How would you describe your job to a child?
I work for a company that saves lives by helping people with either mental health issues or an addiction to drugs or alcohol.
How did you start out in the profession?
I began my career in the behavioral health industry in 1993 as a Billing Department Manager at Marion-Citrus Mental Health Center (Now, The Centers) in Ocala. I moved to Stewart Marchman Center (Now, SMA Healthcare) in 1998 as CFO.
Like many in our field, my family has struggled with addiction and mental health. As a result, I feel closely connected to our mission at SMA.
What are the biggest challenges in your role?
Having been in the industry for 25 years, I find the biggest challenge is trying to serve a population suffering from behavioral health issues that is growing rapidly. Over those many years, the funding for the provision of services to this population has not kept pace with the need. In addition, the requirements for the funding have become more complex. With limited funding for services, trying to square our company’s mission with the growing needs of our community is the biggest challenge that consumes much of the work that I do as an administrator.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
The most rewarding part of my job is that I get to work with an incredible team of professionals that are all committed to our mission of providing the best possible behavioral health services to the communities we serve. The team has in many ways become family to me. We get to celebrate our successes and comfort each other when we have setbacks. Of course the best times are when we can celebrate those who are in recovery from their illness and leading productive and healthy lives.
What are your favorite hobbies?
I love being in the outdoors, especially when I am cycling! I mostly enjoy road biking and mountain biking. I also love music. I enjoy all kinds of music and I am always in search of something new to enjoy.