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Coming Together in Tragedy


The evening of Sunday, October 8th in Napa County started out for many of us as a calm night, watch- ing football, enjoying the return of loved ones from trips away and a night to prepare for the next work day. Later that night, with very little warning, the weather took a horrific turn, with winds that tore through the area at 70 miles per hour. And with the winds, came deadly fast-moving fires that became infernos almost instantly.

Shortly after 1:00 am on that Monday morning, many of us were awoken to the notification sound on our cell phones, alerting us that a Nixle alert had been received. Then our phones became this continuous beeping of alerts notifying us of the fires and evacuations. The notifications were so widespread, it was hard to comprehend what was occurring. Multiple fires were being reported in Napa, Sonoma, Lake and Mendocino counties. The winds were so strong that it fueled the fires faster than anyone had anticipated. People were forced to flee from their homes with very little warning and had to leave everything they had behind. Sadly, not everyone was able to evacuate in time and some people perished in the fires.

Our Crestwood Leadership Team moved into a heightened state, first assuring those we know, love and are responsible for, that they are safe. Then as leaders, we moved into a place of support and compassion for our staff and clients, to ensure that they and our campuses were safe, and that we were addressing the needs of everyone that needed help.

For many of our Angwin staff these fires triggered prior trauma, as they had already been through the Rocky, Jerusalem, Valley and Clayton fires that had caused significant destruction in 2016 and 2017. Those staff now became the fire veterans to support the staff that were now experiencing firsthand the fear and the power of destruction that fires can do. Many of them were evacuated or had family and friends that were evacuated. Their concern then turned to the possibility of evacuating our Napa Valley 52-bed campus, which thankfully did not happen.

In the days that followed it was amazing to see the outpouring of support from staff from other campuses who offered assistance in the form of vans, evacuation sites, masks, emergency phone supports, donuts, hugs, prayers, and just a “How are you and how can I help.” To those of you who were visibly present and those sending silent prayers and good wishes, we all thank you!

As the fires were contained and people were let back into their homes or learned that their homes had been destroyed, our Crestwood staff rallied around everyone with love and support. We have learned so much from this experience and we will take those lessons forward to help us in our development of our next emergency preparedness plans. One thing that I know is we will never be the same. When you experience the fear, the lack of any control and the absolute love and compassion of people, you are changed. It is an appropriate time to again reflect on our mission and values as an organization. They were created to help guide our organization. They are the foundation of who we are, not only as a business, but at the core of who we are as people. I am so proud to work for an organization where I was blessed to experience those values from people when we needed it the most!

To all who have suffered loss or pain in the Northern and Southern California fires, our prayers of support are with you and your families.


Contributed by:
Pam Norris, Director of Operations

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The Art of Bringing Up Leaders


“Clarity of purpose at both a corporate and personal level is an essential ingredient in the successful leader model.”

-Karen de Tyson
A New Generation of Business Leaders 

Crestwood Behavioral Health, Inc. is an organization that is built by and for people desiring to make a change in the world by creating a continuum of services that empower our clients to live and succeed in their communities. As an organization, we lead the mental health community by example. As individuals, we lead our community of staff, clients, peers, families, business partners, county stakeholders, faith communities, schools and neighbors by example.

Our greatest resource at Crestwood is our human resource. The humanity in human resources is the gift Crestwood brings to this field. The humanity in Crestwood leadership is the cornerstone in the framework of service to others. We exemplify the eight dimensions of servant leadership-listening, empathy, healing, mindfulness, stewardship, growth, and community building, all of which are clearly aligned with our Crestwood values of family, character, flexibility, commitment, enthusiasm compassion, and collaboration. Our values are also linked with our recovery pillars of hope, empowerment, meaningful roles and spirituality. These values, pillars, and dimensions become the lens from which we lead, drive the work we do every day and what we use to develop new leaders from within our Crestwood family. Our staff members embody these values and they serve as the foundation for the programs and services we provide. It is the responsibility of each of our campus Administrators and leadership teams to uphold these values on a daily basis, in all aspects of their positions and roles.

