Celebrating Three Decades - Pam Barnes

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In a world where the spirit of service often shines brightest in the hearts of individuals like Pam Barnes, HSNT Chief Financial Officer, we witness the impact that dedication, resilience, and compassion can have on a community. Pam's journey at Health Service of North Texas (HSNT) is not just a tale of thirty years of service; it is a testimony to the power of one person's commitment to making a difference. 

Pam's story began with a simple gesture – raising her hand in class at Texas Woman's University (TWU) and volunteering for a cause that would eventually shape her life's path. An independent and strong-willed young woman, Pam's life has gifted her with a wealth of experience and insight that she brings to the mission and our patients. Before finding her home at HSNT, Pam moved down to Texas from Norman, Oklahoma after graduating from high school. She embarked on a journey of self-discovery, embracing various opportunities that came her way with tenacity. From her days at a five-star hotel in Dallas, where she discovered her passion for finance, to flying off to California for a few months, Pam's thirst for knowledge and her innate ability to connect with people propelled her forward. 

"I chose HSNT because HSNT gave me the opportunity, simple as that, and I stayed because I was able to develop my skill set for helping my friends, family, and community," Pam reflects. Her experiences, both professional and personal, have shaped her into the compassionate leader she is today. The stories Pam tells about the people who HSNT has been able to help speak to her heart and what she also calls her greatest strength: being a people person. "I firmly believe that in order to get harmony, you've got to have a whole mess of conflict," Pam shares. Her willingness to embrace challenges and navigate complexities has been instrumental in her ability to serve the community effectively. One particularly powerful moment for her was when she had the privilege to help an HSNT patient with their taxes.  

Nobody knew who I was or what I did, but I was there. I was probably easy to talk to and sociable and all that, you know. Cynthia*, one of HSNT’s patients, reached out to me after she fired her other tax people and I don't know if she asked me or if I offered, but I ended up doing her tax return. I did two or three of her tax returns. The last tax return I did was after she died, and our case manager was the executor of her estate. Cynthia got $113.00 out of her last tax return, and we were able to take that money and buy her a whole outfit to bury her in. We bought her this cute little outfit. She had a hat, gloves, and a nice little dress. 

Pam importantly adds on, "This is services. It's not cash and medical equipment and fixed assets and liabilities and accrued payroll and accrued department and fund balance. I felt useless and "why am I here?' until I did that patients tax return and got money and put clothing on her that she could die in. That was a huge turning point for me. 

Pam remains grounded in her belief that true fulfillment stems not from monetary gain, but from pursuing meaningful work that resonates with one's values. "Follow your instincts," Pam advises, "and never underestimate the power of purpose." 

As HSNT looks towards the future, Pam envisions a path of strategic growth that honors the organization's core values and sustains the spirit of service that defines its identity. With her guidance, HSNT seeks to expand its reach without losing sight of its fundamental mission, ensuring that every step forward is a testament to the legacy of compassion and care that Pam Barnes has helped cultivate over three decades of service. 

Some of Pam’s colleagues over the years have witnessed firsthand her impact and had the following sentiments to share:

“From the day Pam raised her hand in a classroom at TWU to volunteer at our then small nonprofit, and all the years in between, Pam has been all in. She exemplifies the saying where there is a will, there is a way. No matter the obstacle her commitment, determination, and passion for the people we serve has been unwavering. Celebrating her 30-year anniversary with HSNT has been a Star Jump occasion. Thank you for saying YES to HSNT all those years ago.” - Doreen Rue, HSNT CEO 

“Pam is an anomaly in all the best ways. I admire how she is an adventurous spirit, boundary pusher, and rule follower all at the same time. I’ve learned a lot from her over the years because, as she says, she tells people how to build a clock when they ask her what time it is. Her enthusiasm for sharing her deep knowledge has helped me grow both personally and professionally in my role at HSNT. The most important lesson I’ve learned from Pam is that there is almost nothing we can’t fix by working together. The work we do is so important, and when we feel the weight of that importance Pam is always there to remind the team how awesome we are together and how HSNT is meant to be here serving our community.” - Jamie Taylor, Sr. Grants Manager 

“I have had the pleasure of working with Pam over the last 15 years, and in that time, she has evolved into one of those people I can lean on for support, encouragement, knowledge and (notably) extensive experience. She is never without energy or eagerness to tackle the next adventure, literally. I have learned many things from Pam over the years, but the most important one is that I do not have to be perfect nor the best at what I do; I simply need to show up, trust myself and know I cannot fail when we have this extraordinary team. She has quite the ability to speak her mind, something I do admire, and in recent years she has gained a new self-awareness and perspective which is inspiring. I never hesitate to tell her I am lost, need guidance, or ask her advice. I never fear her feedback and she has always welcomed mine. She has watched me grow in my own professional journey and believes it is kind of great to also watch a leader continue to grow in theirs; always evolving. In a past life, we served at different times for our country, and today I am extremely proud to serve our community alongside her and our HSNT Team.

P.S. She may be a day late sometimes, but Pam is never a dollar short.” - Anna Contreras, Sr. Practice Administrator

“Pam was a sunny and friendly face when I first found my way to HSNT. Since then, she has proven to be exactly as she initially occurred to me, though so much more. Pam is a fireball. She is passionate about what she does and that only makes her better. She is honest, dedicated, intense, enthusiastic, and sets such a high bar. She is the best ally and leader as she gives of herself so freely. I have told her before, she is so down to earth and easy to talk to. By being both intentional and sincere, she has become an Executive Leader I have learned to call on when in need of support.” - Mari Bailey, Senior Clinical Nurse Manager 

“I did not even know I was missing a "Pam" in my life until I started at HSNT. From day one, she has provided a level of support unlike anything I've experienced in my 20+ year career. She truly cares about her staff and has a way of motivating us to push ourselves to add value to HSNT each day. Pam's passion for HSNT is contagious and she truly is that "one of a kind" employee that every organization would be fortunate to have.” - Mandi Reese, Payroll & Benefits Coordinator 

“Although I have only worked with Pam for less than 10% of her time here, every day I benefit from all 30 years of experience she has serving our community and Health Services of North Texas. Pam is an excellent teacher; her passion for learning is evident and with her leading our team, I am confident there is no obstacle we can’t overcome.

She is the type of leader I aspire to be. I always feel comfortable letting her know when I am lost or confused on something because she will make the most of any teachable moment. I do not fear coming to her with my mistakes, because she will take the time to not only help me fix them but also develop strategies to strengthen our processes moving forward. However, she never lowers her expectations for her team. I believe that having the ability to make people feel comfortable and supported while also constantly pushing them to be the best that they can be is a sign of a natural-born leader, and Pam Barnes exemplifies that every day.

It’s also impossible to talk about Pam without mentioning her passion and energy. The commitment Pam has for our mission is contagious. She is never afraid to advocate for what she thinks is best for our organization and our patients while also being open to new ideas and different perspectives. Whenever I’m feeling tired or burnt out, talking to Pam about new ideas for the future, or listening to stories about her past here always reinvigorates me. Her sincere passion and enthusiasm never fails to rub off on me.

Pam is a great CFO, a great boss, and, more importantly, a great person. I am proud to work with her and honored to have the opportunity to learn from somebody who is as dedicated and passionate as her.” - Seth Bell, Accounting Manager