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  • Healthcare Heroes John
  • Healthcare Heroes Irma
  • Healthcare Heroes Lori
  • Healthcare Heroes David
  • Healthcare Heroes Joanne
  • Healthcare Heroes Daniela

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Putting the Spotlight on Our Healthcare Heroes

At Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health, our employees are heroes in every sense of the word, helping children, adolescents and adults with emotional, behavioral and cognitive differences lead more fulfilling and rewarding lives. These committed and compassionate individuals humbly dedicate themselves to serving - and inspiring - others. Look below to read stories that recognize and celebrate Devereux’s Healthcare Heroes, and learn how they make meaningful and positive differences in the lives of those in our care - every day.



Celebrating Devereux’s Healthcare Heroes: 
Spotlight on John Ortiz Rodriguez – Devereux Florida program director

At Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health, our employees are at the heart of everything we do – and are key to our success. These individuals selflessly give of themselves on a daily basis to help improve the lives of children, adolescents and adults living with emotional, behavioral and cognitive differences. Our “Healthcare Heroes” series shines a light on our team members who humbly dedicate themselves to serving – and inspiring – others.


John Ortiz RodriguezTitle:
Program director
Center/office location: Devereux Florida - Winter Park
Length of service: 2015

In your role, what are your main responsibilities?
I manage the daily operations of Devereux Florida’s community-based group homes for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Specifically, I help implement policies and procedures; assist with the relicensing process; ensure we maintain appropriate staffing levels; and help with daily living activities for our youth.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?
The most rewarding part of my job is being able to help our individuals reach their goals and acquire new life skills. I monitor the implementation of the clinical interventions and activities specified in their support plans. These interventions and activities help our individuals improve their quality of life by replacing challenging behaviors with appropriate behaviors. Once challenging behaviors are replaced, achieving goals and learning new skills becomes easier for our youth.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
“Do your best and forget the rest.” The big caveat to this piece of advice - it has to be your honest best.

How do you demonstrate Servant Leadership principles on a daily basis?
The principle I use the most is “Putting People First.” For me, this principle opens the door to being able to demonstrate all of the other Servant Leadership principles effectively. By Putting People First, I have become an active listener, and am able to quickly identify the needs of the individuals and families we serve, as well as my colleagues.

What is one thing your colleagues don’t know about you?
I love meditation.

Why are you a Healthcare Hero?
At Devereux, we’re all Healthcare Heroes. Having a team approach, allows each of us to perform to the best of our abilities. Making sure everyone does their part and supports one another is the formula that is helping us during this difficult time. I make a difference by performing all of my duties, day in and day out, and holding my team accountable to the same standard.


Celebrating Devereux’s Healthcare Heroes: 
Spotlight on Irma Torres – Devereux Texas assistant program manager

At Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health, our employees are at the heart of everything we do – and are key to our success. These individuals selflessly give of themselves on a daily basis to help improve the lives of children, adolescents and adults living with emotional, behavioral and cognitive differences. Our “Healthcare Heroes” series shines a light on our team members who humbly dedicate themselves to serving – and inspiring – others.


Irma TorresTitle:
Assistant program manager
Center/office location: Devereux Texas - Victoria
Length of service: May 2001

In your role, what are your main responsibilities?
One of my responsibilities as assistant program manager for our community living program is to help monitor the day-to-day operations of our group homes. I ensure our individuals’ needs and wants are addressed. I also complete staffing and transportation schedules, and review all recreational schedules. In addition, I have taken a leading role in the implementation of Devereux Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (D-PBIS). I ensure staff are in compliance with their training in accordance with our licensing guidelines. I am responsible for training in Safe & Positive Approaches, client rights, driver safety and more. I am also responsible for maintaining our individuals’ home charts, evacuation books and fire drills. I review all service delivery logs, implementation plans, individuals’ plans of care, nursing billing hours and more.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?
The most rewarding part of my job is working with a wonderful team to help meet the needs and wants of the individuals we serve. Also, I love seeing our individuals grow and lead happy lives in the community.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
One of the best pieces of advice I was given when I started working at Devereux was: Take time to get to know your co-workers and the individuals we serve, and complete your circle. If you start something, finish it to the end.

How do you demonstrate Servant Leadership principles on a daily basis?
I demonstrate Servant Leadership by having the courage to make a change. Also, by being humble when meeting the needs of the individuals and families we serve, as well as my co-workers.

