Friday, June 19, 2009

5 Questions for Sally Allshouse, Executive Director

5 questions is our ongoing feature where we introduce you to the people who make Brandywine Counseling run, spotlighting a different staff member every two weeks.

Name: Sally Allshouse
Job: Executive Director
Time with BCI: 21 years

1. You’re retiring at the end of June after a long and distinguished career in addiction treatment. How did you get started in the field?
It was sort of like a coincidence. I student taught in 1969 at Forwood Elementary School. And I ran into the woman who I taught under, at a department store where I was working, and she asked, “Why are you working here?” And [she] had a friend, Rev. Richard Hamilton, who had just been appointed by the Governor to start drug abuse services in the state of Delaware – because before then, there wasn’t any, it was only alcohol services – and she hooked me up with an interview with him. And I was one of the first outreach workers in the State of Delaware back then. So that was 1970.

2. What would people be surprised to know about your job?
One, I love it. That I do know about the clients, still. I do, through incident reports and through talking to the site supervisors, still get very involved with client issues. Every day’s different. There is no typical day. The biggest challenge over the years has been to keep my stress level down, not to prejudge things, try to be fair about situations, and keep a fresh look at what we do and how we do it. I dislike hearing, “That’s the way we do it.” And to me, that’s important, to be able to keep looking at things in a fresh way.

3. What advice do you have for someone who would like to do the job you do?
A student intern, maybe 5 or 6 years ago, asked me that question, and my response to her was that she should learn how to juggle. And I think that’s true. You need to be able to have more than one ball in the air. You need to be able to realize that everything you do is connected, so if you drop one, they could affect the whole organization. So someone needs to be able to think on their toes, and remain calm, and try and get a perspective about what’s going on.

4. If you had $30,000 to donate to BCI, what would you do with it?
You know, there’s so many areas. And I’ve read what people have said to you about what they would do. I would really like a fund established for the kids. There are so many children that are affected by this disease. They stand in line with their parents, or we see them in our outreach, and we see them in all the programs. We have people who are generational here, whose parents were here, and now they’re here. And if we could do something in the prevention area for those kids, I think that would be wonderful.

5. What are you most proud of in your time at Brandywine?
So many things. Services for women, and their children. That’s always been a priority to me. And outreach, I think. Doing our outreach has been very valuable. There’s been a couple of clients that I’ve been really proud of, that have gone from being clients [to being employees.] Someone who served on our board for awhile and then became an employee, I think he’s a great success. Clients who have gone from entry into our medication-assisted programs, all the way to Newark and just coming in monthly. I think there have been great successes for that.

1 comment:

Krystal Cooper said...

Congrats Sally...I hope you have a great retirement and enjoy yourself. Maybe even take up golf??