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Staff Spotlight – Alyssa Warden

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Alyssa Warden, Cazenovia Recovery’s Trauma Coordinator, has been instrumental in cultivating Trauma-Informed Care (TIC) throughout the agency over the last six months. This model of care, which acknowledges a resident’s past history of trauma, has led to “a shift in the thinking,” according to Alyssa. “Staff are noticing connections between their work and how Trauma-Informed Care relates to it.” This allows them to partner with residents to get to the root of the trauma and understand how and why it happened.

As a testament to the benefits of this model of care, TIC is becoming pervasive throughout agency trainings and counseling sessions thanks to Alyssa’s strong dedication to the model. She was pleased to see that everyone was able to give specific examples of Trauma-Informed Care at a recent Case Conference meeting at Supportive Living. According to Alyssa, Cazenovia Recovery is committed to “putting Trauma-Informed Care at the forefront.”

Feedback from residents has been “really positive,” she said. “They’re very interested.” Not surprisingly, Alyssa has noticed that residents are willing to acknowledge that they have experienced trauma. “They want to learn more and they’re also more willing to talk about it,” said Alyssa.

Staff feedback has also been positive, especially since the agency is placing more emphasis on self-care. TIC recognizes that many people working in this field have prior histories of trauma themselves. Employees need to ensure that they are processing their own trauma while simultaneously caring for others. Because of this, Alyssa is consistently creating fun and innovative ways for staff to engage in the practice of self-care. Her emails reminding everyone to take their lunches away from their desks are particularly welcomed by staff. Even at Admin, Alyssa has noticed more people taking their lunch away from their desks and eating together in the training room.

Alyssa enjoys working with all of our sites and getting to know our staff members in particular. “This agency is full of dedicated people who care about what they do,” she said. This dedication was apparent when she recently relaunched the TIC Mentor Sessions, which seek to train our programs in TIC practices. There are now 20 TIC mentors throughout the agency and about ten new people joined with the relaunch. “My mentor team is really passionate,” she was happy to note.

She has only been with our agency a short time, but Alyssa is already impressed with what she sees. In fact, she finds herself inspired by “how amazingly open staff are to feedback and their willingness to learn and grow.” With her help, we will continue to do so.

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