Longtime Health First Health Plans Associate Joyce Brown Relishes Her Role
By Health First // December 5, 2020
Joyce Brown has been part of Health First Health Plans since its 1996 inception
This profile piece is dedicated to the memory of Joyce Brown, who passed away unexpectedly Thursday, December 10, shortly after this article was published. We know Joyce was proud of the work she did for Health First Health Plans – and we were incredibly proud of her and lucky to know her.
As part of Health First Health Plans since its 1996 inception, Joyce Brown’s love for helping plan members get the care, resources and answers they need to stay well keeps her coming back.
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA– Joyce Brown will never forget when Health First Health Plans launched to the Brevard community in 1996.
Part of a fledgling team of less than 10 associates, Joyce, along with three others, were tasked with entering all the Third-Party Administrator (TPA) employees in the system.
And as the birth of the Health Plan inched closer, the pressure was on – for some more than others.
“When we actually went live, one of the girls ended up having palpitations and was admitted in the hospital,” Joyce recalled. “And the CEO thought, ‘Well, we can’t launch it.’ ”
But Joyce’s supervisor had a solution.
“My boss was like, ‘Joyce knows how to do it, so she can do it,’ ” she recalled of stepping into the needed role. “So we went ahead and launched the Health Plan.”
It proved to be a shining moment for her. And those have continued. After all, she’s stayed put out of her love for the job and organization.
Joyce, who came to Brevard from Shands Hospital in Gainesville in 1991 for a staffing office position with Holmes Regional Medical Center, has blossomed over the years at the Health Plan. Why? Well, she’s driven. And she loves helping people, providing Health Plan members the answers, resources and tools they need to be well.
“When I started with the Health Plan, I was a receptionist,” Joyce recalled. “I did customer service, I did finance lockbox, I did sales and marketing, so I had to do all of that when the Health Plan opened up.”
From there, the small team grew, rolling out a customer service department, then a claims department, and so on. It’s continued to flourish, with 640 associates supporting the mission, and 170,000 members entrusting the Health Plan to provide their health insurance.
Joyce remains a valuable asset to the organization, which provides Individual, Family and Commercial health insurance options, including Medicare Advantage.
“I like digging into things, finding out how to help the patients,” said Joyce, 64, of Rockledge. “I like helping patients, and now I can look at it on a different spectrum – of making sure the claims are paid correctly,” in addition to helping to implement new systems as the Health Plan continues to grow.
Seeing the Health Plan metamorphosize has made her proud for her part in its success.
“It was so totally different back then, it was just a learning all the different areas and have a chance to be involved in all of them, and then being able to decide which avenue I wanted to take, customer service or the medical field,” Joyce said.
Joyce jumped on the medical portion of it, working with the sole nurse in the Health Plan, where they entered all the TPA authorizations into the system. Ensuring things were swiftly and accurately done drove her.
Now, she looks back and basks in the memories – and the joy in seeing how far the Health Plan has come, serving the wellness needs of the Space Coast. The growth alone – her professional skills, as well as the Health Plan’s reach – amazes her.
“Back then, we had different central locations and areas, but also, to see how it all goes together, how we’ve advanced from being in Brevard County,” Joyce said, noting how the Health Plan serves the Orlando area and other Central Florida counties, in addition to providing care under the AdventHealth brand, enthralls her.
“It’s been amazing just to see the growth factor, from a mom and pop area to big elaborate, more intense, more broader range of the members,” Joyce said. “It’s been great.”
Joyce can’t wait to see what’s next. And she relishes the chance to intermingle with other aspects of the IDN.
Oh, and her favorite part?
“It’s getting to work with all the different entities in the Health Plan,” Joyce said. “Pharmacy, claims, prior authorization department, case management, and now, with my role as a system analyst, it’s a really good experience of combining it together to make it work. It’s been a wonderful experience.”