With 1,300 associates across the country, we are privileged to have many clinicians in the Netsmart ranks. These experienced individuals work hand-in-hand with our technology teams to make sure we’re delivering solutions that work in real-life … not just the testing lab. These associates possess a wealth of knowledge and experience that helps keep our efforts aligned with the needs and goals of our clients.
In this series, we spotlight associates who have worked in the field, and now call Netsmart home.
Andrew Mersman – Senior Director, myEvolv.
1. Tell us about yourself.
I was born and raised in Toledo, Ohio. I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Freed-Hardeman University in Tennessee, and then went on to earn my master’s degree in agency counseling from the University of Memphis.
Some fun facts about me:
- I really enjoy roller coasters, particularly the ones at Cedar Point in Ohio!
- Sci-fi and technology fascinate me. I love the fantasy aspect of what things are and what they could be.
- I’m such a big Star Trek fan that I actually skipped my prom to go a Star Trek convention where I got to meet the late great Leonard Nimoy. Most importantly, however, I still managed to make it to the prom after-party. I call that a win-win!
2. Give us some highlights of your career in healthcare.
As a gay man, I didn’t have much support after coming out. I didn’t want anyone to have the same experience I did, so I made it my passion for helping others who may be struggling in areas of their life. So, I went to college to study to be a therapist. After college, I earned an internship with YouthVillages, which is a nonprofit focused on helping young people and their families to live successfully. A nun hired me. (She has a funny Elvis Presley connection – come by and ask me about it sometime.) During the eight years I was there, I earned some great industry experience. I was really able to get a good grasp on the operations side of things. I gained diverse experience and learned a lot from the different departments and clinical services that I worked with. I ended up working on the quality assurance team where I got my first in-depth exposure to health records.
3. Why did you make the change from clinical work to working at Netsmart?
I made a personal decision to move to another city and unfortunately was unable to work remotely with YouthVillages. Upon hearing about my situation, I was approached by Defran Systems to come and work for them, and this is where I got fully into the tech side of healthcare. Although I left a more clinical setting, I still got to address my mission of helping others because of the wonderful ways we enhanced technology to assist providers in their quest towards quality care.
It’s funny, I went to school to be a therapist, but I’ve ended up in healthcare technology. You might have had an idea of what your path is going to be, but you’re along for the ride and you make the most of any door that opens and just step through it.
Netsmart acquired Defran Systems in 2013 and since then, I’ve been able to grow and develop as a proud Netsmart associate. During my early Netsmart days, I started off in software as a solution consultant. I moved up to the manager of the solution consultation team, became a product manager, and now, as a senior director, I oversee the solution consulting team for the human services side of our company. I’m also tasked with the awesome opportunity to spread the message about the passion behind our products and what we do for the communities that we serve.
4. What makes you passionate about serving the clients/organizations who use Netsmart’s services?
I have seen the effects of mental illness firsthand and whether we care to admit it or not, we’ve all been touched by mental illness somehow. It touches a nerve and it has a lot of stigmas that I want to help bring awareness to, erase and eliminate. I want to help break down those barriers and share my knowledge to spur something else that make flourish. I want to help make other’s lives better. I can’t make them do anything, but if someone wants help, I want to help them.
5. What does your perfect weekend look like?
I’d start off the weekend sleeping in until the late, late time of 7:30 a.m. With four-footed family members at home, they like to be our alarm clock! I’d spend the rest of my weekend with my husband and our three dogs, taking the time to unplug from the busyness of daily life and taking time for ourselves to exist and just be present for each other. That sounds like a great weekend to me.