Name: Julie Zaato
Title: Business Office Manager
Tenure: Various times since 1992, but most recently since 2017
Hobbies: Taking care of her two children and getting them to where they need to go, whether it’s wrestling, football, rodeo or more. She also has “an addiction to chickens.”
Bio: If anybody knows Crook County Medical Services District like the back of their hand, it’s Julie Zaato.
Her first job out of high school was as a CNA with CCMSD. She has worked for Crook County, in one way or another, throughout the last 30 years, She has worked in several different departments as well, meaning that she is as familiar with CCMSD as she is her own home.
Zaato views Crook County Medical Services District as her home away from home.
Zaato began working for CCMSD in 1992 as a CNA for the nursing home. Then she transitioned to the Respiratory Department, before starting to work in the business office as a receptionist. But that wasn’t all.
“I worked my way up to billing and I was a biller for 16 years before I got my coding certificate,” Zaato revealed. “I got my coding certificate in 2011 and have worked here off and on ever since. I worked for a company in Newcastle for a year-and-a-half, then I worked from home for another company, before eventually coming back. And I’ve been here ever since.”
Zaato knows, firsthand, everything that Crook County Medical Services District has to offer the community, from primary care to emergency services, outpatient, radiology, lab services and so much more. Zaato has seen it all up close and personal and she knows how much everybody at CCMSD values their patients and their community.
It’s because of that commitment to excellence that Zaato found herself coming back time and time again. It’s the whole experience for her – the providers, her coworkers, and the patients. They all feel like family to her.
“At any given point, I could probably walk down the hall of the clinic and see somebody who, if they’re a longtime community member, they’re probably a friend,” Zaato laughed. “I’m probably at least friends with them on Facebook, and they’re probably going to visit with me about what my kids are doing with rodeo or wrestling, or how I am. It really does feel like you’re just visiting with neighbors, because you are.”
The same can be said about her boss and her coworkers as well.
“It’s just comfortable,” she said. “From Micki [Lyons, CEO] all the way around, I feel like everybody is really easy to talk to and communicate with and joke with and just generally have a good time with. It just makes working here fun.”
The fun part of Zaato’s job, at least to her, is the numbers aspect. She is a very left-brained type person who enjoys statistics and facts and figures and logic – all of which she works with as the business office manager.
“I like everything that has a resolution,” she stated. “Billing, if done correctly, is great. Posting something once, you get that immediate satisfaction. I don’t get that as much with coding, but on the billing side I do. And I like making sure that somebody is happy when they get off the phone with us. That always makes me feel really good, if somebody calls and they’re like, ‘I don’t understand this and that,’ and I’m able to explain it to them where they understand and they’re not upset about what they’re seeing – that makes me feel really good.”
In fact, the whole job makes her feel really good. And the reason for that is because she knows that the work she’s doing is designed to make her patients – her friends, her neighbors, her former classmates – feel taken care of.
“We have some very educated and intelligent providers,” Zaato said. “It’s the best group that I’ve ever seen, from the emergency room to the clinics and across the board. I feel like we’ve got a lot of really friendly people providing patient care throughout the clinic. Once you come in here, you’re seeing a great provider and you’re being cared for by great nurses. We also provide great after-service, with the billing and the communications after an appointment. We’re just a good, complete circle of medical care for the community.”
Zaato is proud of where she works. She is proud of her boss, of her providers, of her fellow employees and of herself. She has, in many ways, grown up in the hallowed halls of Crook County Medical Services District. She’s grown as a medical professional and as a human being. She’s made memories there and has very much come to view CCMSD as a home away from home.
“I don’t really know why, but it just feels like home to me,” Zaato said. “I’m so comfortable here. It’s familiar and it’s comfortable and it’s home.”