At Devereux, employees are heroes in every sense of the word, helping children, adolescents and adults with emotional, behavioral and cognitive differences lead more fulfilling and rewarding lives. These committed and compassionate individuals humbly dedicate themselves to serving – and inspiring – others. Kelsie Chapman – Devereux Massachusetts and Rhode Island program manager – was recently highlighted.
In your role, what are your main responsibilities?
I oversee our center’s “West Meadow 2” program, which serves male youth with autism, as well as those who are transgender and gender-expansive. The two most significant parts of my job are: 1) creating and ensuring access to a safe and therapeutic environment for all of my students, and 2) taking an active role in ensuring my staff are well-trained, cared for, safe and happy in their roles.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
There are two really rewarding parts of my job. One is when my team members meet their professional development goals or achieve something they have been working on, such as running a new therapy group with our students or earning a promotion. The other rewarding part of my job is, of course, our students. Anytime they learn something new, achieve a goal or reach a milestone, it is so rewarding. Moments like these make this challenging work worth it – every day.
How has COVID-19 impacted your role? How have you risen to this challenge?
COVID-19 has presented a unique set of challenges for me both personally and professionally. Working through a pandemic, with two young children of my own at home, has taught me a lot about parental perspective. This is an unsettling time for everyone, but especially for parents. As we worked to keep the youth in our care safe and healthy, we recognized and understood the importance of familial contact. As a result, we’ve made sure our individuals stay in touch with their families through frequent Zoom calls.
The pandemic also allowed me to the opportunity to work more autonomously than I might have in the past. Having my direct supervisor, as well as other members of our leadership team, working remotely has posed a unique opportunity for me to be more decisive and confident in my decision-making. Although my colleagues are incredibly responsive while working remotely, there is something about not having a physical presence that forces you to become more independent and, for me, I think it helped me grow and develop as a leader. I have been so impressed with the dedication of our staff, as well as the resiliency of our students.
How do you demonstrate Servant Leadership principles on a daily basis?
I demonstrate Servant Leadership by being present on the residential unit as much as possible; and showing my team that I am willing to do the same work I ask them to do on a daily basis. I am supportive, but I also set high expectations and hold my staff accountable to meet those expectations which they do! We support our students in the same way, and tell them we believe they deserve to be held to a high standard of accountability, and we consistently follow through on those expectations.
What is one thing your colleagues don’t know about you?
My dream vacation would be to visit Dubai.
Why are you a Healthcare Hero?
I was surprised and flattered to be nominated as a Devereux Healthcare Hero. I like to think I make a difference by helping the individuals we serve learn new skills and achieve their goals. And I make a difference with our staff by always having their professional development goals in mind and helping them meet those goals.
Visit www.Devereux.org for more information.