child and Adolescent Services Division when needed. I have seen other Administrative Specialists come to her to seek guidance on tasks that need to be accomplished. 

Not only has she shown professionalism in the work place, she has also shown the ability to be proficient in her duties. She has also shown her dedication to the organization by accepting responsibilities for unrelated duties within the facility.   She played a key role by helping plan, organize and shop for items during special events for the facility and is a member of the hospitality committee. She was also a key member in the move from our old location to our new location at BPH. During this time she cancelled her annual leave, came in early in the morning and stayed late in the evening while playing an essential role in ensuring that vital equipment was transferred to our new place of business.  Her commitment to the facility and the organization should not go unrewarded. She has proven herself to be a vital member of BPH-Child and Adolescent Services as well as BPH.  In the community, Ms. Mathis is a Girl Scout leader and is a treasurer for her Girl Scout group.


“Special Thanks”


John H. Magill, SCDMH Director
Dr. Alison Y. Evans, SC Mental Health Commission
Eleanor C. Odom, Director, Human Resource Services
Jeff Ham, Program Manager
Tracy LaPointe & John Rogers, Photographers
Elizabeth Fuller, Decorations/Corsages/Boutonnieres
Clyvincent Lemon, Music
Barry Lloyd and Staff, Printing
Mary Jaskowski and Staff, Refreshments
George McConnell and Staff, Morris Village Facility Set-Up

The 2016 Outstanding Employee Committee

South Carolina Mental Health Commission

Alison Evans, PsyD (Chair)
Beverly F. Cardwell
Louise Haynes
Bob Hiott, MEd
Everard Rutledge, PhD
J. Buxton Terry
Sharon L. Wilson

5/27/16

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