Written by Amy Andrews
Founded by clinicians Gwen Harris and Aisha Yesher-el, The FACTS Initiative provides mental health treatment to children and families in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg area.
The FACTS Initiative is focused on providing access to quality care for all patients, many of whom are dealing with trauma, yet a great deal of their time was being spent navigating the medical billing process.
Approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S experience mental illness each year. Many of their struggles can be traced to traumas suffered in childhood or adolescence. The FACTS Initiative offers interventions, tools, and techniques to get children and families on the path to wellness.
“We got to the point that we were not able to see clients, because we were spending time on the phone with insurance companies,” shared Harris. “And then, through a common connection, we found Sophia Brown.”
Sophia had over ten years medical billing experience and would work a full day at her job and then come to the FACTS Initiative in the evenings to help.
“Everything about billing we were learning as we went,” added Harris. “We are clinicians and Sophia was able to help and coach us in areas where we were struggling.”
As a volunteer, Sophia put protocols in place regarding patient intake that made the entire process more efficient and coached the founders on best practices. She even brought in another trusted volunteer who was able to lend medical billing expertise.
Sophia was such a capable volunteer that she essentially created a job for herself. Because of Sophia’s depth of knowledge and know-how, The FACTS Initiative was able to see more patients, generate enough revenue and ultimately make their first hire.
“It was a no-brainer for us to offer that job to Sophia,” Harris glowed. “We didn’t think she would accept, since she would have to leave a job with excellent benefits at a large healthcare organization, but we were thrilled that she said yes.”
“Sofia currently works remotely due to COVID,” added Harris. “We miss seeing her, but we constantly hear about how amazing she is from our patients who apologize for how often they call her and gush about how wonderful she is.”
Sophia’s dedication and abilities set her apart as an outstanding volunteer (and now employee). Her work directly impacts the lives of the children and families that The FACTS Initiative serves each and every day.
“We are thrilled to be gearing up for a return to community-based therapy, with plans to see patients in person this fall,” shared Harris. “That definitely would not be possible if we didn’t have Sophia’s support.”
Sophia is a perfect example of how volunteers can be critical the success of a nonprofit. This DO GOOD Week (April 18-24) visit dogood.sharecharlotte.org to choose from hundreds of ways to give your time -and talent- in support of a local nonprofit who needs you.
For more information on The FACTS Initiative, please visit their website.