When people come for help at Oxford Treatment Center, Missy Kennedy’s face is often the first one they see.
“I love getting to be part of what happens here, even if that’s just picking someone up from the airport,” said Kennedy, whose dedication and enthusiasm for her work earned her the honor of Employee of the Year 2016. The announcement was made in late January.
“I’m still flabbergasted,” said Kennedy, a Mental Health Technician. “It was such a shock to me. I never thought I would receive such an honor.”
Kennedy has been part of the Oxford Treatment Center staff since May 2014. In addition to providing transportation to and from the Memphis International Airport, she juggles responsibilities in submitting bills and lab reports. She also does the legwork to enroll people in the Vivitrol program, which can aid them in overcoming dependence to alcohol or opiates.
Tammy England, Director of Nursing for Oxford Treatment Center, said the attitude Kennedy brings to each of these tasks brings encouragement to everyone around her.
“Missy has an energy and passion for her work that’s simply contagious,” England said. “People love working with her. Her enthusiasm elevates the day-to-day tasks, with a constant awareness that we are helping to change lives here.”
Billy Young, CEO, praised Kennedy’s professionalism and compassion, particularly in the way she relates to clients.
“We know that coming into treatment can be terrifying for people, but Missy is able to put them at ease,” Young said.
“She strikes a unique balance — communicating the serious work of treatment and recovery, while also bringing humor and joy to each interaction. We’re grateful for all she brings to her job here each day.”
While not in recovery herself, Kennedy has experienced the effects of addiction in her own relationships with family and friends. She has worked in the recovery field for the past nine years and also has a background in customer service.
For Kennedy, being named Employee of the Year 2016 only enhances the rewarding nature of her work.
“People come here and save their own lives, and I get to be a part of that process,” she said. “To hear that a year later this person is still sober and holding down a job and turned their marriage around — just to be a part of that is still incredible to me.”