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2021 In-House Counsel Awards: Mayme Sloan

Compass Health Network

Mayme SloanWhen Mayme Sloan entered Southeast Missouri State University, she planned to major in music, but then, like many people, her plans changed when she realized she needed to support herself, she said.

She interned at a counseling center in Cape Girardeau, where she worked with clients who had schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

But again, despite her interest in the work, the pragmatic part of her won out. She did better on the Law School Admissions Test than on the Graduate Record Exam, so she decided to follow in her father’s footsteps and become an attorney.

Still, Sloan eventually was able to find a way to apply her legal expertise to support her passion for helping people facing mental health problems.

For the last seven years, Sloan has worked as compliance officer and general counsel, in addition to managing other responsibilities, for Compass Health Network, a nonprofit that provides behavioral health services throughout Missouri.

“I have had what felt like some detours or wrong turns, but now, when I look back on things, everything was just leading up to what I have now,” said Sloan.

After working for a small law firm in Austin, Texas, and then for her father in Charleston, Mo., Sloan started to work for the state in 2003 as an assistant attorney general.

In 2009, she began to circle back to her earlier aspirations. She took a position as director of constituent services for Gov. Jay Nixon, which included serving as a liaison to the Missouri Department of Mental Health. She then oversaw a state grant program to integrate behavioral health with primary care health services, among other initiatives.

“I was not actually in a legal position. I was just doing administrative matters, but I enjoyed working with behavioral health issues,” said Sloan.

That administrative experience paid off when Sloan joined Compass and helped the organization acquire two other nonprofits: Crider Health Center and Family Health Center of Boone County.

Sloan also has been able to use the real estate transaction experience she gained from her father to help Compass when it buys or sells property, among other matters.

Her time working for the state also gave her exposure to how Medicaid works and while at the Department of Mental Health, to become familiar with programs like Compass.

Now she knows that it added up to success at Compass. The mergers have allowed clients to more easily access mental health, substance abuse and other health services.

“Often when you are general counsel, you don’t have a lot to show for your work; sometimes it’s just damage control,” Sloan said. “But a merger is something where you can see the benefit of what you are doing and feel like you have made a positive difference.”