Destination Hope Blog » Meet Emily Woods, Executive Director

Meet Emily Woods, Executive Director

DH-blog-Spotlight-Emily

What brought you to the field of addiction and mental health treatment?

I knew I wanted to do something in the behavioral health field after taking my first psychology class in high school. I was fascinated with the explanations for human behavior, and I took every psychology course offered when pursuing my undergraduate degree.  I found the neurobiology behind human behavior and the symptoms experienced by individuals struggling with mental health diagnoses to be extremely interesting.  I completed my Master’s in Mental Health Counseling and started my career as a therapist in an inpatient psychiatric hospital.

What does a typical day look like for you?

Every morning starts with reviewing e-mails that have come in since I last checked.  Communication is the most important aspect of working as an efficient team.  We have created many processes that enable us to maintain consistent communication allowing us to provide almost-real time feedback to each other related to any issues or needs.  Every morning I review the nursing and shift reports from the night before, meet with the clinical team for morning staffing, and then touch base with each department regarding the clients that came in, any that have needs that should be addressed, and those that are discharging.  I assist with many different departments throughout the day and week, this can include chart audits, medical record requests, coordinating trainings, tracking data and metrics, working with directors and staff on corrective actions and performance improvement, developing and reviewing policies and procedures, addressing staffing needs, providing staff support and supervision, and collaborating with all departments on meeting the needs of the clients and families we are caring for, as well as providing opportunities for the ongoing development of our staff and programs to create a place that provides truly unique and exceptional care.

What is your next goal at DH or something that you’re currently working on?

We have an excellent clinical team here that does amazing work with the clients every day.  I want to give each clinician the opportunity to expand their knowledge base and skill set around their own individual interests, by tapping into the unique interests of the clinicians we allow their passion and excitement to create more diverse, comprehensive programming to all our clients and families.  The fact that our team works collaboratively with one another further provides the opportunity to create an environment where every client’s needs can be addressed with a unique therapeutic approach.

You’ve been a part of DH for so long in several different positions. What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?

The team at DH.  Even though there have been many changes over the years that I have worked here, I have always had the opportunity to work with, and learn from, some of the brightest, most passionate clinicians and colleagues.  Being in the behavioral health field is tough, working with a team that inspires me with their dedication, desire to grow personally and professionally, and passion to help people is the most rewarding part of my job. I can honestly say that the current team here is made up of some of the most amazing people, and I’m lucky to be a part of it.

What is a career highlight?

Becoming licensed is probably one of the biggest highlights. It was a culmination of a lot of hard work and invested time.

What message would you give a loved one or those with substance use disorder?

Don’t give up.

What gets you out of bed in the morning?

My team at DH.  I know we spoke on it in more detail, but the people that I work with, and the culture that we are trying to create and foster–for staff and clients–is what gets me up in the morning and keeps me excited about what we are doing here.

What is the one thing you can’t live without?

My kids.

What is your favorite book?

There are so many it’s hard to say.  “I Know This Much Is True” and “A Little Life” are two that I loved.

What do you want people to know about you?

I’ve lived in South Florida my entire life, I love running, reading, spending time with my family, cooking, Gator football, and the water.  One of my favorite places to go is North Carolina, and I love hiking and being outside on vacation.  My kids have taught me a lot about the importance of being present and in the moment and watching them learn and grow is the most amazing thing.

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