Compass Trailblazers Making History Now: Kimeka Hunt, System Director of Patient Observation, TouchPoint
To describe Kimeka Hunt as determined is an understatement. Although she became a parent at a young age, Kimeka did not let being a two-time teen mom prevent her from pursuing her education and her passion of helping others. As the system director of Patient Observation for State of Indiana through TouchPoint, the health care support services provider in Compass Group’s family of companies, Kimeka is using her skills and life lessons to be a light and inspiration to others, often when they’re in their darkest moments. Read her story below to learn why she’s a Compass trailblazer.
Tell us about your role at TouchPoint.
I lead the Patient Observation program for the State of Indiana. Patient Observation is program where Patient Observation Associates or Patient Safety Assistants provide redirection and de-escalation to patients who pose a safety risk to themselves or others. I oversee an amazing team of Patient Observation leaders at accounts throughout the state and help ensure the success of our program as well as the safety of our associates and patients. I also support other accounts across the nation as they implement Patient Observation programs. I understand the value added in the role and responsibilities of our frontline associates and the team of leaders that serve and support them!
Additionally, I am privileged to serve as the co-chair of our Regional Diversity and Inclusion in Action Committee and a member of our corporate DIAC committee. This is definitely my passion. For me, it’s about servant leadership, and it’s about living and walking in my purpose. It’s about leaving lasting impressions in the lives of those I serve. My service on the DIAC is bigger than me. It’s a calling. It’s ministry.
The nature of your team’s work is very serious. How do you motivate them and keep their spirits high?
TouchPoint’s mission is to provide compassion at every point of human contact, so it’s important that I am intentional about inclusion and employee engagement, and it must be authentic. So, I try my best to lead by example through servant leadership. I invest in our leaders and associates, providing opportunities and support, and continuing education and training. I keep fairness, equal opportunity, consistency and advocacy top of mind. I prioritize understanding, patience, empathy, connecting, responsiveness, and relatability. I am here to serve and support my leaders, and my leaders are here to serve and support their leaders, and those leaders are here to serve and support our frontline. What we do would not be possible without the dedication and selflessness of our frontline associates. They are the true heroes!
Another thing that’s important – and this may sound basic – is compassion. Compassion develops culture and morale, and it helps us all get through the challenging times, together. We’re supporting patients through the most difficult times of their lives, but helping these patients achieve positive outcomes is something that we all can be proud of. In the words of Maya Angelou, I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
Speaking of pride, what’s something you’ve achieved that you’re particularly proud of?
I became a parent at 16 and had our second son at 19, but we didn’t stop there! We then had our daughter and adopted our youngest son. I was determined to continue my education, though, so straight out of high school I enrolled in the nursing program at Ivy Tech Community College, and at the same time, I worked full-time in a healthcare organization, which is where I found my passion for health administration. I worked my way up from a housekeeper to a unit secretary, to a floating unit secretary, to a department secretary, and finally to an administrative assistant, all while raising my growing family.
Along the way, I earned my associate degree, which I was most proud of, and I then went on to earn my bachelor’s degree in business administration, a Master of Business Administration with an emphasis in health administration, and now, my Master of Social Work – all as an adult learner. And as if that wasn’t enough, I also became a Licensed Therapeutic Foster Parent to medically fragile children, one of whom officially joined our family through the blessing of adoption.
While I am proud of my education and so many things at work, I proudest of my children. While I was still learning and growing myself, I was extremely proud to see my children grow into successful students and student-athletes – who earned full scholarships to college!
Wow…that’s amazing. It seems like your work and personal life are truly aligned with helping others.
I live by the scripture that reminds us that to whom much is given much is required. I am blessed to have a unique opportunity and platform at TouchPoint and in my personal life.
I also believe God is intentional about paths crossing. So, when I meet someone, my thought is, “What is my assignment?” I seize the moment to sow a seed of light. Helping others really is my purpose, and I try my best to walk in this daily, unapologetically.
What do you want your legacy to be at TouchPoint and Compass Group?
This is something I reflect on often. Once I understood who I was and whose I was, it all began to make sense. I am perfectly imperfect and extremely comfortable in my skin, and I understand it is okay to be me. I have learned to embrace and love myself, because knowing my worth and understanding my value while remaining humble is a gift from God.
So, that’s what I want my legacy to be. I want to be an example of what is it to understand and accept yourself. To know that it’s okay to laugh out loud and enjoy life, intentionally. I want women, specifically, to be empowered by the life I’ve lived and the examples I set. I want to show other people that no matter where you started, no matter where you are, you still have time. I want them to think, if Kimeka can do it, so can I.