In conversation with Mark on “The Digital Executive Show”

28 Apr 2021
Mark Mortimer

Listen to the podcast:

Abstract:

Adelphoi Village’s President, Mark Mortimer, joins Coruzant Technologies for the Digital Executive podcast. He talks about an application called FirstMatch, which leverages machine learning and predictive analytics. This algorithm takes the client’s assessment data and matches them with a program or service that has the highest likelihood of achieving the desired outcome.

Speaker Profile:

Mark Mortimer is the President of Adelphoi Village. Mark oversees planning, design and implementation of business operations at FirstMatch.

He is a graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Criminology and an MBA. He began his career at Adelphoi as a counselor and in 2002, he was named Supervisor of Adelphoi’s Middle Creek Secure Group Home, which was named PA Juvenile Court Judges’ Commission Program of the Year in 2005. He has also served as Director of Residential Services and Vice President of Adelphoi Village. Mark is an expert trainer in Crisis Management and Situational Leadership with Adelphoi’s Professional Development Program.

Episode Transcript:

Coruzant:

Welcome to Coruzant Technologies, home of the digital executive podcast. Today’s guest is Mark Mortimer. 

Mark is the President of Adelphoi Village. He is a graduate of the Indiana University of Pennsylvania where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Criminology and an MBA. He began his career at Adelphoi as a counselor and in 2002, he was named Supervisor of Adelphoi’s Middle Creek Secure Group Home, which was named PA Juvenile Court Judges’ Commission Program of the Year in 2005. He has also served as a Director of Residential Services and Vice President of Adelphoi Village. Mark is an expert trainer in Crisis Management and Situational Leadership with Adelphoi’s Professional Development Program.

Well, good afternoon, Mark. Welcome to the show. 

Mark:

Thanks for having me, Brian. 

Coruzant:

You bet, Mark. I appreciate this. I’m glad that we connected and we want to jump into the questions so we can start to share your story with our global audience. So thanks again. 

And so, Mark, here’s the first question. You’ve got quite the background. You’ve been a program director, chief operating officer, now the president for Adelphoi village. Could you share with our audience what drives you and what has contributed to your success?

Mark:

Yeah, it’s a great question, Brian. And, you know, it’s one that I probably don’t reflect on and think about often enough. You know, I guess, I would tie it back to some really good mentors that I’ve had over my 20-year career here at Adelphoi. I’ve had just great supervisors and Adelphoi has a really good training program too. I really felt like it was a place that I could take responsibility for my own learning and development. I was encouraged to continue to grow and develop in the field, both internally and externally.

I have been given opportunities to travel around the state and around the country to see what other folks are up to. So, you know, I think that’s probably one of the primary drivers. I think probably the other thing is that the organizational culture here at Adelphoi. I often say this to people. Of course, I’m biased because I work here and I really love the place. But I’ve always been taken by how authentic the commitment is to the kids, the clients, and the families that we work with.

There’s never been a time in my 20 years where I thought we needed something or we needed to supply a family with something and was told no. And now, of course, I’m in a position to continue that and make sure the folks that are out there working with the kids and working with the families have exactly what they need to do a good job and make sure the folks that we’re attempting to help have every opportunity to get that help.

So, you know, I’d say those are the two things that really stick out to me, Brian.

Coruzant:

That’s awesome and I appreciate the fact that you know like most people I talked to on this show love; that’s kind of their fulfillment. Their passion is making sure others have what they need and giving back is always something that really helps drive people. So, thanks for sharing, Mark.

Mark:

Thank you.

Coruzant:

And Mark, talk about the pandemic, I know we’re hopefully going to start wrapping this up with, you know, herd immunity and everybody getting vaccinated and this sort of thing. But maybe you can share with us your pandemic experience. Could you talk to us about what you’ve had to do or doing continuing today to really help your business stay relevant? 

Mark: 

Yeah, Brian. So, you know, I think one of the things that we quickly did when the pandemic hit us was to assemble an incident command team here at the organization which is made up of all the leaders across different segments of our HR, finance department, etc. And what we really did is, we took inventory of where our weaknesses were, where our strengths were, and certainly put together a plan to support our staff through it. You know, we have over 650 employees at Adelphoi and they all had felt the impact of the pandemic differently.

So we wanted to make sure we were flexible with our employees, that we were still meeting the needs of our clients and keeping everybody safe. So we had several policy changes that we had to put in place to make sure our folks were safe.

I’d say the other thing that we did a pretty good job at is making sure that our workforce, our families, and consumers were educated about the pandemic. We communicated with them every week and gave them updates, educational information, and best practices, and boiled down the information that was coming out of the Department of Health and the CDC to make sure. That everybody had the information that they needed. The other thing I would say that we did is we brought in some experts, we brought in some doctors that were familiar with the pandemic response and vaccinations.

