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Change Agents Celebrate Nurses

Nurses are a valuable contributor to the treatment of individuals with co-occurring disorders. Trying to do effective treatment without a nurse would be like trying to eat a PB&J without the peanut butter. Nurses are known for their dedication and compassion. Two vital elements when helping an individual recover. Embracing a cause and working towards a cure, is the underpinning of the nursing profession. Without discrimination, nurses open their hearts and minds to offer support to others.


In an effort to express our appreciation of nurses, a few Change Agents have submitted thoughtful anecdotes about the nurses on their teams. We wish we had room to publish all the splendid words we have heard about nurses. Since we are unable, please take these stories as a representation for all the talented and caring nurses through out our system. We are grateful!


As the program director of the Psychiatric Alternative Resources (PAR) at the Turning Point of Central California, Tamlyn Townsend, the PAR nurse, embodies the Solution-Focus approach with Co-occurring clients. She looks for and asks questions to help the clients focus on a workable solution to their illness. Her interactive and collaborative style, as well as a welcoming attitude, makes the clients more open to share their new options or to reconsider an older option that they were not able to do before, or wanted to do but were to afraid to do or to ask for help. She is always open to collaboration with others to find better ways for the clients to find a workable solution. She goes the extra mile for the clients by planting a seed of hope for a solution to come in the future when they are ready to activate that change.

- Matthew Bader, MFT


Our nurses at Kern Linkage Program go above and beyond. Regina Kane and Joan Muller truly are the front lines of our medical staff. Both nurses have worked hard to minimize wait time for clients and their med checks and quickly handle medication issues. Regina Kane proactively handles medication issues and is able to remember almost every client she has met with at least one time. Along with her normal duties will provide nutritional education to clients to address their physical health needs including writing down lists of good and bad foods. Joan Muller has a longstanding rapport with clients and goes above and beyond to make sure they are able to maintain stability. She has been known to travel to client’s houses or shelters to provide injections to clients who due to their symptoms are unwilling or unable to come into the clinic. She also takes care of staff by providing a drawer stocked with chocolate and a friendly ear. Truly our nurses complement each other well and keep KLP running smoothly.

- Erin Funston, KLP


Wennie Rose Villanueva is an LVN who was assigned to the West Bakersfield Adult Recovery and Wellness Clinic and Forensics Teams. Wennie Rose has become an instrumental and effective team member. Wennie is a highly motivated and compassionate helper to individuals and families served by either team. Individuals served at Kern County Mental Health have expressed sincere appreciation for the dedication and cordial reception they experience when served by Wennie Rose in any of several roles she fulfills. As a team member, I have personally come to respect and admire the gracious attitude, positive outlook, and the sincere helping response and support Wennie Rose provides to all case coordinators and clinical staff assigned at this location. In spite of all these responsibilities, Wennie Rose is an inspirational human servant with an infectious smile and a genuine desire to improve the lives of the people served. Again, it gives me great honor to introduce my team member and to recognize the quality work she performs consistently in a public forum.

- Ruben Varela, RSIII

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