The Centers for Families and Children / Circle Health Service
Tunisia began her career with the United States Army in 2007 after graduating from high school in Lakewood, Ohio. For the last three years of her military service, Tunisia worked in Human Resources. After five years in the U.S. Army, she decided she was ready to transition from soldier to civilian, mainly because she wanted to spend more time with her children. Because of the military, Tunisia was in Alaska at the time and started work in the Human Resources Department of a home care agency in Anchorage doing primary source verification for home care workers along with other human resource functions.
In 2015, she moved to South Carolina to spend some time with her mother (so her mother could meet her grandchildren). She expanded her skills by working at an inpatient psychiatric hospital in both HR and the Primary Source Verification department. She also contracted with the United States Air Force as a Credentialing Program manager for several months. Over the years (2015-2019) she also worked as a remote independent contractor for a small behavioral health organization in North Carolina.
In 2019, and upon her return to her hometown of Cleveland, she accepted a position with the Centers for Families and Children (Community Behavioral Health Center) and Circle Health Services (Federally Qualified Health Center) as Credentialing and Privileging Coordinator. She was recently promoted to Human Resources Coordinator which includes a wide range of human resources tasks that include overseeing the credentialing and privileging functions for both entities.
According to the Human Resources & Services Administration (HRSA), Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) are community-based health care organizations that receive funds from the HRSA Health Center Program to provide primary care services in underserved areas. They must meet a stringent set of requirements, including providing care on a sliding fee scale based on ability to pay and operating under a governing board that includes patients. Federally Qualified Health Centers may be Community Health Centers, Migrant Health Centers, Health Care for the Homeless and Health Centers for Residents of Public Housing.
The cool thing about my organization’s Integrated Health is that we are two entities that affiliated (The Centers and Circle Health). Circle Health Service is a FQHC that provides primary care, addiction, mental health, pharmacy, and trauma recovery services. The Centers is a Community Behavioral Health Center that provides essential mental health care to people who would not be able to access services any other way. Together both entities provide care to all underserved within our community. Outside of healthcare, we provide early learning, family support, home visiting, training and job search and employer job services. Together we are creating life-changing solutions for people in Northeast Ohio so they can lead healthier and successful lives.
Circle Health Services went through a CARF accreditation survey for our behavioral health team. In addition to CARF accreditation, we also had a Health Center Program Site Visit. The object of the visit is to provide effective oversight of the Health Center Program and to make sure that we comply with HRSA guidelines. This site visit is like The Joint Commission (TJC) survey and the standards match closely. HRSA provides Compliance Guidelines, which are the standards that need to be met.
(Editor Note: Some Basic Information on CARF and TJC)
Founded in 1966 as the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, CARF International is an independent, nonprofit accreditor of health and human services in the areas of aging services, behavioral health, child and youth services, employment and community services, visional rehabilitation services, medical rehabilitation (Durable Medical Equipment, prosthetics, orthotics and supplies) and opioid treatment programs.
The Joint Commission (TJC) is a United States-based nonprofit tax-exempt 501(c) organization that accredits more than 22,000 US health care organizations and programs. The international branch accredits medical services from around the world.
I was determined to move from a paper system to an electronic system. I had worked with credentialing software programs in the past, so my focus was “get it in”, and work on making the data “pretty” later. I made sure that the implementation was a priority to the extent that I cancelled all in-person meetings, closed my office door, and worked later than usual. My information was in paper. I manually created reports in my Human Resources Information System (HRIS) and copied/pasted it into a CredentialStream import Excel spreadsheet. The privileging information was not in HRIS, so I had to manually pull files, scan documents and input information into CredentialStream. This took me about 4 weeks beginning to end.
I had to have the software implemented by the second week of September in preparation for the HRSA site visit and CARF survey. The HRSA clinical staff site visit is equivalent to the medical staff credentialing standards visit of TJC. I was able to complete the majority of the review using CredentialStream. The reviewer was extremely impressed with the software as well as how well maintained the files were in the software. We passed the clinical staff review and Circle Health Services passed the site visit and survey!
I love that it encompasses both of my passions: Human Resources and Credentialing/Privileging. For the first time in my career, I don’t have to choose between the two. I love all aspects of both HR and Credentialing.
I easily adapt to change and try my best to be innovative. I also feel that my success is truly because I had a great leadership team when serving in the U.S. Army!
I think it’s the development of our organization’s credentialing program. The implementation of the software has helped improve the process.
I am enrolled in a Master of Science in Human Resources program and expect to complete the degree by the end of 2021. My biggest challenge is building the courage to take the tests for the CPCS (Certified Provider Credentialing Specialist) and PHR (Professional Human Resources) certificates.
That I love to travel! I recently went to Paris, France (February 2020) for the first time.
I thought Paris would be like what I have seen in the movies, but it was quite different. Parisians were very friendly and helpful. It felt comfortable - like being at home (except in a different language). I also noticed that when people gathered in cafes, they did so without electronics. The bakeries and restaurant patios during the winter were full of people enjoying healthy conversations without being glued to their phones!
I would like to go to the Maldives. From the online photos I’ve seen, the ocean looks beautiful and the resorts look very peaceful. It would be a nice place to disconnect from work, my everyday life and enjoy the surroundings.
I would run a full-service Veterans’ Help office. I would be there to help all veterans understand what resources are available to them, make sure that they are not homeless and that they have the benefits they need to succeed as a civilian. Many of our veterans suffer from homelessness and struggle to reintegrate into the civilian world because they lack the knowledge of available resources that would help them.
Almond milk. My children are allergic to cow’s milk, but they do love milk, so almond milk is always in the refrigerator!
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory! I really wish the contest were real and I won! I would have had sooooo much fun during the tour and contest. (Plus, the candy looks SO good!)
I’d like the ability to teleport! Then I could just teleport to my destination without having to pay airfare or take long international flights.
Exploring with my children. I am going to miss taking them on “first trips” this year like we have done in the past. Last year I took them to Disney World for the first time over Memorial Day weekend. This year we were planning a “first trip” to Universal Studios. I’ll be excited when we can start our “first trips” again, and so will they.
I would like people to know that Cleveland, Ohio is a very diverse city, is the home of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Cleveland also has a wide variety of activities for all cultural backgrounds and great food!