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  • Healthcare Heroes Yasmin
  • Healthcare Heroes Monique
  • Healthcare Heroes Adama
  • Healthcare Heroes Carol
  • Healthcare Heroes Tanika
  • Healthcare Heroes Annika
  • Healthcare Heroes Manal
  • Healthcare Heroes Rhonda
  • Healthcare Heroes Donna
  • Healthcare Heroes Kelsie
  • Healthcare Heroes Bambi
  • Healthcare Heroes Lanell
  • Healthcare Heroes Cat
  • Healthcare Heroes Cat
  • Healthcare Heroes Vernon
  • Healthcare Heroes Sophia
  • Healthcare Heroes Jasmine
  • Healthcare Heroes Phil
  • Healthcare Heroes Claudia
  • Healthcare Heroes Marjorie
  • Healthcare Heroes Bev
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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 Yasmin Esperon
Devereux Georgia assistant teacher

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.


Yasmin EsperonTitle:
Assistant teacher
Center/office location: Devereux Georgia - Kennesaw
Length of service: July 2020

In your role, what are your main responsibilities?
My role as an assistant teacher is to assist and/or facilitate student learning and growth. When substituting, I help individuals grasp the material being taught, while also managing their behaviors. When assisting in a classroom, I work in small groups or with individual students who need more one-on-one attention in order to understand the content. I also have other miscellaneous responsibilities, such as helping teachers with content, grading, cleaning, decorating bulletin boards, and assisting with the overall success of the education department. My role can look completely different day to day, depending on the need.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?
The most rewarding part of my job is gradually seeing growth in the students, and the effort that we teachers put in, have a tangible and measurable effect. Some of the individuals I work with in the Journey program, which serves adolescent and young adult males with intellectual and developmental disabilities, have low literacy. I have seen several students grow exponentially in their ability to read and write, which is always so fulfilling. I also enjoy seeing individuals get excited about their school work. I have learned when you make it interesting, they can get very passionate. Lastly, seeing these students be proud of their own work is always enjoyable.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
The best piece of advice I have ever been given regarding how I feel about myself is, nothing I do or don’t do can take away from the fact that I am whole, important, worthy of good things and loved by God. The best piece of advice I have been given regarding how I treat others is, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” What a high calling.

How do you demonstrate Servant Leadership principles on a daily basis?
I’d like to think that at my job, one of the Servant Leadership principles I often try to exhibit is leading with moral authority. Moral authority is defined as “trustworthiness to make decisions that are right and good.” Even on the more difficult days, I can truly say my mindset is always on doing the thing that is right and good for the individuals we serve. Even if I am hurt, upset or frustrated, I fight for the mindset to do whatever is beneficial for our students.

What is one thing your colleagues don’t know about you?
I don’t think my colleagues know I am obsessed with plants. I have about 100 plants in total. I love to buy, grow and propagate different plants. I have a unique collection that even includes very rare tropical plants - I have to take extra special care of them.

Why are you a Healthcare Hero?
I am a Healthcare Hero because I care for my students, and I do everything in my power to help them. I try to make a difference by being a friend and a positive influence, not only to the individuals we serve, but to my fellow employees, as well. I often try to think of new and creative ways to do my job, or to bring fun and excitement to our education program.


Celebrating Devereux’s Healthcare Heroes: 
Spotlight on Monique Philhower
Devereux New Jersey direct support professional

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.


Monique PhilhowerTitle:
Direct support professional
Center/office location: Devereux New Jersey - Newton
Length of service: September 2016

In your role, what are your main responsibilities?
My responsibilities include creating schedules for our individuals; assisting them with daily and long-term goals; and helping them secure employment. I host virtual day services; provide assistance during self-advocacy group meetings; and offer support at group homes, such as helping our adults choose healthier meal options. In addition, I conduct temperatures checks of all individuals; develop a vocational schedule; organize files; and schedule vehicle maintenance.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?
The most rewarding part of my job is watching the individuals I serve become more aware of what they CAN do, rather than what they cannot do. Seeing them find the strength to continue, instead of remaining still. Witnessing them try, when all they want to do is give up. Knowing I have helped with this, fills me with so much warmth and hope. I know our individuals can achieve whatever they set their minds to with some patience and determination, they can, and will, do anything!

What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
The best piece of advice I’ve ever been given is: Your light may bother those who aren’t ready to open their eyes and come out of the darkness - but shine anyway. Continue on your journey despite their reaction toward you. Thank you to my mom for her words of wisdom.

How do you demonstrate Servant Leadership principles on a daily basis?
I demonstrate Servant Leadership by taking initiative and stepping up to the plate to guide my team when challenges arise throughout day. Working as a team and having everyone on board makes it easier to achieve that ultimate goal for Devereux, to help keep each individual we serve safe, healthy and happy and always reaching for the stars.

What is one thing your colleagues don’t know about you?
This is difficult to answer because I am such an open book with my team - we are a strong family. One thing is, I was working on my psychology degree, but after the passing of my mom, I chose to take my career in a more holistic healing direction, and began school for therapeutic massage and Reiki energy healing.

Why are you a Healthcare Hero?
I believe everyone is a Healthcare Hero, in one way or another. I think it takes pure heart dedication; making moves when you’re too tired; being selfless because seeing others happy and achieving their dreams is the ultimate reward. Watching the smiles of the adults we serve, and hearing their laughs at the end of each day, is a job well done for me.


Celebrating Devereux’s Healthcare Heroes: 
Spotlight on Adama Kanu
Devereux Pennsylvania CBHS behavioral health technician

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.


Adama KanuTitle:
Behavioral health technician
Center/office location: Devereux Pennsylvania Children’s Behavioral Health Services - Wayne
Length of service: December 2016

In your role, what are your main responsibilities?
As a behavioral health technician, my main responsibility is to transfer skills to parents, and together, work to decrease challenging behaviors in children. I model behavioral interventions, teaching parents how to better manage their child’s problem behaviors. I show parents how to prevent challenging behaviors, and if these behaviors do occur, I show them how to react in a way that decreases the likelihood that they will happen again.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?
The most rewarding part of my job is when I make a difference in the lives of the children and families I serve. By teaching parents how to interact in a way that decreases problem behaviors, I get to see positive changes in the relationship between the parent and child. It is also very rewarding to develop therapeutic relationships with children who are often seen as challenging.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
The best advice I have been given is that patience is a virtue. In our field, with patience, I am able to understand and respond well to challenging behaviors.

