Administrative Professionals Day
Administrative Professionals Day has just passed, and I think this would be a good time to say how much we appreciate the dedication and hard work of our office staff. We are so very proud of our front office at Southeastern Psychiatric Associates. Day after day, year after year, for decades now, they have absolutely been the force that keeps the office running like a well-oiled machine.
Anyone will tell you that a bad interaction with a practice’s staff can sour the whole experience. That just doesn’t happen here. In fact, we think we have the best office staff in the business, and our patients will tell you that, too. They have to deal with both the human and the business end of things, and they do so with grace and efficiency. They also need to deal with the providers, and I can say from personal experience that some days it can be like herding cats!
Dennise Caratazzola, our office manager, has been with us almost from the start: a full 37 years! She had already been working in crisis intervention with the DMH in Brockton, then as a mental health counselor and a mental health coordinator. One of our former partners saw something special in her and brought her over to be our very first employee in 1986. She began as a receptionist but over time taught herself billing, insurance approvals, credentialling, accounts receivable and payable, and bookkeeping. Her background in mental health has been invaluable in dealing with all manner of calls and issues from patients. When we expanded the office, she naturally and efficiently moved into the office manager position. Dennise is the proud mother of a 31-year-old daughter. In the past she taught aerobics after work. Currently, she volunteers as the director of the emergency volunteer team in her town. Oh, and she still finds time to be the lead singer in a rock band!
In 1998, Debbie Gillis was working as a kindergarten aide in Dennise’s daughter’s classroom. She was looking to make a change and right before Labor Day, Dennise asked Debbie if she might want to come over to our practice as a receptionist. Debbie had never worked in an office and was a bit nervous about it but decided to give it a try. She started the Tuesday after Labor Day, and now, 25 years later, she is still the face of the practice, answering the phones, greeting patients, doing scheduling, all with the poise of a bodhisattva. Debbie may not be the nicest person in the world, but she’s in the top two. Not a week goes by without someone telling me how wonderful she is. Debbie loves animals (this surprises no one) and has had a series of cats and dogs since we’ve known her. She currently has three cats, a husband, and three grown children. She is also a wiz at games; she plays Wordle, Foodle, and Quordle.
Rose Slayter is the newest member of the team. She started in March 2023, and it already feels like she’s been here for years. She has a background in nursing, having worked in the ICU, med-surg, pediatrics, cardiology, the ER, and others. This medical background is especially important since she will be our backup TMS technician. She has two grown children and a cat named Fiona; she plays guitar; and she sings in a choral group.
We are lucky to have all three of these wonderful women working beside us and look forward to a long future together!