Leaders with Direct Care Experience That Champion High-Quality, Compassionate Mental Healthcare
While I was pursuing my bachelor’s in healthcare administration at the University of Massachusetts, my first job in behavioral healthcare was as a psychiatric technician at Lowell General Hospital in Massachusetts. Prior to that, I worked in an emergency room when I was in high school, during which I became committed to a future in healthcare
Furthermore, having an adult son on the autism spectrum impassioned my focus and commitment to creating Odyssey, a high-growth, sustainable company that always focuses on and strives to do the right thing for our clients and their families.”
The positive transformation I witnessed in clients and families inspired me to work harder and learn more about how I could continue to help. The interface I had with ERs, schools, police, and ambulance/transport services sparked my desire to assist in educating and serving as a community partner to preserve the dignity of people suffering from mental illnesses by connecting them to high-quality, compassionate care.
I’m passionate about being a part of Odyssey, a company that saves lives, protects the most vulnerable, and ethically connects people to superior mental health services that optimize their lives and relationships.”
Helping others and giving back was ingrained in me by my parents as early as I can recall. No matter the career path, I always knew I would have a life of giving back to others. Once my career path in mental health was cemented, I sought opportunities to give back via the organizations I led. Being able to guide a family in distress or direct someone to a needed resource brings a smile to my soul.”
There are countless moments throughout my career, specifically during my time at an acute inpatient hospital, that reminded me that I was meant to do this important work including sitting with patients in the comfort room and helping them calm down, role modeling for staff on how to safely intervene during high-risk situations, lending a shoulder to those in tears while preventing mine from flowing after hearing horrendous stories of abuse, and comforting parents who had to make difficult decisions to place their child into care. All these moments combined shaped who I am as a leader today.
I was very hesitant to pursue uncharted areas early on in my career, but my strong desire to be a part of change caused me to challenge myself. It led me to believe in the aspirational phrase: “you can achieve almost anything in life”. This remains my approach when working with other leaders and our clients at Odyssey. My “why” is instilled in all my interactions, every day, as it’s rejoicing to be a part of making a difference in the lives of others.”
Like so many others in this industry, my passion for this work is rooted in the personal impact of mental health on my family and communities. I grew up in a poverty-stricken rural area where mental health struggles were stigmatized, ignored, and blatantly covered up. From an early age I witnessed how a lack of acceptance, awareness, and resources resulted in addiction, suicide, poverty, generational trauma, and broken family systems. To this day, working as a tech on that acute unit was one of my favorite jobs and continues to shape my perspectives in my current role as Odyssey’s Vice President of Human Resources.
Odyssey’s founding commitment and treatment philosophy is directly aligned with my strong sense of personal responsibility to positively contribute to this world and desire to create positive change through awareness and access to care. It’s a privilege to work alongside so many leaders who, like me, started their careers in direct care roles. In my role as head of human resources, I now get to help provide pathways for the mentorship and development of new generations of caring professionals committed to improving the lives of others.”