How do you demonstrate Servant Leadership principles on a daily basis?
I am someone who always puts other people first. Sometimes, I spread myself too thin, but our individuals and families are important to me, so I keep going.

What is one thing your colleagues don’t know about you?
People don’t realize I’ve been married for 10 years, since I was 23 years old.

Why are you a Healthcare Hero?
I’m a Healthcare Hero because what I do makes such a huge difference in the lives of our individuals and families. I am passionate, dedicated and patient with everyone I work with at CBHS.


Celebrating Devereux’s Healthcare Heroes: 
Spotlight on Carol Lashley
Devereux Pocono residential 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.


Carol LashleyTitle:
Residential manager
Center/office location: Devereux Pocono - Newfoundland
Length of service: September 2012

In your role, what are your main responsibilities?
I oversee the day-to-day operations of two group homes, and ensure services are being rendered at the highest levels. Specifically, my responsibilities include scheduling, payroll, budget reviews, staff training and development, mediation, as well as the review of incident reports and staff documentation.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?
The most rewarding part of my job is knowing I have given my best to those I serve. I pride myself in knowing I have made a contribution to the progress of the individuals in our care.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
Slow down and delegate some of the responsibilities. My dad’s motto he has shared with me: “Many hands make light work.” In other words - share and delegate.

How do you demonstrate Servant Leadership principles on a daily basis?
I practice what I preach. If I’m going to lead my team, I must be able to do the responsibilities I have asked them to do.

What is one thing your colleagues don’t know about you?
I am very terrified of rodents.

Why are you a Healthcare Hero?
Serving in the human services industry has always been my career. Being an example to my staff is one of the principles I embrace. If I expect a staff member to complete a task, I must be able to do the same. WE ARE A TEAM!!


Celebrating Devereux’s Healthcare Heroes: 
Spotlight on Tanika Williams
Devereux New York residential 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.


Tanika WilliamsTitle:
Residential manager
Center/office location: Devereux New York - Red Hook
Length of service: March 2020

In your role, what are your main responsibilities?
In my role as residential manager, I have the awesome responsibility of overseeing the day-to-day operations of one of our female residences on campus. I work assiduously, along with my team, to ensure our individuals’ needs and goals are met. For example, I complete progress reports and assessments, and maintain contact with families and address and/or resolve any concerns they might have. I monitor documentation to ensure our residence meets requirements as it relates to the collection of treatment plan goal data and behavioral health data. I also attend and participate in treatment team meetings. When it comes to staffing, I ensure all shifts are adequately covered and accommodate staff requests for time off.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?
There are many rewards, but the most rewarding part of my job is watching the individuals we serve accomplish tasks they previously weren’t able to accomplish, or improve on those tasks. I believe in consistency, and have proven time and time again how effective it can be. However big or small the progress, it is indicative of the team being on the right track and, more importantly, that our individuals are invested in growing. Being in a position to assist this population, is not something I take for granted.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
The best piece of advice I have ever been given is to stay true to who I am, and always trust God. I’d like to add to that, to “bloom where (ever) I am planted.”

How do you demonstrate Servant Leadership principles on a daily basis?
I demonstrate Servant Leadership principles by showing up to work. It may seem simple, but it is an important first step in accomplishing what I set out to do. I am willing to jump in to assist whenever and wherever a need exists, and do everything I ask my team to do. I try to be present in the residence as much as possible. I am supportive. However, my team knows I set very high expectations, and I hold them accountable to meet those expectations, which they do. Communication is a critical tool for my T.E.A.M., which stands for "Together Everyone Achieves More." We are resilient and committed, and our individuals are all the better for it. We remain thankful for every opportunity we get to contribute positively to our individuals’ experiences here at Devereux.

What is one thing your colleagues don’t know about you?
My colleagues don’t know that my dad and I share a birthday, and I consider that really special. I am truly a daddy’s girl.

Why are you a Healthcare Hero?
I am honored to be recognized in this manner. I work alongside so many heroes here at Devereux and would prefer to think of myself as just a member of the team a healthcare professional. However, for what is it worth, I think I am a healthcare hero because I try to make a difference within my residence. Hopefully that will result in a difference in the campus community and, ultimately, Devereux as a whole.


Celebrating Devereux’s Healthcare Heroes: 
Spotlight on Annika Tamkun
Devereux California Supported Living Services program coordinator

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.


Annika TamkunTitle:
Supported Living Services program coordinator
Center/office location: Devereux California - Goleta
Length of service: May 2016

In your role, what are your main responsibilities?
I oversee the day-to-day operations of our Supported Living Services residential homes to ensure our residents’ needs and goals are met. I supervise staff who work directly with our residents, monitor their training, and help them grow in their roles. I also support our center’s learning team by teaching Safe & Positive Approaches; incident response and reporting; and CPR/first aid training courses to new hires and existing staff as part of their recertification process.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?
I love seeing the growth of the individuals we serve, as well as my staff. I also enjoy being able to meet and train staff during their onboarding process and watch them develop in their positions. Seeing the smiles on everyone’s faces at the end of the day also is a wonderful treat.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
A friend once shared the following advice from naturalist John Muir for staying calm through the chaos of life: He said: “Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.”

How do you demonstrate Servant Leadership principles on a daily basis?
I like to greet everyone each day with a smile. I put others first, and I am always ready to jump in and help as needed. I am a firm believer in open, honest and constructive communication between all parties to ensure the highest quality of care for the individuals we serve.

What is one thing your colleagues don’t know about you?
I’ve hiked to the summit of Mount Whitney, the highest mountain in the lower 48 states. It was a 22-mile day hike with a 6,000-foot-plus elevation gain that began with a bear encounter at 2 a.m.

Why are you a Healthcare Hero?
I wouldn’t describe myself as a hero, but I am honored to receive this recognition! Challenging times like COVID-19 really shine a light on one’s character. I believe I am making a difference by finding unique ways to keep our residents happy, all while working to ensure the health and safety of our individuals and staff. Examples include: taking residents on drives through the foothills of Santa Barbara; coordinating video conference calls with family members who are not able to visit their loved ones due to the pandemic; and various other activities that are specially tailored to each individual. Above all, I come to work every day with a positive, can-do attitude to make a difference in the lives of those we serve.


Celebrating Devereux’s Healthcare Heroes: 
Spotlight on Manal Durgin, M.D.
Devereux Florida medical 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.


