Published on November 24, 2021

Revenue Cycle helps United Way Deliver

Food drive truck

The Revenue Cycle team helps United Way volunteer Andrew Nelson load items donated during their Improve Health food drive. The team aimed to donate 1,000 pounds of food and staples. 

Arthur Gordon

Customer services representative Arthur Gordon helps load the food items gathered at Business Services. 

Small sacks of groceries added up to three truckloads of donated food items for the North Mississippi Health Services Revenue Cycle team food drive this week.

“It’s all about giving,” said Arthur Gordon, Business Services customer services representative, as he helped load canned fruits and vegetables at the Cliff Gookin Boulevard office in Tupelo on Wednesday.

Revenue Cycle partnered with United Way of Northeast Mississippi to get all the donated goods to the local Salvation Army. It took a fleet of carts to get all the food to the United Way team’s vehicles from Patient Access and Health Information Management departments at the main unit, the Ambulatory Central Billing Office on President Street and Business Services on Cliff Gookin.

“It was a chance to give back,” said Melissa Herndon, HIM manager.  

The food drive couldn’t have come at a better time. Salvation Army is preparing for its annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner and some supplies have been hard to come by for area food banks, said Patti Parker, United Way of Northeast Mississippi president.

“These are kind hearts reaching out to help us serve the community,” Parker said. “The hospital has been a partner for United Way for 60 years.”

The Revenue Cycle leaders decided to hold a food drive as part of the system’s Improve Health Initiative. It provided an opportunity to help others and connect across the large department.

“The holidays are coming. There is so much sadness and concern due to the pandemic and all of the changes the organization is facing,” said Carol Plato, vice president for Revenue Cycle. “My leaders decided they needed to do something for the community, but also something that made us all feel better.”

Food insecurity is a problem across the region and has a tremendous impact on the health of the people who live here.

“Our goal is to improve the health of those we serve,” said Ormella Cummings NMHS chief strategy, health equity & inclusion officer, who leads the Improve Health Initiative. “Not only are we focused on the clinical needs of the region, we are working with community partners to impact the social needs that influence the quality and length of life.”

The food drive was embraced across departments. It was amazing to see the food drive stashes grow.

“People brought in sacks and boxes of food,” said Suzanne Long, Ambulatory CBO accounts manager.

Central Scheduling turned the food drive into a friendly game, said Heidi Kennedy, director of Patient Access. In the “Pie Your Boss” contest, the staff voted by leaving donated food outside the doors of the supervisors. The winning supervisor with the most food agreed to take a pie in the face for a good cause.

The list of needs provided through the Improve Health Initiative was very helpful, said Crystal Knox, Business Services director.

“We were able to get a variety of things like baby items and bottled water,” Knox said. “It was a cool challenge to see who could collect the most.”

Facilitating community food drives can have a positive impact on our communities as we help feed and sustain families. “Activities like this allow all of us to work together and challenge each other,” Plato said. “This is what connected feels like!”

To learn more about the NMHS Improve Health initiative and its community partners, visit

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