Tell us a little about your background and what inspired you to pursue the career you have today
I have always been interested in psychology and helping others from a very young age. I began my career in inpatient hospital settings where I had the opportunity to work in various roles and grow into leadership positions. I learned the importance of teamwork, communication, and working collaboratively to ensure safety for our clients and families. I also love teaching and mentoring the students and individuals working toward licensure.
What do you wish more people knew about Destination Hope?
The most caring staff work at Destination Hope, they truly want clients to succeed; much time, effort, and planning go into each individual case to find the best way to help each client work towards their goals and their healing journey. A lot of behind-the-scenes planning, designing, and analysis of agency practices and procedures takes place daily in order to produce effective programming and operations.
As the Director of Compliance, what is most fulfilling about your job?
Working as a team with all departments to make sure we are staying in alignment with industry standards and addressing changes as they come. It is fulfilling to critically analyze and examine data in order to study and improve agency processes. Being able to use creativity for decision making, relationship building, and earning trust, and credibility as we work with our regulatory agencies and auditors.
What is the significance of being accredited by the Joint Commission & licensed by the Florida Department of Children and Families?
Being accredited by the Joint Commission means that Destination Hope is committed to continuous improvement of patient care and safety while developing and maintaining quality standards in care and services. In the state of Florida, DCF licensure is required in order to provide substance abuse services to individuals and families. DCF provides oversight and regulation for Destination Hope’s business practices and treatment services at all levels of care.
And what does it mean that Destination Hope is Legit Certified?
LegitScript certification is a requirement for Destination Hope to advertise on search engines such as Google, Facebook, and Microsoft. Having LegitScript certification also demonstrates credibility and compliance when individuals and their loved ones are researching places to contact for possible treatment services.
You also head the Destination Hope Internship Program. How gratifying is it to see the hands-on experience gained by interns on their path to becoming counselors themselves?
It is very gratifying to meet new students each semester from various schools, even international students who come to learn and practice with us at Destination Hope. Watching the students grow in their skill set and confidence is amazing, utilizing their creativity and being able to learn from the students at the same time.
Some of these interns have stayed and worked at Destination Hope. Is there an example you’d like to share?
We have had and currently have clinical staff who were once student interns at Destination Hope and were hired after graduating employment. These students were exemplary and realized through their internship practice that they thrived working in this atmosphere, helping adults who struggle with substance abuse and mental health issues.
What gets you out of bed in the morning?
Knowing that my family is there when I wake up. Setting goals for the day, some of my mornings start with a sunrise workout at the nearby farm with a small group of supportive people. Of course, also look forward to my morning cup of coffee, enjoying every sip.
Do you have a favorite book? AND/OR- Do you have a favorite motto or quote?
Bruce Lee Said: Don’t speak negatively about yourself, even as a joke. Your body doesn’t know the difference. Words are energy and cast spells, that’s why it is called spelling. Change the way you speak about yourself, and you can change your life. What you’re not changing, you’re also choosing.
What is something you love to do in your free time?
Doing something outdoors, baking, dancing, art projects, painting. Making memories with my family.
What do you want people to know about you?
I am a native Floridian, born in Hollywood Florida, and I have never lived outside of Florida. I do love to travel and experience new places. I enjoy anything with nature such as mountain hikes to paddle boarding on the Florida springs. I am also currently in the process of being certified in “Integrative Equine Therapy”.