Manal DurginTitle:
Medical director
Center/office location: Devereux Florida - Viera
Length of service: 1998

In your role, what are your main responsibilities?
I oversee, and am responsible for, all medical services and the supervision of treatment planning. Throughout the pandemic, I have been providing ongoing guidance and communicating protocols for COVID-19 preparedness, which includes taking precautions to ensure the health and safety of the individuals we serve and supporting the well-being of our staff at every Devereux Florida location throughout the state.

A typical day may include:

  • Leading treatment team meetings on behalf of the children in our care; 
  • Providing approval for pending admissions to residential care per our COVID-19 policies; 
  • Consulting with medical staff in support of our medical peer review process; 
  • Communicating best practices for clinical care with partner organizations in behavioral healthcare; 
  • Providing direction to our nursing team regarding COVID-19 testing and quarantine procedures upon admission; and 
  • Advocating on behalf of behavioral healthcare issues across the state

What is the most rewarding part of your job?
The most rewarding part of my job is having the opportunity to celebrate with the individuals we serve the small, yet meaningful, steps of progress, while watching them grow happier and more confident in their daily lives. I also enjoy working with an extraordinary and dedicated team of people who make it fun to come to work.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
The best piece of advice I’ve ever been given was from my mother who told me to do my best and let God take care of the rest.

How do you demonstrate Servant Leadership principles on a daily basis?
I try to imagine myself experiencing what the individuals in our care, their families and my co-workers may be experiencing. I try to listen before I speak. And I try to anticipate the needs of my family and others. I’m still working to fine-tune all of these things.

What is one thing your colleagues don’t know about you?
I love going to musicals and plays.

Why are you a Healthcare Hero?
I’m a Healthcare Hero, along with all those who work in our wonderful medical department, because we have been providing necessary medical information and services throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and all year long.


Celebrating Devereux’s Healthcare Heroes: 
Spotlight on Rhonda Hahn
Devereux Texas Licensed Vocational 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.


Rhonda HahnTitle:
Licensed vocational nurse
Center/office location: Devereux Texas - Victoria
Length of service: September 2011 

In your role, what are your main responsibilities?
As a licensed vocational nurse in Devereux Texas’ Community Living Program, I wear many hats. First and foremost, I care for our individuals. I make sure the adults I serve are up to date on medical appointments, lab work, vaccines and imaging, such as X-rays, CT scans and MRIs. Due to COVID-19, all medical appointments are conducted via telehealth. I attend a majority of these virtual appointments with the adults in their homes - we’re on video chat together with the doctor. I am also a “Coronavirus Captain,” which means I monitor our daily COVID-19 checklist that team members complete during their shifts to help keep our individuals safe and healthy. I also order medical supplies for all of our individuals and programs.

In addition, I coordinate all aspects of our psychiatry clinic, which includes reviewing our individuals’ medications and medication administration records for accuracy. I also train new staff on how to best meet the medical needs of the individuals we serve, and I train existing staff on our annual refresher course requirements.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?
The most rewarding part of my job is seeing our individuals thrive under our care, and knowing that I am an important part of their success.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
“If you are not excited about it, it’s not the right path,” and “a little fear is a good thing.” Both of these were given to me at a very important time of my life by a very good friend.

How do you demonstrate Servant Leadership principles on a daily basis?
I demonstrate Servant Leadership principles by putting people first. I want to make sure each of our individual’s needs are met and they have better life.

What is one thing your colleagues don’t know about you?
Even though I put up this tough, hard exterior, I am truly a soft-hearted person and wear my heart on my sleeve. Also, I LOVE office supply stores (e.g., Staples and Office Depot) - they are my therapy!

Why are you a Healthcare Hero?
I am honored to be chosen as a Healthcare Hero, but in reality, I am just doing my job. When I became a nurse 28 years ago, I never thought my career would lead me to taking care of the population of individuals we serve - it has made me a better person and a better nurse. I make a difference by showing up on a daily basis with the mindset that “today is going to be a good day,” and hopefully, I will impact someone’s life today and tomorrow.


Celebrating Devereux’s Healthcare Heroes: 
Spotlight on Donna Underwood
Devereux Pennsylvania CIDDS information system specialist

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.


Donna UnderwoodTitle:
Information system specialist
Center/office location: Devereux Pennsylvania Children’s Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Services (CIDDS) - West Chester
Length of service: June 2019 

In your role, what are your main responsibilities?
My role is to help keep all of the technology running smoothly at Devereux Pennsylvania CIDDS, including telephones, computers, printers, tablets and TVs.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?
When I am able to make someone’s job easier, or make an individual smile, because their technology is working. I enjoy fixing devices and showing my colleagues, and the youth in our care, how to use our various software. For example: explaining how to copy, paste, cut and undo content using shortcut keystrokes in Microsoft Word (e.g., CTRL-C = copy, CTRL-X = cut, CTRL-V = paste, CTRL-Z = undo).

How has COVID-19 impacted your role? How have you risen to this challenge?
In the beginning of the pandemic, when we were setting up the technology to support remote workers and learners, it was a challenge to make sure everyone had the equipment they needed and understand how to use that equipment properly. I wanted everyone to know they were not alone in the struggles they were facing, as many users were doing things with technology they never needed to do before in their roles, such as accessing the Devereux network remotely or using the organization’s intranet.

How do you demonstrate Servant Leadership principles on a daily basis?
My role is to serve the CIDDS center. If there is anything I can do to help out, I am willing to do it.

What is one thing your colleagues don’t know about you?
I officiate soccer at both youth and middle and high school levels.

Why are you a Healthcare Hero?
I don’t feel like a hero - I just do my best to serve our team members - and Devereux. I make sure our employees and the youth in our care understand the answers to their questions before I move on to something else. I believe it’s important to take the time to teach each person how to use the technology they are given. And I try my best to address their concerns and resolve their technology issues as quickly and efficiently as possible.


Celebrating Devereux’s Healthcare Heroes: 
Spotlight on Kelsie Chapman
Devereux Massachusetts and Rhode Island 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.


