West Texas Centers wins award recognizing safety

West Texas Center employees drive more than 75,000 miles a month in rural West Texas providing care to more than 3,200 people.Their superior record of safety earned West Texas Centers the Betty Hardwick Excellence in Risk Management Award presented by the Texas Council Risk Management Fund.“Betty (Hardwick) had a high passion for good risk management and she would be most proud of (West Texas) center for their accomplishment,” said Greg Womack, Program Executive Texas Council Risk Management Fund.The Texas Council Risk Management Fund is a self-insurance pool formed by the Texas Council of Community Centers providing workers’ compensation, liability and property coverage programs for its member centers. The Texas Council of Community Centers provides an organization through which 39 Community Centers can work together as a public system serving Texans with mental illness, intellectual developmental disabilities, and chemical dependency.Of the 39 Community Centers, 29 belong to the Texas Council Risk Management Fund, Womack said.“This award is data driven,” Womack said. “It’s the top award that the fund presents on an annual basis.”“We look at workers compensation, liability and property loss, claims experience. It’s an overall blend of everything that we do within the fund and when we look at all the claims experience it suggests that the center is doing better than any of the other centers when it comes to their claims experience.”“Especially considering the number of miles they drive, that the center would be on top in respect to overall claims experience the center is to be highly commended for that.”The award was presented to West Texas Centers CEO Shelley Smith, LMSW, and Chief Financial Officer Guy White during the 28th Annual Texas Council Conference held June 26-28 in Dallas.“This center is recognized for demonstrating superior safety and loss prevention practices as reflected in its loss record with the workers' compensation, liability and property programs,” Smith said. “I am proud of so many things that our employees do and this shows that they take safety very seriously.”“It’s remarkable that we have had little loss for the amount of driving we do whether it is in our personal vehicles or West Texas Centers vehicles,” Smith said. “This speaks to the type of people we have employed across our 23-county region.”The Texas Council Risk Management Fund is governed by a nine-member Board of Trustees elected by the community centers. West Texas Centers Trustee Van L.York sits on the Texas Council Risk Management Fund Board of Trustees.“We were very excited to be recognized for achieving such a clean record in the area of risk management,” said Minnie Gonzalez, West Texas Centers Risk Management Director. “The award speaks highly of how our Center operates business on a day-to-day basis.”West Texas Centers serves people with behavioral and developmental disabilities along with an Early Childhood Intervention program and their families in Andrews, Borden, Crane, Dawson, Fisher, Gaines, Garza, Glasscock, Howard, Kent, Loving, Martin, Mitchell, Nolan, Reeves, Runnels, Scurry, Terrell, Terry, Upton, Ward, Winkler and Yoakum counties.