Employees at Meditech feel sense of camaraderie

Michael Holtzman

Meditech’s atmosphere of camaraderie comes across in casual conversation and direct interviews at the international software company serving the health care industry that on paper may look like a corporate giant.

For the past 2½ years, roughly 60 people have worked on different shifts next door to where Medical Information Technology Inc. opened its much-heralded new building a few weeks ago at 101 Martine St.

Lou Gunning of Fall River, a manager of client services, raved about the retention of that 60-person work force — hired in the first couple of months — during the temporary period Meditech used the Advanced Technology Manufacturing Center.

“Why did two people leave?” Phil Polimeno, director of technology and recruiting, asked with a half-smile. “I don’t know. They didn’t work for me,” Gunning retorted.

He did add that two of the 60 didn’t actually leave: one transferred to another Meditech facility.

Meditech has 2,700 employees at its clustered sites in, Westwood, Canton, Framingham and Norwood.

“It’s like the best job I’ve ever worked in my life,” said Marie Moniz of Fairhaven, who joined the company five months ago.

For 14 years, Moniz worked as a clinical secretary at hospitals in Fall River. She graduated from Bristol Community College as a computer programmer just a week ago.

“When I heard Meditech was moving to Fall River, I couldn’t wait,” Moniz, 42, said.

She participated in the first class the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth held where Meditech taught its self-designed MAGIC software programming.

Meditech offered three classes over five weeks and hired 10 of those students, about a third of those applying for jobs, Gunning said.

“She was top in the class, so I hired her,” he said of Moniz.

She works as part of an interface group helping customers integrate vendor products.

At the hospitals she previously worked, Moniz used the Meditech software she’s now teaching others to use.

“I’m trying to learn everything I possibly can,” Moniz said. “Once I do, maybe I can be a mentor and help the next person.”

Paula Katon of Somerset also worked in the health care field when hired at the ATMC.

That was shortly after Meditech set up shop.

She’d been a registered nurse for nearly 20 years. Now, she’s an application specialist trouble-shooting software problems for Health Care of America, one of Meditech’s largest clients, which manages more than 200 hospitals nationally.

“It is helpful because it’s all medical software we sell and support. This was a great transition for me,” Katon said.

She emphasized how “from the beginning there was a lot of training and support” and that co-workers “come from all walks of life, not necessarily computer science backgrounds.”

Overlooking the four stories of glass walls facing South Watuppa Pond — like everyone working at this artful SouthCoast building — Katon said, “It’s a beautiful work environment. My co-workers are very encouraging. We really work together.

“Another big plus,” she said, “is it’s close to home for me.”

“It’s not where their (work) life started,” Gunning said of the two women. “They both were able to make the transition and both are doing very well.”

Gunning, who lived for nearly 20 years in Somerset before moving five years ago to Fall River, also knows a bit about those transitions.

He came to Meditech 19 years ago, working his way up the ranks to become a client services manager. His resume included a computer science degree, which helped. His prior job, however, was working at a religious nonprofit agency.

Moniz, asked to describe her new workplace, quickly responded, “It’s beautiful. It’s wonderful.”

How long does she expect to stick with her job?

“‘Till I retire,” she said.

E-mail Michael Holtzman at mholtzman@heraldnews.com.