November 09, 2016 | Staff Stories
Ten years ago Mountain Park only had about 200 employees, and 75 of them are still on our team today. Although our team has grown to almost 800 strong this year, we are proud that those original 75 continue contributing to our tremendous growth.
Julie Lugo, our Eligibility Manager, has been with Mountain Park for over a decade. She has seen Mountain Park grow and has grown with the organization herself.
“Working at Mountain Park is so rewarding because I love seeing the outcomes and all we do for our community,” she said. “I enjoy coming to work and making sure our patients are getting the care that they need.”
When Julie first started, her role was to make sure our patients received proper access to our care. By offering our patients a Sliding Fee Discount Program and assistance with AHCCCS enrollment, we are able to provide everyone—insured, uninsured and underinsured—high-quality, affordable care. Julie’s role has evolved to not only overlooking our financial team but making sure our audits required by the Federal Government are up to par.
“I have been doing this sort of work for 28 years,” she explained. “I started with the State AHCCCS Medicaid program and was there for 26 years. I then worked with Action Alliance where Stella and I met and worked together for two years on the Healthcare Connect program.”
Julie and Stella Xenakis, our Senior Director of Grants and Compliance, have known each other for 12 years. They worked closely together for four years when Mountain Park’s eligibility services expanded to offer coverage at all our locations.
“Julie’s expertise and care for patients contributed to creating a great program,” Stella told us. “Her past experience has helped Mountain Park in providing great support to patients, not only through the very complex application process, but also with issues related to navigating the system. Her experience and genuine helpful personality make her a great team member.”
Matt Jewett, our Associate Director of Grants, has also worked with Julie closely, even before working at Mountain Park.
“Before I came to Mountain Park, I oversaw a coordinated campaign among multiple nonprofit organizations to enroll children into AHCCCS and KidsCare,” Matt said. “From 2009 until I came to Mountain Park in 2013, Julie represented us as part of this joint effort. She represents the organization well, she’s knowledgeable and she does what is best for the organization and our patients.”
Care for All
There are many people in Arizona who need proper care but aren’t receiving it because they don’t know about the benefits we offer. We are here to help everyone get and stay healthy, no matter what financial situation they are in.
“Mountain Park is so family oriented,” Julie added. “People can walk in and feel comfortable knowing that they will get treated with kindness. Care is all around us, whether it’s at the front desk or with a provider. We continue to stress the importance of that.”
Our Eligibility team is ready to assist patients at all eight of our clinics. When a new patient who is uninsured calls to schedule an appointment, they will first meet with our Eligibility Team. They can apply for our Sliding Fee Discount program, or with our guidance, apply for AHCCCS.
“Our patients receive our Sliding Fee Discount the same day,” Julie explained. “They have to bring in some documents that are required, such as proof of household and income. If they are applying for the Medicaid program, more documents are required. Once the application is filed it takes about 45 days—20 days for pregnant moms—for a determination to be made.”
Mountain Park stands out from many other organizations because we are a one-stop-shop. Just about everything you could need is provided to our patients under one roof.
“We have so many resources including Behavioral Health Consultants, Dietitians, Doctors, Dentists, Eligibility and Finance, all in one convenient location,” Julie said proudly. “Our patients don’t have to go anywhere for anything else.”
Home is Where the Heart is
Outside of being dedicated to Mountain Park, Julie loves spending time with her family. As the seventh sister of nine, Julie has always been surrounded by family. Married for 35 years to her husband Robert, the couple has four children and they are up to 10 grandchildren.
“My family is all over the place,” she said. “I have one son who lives in Arizona, my other son is stationed in New York, and my daughters live in Japan and Puerto Rico.”
As a busy mom and grandmother, Julie has just recently started to explore what Arizona has to offer.
“I’m from Arizona, but finding time to do anything when raising a family is hard. Now we have more time,” she added. “We enjoy going to swap meets and going up north to the awesome vineyards and gift shop hopping. We are also huge fans of the Oakland Raiders.”
Robert and Julie also love going on cruises and have been on seven. This coming winter they are taking a 15-day cruise to Hawaii.
To make an appointment with one of our Eligibility Specialists call (602) 243-7277.