Kelsie ChapmanTitle:
Program manager
Center/office location: Devereux Massachusetts and Rhode Island – Rutland, Mass.
Length of service: December 2017 

In your role, what are your main responsibilities?
I oversee our center’s “West Meadow 2” program, which serves male youth with autism, as well as those who are transgender and gender-expansive. The two most significant parts of my job are: 1) creating and ensuring access to a safe and therapeutic environment for all of my students, and 2) taking an active role in ensuring my staff are well-trained, cared for, safe and happy in their roles.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?
There are two really rewarding parts of my job. One is when my team members meet their professional development goals or achieve something they have been working on, such as running a new therapy group with our students or earning a promotion. The other rewarding part of my job is, of course, our students. Anytime they learn something new, achieve a goal or reach a milestone, it is so rewarding. Moments like these make this challenging work worth it - every day.

How has COVID-19 impacted your role? How have you risen to this challenge?
COVID-19 has presented a unique set of challenges for me both personally and professionally. Working through a pandemic, with two young children of my own at home, has taught me a lot about parental perspective. This is an unsettling time for everyone, but especially for parents. As we worked to keep the youth in our care safe and healthy, we recognized and understood the importance of familial contact. As a result, we’ve made sure our individuals stay in touch with their families through frequent Zoom calls.

The pandemic also allowed me to the opportunity to work more autonomously than I might have in the past. Having my direct supervisor, as well as other members of our leadership team, working remotely has posed a unique opportunity for me to be more decisive and confident in my decision-making. Although my colleagues are incredibly responsive while working remotely, there is something about not having a physical presence that forces you to become more independent and, for me, I think it helped me grow and develop as a leader. I have been so impressed with the dedication of our staff, as well as the resiliency of our students.

How do you demonstrate Servant Leadership principles on a daily basis?
I demonstrate Servant Leadership by being present on the residential unit as much as possible; and showing my team that I am willing to do the same work I ask them to do on a daily basis. I am supportive, but I also set high expectations and hold my staff accountable to meet those expectations which they do! We support our students in the same way, and tell them we believe they deserve to be held to a high standard of accountability, and we consistently follow through on those expectations.

What is one thing your colleagues don’t know about you?
My dream vacation would be to visit Dubai.

Why are you a Healthcare Hero?
I was surprised and flattered to be nominated as a Devereux Healthcare Hero. I like to think I make a difference by helping the individuals we serve learn new skills and achieve their goals. And I make a difference with our staff by always having their professional development goals in mind and helping them meet those goals.


Celebrating Devereux’s Healthcare Heroes: 
Spotlight on Bambi Haney
Devereux Colorado nursing operations 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.


Bambi HaneyTitle:
Nursing operations manager and infection preventionist
Center/office location: Devereux Colorado – Westminster
Length of service: 1988 

In your role, what are your main responsibilities?
In my role, I am responsible for infection prevention and control on campus. I help educate our staff on Devereux’s policies and procedures; infectious illness and disease transmission; proper infection control measures specific to a particular disease; illness and medication-related issues; and proper procedures in nursing.

I also collaborate with other departments to help create positive health outcomes for those in our care, such as helping our youth: enhance their physical health (e.g., addressing glucose control and visual acuity); improve personal hygiene practices; increase understanding of medications (how they work and medication safety); improve self-care skills; and increase self-esteem and a healthy body image. I am also involved with the admissions process, and help lead, support and grow our nursing services team.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?
I have had an opportunity to work with wonderfully creative and hardworking people over the years to provide safe, effective and compassionate care for our Devereux youth. It is deeply gratifying to witness their achievements, their enhanced self-confidence and ability to navigate the world. Additionally, it is meaningful to mentor members of our nursing team, and help make a difference in their professional growth, learning and job satisfaction.

How has COVID-19 impacted your role? How have you risen to this challenge?
COVID-19 has forced all of us to bring our best game, in terms of providing positive energy, creative solutions, emergency preparedness, cognitive focus, communication excellence - and that willingness to extend yourself in new ways. I think Devereux Colorado, and the organization as a whole, have done an impressive job of meeting this challenge, not only with professionalism and perseverance, but also with grace and compassion. I would like to think I have been an integral part of this response.

How do you demonstrate Servant Leadership principles on a daily basis?
Effective communication and collaboration are critical characteristics of any person who occupies a leadership role. I appreciate the boundless opportunities at Devereux to work collaboratively with others, and I believe creating meaningful connections is paramount to the work we do for our individuals and families. I communicate transparently and with intention; demonstrate empathy; and listen to the perspectives of others to understand their needs. These actions set the stage for creating positive working relationships with colleagues from different departments, which are critical in achieving successful outcomes with our youth.

What is one thing your colleagues don’t know about you?
Originally, I had no intentions of being a nurse. I worked as a biologist, and planned to continue my studies to obtain an advanced degree in parasitology, which is the study of parasitic organisms. Life circumstances intervened, and I chose to pursue a career in nursing. I have not regretted my decision - my career at Devereux has been rich and rewarding!

Why are you a Healthcare Hero?
I would strongly assert that I am a dedicated healthcare professional, but certainly not a hero. I feel our heroism is collective, and evidenced in the effective response we have had to this pandemic. I truly believe this, and thank all of my colleagues for their authentic, caring collaboration, and especially for the collective effort of all of our direct support professionals. I believe in the mission of our organization, and work each day to make a difference in the lives of our individuals and families by being open to continued learning, and by trying to be a kind and empathetic listener.


Celebrating Devereux’s Healthcare Heroes: 
Spotlight on Lanell Williams
Devereux Pocono residential assistant manager/direct support professional

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.


Lanell WilliamsTitle:
Residential assistant manager/direct support professional
Center/office location: Devereux Pocono – Scotrun
Length of service: January 2014 

In your role, what are your main responsibilities?
As an assistant manager, I am readily available to help with anything and everything that contributes to the success of our residential home in Scotrun. I oversee day-to-day operations, which includes supporting my team to ensure the health and well-being of every individual is met. Leading by example is key to providing a safe, positive and supportive environment.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?
The most rewarding part of my job is knowing that every contribution, no matter how big or small, can make a difference in the lives of the individuals I serve. Being a leader has shown me the importance of working as a team to get through any obstacle. I am proud to be able to provide a great environment that feels like home for our individuals.

How has COVID-19 impacted your role? How have you risen to this challenge?
Having to rapidly adapt to change, as well as trying maintain a positive and efficient transition during COVID-19 has been challenging. I hold myself accountable for ensuring the safety of all staff and individuals under my care by providing physical, mental and emotional support. I also make sure we have the necessary equipment and supplies for Scotrun to properly and safely function. I help keep the program running smoothly by providing hands-on assistance in filling shifts, cleaning and sanitizing the facility, and offering staff training and support.