What is one thing your colleagues don’t know about you?
I enjoy the challenge of a good project, from fixing my lawn mower to building a shelf to crafting.

Why are you a Healthcare Hero?
I am honored and grateful to be chosen as a Healthcare Hero but, in reality, I just take pride in my job and want the best for the individuals we serve. I think I make a difference by giving everyone time - time to talk, time to laugh and time to cry. I also make sure everyone knows I am just a phone call away.


Celebrating Devereux’s Healthcare Heroes: 
Spotlight on Lori Gross – Devereux Massachusetts and Rhode Island assistant nurse manager

At Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health, our employees are at the heart of everything we do – and are key to our success. These individuals selflessly give of themselves on a daily basis to help improve the lives of children, adolescents and adults living with emotional, behavioral and cognitive differences. Our “Healthcare Heroes” series shines a light on our team members who humbly dedicate themselves to serving – and inspiring – others.


Lori GrossTitle:
Assistant nurse manager
Center/office location: Devereux Massachusetts and
Rhode Island - Rutland, Mass.
Length of service: 2007

In your role, what are your main responsibilities?
I oversee nursing for Devereux Massachusetts and Rhode Island’s group home programs, which includes providing oversight for our medication administration program. I have been very involved in our nursing response to the COVID-19 pandemic, assisting with everything from testing our individuals and staff to implementing policies on quarantines and isolation. In addition, when COVID-19 vaccines became available, I helped coordinate vaccination clinics at our center.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?
We serve an extremely vulnerable and challenging population. The most rewarding part of my job is being able to address the healthcare needs of these individuals, and help them lead healthy lives. I’m happiest when I get to interact with our children and adolescents, such as when I’m assessing a health concern or administering medication. I like to help our individuals grow in their understanding of what’s going on in their bodies, and how they can help themselves be healthy.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
As a new nurse working in a hospital, I was given a great piece of advice by my supervisor. She told me to always come to her with questions and run things by her on a regular basis. This causes me to think collaboratively, and I encourage everyone I work with to not go out on a limb by themselves, but rather be flexible in team problem-solving.

How do you demonstrate Servant Leadership principles on a daily basis?
I am “hands-on” in my job, and enjoy pitching in whenever needed to complete tasks, whether that means packing medications for home passes or helping to obtain monthly vitals. This makes it easier to lead, because the nurses know that I understand and share their experiences. I like to check in frequently with people so I can stay on top of issues, and I try to get to know the direct care staff and other members of the team so I can assist and be part of solutions.

What is one thing your colleagues don’t know about you?
I like to think that my colleagues don’t know how old I actually am! Nursing is a second career for me, and I taught economics for years prior.

Why are you a Healthcare Hero?
The individuals we serve have faced many challenges in their young lives with families, schools, courts, social workers, jobs, friends, housemates and care providers. It’s important for us as nurses to balance their healthcare needs with all of the rest.


Celebrating Devereux’s Healthcare Heroes: 
Spotlight on David Castele – Devereux Texas clinical therapist

At Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health, our employees are at the heart of everything we do – and are key to our success. These individuals selflessly give of themselves on a daily basis to help improve the lives of children, adolescents and adults living with emotional, behavioral and cognitive differences. Our “Healthcare Heroes” series shines a light on our team members who humbly dedicate themselves to serving – and inspiring – others.


David CasteleTitle:
Clinical therapist
Center/office location: Devereux Texas - League City
Length of service: April 2020

In your role, what are your main responsibilities?
I provide therapeutic services to adolescents and young adults. For example, I administer testing; conduct assessments; provide individual, group and family therapy; offer therapeutic interventions; develop programs to support therapeutic goals in various settings; and other clinical duties.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?
The most rewarding part of my job is being a part of a team that assists young adults in recognizing and achieving their potential. While each individual has unique strengths, needs and goals, being a part of their healing process and observing their transformation while receiving care at Devereux is by far the most rewarding aspect of my job.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
There are two pieces of advice that have been influential to me. The first was from my mother who said, “Learn to pick your battles.” The other piece of advice was from my father who said, “Two minds are greater than one, and four are greater than two.”

How do you demonstrate Servant Leadership principles on a daily basis?
The principles that I strive to work toward every day include being consistent, reliable, compassionate and inclusive of my colleagues and the individuals in our care. To me, leadership principles center around building healthy relationships that are grounded in mutual respect and trust. Being conscientious about these principles in all aspects of my work is one way I attempt to demonstrate Servant Leadership.

