The hours are long. The work is challenging. The pressure is real.
Still, as executives across the behavioral healthcare field sit down for Thanksgiving dinner with their families this week, many will do so with a sense of gratitude and gratefulness. For some, it comes down to working with a tireless, dedicated staff. For others, it’s the satisfaction of seeing patients make huge strides in their recovery.
Behavioral Healthcare Executive reached out to leaders in various roles throughout the industry and asked: What are you giving thanks for this year? Here’s what they told us:
Tom Doub, PhD, chief clinical and compliance officer, American Addiction Centers: “I am thankful that I get to spend every day working to make a difference in the lives of people facing mental illness and addiction. I feel very grateful that my passion and my job coincide so that my days never feel like work!”
Pamela Greenberg, MMP, president/CEO, Association for Behavioral Health and Wellness: “I am thankful that I still enjoy and find my job challenging after 18 years in this position. In large part, this is due to the wonderful colleagues and board that I work with at ABHW.”
Doug Tieman, president and CEO, Caron Treatment Centers: “I tell patients all the time that I have the best job at Caron because I get to see them when they walk in—and more importantly I get to see them when they’re back out in the world and hear how their lives are better. As a person in long-term recovery, I also feel incredible gratitude to be a leader in this field every day. It’s an honor and a privilege to be on the front lines – working to raise awareness and improve access to care for individuals and families.”
Jay Crosson, CEO, Cumberland Heights: “I’m grateful that I have the privilege of working with employees that share their hope, love and respect for patients and their families that I was so graciously shown as a patient 27 years ago. I never envisioned my journey of recovery would lead me back to being the CEO of the place that saved my life!”
Siobhan Morse, MHSA, CRC, CAI, MAC, director of research and fidelity, Foundations Recovery Network: “I am grateful for the opportunity to be a contribution; to experience that greatness in me—in all of us—by serving others as part of an organization and an industry that makes a difference in the world. For this, I am humbled and grateful beyond words.”
Mark G. Mishek, president and CEO, Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation: “I am deeply grateful to work with a great team of professionals at the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation who have poured themselves into being a force of healing and hope as we seek to end the opioid epidemic in this country. Together, we are aggressively providing solutions that save and enhance lives.”
Patrick Gauthier, director, Healthcare Solutions: “As an advisor to the behavioral healthcare sector, I am grateful for my mentors and teachers over the past 30 years who have instilled in me a love of learning, a sense of cause and purpose, and the deep realization that we can and must do well as a business while we manifest our compassion as human beings. I’m grateful for the company I get to serve every day and the many health and behavioral health organizations that have trusted us with their emerging futures.”
Edward Jones, PhD, senior vice president for strategy and planning, Institute for Health and Productivity Management: “As a psychologist, I have been trained to help people improve their lives in a number of ways. Early in my career as a psychotherapist I was able to help people—one by one—to reduce their level of psychological distress and establish higher functioning lives. In the second half of my career, I have held executive roles in large companies and had the satisfaction of establishing quality improvement programs that have improved the lives of many people that I will never meet.”
Paul Gionfriddo, president/CEO, Mental Health America: “As I look back on 2016, I am extremely pleased with the progress we’ve made toward a mentally healthier America. Through MHA’s B4Stage4 initiative, we’re changing the way people think about mental health and mental illnesses, and there’s hope that we’re about to change the trajectories of the lives of people living with serious mental illnesses – like my son Tim.”
Ron Manderscheid, PhD, executive director, National Association of County Behavioral Health and Developmental Disability Directors and National Association for Rural Mental Health: “I am very, very thankful for the opportunity I have had to work directly with persons with behavioral health conditions, and to learn directly from them. Our concepts that bring hope—recovery and wellness—come directly from those who have themselves experienced these conditions.”
Andrew Rothermel, president and CEO, Origins Behavioral HealthCare: “The one unique aspect of my professional life that makes me feel thankful is seeing the transformation of patients from when they first walk into our treatment facilities to the day that they walk out into their new lives. I am also tremendously thankful for our incredible team of clinicians and leaders. Without their dedication and attention to care, we wouldn’t be the type of brand we are today.”