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FRANKLIN COUNTY (Aug. 28, 2019) — Jordan Herman is Franklin County’s August Employee of the Month.

Herman is a Forensic Case Manager for the Re-entry Service Center who has worked for Franklin County since 2018.

The selection for the August 2019 Employee of the Month was determined by the STAR Committee from a total of nine nominations. The STAR nomination form asks what recent event or occurrence made the person select Jordan.

The answers were revealing.

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“Jordan Herman has done a phenomenal amount of work during his first 8 months with the County,” one of his peers wrote. “I think it is important to recognize that even new employees can be extraordinary.”

Herman has responsibilities in three different programs: Case Assisted Re-Entry (CARE) Program, Intensive Reentry Case Management (IRCM), and Operation REACH. 

The CARE program began in January 2019 as a reinvention of the Jail Diversion Program. CARE requires more assessments during the intake process as well as developing a treatment plan for each client and monthly updates. It is Herman’s job to meet with each participant weekly.

Taking Care of Special Clients in New CARE Program

In January and February, there were an astonishing 21 referrals for this new program.

Setting up interviews and intakes alone is a full time job, one of Herman’s peers wrote. But Herman also makes mental health and counseling appointments and goes to those appointments with the client.

He makes referrals for other services and helps participants complete paperwork for Medical Assistance, Rabbit Transit, and Social Security Disability.

Herman documents all of his actions and keeps both an electronic and a paper file on each person. He is also responsible for the bi-weekly treatment team meetings, providing an agenda and minutes at each meeting.

“This is a full time job by itself, but that is not all he does,” a peer said on the nomination form.

Under the IRCM Program, Herman has a caseload of up to nine people at one time. The IRCM program provides housing, food, household items, and furniture to those who need it.

His peers say Herman goes above and beyond expectations in helping these individuals

He delivers furniture and clothing, takes people grocery shopping, and makes surprise home visits to investigate landlord issues.

Clients call him when they need a ride to work or to a doctor’s appointment. He never says no to helping someone in a crisis.

Herman is also a case manager for Operation REACH. He interviews every jail inmate identified as a veteran. He has initial contact and completes intakes as needed. To date, he has interviewed 60 inmates and referred the ones who need services to the REACH program.

Most case managers are overwhelmed with a case load of 25 people with serious mental health issues who have complex needs.

Herman handles that many people under the CARE Program, another nine cases under the IRCM Program. He also handles all the incarcerated Veterans who could benefit from Operation REACH.

What makes Herman stand out is his ability to deal with individuals with serious mental health issues, coworkers say. Many of those clients don’t want to talk to him.

One example is a man who did not want to complete all the assessments needed for the CARE Program intake. Herman worked him through the process even though it was clear the man did not want to do it.

This man was extremely rude, but Herman didn’t allow the client’s disrespect to change the respectful way he treated that person.

“This man made a point to come in to the office in person to check in rather than just check in with a phone call,” peers said of the situation.

Exceeding Expectations, Helping Others

Another example of Jordan’s willingness to exceed expectations happened on Friday, March 1st.

“After lunch, we received a CARE referral for a jail inmate who was set to be released on Sunday, March 3rd,” said a coworker. “Jordan made it a priority to go to the jail immediately to do the intake paperwork.”

He set up appointments for the person so that once released she had all her mental health needs in place.

Herman could have said she needed to come see him once she was released, but he removed that barrier by going to her where she was, at a time convenient for her, not him. 

“I have been down and out. I have done terrible things that I never want to talk about. Mr. Herman is willing to listen to me without judging me,” the woman said. “I feel like he sees me as a person instead of just a problem.”

Co-workers call Herman dedicated, competent and caring.

“He helps clients over and over again because he understands that mental illness is not a choice and it is not something that is ‘fixed’,” the person nominating him for this month’s honor said. “He has the special ability to connect with the most difficult individuals.”

“Jordan Herman’s outstanding characteristics are attributes that have not gone unnoticed by his peers,” Commissioners said. “We are grateful to Mr. Jordan Herman as he exudes a high standard of customer service, excellence, and respect to the employees and residents of Franklin County.

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