Healthcare Alternative Systems’ talented, committed staff make all the difference. Because of them, we can provide life changing behavioral healthcare services. Patti Moore is one of the amazing individuals who helps make H.A.S. a leader in the field. We are excited to feature Patti, who joined the organization in July 2016, in our very first employee profile. In 2018 she was recognized as H.A.S.’ Manager of the Year. In her current role, Patti serves as Program Manager of our Broadview, Melrose Park, and Proviso Township sites.
How and why did you decide to join Healthcare Alternative Systems?
I had worked for probation departments for several years and had a history of sending probationers to H.A.S. for their substance use treatment services because of the accountability and quality of services offered by staff members. When my contract with DuPage County Probation lapsed, H.A.S. was in need of a clinician. Because of my connections to the agency, H.A.S. reached out to me to offer a full-time position. I had interviews with 3 other agencies but felt that H.A.S. was the best fit for me professionally. There was the great reputation for quality treatment, and I knew there’d be long term stability as the organization had been in business for decades. Mostly, I had worked professionally with many of the staff, including my now supervisor, Jesse Tejeda, in my previous position with DuPage and respected them and their level of work and commitment.
Why have you stayed with H.A.S.?
I have stayed because I love what I do and what I am able to do. I started as front-line staff with the hope that there would be opportunities to grow professionally and use the skills/knowledge I had gained over the course of my career. Within 2 years of joining H.A.S., I had the chance to apply for a program manager position. I reached out to my supervisors for feedback, and they were both very supportive and encouraging. I was honored to get the promotion and have not regretted the decision to join H.A.S. or seek advancement.
Additionally, I believe in the possibility of change for anyone who seeks it. Our population is often mandated to pursue treatment. For me, how a participant walks through our doors does not matter. What matters is the work we do to help break the cycle of substance abuse and repair the lives of the individuals, families, and communities we serve. I stay because H.A.S. gives me the chance to put my values into practice each and every day.
What you like about our mission?
H.A.S.’ mission is as relevant today as it was when it was originally written. We live in times that are difficult and complex for many, especially those who lack resources, struggle with substance use and mental health issues, and “throw-away people” who society doesn’t want to or know how to deal with. H.A.S. offers an open door to everyone regardless of race, belief system, gender identity, or ability to pay. We respect and serve everyone who walks through our doors regardless of who they are or where they come from. This is one of the greatest dignities we can give another human being.
Have you felt supported professionally at H.A.S.?
My first program manager was very supportive and helped transition me from the primarily administrative work I was doing at DuPage to more clinical work. He was available for supervision professionally but was also there for me when there were losses in my life. He offered flexibility and made sure to provide additional professional and emotional support. He made every effort to ensure staff he supervised had what we needed to do our jobs. When I asked my supervisor about applying for a promotion, he unselfishly said he would support whatever I decided, even if that meant he would lose me as a staff member.
Jesse Tejeda has been my manager for the past 2 ½ years. He is so very logical and can see things from many perspectives, which I value. Jesse respects my opinion and judgement, and he finds a great balance between supporting me without micro managing or interfering. I know I can go to him with questions and he’ll never make me feel stupid for not knowing how to do something or how to handle a specific situation. He has been my role model as a manager and I hope to live up to the standard he has set.
What do you look forward to when you come to work each day?
I look forward to the diversity of the day. There are challenges that arise that force me into uncomfortable positions but help me grow professionally. I especially love when I hear or see a participant who returns to H.A.S. to let us know how well they are doing because of services and supports they received.
What keeps you working here?
Gratitude for being able to do what I went to school for and for what my heart believes is my life’s work. Working with people that know that they will not become rich with material things but are rich with the knowledge that they are truly making a positive difference in the lives of others.