Meet the Staff
Richard M. Tuten
President & CEO
Richard M. Tuten is Health First Network’s new President & Chief Executive Officer. Richard will be responsible for not only the day to day operations of the company but also working with the Board of Directors and other physician leaders to set the strategic course for the coming years. Richard has over 30 years’ experience in health care leadership including managed care, hospital, and physician practice management. Richard has a Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Therapy, a Master of Science in Administration (Health Services Administration), and a Juris Doctor degree. Richard is licensed to practice law in the state of Georgia.
Dr. Billy Whibbs
Committed to providing quality health care that is truly local, Billy serves as Health First Network’s Medical Director. In this role, he is surrounded by a team of professional clinicians all dedicated to assuring health plan members receive first rate care. Working together, they coordinate with network physicians to manage referrals and authorizations, identify high risk patients, and implement disease management programs where appropriate. Billy is a Board Certified Family Practice physician with over 30 years of practice experience and is also a founding member of the company.
Director of Health Services
Pat is a Registered Nurse with a Master’s Degree in Business Administration with a total of 14 years as an employee of Health First Network. She brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to her role as Director of Health Services. Pat is a former Military Nurse who worked as an ICU & E.R. staff nurse for over two decades before moving to the management and administrative side of health care. She serves as the clinical liaison between physicians, hospitals, health plans and case management nurses to ensure patients are at the center of treatment decisions related not just to clinical issues, but social, ethical, compliance and economic as well.
Manager, Network Development
Jenny, who has worked with Health First Network since 1999, recruits health care providers to participate in a health insurance organization’s network of preferred providers. She is responsible for training the providers and medical staff members regarding procedures to submit claims and how to resolve issues to ensure that providers and health care insurance policyholders are satisfied with their services. Jenny provides support and direction to committee members to ensure optimal provider recruitment, education, and service, completion of plan initiatives, and the establishment of an adequate panel of providers for medical care that meets member geographic needs with cost effective contracts. She's built her career working for insurance companies and physician offices, giving her the expertise to build a provider network dedicated to serving the community.
Provider Relations Representative
Amy Ates is HFNI's new Provider Relations Representative. Amy is a lifelong resident of the Pensacola area. She brings 20 years of medical office experience to Health First Network from various clinical specialties.
With the expected implementation of ICD-10 in 2014, an additional benefit to Health First Network is the fact that Amy received her coding certification in 2007 and continues to expand on her knowledge in coding. Amy’s ability to listen and communicate well with others is one of the many reasons she was chosen to fill the Provider Relations Representative position with Health First Network.
Amy will work with Jenny Caillouet to assist her in providing support and direction to Health First Network provider offices.
Shelby keeps busy, well, by keeping tabs on Health First Network's 650+ plus physicians. She works day in and day out to ensure all doctors are up to date on their credentials, insurances, Florida licenses, DEA's, and so forth. Shelby joined Health First Network in early 2007 via way of MED3OOO, where she worked for nearly eight years. And, talk about reliable in her eight years with MED3OOO, Shelby never called in sick. Her dedication, attention to detail, and proactive nature stand to benefit not only Health First Network but also its physicians and the community at large. Shelby began her career in health care 17 years ago at Gulf Breeze Hospital.
Serving Health First Network since 1999, Michelle provides administrative support to the President & CEO as well as serving as the primary contact for HFN Shareholders, The Board of Directors and committee members. Among her many duties, Michelle coordinates and attends the HFN Shareholders meetings, The Board of Directors meetings, Executive Committee meetings, Finance Committee meetings, and other various committee meetings.