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  • 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 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.