Leading National Behavioral Healthcare Provider

Call 1-800-345-1292

  • ASCEND Program
  • May awareness
  • Devereux News
  • Who we help
  • Careers at Devereux
  • Inspirational messages of Hope banner

Print Send email Share on LinkedIn Tweet

Devereux’s Gail Atkinson retires after more than 50 years of service

 

In July 2022, Devereux Vice President of Operations and Marketing Gail Atkinson retired after five decades of exceptional leadership and service to the organization. Pictured from left outside of the school named in Atkinson’s honor: Devereux Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Rhea Fernandes, Psy.D., Devereux Texas Executive Director Pam Reed, Atkinson and Devereux President and CEO Carl E. Clark II.

Leaders from Devereux centers across the country gathered for a ceremony to rename the school in League City, Texas: The L. Gail Atkinson Learning Center. Pictured from left: Devereux Georgia Executive Director Gwen Skinner, Atkinson, Devereux Florida Executive Directors Michelle Llorens and Lisa Kroger.

When Gail Atkinson applied for a job in 1971 as an activity instructor and counselor at Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health’s former summer camp in Mount Ida, Ark., she wrote, “I am very warm and outgoing. I always stick my finger into every pie. I want to do a little bit of everything for everyone, and this keeps me happy.”

More than 50 years later, Atkinson’s self-description remains accurate – evidenced by a career, and a life, lived with passion and purpose.

In July 2022, Atkinson, who most recently served as Devereux’s vice president of operations and marketing, retired after five decades of exceptional leadership and service to the organization.

“We want to thank Gail for her unwavering dedication and support, and for embodying our mission in her every action. Devereux will not be the same without her – she will be missed every day,” said Devereux President and CEO Carl E. Clark II. “No member of our team has given more to our organization, or to the individuals and families we serve, than Gail. She is quite simply an institution who will forever be firmly rooted in our hearts and in our work.”

Leading to serve

In 1973, Atkinson graduated with a degree in psychology from Hendrix College in Conway, Ark., and accepted a full-time position as a recreation counselor at Devereux Texas. Over the next 20 years, she served in a variety of roles of increasing responsibility, including: unit supervisor/parent coordinator, communications coordinator, complex coordinator, treatment supervisor, director of operations, acting executive director and executive director.

In 1993, Atkinson transferred to Devereux Florida in the role of executive director. After a successful year helping the leadership team in the Sunshine State, she returned to Devereux Texas to serve another 12 years as executive director.

Then, in 2006, Atkinson was promoted to vice president of operations. During her tenure, she managed the organization’s Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia and Texas centers. While serving as vice president of operations, she also held a dual role of Devereux Colorado executive director from 2013 to 2014. In 2018, she was promoted to her most recent position of vice president of operations and marketing, which included overseeing the organization’s national marketing efforts.

A lasting legacy

While serving Devereux, Atkinson earned a master’s degree in general administration from the University of Houston, as well as Texas certifications as a licensed master social worker and licensed child care administrator. In addition, she took on volunteer leadership roles in both state and national trade and advocacy organizations. She served in board leadership of the National Association for Children’s Behavioral Health and the Texas Alliance of Child and Family Services.

In the spring of 2022, Devereux named its school in League City, Texas, in Atkinson’s honor: The L. Gail Atkinson Learning Center.

“Gail is truly one of a kind. She leaves behind a legacy that will be felt across Devereux for years to come,” noted Devereux Texas Executive Director Pam Reed. “The L. Gail Atkinson Learning Center will stand as a testament to the indelible impact she made on Devereux, our staff, and as importantly, on tens of thousands of lives. Her contributions will never be forgotten, and we will strive to always live up to the example she set for all of us.”

Learn more about Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health.

 

Latest News

Fireside Chat Screenshot   Devereux video: Leaders share first jobs at Devereux and how ASCEND can propel your career

Watch our latest Fireside Chat, in which Devereux President and CEO Carl E. Clark II introduces several leaders who share how they got their start at Devereux, what they are doing today, and how Devereux’s ASCEND Career Accelerator program can help anyone looking to advance their career.

Arnette Miller   Celebrating Devereux’s Healthcare Heroes: Spotlight on Devereux Arizona Clinician Arnette Miller

At Devereux, our employees are at the heart of everything we do – and are key to our success. Learn how Devereux Arizona Clinician Arnette Miller is serving and inspiring others every day.

New podcast episode   Season 2, Episode 6: ‘Not Your Average School Psychologist’ podcast

Listen to the latest episode of the Devereux Center for Effective Schools’ podcast featuring Amanda Nickerson Ph.D., NCSP, who shares her work informing the National Association of School Psychologists PREPaRE model, which provides training to school crisis response teams. Dr. Nickerson is a professor and director of the Dr. Jean M. Alberti Center for Bullying Abuse Prevention at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York. The podcast is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Amazon Music/Audible.

Denis Oswe   Servant Leadership Snapshot: Devereux New York Program Manager Denis Oswe

Devereux New York Program Manager Denis Oswe leads by example, treats everyone with respect and demonstrates empathy with the individuals he serves, as well as his colleagues. Learn how he is motivating and inspiring all those around him.

Guests at Gala   Devereux MA/RI gala raises $225,000 to benefit youth, adults with disabilities

More than 200 guests gathered at the historic Mechanics Hall in Worcester, Massachusetts, for Devereux Massachusetts and Rhode Island’s annual gala to raise critical funds for children, adolescents and adults with emotional, behavioral and cognitive differences.


More Stories