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Smith Often Impressed by Processing Center Staff

Posted Date: 05/11/2018
By: Ricky Smith

My name is Ricky Smith, I’ve been with the Access Arkansas Processing Center in Batesville since 2011. I’ve been an employee of the Department of Human Services since 2009. That includes stops at the Independence County and White County offices.                         

At the processing center, as of now we’re totally focused on Arkansas Works – which is the state’s version of Medicaid.           

At the processing center, we handle cases from throughout the state. We handle all the Arkansas Works Fair Hearings, which deal with cases where the client disagrees with what was done on their case – and file an appeal. Also, the county offices send us the cases they can’t process. We then try to fix them and if we can’t, we send the cases to a group at the Central Offices in Little Rock.    

Also, the processing center is different from the Independence County DHS office, which is also in Batesville.

The Independence County office deals with all of the Department of Human Services’ programs. But the processing center only deals with Arkansas Works. The atmosphere at the processing center compared to the county office is also entirely different. For example, the county office staff meets face-to-face with many of their clients. At the processing center, we rarely ever see clients face-to-face.

Regarding the work we do, it’s difficult. So the staff has to remain focused and able to work well together.

What I work with at the processing center is one of the more impressive staffs I’ve been around. We have a staff of 95, some of whom drive 60 miles one way to work. The staff always steps up to complete a task and meet their deadlines.

The staff here always has each other’s back. They make sure nobody feels overwhelmed.

I could go on and on about the great things this staff has done and continues doing. The processing center staff truly cares about the people of Arkansas. I’m happy that they’re my staff.

Something else I admire is the family-like environment we have.

Throughout the year, we have activities to help the team relieve stress. We have team competitions for decorating at Halloween and Christmas with awards going to the winning teams. We have weekly activities sponsored by each team. We have several potlucks. We’ve had chili cooking contests, ice cream socials, watermelon day, and other fun events. Also, with any criticism, the family concept remains in-tact. We try to do all criticism constructively.        

Our staff sets a high bar for themselves, and it shows. That’s why I wanted to take this opportunity to thank each of them for their dedication to improving the lives of Arkansans. I can’t say enough about the great work they do.

Arkansas Department of Human Services
Arkansas Department of Human Services

Arkansas Department
of Human Services
(501) 682-1001

TTY: 1-800-285-1131 or dial 711 for Arkansas Relay Service

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