“Education is the most important part of my job. I want our patients to understand how their insurance works and discuss all charges ahead of time so there are no surprises,” says Kathi Lonas, front office supervisor for GIA. “After 32 years with GIA, I’m the resident expert for patient insurance education.”
Kathi started at GIA working with Dr. Kent Farris, now retired. “Back then, we did everything for one doctor – hospital charges, appointments, reception and more. Then I moved to the check-out department – it’s still my specialty – and today, I co-supervise a team of 15 check-in and check-out staff.
When asked what she wants others to know about gastrointestinal health, Kathi doesn’t hesitate, “Prevention. Prevention. Prevention. Get your screening colonoscopy when you’re supposed to. Know your family history. We see patients with no symptoms who have pre-cancerous polyps. Prevention is very important.”
Self-described as loyal, assertive in a good way, determined and caring, Kathi loves spending time with her husband, and both are avid readers. They enjoy visiting Zoo Knoxville and hiking with their grandkids. “We like to look for new waterfalls. Abrams Falls is one of our favorites that we hike every year.” They have dogs and have fostered dogs for Slumdog Rescue Crew for the past four years.
Kathi notes, “I truly love my job and have seen many changes over the years, but the thing that never changes is the integrity and caring nature of the people working together for the benefit of patients and employees of GIA.”