Photographer: Marcia Dolgin Fine Images
Organization: Riverside Community Care
Service area: Primarily Eastern and Central Massachusetts
Main services: Mental healthcare, developmental disability and traumatic head injury services, early intervention, substance abuse treatment
Number of staff: 1,000
Most vivid behavioral healthcare memory: “There is a young man who bounced around in the mental health system for many years. No one knew how to help him. Today, he is a valued employee, who has worked at the front desk in our administrative office for five years. Now, he checks in with me, to see how I'm doing.”
Personal mission statement: “I firmly believe that each of us can help make the world a better place. Riverside offers the opportunity to put words, like these, into action. In this spirit, we provide exceptional services to people who, in the past, have often been forgotten; we offer a respectful and caring work environment; and we meet critical needs for thousands of people, every day.”
“I love and am honored to do what I do. I've been in this field, now, for over 35 years. Riverside provides me with an opportunity to serve a large and growing community. We change lives, every day. And, I make sure that I have the opportunity to see this, firsthand, and to hear about it through visits to our service sites, from data we collect, and from meeting weekly with our committed and gifted management team.
“I've been the CEO at Riverside since coming here 26 years ago. At that time, we had 7 employees and were located in a single site. It's been a fascinating experience growing to 65 sites and 1,000 employees. Through it all, we have remained true to our values. We provide one, high standard of care, for everyone—whether a Blue Cross or Medicaid cardholder; we partner with the people we serve to set and meet meaningful goals; and we work hard to support an incredibly dedicated workforce.
“Riverside's mission states that we are helping to build healthy communities. At the end of the day, what makes me most proud is that we have become real change agents at the larger community and state levels. We find ways to meet compelling needs whether with our statewide trauma center or our urgent behavioral healthcare center. It also means thousands of us successfully advocate for better funding and continued support for services.
“The fact that consumers consistently rate us well over 90% for the quality of our services, that external reviewers provide us with top ratings, and that our staff tell us they love to work here means we are doing our jobs well. But, there are always new ideas and ways to improve what we do. The culture we have created is so powerful—we will continue to strive to be even better.”
Behavioral Healthcare 2008 December;28(12):8-15