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Stopping to Focus on ‘You’ is Pivotal in Professional Growth
Holly Kees

Holly Kees, LCSW-C, LCADC
Program Coordinator
Washington County Health Department,
Division of Addictions and Mental Health Services

Holly Kees began her career with the Washington County Health Department Division of Addictions and Mental Health Services as a Direct Care Trainee for C.S.A.P (Catoctin Summit Adolescent Program). Her initial professional focus on human services evolved over time and she turned her attention to the mental health and addictions field after working with substance abusing adolescents. Consequently, Holly decided to pursue a degree in social work and has continued to build on her career within the Washington County Health Department Division of Addictions and Mental Health Services.  In 2006 Holly was nominated to participate in the Leadership Institute as an emerging leader.

How has your mentor helped you?
My mentor was a good match for me and helped me to meet my leadership development needs.  His leadership style was different from my supervisor’s and I benefitted from being challenged in a whole new way.  He facilitated professional growth, opened networking doors, and introduced me to new topics.

What advice has been the most helpful to you?
Don’t take yourself too seriously!  My mentor encouraged me to keep everything in perspective and live a balanced life.  One of his most valuable pieces of advice was that “you can’t make everyone happy all the time.”  From his feedback and my experience with the Leadership Institute I learned that a critical element of successful leadership is the ability to say “no”.

What was your Leadership Institute project?  
My project entitled, In Search of a Shared Treatment Paradigm, was an initiative designed to evaluate the staff development needs at C.A.M.E.O. House with an emphasis on the needs of the Community Health Outreach Workers.  The Outreach Workers are on the frontlines dealing directly with clients, yet frequently possess the least amount of training and receive the least amount of support.  The field of addictions has evolved dramatically over the past decade. These changes have created dissension among professionals and para-professionals around what makes addiction treatment effective.  By building a shared treatment paradigm among staff on what constitutes effective delivery of treatment services, I hypothesized that treatment outcomes would improve.  To evaluate the consensus among staff a survey was developed examining the degree of variance in staff perceptions of teamwork, recovery, administrative processes, services and staff/resident relationships at C.A.M.E.O. House.  Survey findings identified where the greatest variances existed.  This information was then used to create corresponding workforce development initiatives.  Survey results conducted a year later indicated communication improvements between Outreach Workers and Senior Staff and improved treatment outcomes for C.A.M.E.O. House residents.  On a personal note, having developed a tool to provide objective measures on the effectiveness of treatment services has been extremely gratifying. I’ve discovered a love for program development and will continue to use the tool to monitor progress and implement ongoing workforce development initiatives.

What advice would you give to an emerging leader? 
The Leadership Institute is a great opportunity for leadership development.  It allows you time to stop and focus on yourself.  This is pivotal in professional growth and challenges you to push yourself to the next performance level.  The Leadership Institute provides a great deal of creative leeway utilizing an approach where you have freedom to make your own choices.

Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years? 
Doing something I love!  I will remain committed to the mental health and addictions field with a focus on program growth and development.  I will also continue to strive for a balanced life while pursuing my passion.

Holly Kee's Bio

Holly Kees’ focus for the past five years has been on program development.  She is currently the Program Coordinator for C.A.M.E.O. (Children and Mothers Experiencing Opportunity) House, a women and children’s residential treatment facility and a small outpatient addictions clinic called W.I.T.S. (Women in Treatment Services).

Her responsibilities include general oversight of the day-to-day program operations, including clinical and administrative supervision of staff and treatment services.  She also serves as an active member of the Division of Addictions and Mental Services management team.

Ms. Kees received a Bachelor of Social Work from Hood College and a Masters of Social Work from the University of Maryland School of Social Work.  She is a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW-C) and a licensed clinical alcohol and drug counselor (LCADC). 

Ms. Kees serves on the Quality Assurance/Utilization Review Committee for the Division of Addiction and Mental Health Services and is a member of the Addictions Advisory Council’s Co-Occurring Subcommittee.

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