Category Archives: Faces of Rosecrance
Faces of Rosecrance: Gail Raney
Gail Raney is the Administrator of Rosecrance Central Illinois and has a Masters Degree in Public Administration. She started working for Prairie Center in 2002, which merged into Rosecrance in January 2018.
“I consider myself fortunate to have worked with so many people who are doing all they can to make a positive impact on other people’s lives. These wonderful people are always striving to keep improving. They never give up when tackling a problem, no matter how large it may appear. Being a part of such a terrific team drives me to be the best I can be,” says Raney.
Raney is inspired not only by the staff that she oversees, but also the clients we serve.
“I have been blessed to have worked with fantastic professionals over the years, but it’s our clients who motivate me the most. In our field, we are trying to help people make huge changes in their lives. I am always inspired when I witness the effort they put forth as they work towards sustaining their recovery. I have seen people who ‘had it all’ then lost everything—their job, home, family—and they came to us feeling very broken. To see them healthy and full of hope is so inspiring.“
Faces of Rosecrance: Chris Druce Jones
Chris Druce Jones serves as Chaplain at the Rosecrance Harrison Campus, a residential treatment center that treats adults for substance use disorders. Chris’ 20 years of experience as a United Methodist Pastor provided him many opportunities to work with families and individuals from various backgrounds and settings. Now as the Chaplain for Rosecrance, he provides spiritual counseling for clients and staff through presentations, group discussions, and one-on-one support.
“A big part of the job is grief support for families and individuals as they experience loss of various kinds. I’m learning that there is a common theme with those who struggle with alcohol or drug addiction. There is usually some sort of loss in these people’s lives: loss of a loved one or significant person. One way to cope with loss is to numb the pain. I don’t think anyone intentionally starts out as an addict, but they may seek [drugs or alcohol] regularly for a source of comfort.”
In the grief & loss group that Chris facilitates, he encourages clients to voice their emotional pain. “We share the exact nature of the loss, the name of the individual, and share our feelings around the loss. The rest of the group gives a listening ear, which provides comfort.”
Chris structures his curriculum around the spiritual principles of the 12-Step program. “I love being part of a team that helps these clients heal. Every day I get to be a part of helping someone’s life. It’s the most rewarding experience.”
Faces of Rosecrance: Karly Bergstrom
Karly Bergstrom is a Unit Specialist at Rosecrance Griffin Williamson Campus and has been with the organization for nine months. She is passionate about helping teens develop coping skills for the mental health disorders they face. Rosecrance recently expanded specialized programming for adolescents with mental health disorders, which can include mood disorders, bi-polar disorder, depression, anxiety, PTSD, suicidal behaviors, and more. Karly sees first-hand how these illnesses can affect the mind and body. “If there is a client that’s struggling due to a rough phone call or family session, I’ll pull them off the unit and we’ll take a walk or do something to help them cope. I try to get them to open up and figure out the root of the problem, why it causes so much anxiety and how we can move forward.” Karly works with other staff members to create an individualized plan for clients that need extra accommodations that may differ from the standard schedule for the day. Whether it be an extra walk through the healing garden or five minutes alone in their room listening to music, Karly ensures that each client’s unique needs are taken into consideration.
Faces of Rosecrance: Brenda Hunt
Brenda Hunt has been with Rosecrance for four years and works as the Nurse Manager at the Griffin Williamson Campus, which serves teenagers recovering from substance use disorders. She believes that substance use disorders are like a disease process. An addict should be treated the same “as someone who has kidney failure, liver failure, cancer, anything like that,” says Hunt. “We don’t get mad at the person who comes in because they have a broken arm. I don’t think we should get mad at the person who has a substance abuse or mental health issue either.”
Brenda’s goal is to lead and provide support to the nursing team. She also works with parents and psychiatrists to ensure the operations in her department run smoothly.
At a minimum, every adolescent client will see nursing staff twice a day. Aside from routine visits, clients will see nursing staff for injury assessments or illness. Rosecrance also offers detox services at Griffin Williamson Campus, and these teens are placed in the bedroom closest to the unit station, bathroom, and hallway so that nurses are able to provide care as quickly as possible.
“It’s a hard decision for the family to send their child here, and it’s hard work for our clients to be here. We try to encourage the clients and tell them that they’re worth the hard work. We meet some of the smartest kids that come through here; we try to help them believe in themselves.”
“I have been so grateful since I’ve come here. I believe that I get to supervise the greatest team of nurses. They are so incredibly passionate about what we do. We all want these kids to be healthy; the joy that we get when our clients come back to be a speaker to our groups, that’s amazing.”
Rosecrance is currently hiring for several nursing positions. If you’re interested, click here:
Faces of Rosecrance: Hanah Matz
Hanah Matz has been with Rosecrance for six years and works as an Addiction Counselor at the Rosecrance Griffin Williamson Campus. She spoke with us about the transformation she sees in the adolescent clients during their treatment: “Most clients don’t feel like they need treatment, but they do it in order to please someone: school, probation, or family. That shifts for most of the kids throughout their stay into seeing how drugs have impacted their life. For example, they may be able to identify that they are failing in school and how it is in conjunction with their substance use.”
“We really try to meet them where they’re at. We may be able to identify many different areas in which their substance abuse has impacted their life, but our treatment plan is geared toward what they want to work on. If they feel like anxiety is the problem, we’ll work with them on that. Once they’re in control of their recovery, they tend to be more self-motivated. The biggest transformation with most of them is realizing their self-worth. They tend to get a better understanding of who they are.”