How do you demonstrate Servant Leadership principles on a daily basis?
I am dedicated to my role, and am aware of the example I set for others. I strive to provide a positive and supportive environment. Anything I can do to establish a structured setting allows both the individuals and staff under my care to achieve the best possible outcome. Communication is key when it comes to meeting our goals.

What is one thing your colleagues don’t know about you?
I have a very artistic side - I love to sing and draw.

Why are you a Healthcare Hero?
I go above and beyond to provide outstanding care and services. I remain observant, respond quickly and take preventative measures to avoid challenging situations. I wear my heart on my sleeve and take pride in being able to make a difference. I trust my judgement, as well as the judgement of my co-workers, to make the best possible choices for the individuals we serve.


Celebrating Devereux’s Healthcare Heroes: 
Spotlight on Daniel Bailey
Devereux Connecticut – The Glenholme School director of milieu treatment

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.


Daniel BaileyTitle:
Director of milieu treatment
Center/office location: Devereux Connecticut – The Glenholme School – Washington
Length of service: May 2018 

In your role, what are your main responsibilities?
I am responsible for the daily oversight of the milieu behavioral treatment at The Glenholme School. Some of my responsibilities include: working closely with clinicians, behaviorists and administrators to create individualized treatment plans for each of our students; creating and instructing professional development opportunities for our direct care professionals, teachers and other faculty; and collecting and analyzing behavioral data to assist our team in data-driven decision making. The best part of my job is interacting with staff members and students on campus, and building positive and healthy relationships.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Growing up, I had a mentor who pushed and challenged me to be the best version of myself. My mentor, a high school counselor, said, “When that happens (when you are the best version of yourself), you’ll know it because it will never feel like you are ever going to work.” I am lucky enough to have a job that has done just that. There are two parts of my job I find equally rewarding. The first is being able to work alongside such amazing people who are all trying to achieve the same common goal of making someone else’s life better than it was before they came to Glenholme. The second is a special moment that happens at different times throughout each student’s stay at Glenholme. Every one of our students reaches or surpasses their goals in different ways, through arts, sports, education or relationship development with peers. During these moments, it is amazing to see the hard work our students and staff put in to create this success.

How has COVID-19 impacted your role? How have you risen to this challenge?
Although COVID-19 impacted different aspects of our program, and presented our team with several new challenges, there have been many silver livings. 

While our team has had to work remotely, this has caused us to work more closely and collaboratively than ever before. Specifically, in the behavior department, our team has risen to the challenge by creating new behavioral reference guides for parents to assist with the implementation of individualized behavior plans within the home, as well as providing in-home behavioral support via Zoom. When our program reopened, it was remarkable to watch every member of our team rise to new challenges with a smile and a great sense of pride as we continued to provide the best possible services to our students and families.

How do you demonstrate Servant Leadership principles on a daily basis?
I tend to look at every situation through a “big-picture” lens - I account for everyone and everything involved in, or impacted by, each situation. In my role, I like to lead by example and demonstrate that we are all working toward something bigger than ourselves. With this in mind, I am always willing to jump in and help out for the betterment of the program, my colleagues, our students and their families.

What is one thing your colleagues don’t know about you?
When I am not at work, I am almost always outside enjoying nature. I love to find new places to kayak, hike and fish.

Why are you a Healthcare Hero?
I am honored to be nominated among the many Healthcare Heroes I work alongside every day. I take pride in the fact that no matter what happens, I am always there to provide unconditional positive support. I always want what is best for everyone, and will continue to work to empower those around me to become their best, most authentic selves, as that is what our students and staff deserve.


Celebrating Devereux’s Healthcare Heroes: 
Spotlight on Catherine “Cat” Baker
Devereux Arizona People Operations learning specialist

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.


Catherine “Cat” BakerTitle:
People Operations learning specialist
Center/office location: Devereux Arizona – Phoenix
Length of service: April 2016 

In your role, what are your main responsibilities?
I am one of the first faces people see at Devereux Arizona! I provide onboarding training for new hires, help maintain our employee records, and I train new and existing employees in CPR/first aid and Safe and Positive Approaches©. I am also a certified trainer for Arizona’s Foster Parent College. I provide potential foster parents with the required 10-week training to obtain the necessary licensing to care for children in the foster care system. Once the training is complete, I go through the licensing or adoption process with the family.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?
I enjoy meeting and working with people who walk through the doors of Devereux Arizona. I have the privilege of helping our staff members, individuals and families recognize and unlock their human potential.

How has COVID-19 impacted your role? How have you risen to this challenge?
COVID-19 has changed my role as a trainer in many ways. We now provide new hire training through Zoom videoconferencing. In addition, instead of being in a classroom with others, we changed the way we offer Safe and Positive Approaches training by using pool “noodles” and mannequins (instead of people) to make sure we follow social distancing guidelines.

Side note: I currently work in the office with one other co-worker. I have to admit it is truly exciting to see a FedEx or UPS truck come to the door with a delivery. I do not remember noticing the little things before the pandemic.

How do you demonstrate Servant Leadership principles on a daily basis?
I believe in living by these three “G’s:” 

  • Giving 
  • Gratitude 
  • Grace 

This requires that my hands and heart always be open. I cannot give or receive with a closed hand or heart. To give grace and kindness to others is necessary for living a fulling live. Gratitude for all things that come and go is a necessity to learn lessons and to grow beyond oneself. Servant Leadership requires all of these traits. I demonstrate compassion and a willingness to meet others where they are by listening and trying to provide hope.

What is one thing your colleagues don’t know about you?
One of my greatest pleasures is volunteering at my local soup kitchen twice a month. I cut onions, celery and potatoes. Sometimes, I serve meals, set up, and break down the dining room.

Why are you a Healthcare Hero?
I feel that I am just one person trying to make a difference in the lives of others, and in the world. I am thankful that Devereux Arizona has given me the opportunity to serve others. I am thankful for the outstanding leadership of our Executive Director Yvette Jackson, as well as the example of service demonstrated by my supervisor, Mindy Green. Both Yvette and Mindy go above and beyond to show the importance of service to others. Through their examples and support, they demonstrate and encourage me to reach out and provide a hand up to everyone I meet. I feel heroes do not stand alone. Heroes show up in teams. I am proud to be a part of the Arizona team. And I am proud to be a part of the Devereux family.


