We are privileged to work with many associates who have firsthand clinical experience. These talented individuals work together with our technology teams and clients to ensure we’re delivering solutions that work in the real world – not just the testing lab.
In this series, we spotlight individuals who now apply their skills and wealth of knowledge to meet and exceed the needs of our clients.
Julie Hiett – Director of Population Health Management
1. Tell us about yourself.
I grew up in Wichita, Kansas and graduated from Kansas State University (Go Cats!) where I majored in family studies and human services, with an emphasis in family life and community service. After working in social services (focusing mostly on mental health with both adults and children) for a few years, I went back to school and earned my Master of Social Work degree. During that time, I lived in Kansas City, went to school full-time at Wichita State University (Go Shocks!), completed the required practicums and worked part-time. It was a whirlwind for two years for sure.
After working as a social worker for several years, I left direct care and totally shifted gears to work for a pharmacy software/hardware company. I focused on growing our work in Telepharmacy while managing international and domestic implementation for the Department of Defense. I later moved to Netsmart, which has been a perfect marriage of my social work/social services and software implementation experience. I feel blessed to be able to utilize my social work skills in an industry that is constantly changing and evolving.
I am married to Rod (who also works at Netsmart) and have two dogs I adore: a boxer named Norah and a schnauzer named Josh. Thankfully, I know to avoid dog shelters, as I would be on one of those TLC shows in no time!
2. Give us some highlights of your career in healthcare.
A few highlights that stand out in social work/social services include:
- Successfully helping people who were acutely suicidal get the help they needed to go on to live happy, productive lives.
- Starting a teen suicide prevention program in Kansas City that focuses on students, parents and school faculty that is still in existence today.
- Becoming a Mental Health First Aid Instructor, which allows me the ability to connect with my co-workers on a totally different level. My favorite part of teaching these courses is that I learn so much from my fellow associates and their unique experiences. I look forward to expanding training to the community and other Netsmart partners.
A few that stand out in Healthcare IT include:
- Leading successful implementations at multiple Army and Navy bases across the country. Many years prior, my stepdad was in Brooke Army Medical Center after being injured on a mission for the Air Force, where he was electrocuted, died and was revived. He was in a burn unit for many months during his recovery, so to be able to work in the same hospital and give back to an organization that helps soldiers and their family members daily was memorable. If you ever want to see what a hero looks like, go there.
- Netsmart’s care coordination/population health platform: Our first implementation ever, partnering with HHUNY and other New York State Health Homes and partnering with the Missouri Coalition for Community Behavioral Health, taking 35 agencies live across the state of Missouri in a successful go-live. It has been incredible to watch this small, specific health home solution expand into a tool that is helping move the needle on integrated care and population health.
- I love to continuously learn and be challenged, and working at Netsmart offers lots of opportunity for both. I have learned an incredible amount from associates across all levels, from those I have managed to those who managed me and beyond. I have worked with almost every department in some capacity, and let me tell you, we have some really smart, driven and passionate While the work is not always easy, to be a part of helping our clients make a difference is pretty darn cool.
3. Why did you make the change from clinical work to working at Netsmart?
First off, social work is very hard. You see the best and worst in people day in and day out. While I loved the work, it was taxing and I didn’t realize at the time how much I was taking home with me. I constantly worried about my clients. Sometimes I still do after all these years, wondering where they are and if they are okay.
Social Work is a family affair….my sister has been working for Johnson County Mental Health for more than 20 years, and she is my biggest hero. Her dedication and compassion is amazing to me, along with all the other warriors who do great work every day.
I ultimately decided that there were other ways I could impact the world around me, and I was interested in technology and how it can improve the lives of others, so I left direct care. As a result I have had exposure to several areas of healthcare and the cool ways technology can improve outcomes and really help people. Working at Netsmart gives me the opportunity to help my fellow social workers and their co-workers as well as impact their clients. I believe Netsmart solutions provide opportunities for efficiencies and quick access to client information so they can do more with less, which they are asked to do daily.
4. What makes you passionate about serving the clients/organizations who use Netsmart’s services?
People in this industry are smart, strong and compassionate and also some of the most fun and funny people I have met. You have to have a sense of humor to do what they do (and what we do for that matter). They work really, really hard to change people’s lives, whether it is a case manager, an executive director, a hospice nurse or a peer specialist. And quite frankly, they don’t get paid near enough money for it.
I know what it is like being on the other side of the table, thinking about a client who is suicidal, a child who you suspect has been abused, or a patient who is terminally ill. They have more and more people coming through their doors, and less and less money and resources. So darn it, we have to do a good job for them so they can continue to do the extremely hard work they do. It really is as simple as that for me.
5. What does your perfect weekend look like?
A sunny but cool fall Saturday in Manhattan, Kansas tailgating with friends and family and watching a Wildcat football win. Then on Sunday, snuggling with my puppy dogs and reading a good book. I am a simple girl, it doesn’t take much to make me happy. Although a beach and some fruity cocktails doesn’t sound so bad either. The beach is definitely my happy place.