SEAHEC's Jessica Williams Named Leader of Excellence

February 07, 2019
LOE Feb 2019

Jessica Williams, SEAHEC Director of Practice Support, was named Leader of Excellence at Leadership Collaborative 3 on Wednesday.

Jessica was honored for taking ownership of multiple initiatives and driving results.

Jessica leads by example and holds herself and her team accountable. But her level of ownership goes far beyond – she takes ownership for her entire community!

Her communication skills convey empathy and respect but remain direct and concise. She meets individually with each staff member, takes notes, and recaps immediately afterward with an email. In fact, Jessica is acclaimed for answering emails at all waking hours – late into the night or before the sun rises in the morning.

She has been described as a unifying force who emphasizes teamwork and team building. She even led a book club for her team. But they didn’t read the latest best-selling fiction – “Year One” by Nora Roberts or “Small Great Things” by Jodi Picoult. So, what did they read? “Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity.”

Jessica ensured that her budget included enough money to fund educational opportunities for her staff. There was no money available for her, so she applied for – and won -- a very prestigious fellowship that allowed her to attend training in San Diego.

It’s this attitude that has made Jessica such a valuable asset to the NHRMC organization and to the entire region.

In collaboration with NHRMC, Jessica has helped Med North Health Center effectively address the frequent emergency department (ED) usage by their patients. As a result of her ongoing coaching and consulting with several practice staff, including the CEO, CMO, and other key staff members, several improvements have been made and continue to be made.

Here are some of the comments received about her work:
“She has impressed me with her leadership skills and her ability to keep the team enthusiastic throughout the projects she has partnered with us.”

And here’s her shining moment – she literally saved a small rural doctor’s office from closing its doors.

A physician practicing in a small town in an adjacent county was concerned he was going to have to shut down his practice because he could not keep up with the enormous regulatory changes. He called Dr. Joseph Pino and shared his concerns about the challenges he faced.  Dr. Pino told him about the Practice Support Team and let him know about the services they could provide as a result of the grants from NC AHEC. The doctor welcomed the help, and our Leader of Excellence called him immediately. A plan to transform his practice was set up and implemented.

Over the next 6 months, Jessica and her team helped the doctor transition to a new Electronic Health Record that could support a patient portal. She guided them on how to make their website more effective. Many more best practices were instituted. Back on its feet, the practice was able to engage in the Merit Based Incentive Payment System. Nearly a year later while at a high school track event, Dr. Pino ran into the same physician who had initially called him, distressed about the financial viability of his practice said to him. He told Dr. Pino that they were able to keep their doors open and are doing well.

This allowed those patients in his community – our community – to receive primary care close to home in the rural community served by this practice. And the physician gave all credit to the hard work and leadership of the Practice Team, and the NHRMC Leader of Excellence, Jessica Williams.