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  • Healthcare Heroes Julie
  • Healthcare Heroes Nicole
  • Healthcare Heroes Addis
  • Healthcare Heroes April
  • Healthcare Heroes Eileen

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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 Julie Riggs – Pennsylvania – Adult Services program 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.


Julie RiggsTitle:
Program specialist
Center/office location: Devereux Pennsylvania - Adult Services - Berwyn
Length of service: March 1988

In your role, what are your main responsibilities?
I work with my team to coordinate and implement individualized plans that meet the wants and needs of the individuals we serve. I advocate for each individual, ensuring the services identified are complete, accurate, consistently provided, and in compliance with state and federal funding requirements and regulations.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Being able to help others, and knowing I have made a difference in someone’s life. It’s very rewarding to see an individual grow and make progress, knowing you are part of that.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
Be honest, do your best and know it’s never wrong to do the right thing.

How do you demonstrate Servant Leadership principles on a daily basis?
I am caring, and I always try to help others be and do their best by listening and meeting their wants and needs. I communicate important information in a timely and professional manner. I am patient and treat others with respect, am always willing to share my knowledge and skills, and am open to learning from others.

What is one thing your colleagues don’t know about you?
I donate to animal shelters, and believe all animals deserve a chance. I have assisted in TNR (Trap-Neuter/Spay-Release) with the feral cats in my community. I feed them and provide a warm place for them in the winter.

I also love dolphins, and have a curio cabinet filled with many dolphin figurines from around the world.

Why are you a Healthcare Hero?
I care very much for my individuals and their families, while developing trusting relationships with them. I strive to do my best to provide the highest quality support and services, and advocate for the individuals and my team. I hold myself to a higher standard, and take great pride in my daily responsibilities.


Celebrating Devereux’s Healthcare Heroes: 
Spotlight on Nicole Castagneri – Devereux Colorado assistant program supervisor

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.


Nicole CastagneriTitle:
Assistant program supervisor
Center/office location: Devereux Colorado - Westminster
Length of service: July 2021

In your role, what are your main responsibilities?
I supervise direct care staff, train new hires, create schedules, generate staff assignments, oversee admissions, organize discharges, facilitate interdepartmental communication really anything that needs to get done! In addition, I plan outings and facilitate activities for the individuals we serve, such as rock climbing, painting or serving as a lifeguard at our pool.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?
I love being able to do activities with the kids and share new experiences with them. They are hilarious, kind and intelligent, and so much fun to be around!

What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
If you’re in a hurry, slow down.

How do you demonstrate Servant Leadership principles on a daily basis?
I am proactive and try to make sure everyone feels supported in their job. I assist my colleagues in any way I can, and the same goes for our individuals. I do my best to interact with them as much as possible and lead by example.

What is one thing your colleagues don’t know about you?
I play the cello!

Why are you a Healthcare Hero?
I have a lot of compassion for the individuals we serve and my co-workers, and I try my best to show that compassion every day. I get so much joy from working this job, despite how challenging it can be, and I’m very passionate about helping the population we serve.


Celebrating Devereux’s Healthcare Heroes: 
Spotlight on Addis Greene – Devereux Pocono program supervisor

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.


Addis GreeneTitle:
Program supervisor
Center/office location: Devereux Pocono - Newfoundland
Length of service: September 2017

In your role, what are your main responsibilities?
My responsibilities are extensive and vary from day to day. Generally, I am responsible for running our Community Participation Services program, which connects adults living with emotional, behavioral and cognitive differences with potential employers, as well as volunteer and community engagement opportunities. However, I also take the initiative to help my team members respond to any challenges that may arise during the day.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?
I enjoy seeing how happy out individuals are, and learning from each of them and their unique personalities. There is nothing more rewarding than even the smallest of progress, and I appreciate and value being a part of those changes.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
The best piece of advice I have been given is, “Don’t take on other people’s problems or they become your own. Instead, find solutions.”

How do you demonstrate Servant Leadership principles on a daily basis?
All Seven Pillars of Servant Leadership are guiding principles in how I live my life. I always try to be a positive leader and role model, whether at work or at home. I work in this field because I put people first, sometimes before my own needs. Communication, collaboration and understanding how it all connects guide my problem-solving plans. Coming up with creative solutions is a major part of this job.

What is one thing your colleagues don’t know about you?
A lot of people do not know I have been in this field since I was in high school.

