Guardian of the Month - July 2019
Congratulations to Tammy Harmon from ASSIST!
Each month, Kalispell Regional Healthcare (KRH) selects an employee that goes above and beyond to demonstrate strong character. That employee is nominated and selected by peers as the Guardian of the Month.
For the month of July, Tammy Harmon was chosen as the recipient. Tammy has been the ASSIST program coordinator for two and a half years. The goal of ASSIST is to help the socially and physically isolated members of our community so that they can connect with the resources they need. As the program coordinator, Tammy is tasked with supervising the staff and volunteers for ASSIST-Neighbors Helping Neighbors, which focuses on the social and economic concerns of the care receivers such as finding housing, getting Medicaid assistance, accessing marketplace insurance plans, health insurance, food, utility assistance, home modifications, etc.
Tammy’s commitment to going the extra mile to help ASSIST care receivers get the resources they need truly epitomizes the KRH core values. Her compassion is truly one of a kind and her eagerness to provide high quality service on a regular basis makes her a perfect role model for employees throughout the system. “Tammy is a compassionate and kind woman of integrity who goes above and beyond the call of duty to help others connect to community resources,” her nominator says. “When someone is denied for Medicaid or Social Security benefits, Tammy digs deeper and appeals the decision if appropriate. Her tenacity has helped people get the services they deserve and desperately need.”
But to Tammy, getting to serve her community is a privilege. “There is no greater calling than being able to help people,” she says. “It’s just an incredible honor to be invited into someone’s home and to be able to listen to the things that are meaningful to them and the things they’re worried about. Then to be able to come up with a solution for those worries is just so meaningful.”
Part of the reason for Tammy’s tenacity comes from the unique way she looks at each case she is involved with. She treats each person with the care and concern that she would give to someone in her own family. To her, it’s important to be persistent with care receivers, even if they’re not always responsive. “What if this was your mom? What if this was your brother?” Tammy asks. “Would you want somebody to just give up on them? I know I wouldn’t.”
Serving vulnerable populations has always been a passion of Tammy’s. Prior to her time at KRH, she worked for Montana’s Office of Public Assistance for 32 years. She started there as a receptionist and then worked her way up to become the director of the Kalispell and Libby offices, a position she held for many years. During that time, she got to know Jane Emmert, the director of ASSIST. In late 2016, Jane asked Tammy if she’d ever be interested in working for ASSIST and she told her she absolutely would. Less than a month later, Tammy joined the team and has loved it ever since.
Tammy grew up in Eastern Montana and has lived in the Flathead Valley since 1980. Outside of work, she loves to go camping and motorcycling with her husband Tim. They have been married for 37 years and have two sons and three young grandsons.