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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 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.