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Embracing the Changing Healthcare Landscape: A Q&A with Sherry Ellis, Spectrum’s New Chief Operating Officer

In Massachusetts, and across the country, there has been an ongoing shift towards the integration of addiction and mental health services. Integrated treatment is when mental health services and addiction treatment are provided at the same time in one setting. Spectrum Health Systems has always believed that substance abuse is a complex disease and therefore requires a holistic approach that addresses all identified needs.

As Spectrum seeks to continue its integration efforts, we looked to bring a dynamic force in the behavioral healthcare field to the leadership team. We’re excited to report that Sherry Ellis, a long-time mental health professional, joined us in December as our new COO! Recently, we interviewed Sherry to learn more about her background and her new role at Spectrum.

Q: How did you hear about Spectrum Health Systems?

A: I’ve been familiar with Spectrum Health Systems for a long time. Having spent 30 years in the behavioral health field in Massachusetts, I knew well of their reputation and long history as a leader in addiction treatment.

I was contacted by Spectrum at a time when I wasn’t planning to make a change, but the passion, vision and caring nature of this team sealed the deal for me - it was meant to be.

Q: What drew you to Spectrum?

A: Over the course of my career I’ve been acutely aware of industry changes and opportunities, and was excited at the idea of applying my mental health experience to substance abuse treatment in a more concrete way. The integration is important, and I’m glad to be a part of it.

Q: What does your role entail?

A: In a broad sense, my role as COO will be to continuously look at the emerging change in the healthcare environment and help Spectrum remain competitive. On a daily basis, I’ll be working with an excellent team to stay on top of operations in the field, and plan for growth through new contracts, new business objectives, marketing initiatives and so much more.

In the past month, I have really enjoyed being involved in the day-to-day of this business as well as planning for the future. I believe Spectrum will be on the forefront of the healthcare system of the future.

Q: What are you hoping to accomplish in this new role?

A: For Spectrum, I hope to continue the strong work already being done, and build upon Spectrum’s strengths in addiction and mental health treatment.

For myself, I can’t wait to work with such a solid team and progress in my own personal and professional development. I look forward to working with Spectrum for a long time.

Q: Tell us more about your life outside Spectrum.

A: I’ve lived in Massachusetts my entire life and earned my bachelors and master’s degrees from Boston College. Outside of work, the biggest part of my life is my family. I have two children, both currently pursuing advanced degrees. My daughter, a college athlete, keeps me traveling a lot.

I truly enjoy keeping up with my friends, reading, following sports and hitting the gym.

Upon her start at Spectrum, Sherry penned a wonderful article on the importance of women in leadership for the Worcester Business Journal. It’s worth a read, so check it out here.

Interested in joining the Spectrum team as well? Take a look through our current openings and get in touch.

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