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  • Healthcare Heroes Claudia
  • Healthcare Heroes Marjorie
  • Healthcare Heroes Bev
  • Healthcare Heroes Sean

 

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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 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.