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Supervisor Spotlight: Debra Cannon

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To Debra Cannon, Site Supervisor of Cazenovia Manor, having strong guiding principles is everything. “We need to understand and embody the vision and mission of Cazenovia Recovery Systems,” she stressed. “I really do believe in support and engagement.” Because of this, Debra takes the time to really vet candidates for employment at Cazenovia Manor. She believes that committed counselors make all the difference, and having worked as a counselor herself, she knows full-well what makes a great counselor.

Originally, she planned on going to school for child psychology and nursing. At the time, she had female family members suffering from addiction. She noticed that they were not receiving proper support nor were they receiving quality care. Because of this, she dedicated herself to understanding how to improve the lives of people in recovery. “I like knowing that I’ve got a chance to make a difference,” she said.

Her career has seen her serve in many varied roles related to recovery. She served as a Case Manager for a recovery program for transgender individuals, and she also has experience in both inpatient and outpatient. A previous employer sent her to Albany to receive specialty training in order to open an adolescent outpatient program here in Buffalo, as well. She also served as an Addictions Supervisor for local program through another agency. All of this adds up to a wealth of knowledge. “It was my goal to get experience,” she remarked.

She has put that knowledge to work as Cazenovia Manor’s Site Supervisor, though she began her career with our agency as New Beginning’s Site Supervisor. There were some initial challenges at Cazenovia Manor since the program has more residents and staff, and thus more to manage. Over the last few months, though, she has noticed “a huge improvement” in the service delivery at Cazenovia Manor. Debra’s dedication to our vision no doubt played a large part in this change. “I’ve got a dedicated team right now that truly understands the needs of our residents.”

She is especially proud of the resident engagement at the program. “Engagement makes a difference,” she said. “Our residents trust us.” This trust is cultivated in part because Debra emphasizes our agency’s collaborative approach to care. “We want to ensure that we’re working with residents instead of dictating to them.” She notes that residents are constantly asked the question, “what do you want to see?” and Debra strives to bring their suggestions into reality.

Cazenovia Manor is certainly doing well lately. Relapses are down, group attendance is up, and many other indicators signify that the program is on the road to success. Alumni often come back to visit or call with an update on how they’re doing. In fact, Debra was proud to say that a former resident recently regained custody of his baby. He specifically called Cazenovia Manor to say that if it wasn’t for the life-changing care he received at the program, his life would be completely different.

Uplifting stories are becoming increasingly common at Cazenovia Manor and it is no doubt due to Debra Cannon’s visionary leadership.

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