“There’s so many ways of meeting kids where they’re at here at Rosecrance. We don’t just sit down in an office and ask them to tell us how they’re feeling. We tell them, ‘Show me, express to me, act it out.’ Sometimes I’ll play basketball one-on-one with a kid, and that will end up being one of the best counseling sessions. We have our healing garden, experiential therapies program, and so many non-traditional ways that we’re able to reach the kids in this setting. That’s really unique. When you engage the client in those areas, that’s where you get to see the real kid.”
Faces of Rosecrance: Johnny Cooper
Johnny Cooper is a senior addiction counselor and he has been with Rosecrance for over 26 years. He works with adolescent clients assigned to probation. “It’s a way for me to be proactive and intervene, to prevent them from getting into further trouble legally.”
“Substance abuse can lead to problems in school, then trusts issues with family, then a variety of legal troubles. A large majority of them don’t volunteer to come here. At first, it’s difficult for adolescents to recognize that they have a problem. They think that they can control when they quit and it’s not problematic. The reality of it is that it is problematic. Things get so out of control that they can’t see the line that they crossed. Even great kids fall as a result of peer pressure and using substances.”
“Treatment works. One of the things I have to tell the clients is to take it one day at a time. The program talks about honesty, open-mindedness and willingness. What does the ‘first step’ mean? What does ‘admitting’ mean? What is the difference between admitting and accepting? That’s the biggest hurdle – do you accept the fact that you are powerless, or ‘allergic’ to these drugs? Whatever drug you use, you’re allergic to it.”
“Then we set up a relapse prevention plan – they need to establish a support system within the community. What do they do when they go back to those individuals that they used with in the first place? That’s where the real challenge comes in. “
Senior addiction counselor Johnny Cooper shared with us one of his success stories:
“Do I have clients that are successful? Yes. And that’s why I do what I do. I had one client who struggled, probably about two or three times in treatment before he had a spiritual awakening. It was like a light bulb. He started to like the new person he was becoming.”
“When you’re talking about spirituality, it’s not just religion; it’s the chaos being removed out of his life. So he had a sense of peace and serenity.”
“Now he’s in college. Started getting A’s instead of C’s, D’s and F’s. He got involved in activities that he used to do before he started using, sports and different things. And that’s why I do what I do, because of the success stories.”
Faces of Rosecrance: Keri Fager
Keri has been with Rosecrance for seven years and works as the therapeutic recreation coordinator, working to integrate and expand the experiential therapies program into all of the outpatient services that Rosecrance provides. “A lot of it is trying to get the full continuum of care. As our clients move from inpatient treatment to a recovery home or outpatient services, we’re looking at how to educate them on healthy living, wellness and how they can learn new coping skills.”
“Oftentimes our clients will sit in an office and we’ll ask them to start talking about how they feel, and it feels threatening; it’s hard for them to do. Our Experiential Therapies program provides a safe environment – our clients feel less vulnerable. They’re able to open up more.”
The Experiential Therapies program includes art therapy, fitness, meditation, yoga, drumming and music, and team building activities.
“A lot of times we’ve seen clients who really come out of their shell, step outside their comfort zone and we see a lot of their strengths. We get to know the clients a lot better when we get them into situations where they feel like they can open up more and put down their barriers. In art therapy we see it where they’re not able to really verbalize how they’re feeling but it’s easier for them to put into images. From an aspect of physical wellness, you start to physically see their healing through yoga and fitness.”
“We start to see our clients doing really well while they’re here, and I think one of the biggest struggles is wondering ‘Did they carry on with these things after they left?’ One of the coolest things is when you run into a client in outpatient or they send an email with an update. I remember one of the ladies from the women’s unit who sent pictures to us – she had gotten really into fitness and she was doing really well in her recovery and she made a point to say ‘Tell Keri thank you for helping me to value my health and wellness again.’ That’s one of the coolest things to see when they’re applying the things that they started to enjoy while they’re here.”
Faces of Rosecrance: Amy Young
“I love the opportunity here to provide holistic care. From the first time that I get to meet a person, whether it’s at admission as a nurse or at evaluation when I’m providing psychiatric care, or a physical exam when I’m providing medical care, I really think that interaction where you get to provide dignity to the client and let them tell their story is so therapeutic.”
Amy Young is an advanced practice nurse (APN) at Rosecrance and has been with Rosecrance for nine years. She splits her time between the Harrison Campus for adults, Griffin Williamson Campus for adolescents, and Berry Campus for children. She started as an intern here while going through nursing school.
“The hardest thing for us nurses to remember is that we can never work harder than the client. My goal is to help them work as hard as they can – I’m going to be right next to them, every step of the way, but I’m never going to work harder than them. They never learn if we do it for them.”
“My first year here as a nurse there was a client who was very difficult and he had detoxed I think nine times. I’m pretty sure I had spent more holidays with him than I spent with my own family that year. He struggled a lot. As I entered into my second year here, he had a year sober and he was coming in to speak on Saturdays so I got to listen to him speak to the clients, which was really powerful. There are so many defining moments in a career that spans here nine years. I think every day there is a certain defining moment that reminds me of why I’m here for the clients.
The harder ones are definitely there too. There was a young woman, very bright, who we detoxed – and there was a little waiting room where her little boy and his grandmother were waiting on the other side. He was banging on the glass double doors yelling to her “Get better, mommy, get better.” A couple months after that she overdosed and passed away. So remembering that client and her story and her son really makes me fight harder for the next client.”
Thanks to Amy Young for sharing her experiences with us.