What is one thing your colleagues don’t know about you?
Growing up, I had many snakes - they are one of my favorite pets!

Why are you a Healthcare Hero?
I strive to meet the needs of all of the individuals in the therapeutic realm, but I also strive to support all of my colleagues who are working with individuals in the school or milieu setting. Meeting the needs of those we serve is important and often requires our team to go above and beyond our typical responsibilities to provide the necessary services in a timely manner. Collaborating and utilizing our entire team is something I try to do to make a difference and provide the best possible care.


Celebrating Devereux’s Healthcare Heroes: 
Spotlight on JoAnne Lombo – Devereux Pennsylvania - Adult Services program supervisor

At Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health, our employees are at the heart of everything we do – and are key to our success. These individuals selflessly give of themselves on a daily basis to help improve the lives of children, adolescents and adults living with emotional, behavioral and cognitive differences. Our “Healthcare Heroes” series shines a light on our team members who humbly dedicate themselves to serving – and inspiring – others.


JoAnne LomboTitle:
Program supervisor
Center/office location: Devereux Pennsylvania - Adult Services - Downingtown
Length of service: September 1979

In your role, what are your main responsibilities?
I am responsible for each individual in my care 24/7. I try to make sure all of their needs are met and help them enjoy their lives at Devereux. I also try to empower my staff to assist our individuals in reaching their potential.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?
The most rewarding part of my job is seeing our individuals happy and enjoying their lives. When our vocational programs were closed during the pandemic, my staff, who are a fantastic bunch, rose to even greater heights by scheduling activities for them throughout the day. The individuals looked forward to what was planned.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
To listen first, process the conversation or information, and then respond. Also, to empower my staff - they are the ones who are with our individuals and directly caring for them during their shifts every day.

How do you demonstrate Servant Leadership principles on a daily basis?
I believe you should try and treat others as you wish to be treated. I try to assist my staff and co-workers in any way possible, from having forms available that they may need to helping to set up a new program. I also try to make sure my staff have all of the information they need to do their jobs, by either writing in our communication log or putting a memo in the log book.

What is one thing your colleagues don’t know about you?
I am an avid sportwoman. I love to ski, golf and ride bicycles. If I’m ever unable to participate in any of these activities, I will be there to support my friends.

Why are you a Healthcare Hero?
I really do appreciate this nomination, but I honestly do not see myself as a “hero.” I try to help our individuals, staff and families achieve their full potential by listening to all of the disciplines and team members in the process.


Celebrating Devereux’s Healthcare Heroes: 
Spotlight on Daniela DeCastro – Devereux Connecticut - The Glenholme School nurse

At Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health, our employees are at the heart of everything we do – and are key to our success. These individuals selflessly give of themselves on a daily basis to help improve the lives of children, adolescents and adults living with emotional, behavioral and cognitive differences. Our “Healthcare Heroes” series shines a light on our team members who humbly dedicate themselves to serving – and inspiring – others.


Daniela DeCastroTitle:
Nurse
Center/office location: Devereux Connecticut - The Glenholme School - Washington
Length of service: September 2019

In your role, what are your main responsibilities?
I am responsible for the prevention and control of communicable diseases for the children in our care, as well as our staff. I also am responsible for the day-to-day healthcare of our individuals in case of injury or acute disease.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?
The best part of my job is interacting with our kids and helping them when they need it the most. When the children arrive at our campus, they do not know who to turn to for help. I always like to give them examples of what they can talk to me about. I say, “If your head or stomach hurts, or if you are just feeling yucky, you can talk to me.” It makes me very happy to help our children with issues like getting eye glasses for the first time or advocating for their needs.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
The best piece of advice I have ever received is from my mother. Whenever I face a difficult issue or decision, I remember my mother’s advice and ask myself, “What is the right thing to do?” Sometimes, the right thing to do is the most difficult, but that should not be a reason to avoid it.

How do you demonstrate Servant Leadership principles on a daily basis?
I always put our children first. They are the reason we are here, and their needs are my priority. For that reason, I am always available and I make sure they know that their health and well-being is very important to me. In my job, I try to have foresight and develop systems that allow for an improved workflow.

What is one thing your colleagues don’t know about you?
I love music and singing. I was a chorus director for more than five years at my local parish.

Why are you a Healthcare Hero?
I make a difference by being present and dedicated to our children. There is a lot of responsibility with my role, but I take it with honor and great happiness.


View previous Healthcare Heroes