Ask Linda Hamel about Pentucket Medical and she answers in terms of family. Connection and loyalty resonate in the voice of this 36-year employee and manager of the diagnostic support staff.
“I arrived at Pentucket in October of 1976,” she says. “I started working in the Lab and was there for 23 years. I’d begun as a Medical Assistant, but once I’d done my externship rotation in the lab I knew that was the direction I wanted. Pat Souliotos brought me in and when she went on maternity leave she made me manager of the lab, which was a little intimidating because I had people with all kinds of college degrees in that field, and I didn’t have any, other than my medical assistant training, so I was surprised and flattered, but this has been the pattern.
“People here had faith in me and they trusted me.”
Those who work with her agree.
“She is not only a great manager, but a great mentor and friend,” says Renee Ward, a member of the Haverhill lab’s front line customer service team. “She makes coming to work every day enjoyable. I am very lucky to have her as my boss and as my friend.”
For nearly four decades, Pentucket has been a constant in Linda’s life. Even when she left the area for a couple of years to, as she puts it, “pursue a dream,” Pentucket was never far from her thoughts. And when she was ready to return, the practice happily welcomed her back.
As Pentucket grew in the 1980s, so did Linda’s role in the lab. Simultaneously, she handled all of the practice’s purchasing, until that became a new full-time position.
“Every Thursday afternoon I did purchasing,” she says. “It gave me a great overview of the whole practice. I was lab manager for five of those years, until you needed a certificate or letters after your name. I didn’t have them so I came out front and managed check-in for the diagnostic center and for the lab, plus purchasing.
“In 1998 I thought I’d try something different and when I moved back to this area, I reached out to Lorraine (Amerault) and Ruth (Pothier) and said, ‘whoever is the first one to offer me a job, I’m there.’ ”
So it was that Linda, who’d “never seen a claims form before”, took over Medicaid billing, and soon was “fighting for every dollar… the rates seem really high, but the doctors get reimbursed so little.”
Linda worked in the business office for ten years.
“They are a solid core of people,” she says. “Even though you don’t see them every day, they are a big part of what makes us strong. They are all incredible, and it starts with John (Sarro). We were his family. He set goals for us and we would meet them and he’d set them a little bit higher and we’d meet them again.”
“In 2010 Dwayne (Garland) told me that my old job in diagnostics was available, so I have come full circle and hope to retire from this position.
“I feel incredibly faithful to the company because I feel it’s a family.”
On behalf of all those at Pentucket Medical, we are grateful to Linda Hamel for her many years of loyalty and dedication. She is certainly an integral part of the Pentucket family.
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