Q&A with Emily Woods – DH’s Executive Director
Q: What Do You See as The Strengths of Destination Hope
A: We have a very strong focus on staff development and training. We believe in the clinical mindset of investing in our clinicians and all of our staff and providing them with opportunities to develop their skills to broaden their expertise so they can really provide comprehensive care for all of the unique needs our clients have. Fostering a culture of clinicians that want to develop their skills and to learn. That’s a huge component of our developing programs, because as you develop new programs you need staff that can provide the appropriate clinical tools to manage clients in them.
All of our therapists are certified clinical trauma professionals and that sets DH apart, as not everyone has that. Whether it’s substance abuse or mental health, trauma is typically a huge component for clients that are seeking treatment regardless of what their primary need is – mental health or substance abuse. So being able to address that is a big strength of ours.
We also do ongoing training with our support staff – nurses, behavioral health technicians, housing supervisors- they are all trained to be trauma informed. We have in-person training where a certified trainer comes in and discusses the nuances of managing clients who struggle with trauma and we know how to approach and respond to clients in an appropriate way.
Q: What sets you apart?
A: The biggest thing is despite the fact that we’ve recently been brought into new ownership is that DH in and of itself has been around for over 13 years, and there’s a lot of staff here that have been here for a really long time – over 10 years. The engagement of our staff in what we do here is unique and amazing – engagement in wanting to be a part of helping clients and families. The desire of the staff to grow and learn and develop new programming, be excited about it and be a part of a thriving culture. That’s how you really create an environment where you can provide quality client care. It’s for therapists and clinicians…everybody to have opportunities for training and be a part of something they believe in, and in a culture where they can grow and develop and providing that for staff just makes them that much more capable of providing the same thing for our clients.
Q: What do you look for when hiring staff?
A: A desire to widen their skills and expertise, being open, being collaborative, wanting to be part of a team, regardless of where they are in the company – from top to bottom, everyone is crucial in client care.
Q: Describe the benefit of being in South Florida
A: Our current wellness program and our intentions to continue developing our wellness program will start services that access the outdoors. Adventure therapy is starting soon – taking clients on outings with their therapists, like going to a ropes course and participating with a team to supplement the scope of their treatment.