Our Administrators are expected to lead, manage, supervise and demonstrate a wide- array of skills and abilities on a day-to-day basis. Crestwood is a learning community. It is expected that a person in leadership will be trained, oriented, coached, developed and recognized in all areas of their roles. In order to support and grow servant leaders in our organization, we have created a leadership training curriculum and a full mentorship program.

Crestwood’s mentorship program process starts with a robust orientation and onboarding that welcomes our new Crestwood family members. The orientation is designed to create an inviting and compassionate community of employees who care for themselves, each other, and the clients and stakeholders we serve. Orientation is infused with tools for engagement and culturally relevant adult learning methods. After orientation, mentorship continues for our employees with our Crestwood Academy.

Through our Crestwood Academy we engage employees through coaching on the fly, in-services, trainings, workshops, conferences, webinars, environmental practices, demonstrations, mastery of skills and competency building opportunities. Throughout this process, our employees are encouraged to look for ways to achieve their goals, to reach their aspirations, as well as to advance their careers at Crestwood in their field of choice. Our employees are given the opportunity to achieve advanced degrees, licenses and certifications through our Crestwood Scholarship Program. Advancing leaders may also engage in our succession planning process, where management and leadership team members, including Administrators, identify possible new candidates for leadership positions.

Our succession planning at Crestwood involves developing our servant leaders, in all departments, through our comprehensive values-driven mentorship program. Although the mentorship has training, homework, and benchmarks for success, the cornerstone of this program is the relationship built among leaders – a relationship built on honesty, collaboration, compassion, transparency, integrity and love. Crestwood proudly achieved the rare CARF Exemplary Conformance to the Standards for our leadership succession planning process and mentoring to identify future potential leaders in our organization and then providing them with training, education and support to prepare them for these roles.

At Crestwood we are determined and motivated to continue to lead, inspire and keep the humanity in everything we do as we develop our next group of leaders that will take us well into the future and will continue to make a difference in the world we live in.

Contributed by:
Patricia Blum, PhD
Executive Vice President

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The Power of Meaningful Roles


Crestwood Behavioral Health’s whole person approach to healing, wellness, recovery and resiliency includes a focus on enhancing or developing a meaningful role in one’s daily life. As psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor, Viktor Frankl, observed, “Life is never made unbearable by circumstances, but only by lack of meaning and purpose.” Research in positive psychology has found that a meaningful role can lead to a positive attitude, increased happiness, sense of belonging, sense of purpose, increased self-worth and promotes self-accountability.

At Crestwood we embrace the need for meaningful roles and it is one of our four Pillars of Recovery that also includes Hope, Empowerment, and Spirituality. It is defined as positive identities within the places we live, learn, work and socialize, which creates a sense of purpose and value. Crestwood’s healing and resiliency-building campuses promote this in many ways. The people we serve contribute daily to our campuses, including co-creating schedules of activities, participating in the functions of the day and educating staff, either through co-presenting at staff education meetings or participating in change of shifts.

Meaningful roles also come from those we are in a relationship with. Our clients are recognized and valued for their relationships as a roommate, parent, child and community member. As a community member, our clients contribute in positive ways such as volunteering at local homeless shelters or animal rescue groups. Clients often also take on the role of teacher or mentor as they come together to support their fellow residents in their healing. Our Crestwood campuses also provide opportunities for meaningful roles through shared group activities such as art shows and sporting events like the Crestwood Olympics, where more than seven campuses get together for fun and friendly competition.

At Crestwood, opportunities for meaningful roles for our clients do not stop at their discharge. Clients are supported in their recovery and wellness journey by being given the chance to come back and contribute through sharing their personal experiences of recovery at our campuses, volunteering in our communities or continuing with a job they achieved through Dreamcatchers Empowerment Network. Patty Blum, Crestwood Executive Vice President, says, “Supporting and encouraging meaningful roles at our campuses helps to provide our clients with a connection to their values, ethics and higher selves. All of these responsibilities -great or small- give their daily existence purpose, and as such, become their meaningful roles.”

Contributed by:
Cindy Mataraso, Director of Operations
Crestwood Sacramento Home Office