Why are you a Healthcare Hero?
I am a Healthcare Hero because I sacrifice time with my family to care for other people’s family members, and I do my best to treat each person under my care how I would want my own family to be treated. I hope that teaches others how to do this job, and makes a difference in everyone’s lives.


Celebrating Devereux’s Healthcare Heroes: 
Spotlight on April Applegarth – Devereux New Jersey behavior 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.


April ApplegarthTitle:
Behavior specialist
Center/office location: Devereux New Jersey - locations throughout southern New Jersey
Length of service: September 2019

In your role, what are your main responsibilities?
My role at Devereux is to conduct clinical assessments; implement behavior support plans, which outline strategies for promoting positive behaviors; train staff on behavior support plans; and provide behavior supports as needed .

What is the most rewarding part of your job?
The most rewarding part of my job is working with our individuals. Being a constant in their lives, someone they know they can count on and trust when they are in need, motivates me to be the best I can be for them. Seeing the smiles on their faces when we do fun activities, and watching them get excited when I walk into the room, keeps me going.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
The best advice I have been given is to step outside of your comfort zone and take a chance on yourself. View challenges as opportunities for growth and success, not merely as problems needing solutions or stumbling blocks too big to overcome. Be kind, you never know what someone else may be dealing with or going through.

How do you demonstrate Servant Leadership principles on a daily basis?
I always try to put myself in other people’s shoes. I often think, “How would that make me feel” or “How would I want that done.” This helps when interacting with our individuals, families and colleagues, as it puts into perspectives how they might be feeling. I can be more empathetic toward them, and respond and provide services in a manner that allows them to feel heard and understood.

What is one thing your colleagues don’t know about you?
I have traveled to Africa and India, providing AIDS awareness programs to adolescents.

Why are you a Healthcare Hero?
While I don’t necessarily consider myself a “hero,” I will say that I am an advocate for our individuals. I get to know them and take an interest in their lives. I speak up for them when they need it, and make sure we are providing them with the best possible services. I am the biggest cheerleader for all of my programs, and am always willing to lend a helping hand, even if that means wiping a table, fixing an outdoor swing or just assisting in any way possible!


Celebrating Devereux’s Healthcare Heroes: 
Spotlight on Eileen Bedara – Devereux information security officer

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.


Eileen BedaraTitle:
Information security officer
Center/office location: Devereux National - King of Prussia, Pa
Length of service: September 2009

In your role, what are your main responsibilities?
I am responsible for Devereux’s information security program and promoting a culture in which information security is everyone’s responsibility. This involves understanding and addressing risks to our information technology (IT) assets (e.g., data, systems, processes, equipment). These risks take many forms, such as phishing attempts and technical vulnerabilities. I collaborate with other IT professionals, our HIPAA officers, operations, legal and compliance to develop, implement and monitor safeguards to minimize those risks. As technology evolves and becomes increasingly important to our jobs, the associated risks also increase. It is crucial that we all do our part to protect our data and systems from unauthorized access and disclosure.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Most of what I do involves teamwork and collaboration. I really enjoy working with other Devereux staff to get things done. Everyone brings their own area of expertise and insight to a project, and it is rewarding to see it all come together. It is especially satisfying to collaborate and bridge the technical and operational aspects of our information security initiatives, working toward common goals in support of Devereux’s mission.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
The best advice I have been given is to step outside of your comfort zone and take a chance on yourself. View challenges as opportunities for growth and success, not merely as problems needing solutions or stumbling blocks too big to overcome.

How do you demonstrate Servant Leadership principles on a daily basis?
I aim to be a proactive contributor. If I don’t know an answer, I want to be helpful in finding one. Because my role requires everyone’s buy-in and support, I am eager to collaborate and always grateful and encouraged when our employees learn and take steps to promote information security.

What is one thing your colleagues don’t know about you?
My working life began in small business finance, administration and marketing for several organizations. When I came to Devereux, I served as the corporate information resources business manager before taking on the role of security officer in 2013. This shift is an example of stepping outside of your comfort zone to embrace new challenges!

Why are you a Healthcare Hero?
As we are all aware, safety is a key component of Devereux’s operations. Safety doesn’t involve only client care and treatment, but extends to the protection of personal data of the individuals in our care, as well as that of our employees. There is a great deal of effort made by many people that goes into keeping data confidential. As we continue to enhance our information security program and raise awareness around the importance of taking steps to avoid data breaches, I hope everyone views me as a partner and resource in delivering on Devereux’s mission.


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