Tri-County Mental Health Services offering behavioral health services for the Kansas City Northland community. Prevention, assessment and treatment services for individuals and families throughout Clay, Platte and Ray counties of Missouri.

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Barbara Becker was congratulated by Tri-County CEO Tom Petrizzo durng a reception held for her retirement June 7. Becker has served as the organization's IT director for 20 years, taking Tri-County from a handful of DOS computers to nationally recognized electronic medical records communication.

Her Years of Service
Helped Bring Hope to the Northland

Barbara Becker is one of the few people who have witnessed firsthand the revolutions from massive mainframe computers to desktops, laptops and handhelds.

Becker has also seen how this impacts the lives of area residents, including some of the region’s most vulnerable.

IT Director for Tri-County Mental Health Services, Becker has a passion for maximizing network communications despite the limits of frugal budgets. Even with the challenge, she never forgets how those services are critical for residents of Clay, Platte and Ray counties.

“Those who are out there helping people in the community can do a better job if we do our job right,” she explained. “If we can get them better information with better technology, they can help more people. It’s that simple.”

Tri-County’s provider network is a good example. Comprised of more than 200 independent counselors and other professionals in the three-county region, the network was created with the formation of Tri-County in 1991. With little money for staff, it was obvious the Northland’s only community health center could not hope to serve thousands of people who need help each year in three counties with a traditional business model. The answer was to utilize existing providers in each community. As an added benefit, that brought providers located in and familiar with their communities.

A growing network, increasing privacy requirements and the looming Y2K threat brought Becker to Tri-County in 1997. She found a system still using dial-up AOL and a DOS system that only seven people at the organization knew how to use.

“We’ve come a long way in 20 years,” she laughed. “The provider network was a big turning point – getting them connected with an modern, electronic medical records system was huge.” This year, Tri-County was selected as one of only five organizations in the country for a pilot project to develop value-base care solutions.

Staff members and friends joined Barbara Becker (standing, behind table) at her retirement reception June 7.

Becker credits much of this to Tri-County’s leadership, which recognized early the need for solid computing to leverage limited staff serving a region with over 350,000 people.

Retiring this week, Becker has reached several personal milestones, including a total of 50 years in computing, including previous time with Jackson County, UMB Bank and the University of Kansas Medical Center. And despite her focus on technology, she’s obviously invested in the human side of a very human business.

“I know most of the clients who come in,” she said. “I’m really going to miss what I do. The people are great – it’s been great to be a part of it.”

24-Hour Emergency Crisis Line 1-888-279-8188 (TTY or Voice: 1-800-380-3323)

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