Mary Daniel is a longtime Beaches resident, founder of local company ClaimMedic, passionate volunteer with organizations like K9s For Warriors and a dedicated fan of the Georgia Bulldogs.
Can you please briefly tell us about your background?
I was born in Jacksonville Beach and have lived in the area my entire life. After college I started working for Dr. Lewis Obi in medical practice management and have never looked back. I have had the pleasure of being the administrator for several beach practices including Dr. John Harris, Ponte Vedra Plastic Surgery and most recently 24/7 Pediatric Care Center, which is owned by my sister and her husband, Anna and Norberto Benitez.
What’s the story of your company, ClaimMedic? What makes it different?
After so many years in practice management, which has included overseeing medical billing departments, I knew that medical billing can be confusing and frustrating for so many patients. My husband and I are Mayo Clinic patients, and I have personally experienced medical billing errors from their billing department several times. I began to realize that others were also experiencing the same problems and that I could help. So, two years ago I started ClaimMedic to help seniors, caregivers and others with their medical bills. We are only one of five medical billing advocates in the state of Florida. We simplify the process to save our clients’ money, time and frustration. Our goal is to provide our clients peace of mind knowing that they’ll never again pay a medical bill that they don’t owe.
What makes volunteering so important to you?
I have volunteered all my life for so many great organizations, but the work I’m doing right now as a puppy raiser with K9s For Warriors is the most gratifying work I’ve ever done. As a puppy raiser, you get an 8-week-old puppy and keep him/her for 10 months. The job is truly 24/7 because the puppy goes with you everywhere, so it can be socialized and taught obedience. We’ve taken our pups to football games, to the Masters and THE PLAYERS Championship, truly everywhere we go. When the puppy turns 1, he/she returns to the K9s For Warriors campus for his/her official service dog training, and then he/she is matched with a veteran who suffers from PTSD. 22 veterans are committing suicide every day, so these pups will truly save a veteran’s life. To have this amazing organization in our own backyard is such a gift to this community. I would encourage everyone to volunteer in one of the many ways available, including becoming a puppy raiser. There is currently a year-long waiting list for veterans to get a dog. The puppy program allows K9s to funnel more dogs into the program, so we can serve these warriors before it’s too late. There is truly nothing better than giving back to the men and women who have given us so much, sometimes at a huge sacrifice.
What do you enjoy most about living in the Beaches community?
The small town feel of our area … I love running into people I’ve known since elementary school in the grocery store or at the doctor’s office. It’s one of the many reasons this area will always be my home.
As a lifelong resident of the Beaches, what’s been the most noticeable change you’ve observed in the community?
Traffic! As more and more people discover the beauty of our beaches, the roads have become crazy at times. But the community has been able to hang on to its small-town charm so it’s worth the extra effort to get here.
What do you like to do in your free time?
My husband Steve and I are huge college football fans! We are a house divided: He’s a Gator, and I’m a happy Georgia Bulldog! I’m a two-time past president of the Jacksonville Bulldog Club, the largest Bulldog club in the nation, and I serve as president of the club’s 501(c)(3) scholarship fund. I’m also a master gardener so I love to spend time in the yard. We love to travel and enjoy taking our dogs on long walks through St. Augustine, the Jacksonville Riverwalk or on one of our many beaches.