Collage of the 2023 Core Value Winners

Alliance Recognizes Our 8th Annual Alliance Core Value Award Recipients

Jan 10, 2024
We take immense pride in unveiling the recipients of this year’s 8th Annual Alliance Core Value Awards. Learn more about each awardee and the reasons behind their well-deserved recognition!

Alliance Spine and Pain Centers concluded 2023 by celebrating the outstanding contributions of our top performers through the presentation of our annual Alliance Core Values Awards. These individuals exemplify our commitment to Compassion, Respect, Integrity, Excellence, and Service, consistently going above and beyond.

Every year, we are inspired by numerous deserving nominees who share remarkable stories of employees making significant contributions to Alliance and its patients. Additionally, we pay tribute to our Provider of the Year and an individual who embodies many, if not all, of our Core Values with the Chairman’s Award.

We take immense pride in unveiling the recipients of this year’s 8th Annual Alliance Core Value Awards. Learn more about each awardee and the reasons behind their well-deserved recognition!


The Compassion Award recipient consistently demonstrates sympathy and concern for the misfortunes of others along with a strong desire to help. They’re often described as selfless, kind, sensitive and determined to alleviate or reduce suffering to patients and co-workers.

Based on the above characteristics, Marilu Garcia, a Surgery Scheduler at Cartersville, was chosen as the Compassion Award recipient.

Here’s why:

“Navigating the intricate task of aligning provider schedules with payor requirements for scheduling a patient's next appointment is no small feat. Yet, Marilu Garcia approaches this challenge with unwavering compassion.

She does the best that she can to comfort those patients and schedule them as quickly as possible.”

Marilu truly embodies the essence of why our care team is unparalleled. Thank you for contributing to making Alliance a place of compassion and solace for our patients!


The recipient of the Respect Award demonstrates they value their co-workers and patients by honoring their personal rights, opinions, and dignity. They’re also willing to listen and learn from others as well as lead by example while consistently treating others as they would like to be treated, regardless of their views, and always making themselves accessible to others.

This year, Alliance’s Benefits Front Office Manager at our Austell location, Nicole Talamantes, won the Respect Award.

Here’s why:

“Who gets breakfast the day before Thanksgiving?  Austell does. Along with that you get encouraging words and colorful signs recognizing you on ‘Nurses’ Day,’ ‘Doctors Day,’ or your birthday.

In less than two years, Nicole Talamantes has had a profound impact on the culture in Austell. This truly is ‘The Job’ for Nicole and her teammates.”

Thank you, Nicole, for acting with such respect in all your work!


The Integrity Award recipient always does the right thing, even when no one else is looking. They’re also honest, ethical, have strong moral principles and their actions consistently reflect their words. Lastly, they’re also trusted and relied upon by co-workers and patients as someone willing and able to help.

This year, Brenda Center, a CMA in Augusta, received the Integrity award.

Here’s why:

“Whatever the task at hand, Brenda Center is always prepared to lend a helping hand. Whether it's addressing colleagues' inquiries, promptly attending to a patient who has been waiting, or providing additional phone coverage, Brenda always raises her hand for the job.

Notably, she even extends her support to cover other locations, a commendable effort considering the distance from Augusta.”

Thank you, Brenda, for demonstrating integrity each and every day!


The recipient of the Excellence Award continually strives to surpass ordinary standards and consistently go above and beyond their normal duties. The Excellence Award winner also constantly seeks to improve their performance through collaboration and being innovative as well as set specific goals before taking steps to achieve them.

This year, Alliance’s Revenue Cycle Manager, Deidra Bannister, was chosen as the Excellence award winner.

Here’s why:

"Deidra Bannister embodies excellence each day she comes to work.  Whether aiding colleagues in achieving departmental objectives or delving into outlier accounts that demand special attention, Deidra is committed to getting it right.

When needed, she collaborates closely with team members and directly engages with payors to ensure accuracy. Thank you, Deidra, for upholding such high standards for yourself and inspiring others to do the same.”

Deidra, we extend our sincere gratitude to you for inspiring excellence in everything you undertake!


The recipient of the Service Award understands we are in business for one reason – to help patients overcome pain. The Service Award winner is someone who directly touches patients while supporting the center and, ultimately, the patient. The Service winner also continually seeks to understand the needs of those around them while being accountable, empathetic, customer-focused and resourceful.

This year, Alliance’s Kim Byrd, a Patient Advocate Financial Manager, received the Service Award.

Here’s why:

"The recipient of this year's Service Award is Kim Byrd, recognized for her exceptional qualities of knowledge, collaboration, and unwavering helpfulness.

Over the span of more than two decades, Kim's thoughtfulness and willingness to assist have been invaluable to our company and, most importantly, our patients.”

Congratulations, Kim, on this well-deserved honor!


The recipient of the Provider Award is the CRNA, PA, nurse practitioner or physician who most embodies all of our core values. This person lives by these values, thus setting an example for others to do the same. Their behavior is consistent, inspirational, and recognized by both patients and employees.

Alliance physician, Dr. William Epps from our Conyers, Johns Creek/Suwanee, and Lawrenceville locations, was selected as the Provider of the year.

Here’s why:

 “Dr. Epps is one of the best!  His consistently compassionate nature never fails to impress, demonstrating a genuine concern for both his staff and patients. Dr. Epps is always supportive during challenging situations, whether it's addressing patient concerns or managing issues within the ASC. His unwavering commitment to his work, coupled with a positive attitude, makes even the busiest and most stressful days more manageable. Dr. Epps' laid-back demeanor, coupled with his ability to prioritize what truly matters, creates a work environment where the team thrives.

Dr. Epps enjoys what he does and is genuinely here to help his patients feel better. The staff loves working with him, and his patients love him too. He brightens the day, being very easygoing and a pleasure to work with. Dr. Epps is always willing to assist, whether it's sending prescriptions or answering questions when other providers are out."

Dr. Epps approaches his responsibilities with a profound respect for everyone involved, showcasing his remarkable listening skills.”

Congratulations to Dr. Epps for this well-deserved recognition! Alliance providers are recognized as some of the best in the country because of team members like him.


The Chairman’s Award is given to the employee who best exemplifies all of Core Values by providing exceptional patient care and consistently being an outstanding employee and colleague.

This year’s Chairman’s Award goes to Brian Hoffman, the Regional Administrator for our Johns Creek, Gwinnett, Cumming, Roswell, and Sandy Springs locations.

Here’s why:

“Brian Hoffman, a valuable member since late 2014, started in our Customer Care Center at Lenox. After a year, he transitioned to Front Office Manager at Piedmont, showcasing exceptional patient care. Brian's leadership skills earned him a promotion to Regional Administrator in 2017, overseeing Brookhaven, Roswell, Gwinnett, Johns Creek, Sandy Springs, and Cumming by 2020. Currently managing five locations, he interacts weekly with 30+ employees and a third of our medical staff, earning their respect.

Aside from his professional growth, Brian's personal life flourished—he married Tsega Hoffman, our Provider Operations Manager.

Beyond achievements, Brian's true impact lies in his leadership style. He handles issues discreetly, avoids drama, and values employee contributions. Delegating responsibility, he allows talents to shine, demonstrating Alliance's Core Values daily. Brian's consistent integrity and commitment to recognizing and rewarding talent have made a lasting impression on us.”

Brian, your positive influence on both our team and the entire organization is truly admirable. We hope that Alliance has been as enriching for you as you have been for us. Congratulations on your well-deserved recognition!