Celebrating Devereux’s Healthcare Heroes: 
Spotlight on Vernon Tanguay
Devereux Pennsylvania – Adult Services RN healthcare coordinator

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.


Vernon TanguayTitle:
RN healthcare coordinator
Center/office location: Devereux Pennsylvania – Adult Services – Berwyn
Length of service: April 2014 

In your role, what are your main responsibilities?
One of the most important aspects of my role is to address the physical and emotional needs of my clients. Actively listening, observing body language and paying attention to the nuances that may indicate a potential health issue all help me be proactive in my approach to meeting an individual’s healthcare needs. Each day, I spend time watching for nonverbal cues and other signs of discomfort. I also provide counseling and education to our adults and their families. For example: I explain diagnoses, treatment plans, procedures and medications. I answer any questions they may have related to medication costs and insurance coverage. I explain lab test results, and discuss the benefits of physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy, as well as the importance of maintaining a healthy diet and exercising.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?
There are many rewards. Most notable is caring for a vulnerable population of individuals. It is rewarding to be their advocate. If our adults present with a physical concern, I help them understand what is happening and reassure them that they are safe. Educating our individuals, parents and others is one of my favorite parts of being a nurse.

How has COVID-19 impacted your role? How have you risen to this challenge?
The pandemic has changed the way we all live and work. As a result of COVID-19 (and in accordance with state and CDC protocols), our campus opened an isolation unit to serve any individuals who experience symptoms. I volunteered to provide nursing services in this area. If and when our adults needed to be admitted, my goal is to alleviate their concerns and provide them with the best possible care.

How do you demonstrate Servant Leadership principles on a daily basis?
Nurses often place the needs of those in their care ahead of their own. Every morning, I try to touch base with each of the individuals I serve. Being proactive - and staying ahead of any aches and pains our individuals might have - allows me to better support our adults. In addition, staying in touch with family members, and providing regular updates on their loved one’s care, helps build trust, which is a vital component of nursing.

What is one thing your colleagues don’t know about you?
I live on a horse farm! It is amazing how similar horses are to humans - they each have their own unique personalities and favorite foods!

Why are you a Healthcare Hero?
Many of the adults in our care, particularly individuals with no local family members, look to nurses, not only for comfort and medical aid, but also for social interaction. I do my best to provide a sense of normalcy. The presence of a nurse can be emotionally supportive, just by being there. During COVID-19, certain behaviors (emotional or cognitive) can make it difficult for our adults to wear a face mask. I try to make protecting our individuals a fun activity by playing games, or even using the Lone Ranger analogy to help make them feel more comfortable.


Celebrating Devereux’s Healthcare Heroes: 
Spotlight on Sophia Martin
Devereux Georgia client and family advocate/risk 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.


Sophia MartinTitle:
Client and family advocate/risk manager
Center/office location: Devereux Georgia – Kennesaw
Length of service: November 1995 

In your role, what are your main responsibilities?
I have two primary roles at Devereux Georgia both are extremely important for the care and treatment of the individuals and families we serve. As client and family advocate, I listen to our individuals and families and help them resolve any issues or concerns they may have. My goal is to make sure our families are provided with the best customer experience possible, and ensure they are satisfied with the care their child or loved one receives. As risk manager, I am responsible for reviewing and tracking data for all grievances and incidents on campus, and making sure we report these issues to the proper agencies in a timely manner. My roles as risk manager and client and family advocate go hand-in-hand to ensure we create a safe and supportive environment for those in our care, and that we are in compliance with our funders and licensing agencies. In my role, I have the privilege of welcoming every new orientation class where I provide quality and risk management training to the new Devereux Georgia employees.

In addition, I serve as the liaison between Devereux Georgia and Cobb County Crimes Against Children, which means I am the main point of contact for our organization with local law enforcement.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?
The most rewarding part of my job is the role I play as client and family advocate. This allows me to participate, and work with, a great team of individuals who are focused on providing the best possible services for those in our care. The highlight of my day is being on campus and hearing the laughter and seeing the smiles from youth who have risen above their circumstances and continue to flourish throughout their treatment. I thoroughly enjoy seeing our youth on the day of their admission; their progress through treatment; and the joy on their faces when they are reunited with their families.

How has COVID-19 impacted your role? How have you risen to this challenge?
My role has been impacted immensely. I have leaned on my spirituality to rise to this challenge daily. I stepped in to assist our therapists and other departments when my center made the shift to virtual visits, with a goal of keeping our individuals connected to their families as we learn a new normal. My communication with parents has greatly increased - I provide additional support and reassurance that their children are safe. Due to social distancing and other safety protocols, we have shifted a number of our meetings to virtual, I assist with daily enhanced cleaning/sanitation, and help maintain guidelines for screening - daily symptom and temperature checks - for our individuals and staff.

How do you demonstrate Servant Leadership principles on a daily basis?
I find myself demonstrating Servant Leadership principles in my daily interactions with colleagues, our individuals and families by being a great communicator and encourager, and by valuing the needs of others before my own. I look for opportunities to thank our staff for what they do every day, and recognize team members for their dedication and commitment toward our youth, families and each other. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed how we do business, and serve our individuals and families. This has allowed me to recognize my own depth and strength, as well as that of my colleagues.

What is one thing your colleagues don’t know about you?
National Geographic is my favorite TV show, and I love fish/mammals such as sharks, dolphins and whales.

Why are you a Healthcare Hero?
I make a difference because I bring a bright and positive disposition to our campus every day. I am a “glass-half-full” rather than “half-empty” kind of person. It is in challenging times we see a person’s true character and the impact they make in the lives of others. I think the real hero in any situation and/or event is the person who fulfills his/her role not just from a professional standpoint, but also does it with a servant’s heart. People on the Devereux Georgia campus know they can rely on me to always be fair and look out for the best interest of our individuals, families and staff. People know if you do what you do because it is a job, or if you are serving them without reservation and with purpose.


Celebrating Devereux’s Healthcare Heroes: 
Spotlight on Jasmine Davis
Devereux Pennsylvania CBHS direct support professional

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.


