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Dellyne Samuel Recognized for Dedication to Excellent Customer Service

Cardinal Innovations Healthcare — February 28, 2019 — 4 min read
Dellyne Samuel believes providing excellent customer service is vital to helping Cardinal Innovations Healthcare members and their families get the services they need.

“Things change and yet so much remains consistent—customer service and treating people the way you want to be treated is always paramount," said Samuel, who works as an Intellectual/Developmental Disability (IDD) Utilization Management (UM) Supervisor for Cardinal Innovations. “I set a goal every single day that I can do at least one good thing for someone that brings them joy, fulfillment, happiness and/or information that they are seeking." 

Samuel said one instance when her dedication to customer service helped was with the sister and guardian of a member who became frustrated about changes to her brother's services. 

“She was very angry, frustrated and she let me know exactly how she felt," Samuel said, listening to everything the woman said. “When I felt it was the right time to speak, I told her she had every right as her brother's guardian to express herself. That was her right and it showed her love and concern for her parents and her brother and her desire to advocate for them."

The woman seemed surprised. Her response was, “Really? I am doing the right thing?" 

Samuel told her she absolutely was and from there they had a productive discussion about what to do next. “I was able to go through what her next steps should be for her brother, which she did do, and services were reconsidered and approved. The sister later messaged back that she appreciated my patience, understanding and guidance."

Samuel has worked for Cardinal Innovations for about six and a half years, but has several years of experience prior to that. One of her first jobs after college was working one-on-one with students in the school system. She worked as educational coordinator for Head Start and further developed an interest in working with individuals who need extra help. She later moved into early intervention, which sealed her desire to work with children who would qualify for the Innovations Waiver today.

Before joining Cardinal Innovations, Samuel had retired from another job in the behavioral health field, but missed the work so she returned.

“Interestingly enough, all my prior experiences with IDD and dually diagnosis members have been in counties that eventually folded into Cardinal Innovation's catchment," Samuel said. That includes her last position working in Mecklenburg County as a program manager. 

Samuel also was part of the initial Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training in her previous position. CIT is a training program developed to help law enforcement to react appropriately to situations involving individuals with an IDD, mental illness or substance use disorders. 

“I thought when I left that position that was the end of CIT for me; however, upon my arrival at Cardinal Innovations six-and-a-half years ago, the person who was supposed to present for Cardinal Innovations had a family emergency and my manager recommended that I substitute for her," Samuel said. “I have continued to present CIT training for Cardinal Innovations and have found this experience very helpful when we are presenting cases that are applicable to teams as a means to help ensure health and safety for our members."

Samuel said she recommends to law enforcement officers that they go beyond the class and get to know the individuals in the areas they patrol – especially those who may have an IDD so they recognize a crisis even faster. It helps to know what to look for, but it's even better if you also know the actual people in your community before they are in a crisis, she said. Samuel also encourages families of members with IDD or other diagnoses to get to know their local law enforcement officers for the same reason. 

Tony Martin, Manager of IDD UM's Care Management Team, said local law enforcement who attend the CIT training always give Samuel high marks and praise for her efforts. 

“Care Coordination will often praise her, too," he said. “She comes to work early every day and stays very late. She is always willing to go above and beyond for any side project the team is involved in."

Martin said Samuel consistently demonstrates a focus on excellent customer service as well as on members and the quality of care they receive. “She is a strong advocate for our members and employees," he said. 

Samuel handles all of Cardinal Innovations transfers to other Managed Care Organizations (MCOs) and is well known by other MCOs, Martin said. She, along with the other IDD UM Supervisor, are the department's go-to personnel for many issues, he said. 

“I love the continuous progression of improvement for our members and how the system continues to evolve for their overall support – not in isolation – but for the total person," Samuel said.
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