Dressing for success is among Christine Darnell’s keys to a thriving career here, and there is no doubt that she learned from her dad, Fred, who dons an eclectic and extensive shoe collection. “You have to stand out above the crowd,” Christine says.
The father-daughter duo both play important roles in their respective departments. Fred is a 19-year veteran and the Director of Strategic Alliances for HCSC, one of Availity’s owner health plans. He began his tenure in healthcare technology at RealMed as the Director of Business and Technical Support where he built a revenue cycle solution including real-time claims adjudication for 17,000 providers in Illinois and Texas. In 2012, a month after Availity’s RealMed acquisition and while Christine was still a student at the University of Florida, he transitioned to the Director of Strategic Alliances for Availity because it “made sense” to stick with the company he had such a great relationship with. Fred’s current role is to manage the interaction with HCSC & Availity, including operations, transactions and exploring net new developments they’re interested in adopting.
Availity was the first company to help Christine to “get her foot in the door” as a Client Services Representative after graduating UF in 2014 with a degree in Marketing. In the almost 5 years that she has been with the company, she has been promoted to an Operations Support Analyst and now as Customer Service Quality Analyst in Health Plan Operations. In this new role, Christine is working to implement more efficient processes that will scale to help more customers. She’s also revitalizing the audit program in ACS, where reps, team leads, and analysts are held accountable each month to ensure customers are helped in a timely and efficient manner. She is also involved with developing a mentoring program for ACS to create more feedback channels to improve career development paths.
Besides the fact that Fred and Christine are an actual family, they both value their relationships with their colleagues who have become family. “I truly have a big family here. Everyone is very supportive of each other and are constantly building each other up,” Christine said. Fred urges employees to go beyond sending emails to colleagues, and encourages face-to-face communication to build relationships with them.
The Darnell’s say that working together does not affect their home life and they rarely see each other during the day, but there are some advantages. At home, they bounce ideas off each other and talk about where things are going in the future. Fred says he relies on her for tactical help as she is down in the trenches, while he is able to provide the strategic vision to projects she may be working on and fill in any gaps.
As for the rest of their family, the Darnells say there is a greater than a 50 percent chance another member of the family will be here in the future.