Jasmine DavisTitle:
Direct support professional
Center/office location: Devereux Pennsylvania Children’s Behavioral Health Services – Malvern
Length of service: December 2019 

In your role, what are your main responsibilities?
In the short time I’ve been at Devereux, I’ve learned the ins and outs of working with individuals in a residential treatment facility. In my role, I complete many different tasks behind the scenes, from progress reviews to hazardous surveillance. When it comes to the children in our care, I’m always willing to help out in any way I can. I find so much joy in assisting our youth in setting and achieving short- and long-term goals; comforting them when life’s obstacles are thrown their way; and teaching them that life is unpredictable, and even we adults don’t have all the answers. We also have a lot of fun. We have birthday parties, water fights, dance contests, holiday dinners and much more. I believe an effective treatment is as good as your support system and surrounding resources, and so I do everything in my power to make it positive learning experience for our individuals.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?
The most rewarding part of my job is witnessing the progress of our youth. This lets me know that we, as a team, are moving in the right direction.

How has COVID-19 impacted your role? How have you risen to this challenge?
Even though I was worried at first, our campus community continued to accommodate our individuals and families to the best of our ability. Ensuring our individuals’ families that we were taking extra safety and sanitizing precautions when dealing with COVID-19 - and having them thank us in so many different ways - made me feel like I was part of a something good.

How do you demonstrate Servant Leadership principles on a daily basis?
I always put others before myself. If I’m having lunch and someone needs my support an individual or a colleague I’m always there. I believe that’s why I wear so many different hats. I’ve asked to be trained in various areas so I can be flexible on the job. I believe we are only good as your team, and I’m a team player.

What is one thing your colleagues don’t know about you?
I never worked in a residential treatment facility prior to joining Devereux. I’m learning as I go along, and it’s very exciting!

Why are you a Healthcare Hero?
I believe I make a difference because I don’t look at this as I job. I treat our youth like family because that’s what we are! I’m always there for them, even if that means being on the verge of passing out while giving TikTok dance lessons. (Just kidding!) I love my job, and if that makes me a Healthcare Hero, I wear my cape proudly!


Celebrating Devereux’s Healthcare Heroes: 
Spotlight on Phil Gaubatz
Devereux New York community specialist

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.


Phil GaubatzTitle:
Community specialist
Center/office location: Devereux New York – Kingston
Length of service: 2007 

In your role, what are your main responsibilities?
My responsibilities include helping the individuals we serve in our day habilitation program achieve their goals related to exercising, reading and community engagement. I am also responsible for the Meals on Wheels community partnership where our individuals deliver meals to senior citizens in the community. In addition, I was selected to be a mentor; I get to support new staff as a peer mentor.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?
The most rewarding part of my job is seeing the individuals we serve, and the people I work with, grow and succeed in their lives. I love my job more every day.

How has COVID-19 impacted your role? How have you risen to this challenge?
COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the daily routines of the people I work with and support. I have helped everyone stay informed and calm while adjusting to new routines, which include participating in more activities at home, such as walking in the backyard instead of the park and having fun with arts and crafts.

How do you demonstrate Servant Leadership principles on a daily basis?
I demonstrate Servant Leadership principles by remaining positive and upbeat during this challenging time. I have also tried to lead by example, and have done my best to show those around me - my colleagues, the individuals we support and their families -  that we are all in this together.

What is one thing your colleagues don’t know about you?
My colleagues may not know that I have been married to my beautiful wife, Susan, for 26 years!

Why are you a Healthcare Hero?
An example of my work as a Healthcare Hero would be the relationship I have with a particular individual I support. He lives with family, and he LOVES basketball. This time away from his program, due to COVID-19, has been challenging for him. I was able to arrange for a basketball hoop to be set up at his home during the pandemic so he can still play and have fun. This brought both him, and me, a great deal of happiness.


Celebrating Devereux’s Healthcare Heroes: 
Spotlight on Claudia Berumen
Devereux California program administrator

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.


Claudia BerumenTitle:
Supported living services program administrator
Center/office location: Devereux California – Goleta
Length of service: September 2017 

In your role, what are your main responsibilities?
I supervise the daily operations of our adult residential treatment program, and assist in the development of all phases of this program. I develop, implement and monitor our individuals’ treatment plans, and update their records; lead treatment planning meetings; manage our program budget; and communicate with the individuals we serve, as well as their families and/or legal guardians, funding agencies and social workers. In addition, I am responsible for the hiring, training, performance management and supervision of our program staff, and ensure compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?
I love my job - it’s all rewarding. I love interacting directly with the individuals we serve. I feel supported by my management team, and I feel there is always so much more to learn. While it can be challenging at times, it’s always worth the extra effort because, ultimately, a human life will directly benefit from the work we put in.

How has COVID-19 impacted your role? How have you risen to this challenge?
COVID-19 has impacted my role in a variety of ways. I stepped into the position of program administrator just as the virus was making itself known. I knew this would be a challenging environment to begin a new role with a lot of responsibility, but I believed my experience would be valuable in leading our supported living services (SLS) team through the pandemic. I have worked in SLS for nearly 10 years. At Devereux, I was previously an SLS program coordinator, as well as a personal attendant. I’ve been able to see the significant impact of our programs and services from a variety of roles. The health and safety of our adults is, and always has been, of the upmost importance. Being a program administrator has allowed me to step up to the challenge, use my experience and empower others to meet the “Devereux Family Standard” and care for the individuals we serve like we would our own families during this critical moment in history.

How do you demonstrate Servant Leadership principles on a daily basis?
I am 100 percent on board with Servant Leadership. For me, it feels almost natural to interact with others in this way. I believe this style of leadership boils down to the golden rule - treat others the way you want to be treated. I think each of these pillars is essential, but in my role, I especially focus on being a compassionate collaborator. I interact with a variety of people, from our individuals/families, to our staff and program coordinators, to our outside agencies (e.g., funders, landlords and vendors). I believe we can do all things with compassion, especially when it comes to resolving conflict and collaborating with others so everyone’s voices and opinions are heard.

What is one thing your colleagues don’t know about you?
My dad taught me how to change the oil in my car!

Why are you a Healthcare Hero?
I truly care. I care about our individuals. I care about my colleagues and our staff. I want to be here. I believe working with the adults we serve is an extraordinary part of my life’s work, and I feel fortunate to be able to work at Devereux.


Celebrating Devereux’s Healthcare Heroes: 
Spotlight on Marjorie Williams
Devereux Florida direct support professional

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.