We actually ran a vaccination clinic for our employees and vaccinated over four hundred people. So, you know, the pandemic certainly impacted our operations top to bottom. But I’m really proud of the work that our staff did to manage that pandemic and keep our kids and families safe. 

Coruzant:

That’s awesome. I appreciate your unique story about how you addressed some of the challenges with the pandemic. And like I said, I hope in six months we can all say that this is at least well past us. So thanks again, Mark. 

And so, Mark, are you leveraging any new emerging technology within your business? And if not, is there maybe a cool tour app you’re using that you found helpful you could share with us?

Mark:

We are actually leveraging some of the technology. We’ve been working on it now for a little over a year, a little bit longer if you count the research that was involved. This is an application called FirstMatch. 

FirstMatch is predictive analytics, machine learning model that uses unique predictive factors. So there are clinical & demographic factors in their assessment data to match them with a program or service that has the highest likelihood of achieving the desired outcome. And we do that by comparing the predictive factors of that particular use in need of some sort of care or service to programs and providers who have achieved the best outcomes with kids that present with those same or similar predictive factors.

Brian, unfortunately, in our field, 66 percent of the kids that have to receive service outside their home have to receive more than one service and 44 percent have to receive more than two services. So these kids are often separated from their families for the time they receive the care and treatment and if they have to repeat that care and treatment because the first time wasn’t successful, then they’re in the system even longer.

So our goal with this technology is to help these decision-makers, the courts, child welfare systems, juvenile justice system, and the behavioral health systems match the kid with the most appropriate program the first time so that they don’t have to go to multiple services and have that interruption in their life. So this is something that we’re really happy about. It’s cloud-based. Providers from across the country have responded very favorably to the technology and certainly see the value in and improving the outcomes that they’re able to achieve and working with kids that have the highest likelihood of responding well to their service. So we’re seeing better outcomes. We’re seeing kids away from their families for a short amount of time. 

Compared to the old way of matching kids with a program that really was not based on assessment data or clinical data, it was based on macro-level outcomes, outcomes that were not unique to any type of presenting problem or strengths and weaknesses of a kid in need of care. So oftentimes they base these decisions on anecdotal information or cost or proximity on a whole bunch of drivers for reasons that are not very many people would want their own child matched with a service based on.

So we’re really excited to have the ability to offer this to the other systems that are working with kids and families to go after those outcomes that they desperately want and we desperately want for them. 

Coruzant:

That’s awesome. Mark, I appreciate the share. You know, we all want to help our clients, help our kids, and to be able to leverage some technology to achieve a better outcome is just amazing. Again, this platform is all about technology. And here that you’re seeing some positive impact with the kids is outstanding. So thanks again.

Mark:

Yeah, Brian. I just want to reinforce that, you know, this is a technology available to all the providers, child welfare, juvenile justice, and behavioral health systems across the country. And, you know, certainly have an opportunity to share the website at the end. I’d like to do that. 

Coruzant:

Absolutely. That’s awesome. Thank you, Mark. 

And Mark, the last question. Can you share something from your career experience that might be helpful for those looking to grow their career in either organizational management or leadership? 

Mark:

Yeah, it’s a really good question. Um, you know, I often advise new folks coming into our field. There’s so much to know. There are so many different policies, procedures, regulations, modalities, and interventions that I encourage people to stay. If their supervisor asks them if they want to be trained, I’d tell them to say, “yes”. If their supervisor needs help with something and is asking for volunteers, say “yes”. It’s a field that takes a lot of time to become an expert. I don’t know if you ever become an expert as it’s so unique and evolving. My best advice is always to say yes when you’re given an opportunity.

I think the other thing I would say, Brian, is to find a mentor early on in your career, pay attention to them, learn from them, get advice from them, ask them to spend time with you and, talk through what some of the challenges are the system needs to solve. There are a lot of ones. I think, as a result, you know, you’ll be well-positioned to be a generalist which is really what this field needs a lot of times there are really good generalists that can help connect all the dots, but that’s, that’s my advice.

Coruzant:

Thank you, Mark. I appreciate that. I know that will resonate with somebody here on the podcast. Again, that’s so important these days, um, especially starting early and you, and I both know this, that mentorship is really key and I’ve recognized that and I didn’t always have the mentors that I would have liked to have had early in my career, but I recognize that now and, and give back and mentor people today. So I appreciate that share. So, Mark, it was a pleasure having you today and I look forward to speaking with you real soon.

Mark:

Yeah. Brian, thanks so much.