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Doris Littleton of Western Mental Health Institute Named TDMHSAS Employee of the Year

Tuesday, February 25, 2014 | 09:15am

BOLIVAR, Tenn. – Doris Prewitt Littleton, a social services staff member at Western Mental Health Institute (WMHI) in Bolivar, has been named the 2013 Employee of the Year by the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (TDMHSAS).

“Doris Littleton is an inspiration to everyone she works with and everyone she comes into contact with at Western Mental Health Institute,” says TDMHSAS Commissioner E. Douglas Varney. “She embodies all that is good and compassionate about the people who work in the behavioral health field. I am proud that she works at WMHI, and proud to honor her as the 2013 TDMHSAS Employee of the Year.”

Doris graduated from Tennessee State University in 1980 and began her employment with the State on March 23, 1981, as a Development Technician at the Nat T Winston Developmental Center, a facility that served people with mental and emotional issues at WMHI prior to its closure in 1998. In June 1996, Doris transferred to WMHI and was promoted to Psychiatric Teacher Counselor. In 2003, Doris was transferred to the Social Services Department, where she has excelled as a social services staff member.

“I have known Doris since I first started to work here in 2000 and she has always proven to maintain the highest level of performance as a professional in each and every capacity where she has been ask to serve,” says Roger Pursley, CEO at WMHI. “Doris embodies the character and dedication needed to serve the population we have under our responsibility. She is the consummate role model for all staff when dealing with patients, families, other employees and outside agencies.”

In January 2012, Doris was recognized by Gov. Bill Haslam during his State of the State address as an outstanding public employee.

“Doris has since become one of the most valuable assets to the social services department. She has an outstanding work ethic and is always willing to go the extra mile for her patients and co-workers,” says Lisa Roy, Doris’ supervisor at WMHI. “Doris is a strong, compassionate person who advocates for her patients and for herself, and she is not afraid to take on challenging situations for the benefit of Western and its patients. It is clear to me that working at WMHI is not just a job for Doris, but a calling, and it is an honor to work with someone who has such impeccable character.”

Along with being named 2013 TDMHSAS Employee of the Year, Doris was named WMHI’s Employee of the Year. The other individuals honored as Employee of the Year for the state’s three other Regional Mental Health Institutes are:

  • Memphis Mental Health Institute (MMHI): Kenneth Wade Anderson, Recreational Therapist in the Adjunctive Therapy Department. “Kenneth has been a state employee for more than 27 years, and he is the perfect example of a team player,” says Charles Taylor, Kenneth’s supervisor. “He carries himself as an exceptional employee and is often doing things behind the scenes that go unrecognized. As part of MMHI’s Customer-Focused Government initiative, Kenneth has been chosen as the ‘Face of the Day,’ ‘Face of the Month,’ and ‘Face of the Quarter’ employee on numerous occasions. He continues to go above and beyond.”
  • Middle Tennessee Mental Health Institute (MTMHI): Ken Tallman, Information Resource Support Specialist. “Ken goes above and beyond his normal day-to-day duties and embraces the chance to research and learn something new if the need arises,” says Lori Abriola, Ken’s supervisor. “He is the ‘go-to’ guy when a special need regarding computers or video cameras is needed. He is available to help and has assisted all employees – from direct care up to the Commissioner of the department – whenever the need arises. Ken approaches everything he does with a ‘can do’ attitude, nothing is too hard or insurmountable for him, and he is always approachable no matter what the request.”
  • Moccasin Bend Mental Health Institute (MBMHI): Pamela Gayle White, Administrative Secretary/Release of Information Coordinator in the Health Information Department. “During the time following the closure of Lakeshore Mental Health Institute, Pamela took on the additional responsibility and workload for handling more than 100 additional phone calls and written requests per month for information about Lakeshore patients,” says Shannon J. Chapman, her Pamela’s supervisor. “She took on these extra duties in addition to helping organize and identify the old Lakeshore microfilm records, and she coordinates the release of this information, in addition to the release of MBMHI patient records. She is often called upon to assist patients in obtaining their records for purposes of aftercare, disability, and other needs and she is always a kind and caring advocate for the consumers from both facilities.”

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