Marjorie WilliamsTitle:
Direct support professional
Center/office location: Devereux Florida – Orlando
Length of service: June 2004 

In your role, what are your main responsibilities?
Working directly with the youth in our residential group care program. Teaching them independent living skills, working closely with our school and providing that additional support to meet their educational needs. I also participate in IEP (individualized education plan) meetings, parent/teacher conferences, and I transport our youth to doctor’s appointments.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?
The most rewarding part of my job is working with the boys I support. My milieu consists of boys, ages 12 to 17. I look forward to working with each of them, and seeing how much they’ve grown during the time they’ve spent with me – and at Devereux.

How has COVID-19 impacted your role? How have you risen to this challenge?
I make sure everything is sanitized and cleaned to keep my boys and me safe. I’ve risen to the challenge by putting the safety of our youth first.

How do you demonstrate Servant Leadership principles on a daily basis?
I always put our individuals’ needs first, and I’m a huge team player. I will take on many additional tasks to provide support to my program and my management team, as needed. I work additional hours, assist in the kitchen or in the maintenance department – whatever program needs additional support. I feel as though the program is everyone’s responsibility, and I take great pride in being a part of the team.

What is one thing your colleagues don’t know about you?
My favorite color is red.

Why are you a Healthcare Hero?
Because I continuously go above and beyond. I have been with Devereux for almost 16 years and I have been dedicated since the day I came to campus. I consistently assist my employees in any way I can, and when I think of a Healthcare Hero, I think of the responsibility of being an essential worker. It comes with putting others before yourself and making sure the needs of others are met, which sometimes cause you to neglect your own needs, at times. That is part of my job, and I take pride in the responsibility that I have taken on. I have worked with many youth, and several will reach back out to let me know that they’re married now, with families, and it’s because of the love and care they received at Devereux. I try my best to make sure each of our youth feels like an individual. Many of our kids feel as though no one cares about them, and I make it my duty to make them feel like they are all my children, because they just need love. It’s amazing to me how far a little love can go in a child’s life.


Celebrating Devereux’s Healthcare Heroes: 
Spotlight on Bev Balshaw
Devereux Texas art teacher
 

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.


Bev BalshawTitle: Art teacher
Center/office location: Devereux Texas – League City
Length of service: August 2019

In your role, what are your main responsibilities?
I try to enrich my students’ experience with each art activity, beginning at their level of skill, and then encouraging them to push beyond what they are comfortable doing, and moving to that next skill level. Keeping safety in mind at all times, I try to introduce our youth to a variety of art techniques and projects that will not only challenge their skills, but capture their interests. Whenever possible, I try to include a personal aspect into our lessons so students are able to reveal things about themselves in their drawings. My students are unique, at a different stages of learning, and should not be compared to anyone else! 

What is the most rewarding part of your job?
I was told at an early age to find something I truly enjoyed doing, and then find a way to make a living at it. I have always loved drawing, painting and making things out of clay – and I was athletic. I played all sports in high school, and I continue to run marathons, golf, kayak and fish. It was only natural for me to get my college degrees in fine arts and physical education, allowing me the opportunity to pursue the things I love, and still be able to support myself.

After retiring from teaching in public schools, I came to Devereux. I have found I am making a bigger impact here than I ever made in public schools. I try to build a relationship with my students that is built on trust and compassion, so they feel comfortable opening up through (and feeling the therapeutic benefits of) their artwork. Once that bond is established, the kids are excited to express themselves in their artwork.  

How has COVID-19 impacted your role? How have you risen to this challenge?
COVID-19 temporarily closed my art room for lessons, so I became dependent on teachers to assist with my art lessons. Supplies are a bit limited, but despite these challenges, I create art folders and work with our teachers to make fun lesson plans for our students. I have also drawn chalk drawings around our campus for the kids to interact with as they move from building to building during the day. 

I know we will get through this challenge, and eventually, return to a more normal schedule. 

How do you demonstrate Servant Leadership principles on a daily basis?
I have made hundreds of face masks for my center. I noticed early on people were saying their ears hurt from the masks, and some were having a hard time breathing through them. In addition, not all people are the same size. I designed a shoestring mask that is adjustable to whoever is wearing it without pulling your ears away from your head. In addition, I started mending our individuals’ clothes, whenever needed, sewing buttons back on and repairing any tears. I try to be available to do whatever is needed, whenever it is needed. 

What is one thing your colleagues don’t know about you?
I went to an afterschool clown class, graduated and became a clown named “Stripes.” I taught myself to juggle by reading “The Idiot’s Guide to Juggling.” I also make balloon animals and hats. 

Why are you a Healthcare Hero?
I care about my co-workers and my students. I want everyone to be the best that they can be. If there is a need, I will try to help. We are a team, and we work best when we work together. 

 


Celebrating Devereux’s Healthcare Heroes: 
Spotlight on Sean Williams
Devereux New Jersey direct support professional
 

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.


Sean WilliamsTitle:
Direct support professional
Center/office location: Devereux New Jersey – Mays Landing
Length of service: June 2018 

In your role, what are your main responsibilities?
Impacting and engaging our individuals in a positive way, and assisting them with daily activities in order to help them live as independently as possible.   

What is the most rewarding part of your job?
To know that my presence and efforts positively change an individual’s life.  

How has COVID-19 impacted your role? How have you risen to this challenge?
COVID-19 has impacted my role by putting me closer to the lives of the individuals I serve every day. I normally work at our day program, so our time there is more structured and we have planned activities. Since program closures occurred due to COVID-19, I have been working in the homes of the individuals we serve and other locations, and am more involved in their daily routines. I take pride in being able to be there for our individuals when they need me the most. It’s a reminder of why I enjoy working in this field. It gives me a feeling of accomplishment when I can provide assistance and care for an individual. 

How do you demonstrate Servant Leadership principles on a daily basis?
I try to lead the way by example – through action and communication – while still being receptive to learning, and thus, teaching my peers, so that we may all provide the utmost care to our individuals on a daily basis.  

What is one thing your colleagues don’t know about you?
I enjoy reading and watching historical events, especially times that shape the world today, ranging from the Viking Age to the Civil War.   

Why are you a Healthcare Hero?
I am honored to be counted among the many heroes I have worked with at Devereux during this time, and all of the heroes who are providing care to individuals in need during COVID-19. Through my “always ready” mentality, and my diligence for the care and recovery of our individuals, I accept the title of Healthcare Hero, and I appreciate that my work ethic and care have been recognized! I hope others feel we can all make a difference by being caring, vocal and understanding, and that when working with others, we must reflect ourselves in our attempts, and all that we do.