Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Celebrating Shay Lipshitz’s 19 Years with BCI

Brandywine Counseling gives thanks to and celebrates the career of a longtime member of our team, Shay Lipshitz, as she leaves BCI for new endeavors.

Sheera Lipshitz, or “Shay” as she likes to be called, had many accomplishments in her 19 year career with Brandywine Counseling. She started as an outreach worker in 1991, providing education and intervention in high risk communities about drug abuse, safe sex, and HIV/AIDS. She then joined the Assertive Treatment Team, providing counseling and case management to severely and persistently ill I.V. drug addicts. She helped to develop BCI’s original program for pregnant women, Diamond Deliveries. This partnership with Wilmington Hospital provided supportive services to drug-addicted women with high risk pregnancies in their homes. In 1994 she returned to the Assertive Treatment Team as Project Director.

In 1997 BCI opened its Riverfront Site and Shay became Site Supervisor, overseeing the methadone program, transitional housing, transportation, and all BCI’s case management programs. In 2003, BCI expanded into Sussex County and Shay became Site Supervisor at the Georgetown Site, overseeing the Project Renewal homeless program. In 2007, when BCI was awarded state funding to start the Lighthouse residential treatment program, she oversaw the project from startup to opening within a 4 month period, including completely renovating an old shelter home, and forming partnerships with social service providers and the faith community.

Shay received her MHS in 1995 from Lincoln University and has been a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor since 1992. She was the project director on 3 grants from the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT). She served on the Homeless Planning Council; the Division of Drugs, Alcohol & Mental Health DUI Appeals Committee; and the Delaware HIV Consortium Policy Committee. She received the Kelly/Pazzaglini Memorial Institute Scholarship Award in July 1999 and the Brandywine Counseling President’s Award in 1999. Shay brought to BCI her experience providing women-specific treatment, treatment for pregnant women, and ability to implement non-traditional services. She knew that environment plays a crucial role in recovery from substance abuse and addiction. She also brought a passion for helping others in need and was quick to roll up her sleeves and get her hands dirty to get a job done.

Shay is a strong advocate for treatment and recovery because she knows personally that treatment works. She believes addiction is a deadly disease that left untreated kills more than the person, and destroys families, homes, health, dreams, hope and dignity. She takes joy in keeping families together that otherwise would have been separated, and watching the faces of children who are spared the suffering that comes with active addiction.

Our BCI family is grateful to Shay for her many years of service, for touching the lives of countless individuals affected by addiction, and for being a part of our lives. We will miss her and wish her all the best in her future pursuits.


Anonymous said...

shayTo my Brandywine family,
I have spent my entire recovery life growing up at BCI. Nineteen years ago and new in recovery I was given a chance. The opportunity was life changing and remarkable. It has been a wonderful ride with opportunities to give back the one thing that I was given in recovery HOPE! I have always believed that “an addict, any addict, can stop using and find a new way to live”. To have worked over the years and watched recovery come to so many has been a joy I can never forget.
BCI has been my home. The agency, the people I have worked with and most of all the clients we served will forever be part of my story. I am leaving home to venture on new endeavors. I have no regrets and applaud the people who continue to work in this field. Life is precious and helping people achieve balance and satisfaction in their lives is noble.
Thank you all

Krystal Cooper said...

Shay you will be greatly missed!

Krystal Cooper
Georgetown BCI