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Ratchford Exemplifies Cardinal Innovations' Core Values

monvayata_Ratchford-lifestyle.jpgGrowing up, Network Specialist Supervisor Monvayata Ratchford lived in an area where he encountered people who needed help. They were struggling with financial problems, mental health disorders and disabilities.

“They needed help and they weren't getting it. I always wanted to help people, so I got into human services," said Ratchford who earned a bachelor's degree in psychology. 

Ratchford has taken on many roles in his over 14 years within Cardinal Innovations, but says his role as Network Specialist Supervisor has been one of the most challenging. 

Sharisse Johnson, Regional Network Manager for the Mecklenburg and Piedmont Regions, nominated Ratchford to be recognized for his strong commitment to Cardinal Innovations' five core values: accountability, courage, compassion, integrity and having a pioneering spirit.

“He consistently implements elements of Cardinal Innovations' core values in every task, no matter how large or how small," she said. “He has been a great leader to his direct reports, which has spilled over into working with all of the Network Specialists." 

Johnson said Ratchford also was pivotal in training and mentoring staff during the Mecklenburg and CenterPoint transitions and that he is a “go-to for his colleagues to talk through situations involving providers to identify various steps that can be taken to gain resolution.

“He has a wealth of knowledge regarding our internal system, historical relationships with our provider network, which amplifies his ability to develop strong, positive relationships with internal and external stakeholders," she said

While Ratchford has worked at Cardinal Innovations for over 14, those years were not consecutive. He left for about a year around 2005-06, he said, to work in a provider setting. 

“My experience has been hands on in the field with the providers, which helps me because I know both sides," Ratchford said. “It helps me be more compassionate and have more sympathy in working with providers because I've been on that side.

Johnson said Ratchford's historical knowledge of Cardinal Innovations internal system and relationships with external providers has been an asset to the organization, helping ensure providers and members get the help and support they need.

Ratchford said two examples come to mind. In one example, he called upon one of his provider relationships to resolve a difficult placement. Ratchford called one of the providers he had worked for and they agreed to take a member who was having difficulty finding the right fit, resolving the issue in 48 hours. In another example, Ratchford helped support a provider who had become frustrated by a high level of scrutiny from the state. 

“I was able to diffuse the situation and advocate for his company and at the end of the day the state lifted the high scrutiny level," he said. “I was there to keep the fire from burning. He was upset and he was calling everyone. After talking to him, I helped keep things settled until the state resolved the situation."

Ratchford said he sees providers as partners, or allies, and wants to help them succeed so they are able to help members succeed. “We all signed up for the same reason and that's to help people," he said. 

“In this field, whether you are working hands on or behind the scenes, helping on the provider relations side, the decisions we make and the work we do can affect the people we service," Ratchford said. “If I'm a week late on a project, it may mean it's a week or two late for that person who is our member. That's what keeps me going or working an extra hour or two. Behind the scenes if we drag our feet, it hurts the members."

Providers must get paid to be able to maintain a healthy business so they can continue helping people, he said. 

“No matter how much they care, they can't have three doctors on staff for free. That's a key thing we do in network. If provider x doesn't get their problem resolved, we try to get them resolved so they can get paid for services and so they can continue providing services," Ratchford said. 

“I really believe Cardinal Innovations is the best of the best," he said. “Our providers need to be the best of the best to do that. We need to take care of them and have a true partnership. If we're terrible at what we do, how can we ask provider x to be good at what they do?
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