At Spectrum Health Systems, we put great confidence in our employees. Through various educational initiatives and a supportive company culture, we’ve cultivated a talent pool of which we’re very proud. Lisa Blanchard is a shining example of growth within Spectrum, and we’re thrilled to announce her promotion to Vice President of Clinical Services. Did you know she started as an intern? Learn more about Lisa and her path to the top below.
You’ve been with Spectrum Health Systems since 1999. What first brought you here?
I started as an intern while finishing my Bachelor’s degrees, which turned into a paid position in February of 1999 and was officially promoted as the intake manager in October of 2000. I had studied and wanted to work in mental health, and as I worked at Spectrum I discovered that addiction treatment was my passion. Through the years I’ve held many positions to get me where I am now. Spectrum grows its employees and hires from within. I am one of many examples of that.
What has kept you going in the field for so long?
It’s so rewarding – you see a lot of positive change. Society needs to talk more about the many, many clients who seek and complete treatment, and live prosperous lives in long-term recovery. Mental health issues and addiction can often occur together. For my entire career, I’ve been very focused on bringing mental health and substance abuse treatment together while treating the whole person. I learned early on that as a therapist you must be comfortable working with mental health symptoms as well as addiction.
How has your career progressed?
Following my internship, I started as an intake manager where I took on an administrative role managing patient accounts. Once I’d finished my Master’s degree, I assumed counseling and clinical responsibilities. For the next seven to eight years, I was a program director overseeing several of our outpatient treatment centers. In 2013, I was promoted to director of outpatient operations and took responsibility for all our outpatient treatment centers. In 2016, I was promoted to executive director of both inpatient and outpatient operations. That brings us to today, when I am happily stepping into the role of vice president of clinical services.
Can you explain your new role?
There are a lot of changes coming to the healthcare field, and Spectrum always strives to be on the front lines of these reforms. I’m excited to take on a role in which I’ll be engaged in developing organizational and community partnerships which will help Spectrum move into this new era. We’re also developing new programs to address the changing needs of the communities around us while continuing to implement ways to improve access to treatment.
What is your favorite part of your job?
Knowing that even at the macro level, we’re making a difference. By ensuring that we are running quality programming, I know that I’m impacting clients. I still get to do the impactful work, just not one- on-one counseling anymore.
Where do you see Spectrum Health Systems in the future?
I see it continuing to move forward in integrated care - marrying addiction treatment and all behavioral health, including mental health. It’s very exciting. We’re in a position to help design the behavioral health field of the future.
Tell us about your life outside of Spectrum.
I am always busy with my two young daughters who are eleven and eight years old. I spend my remaining free-time focused on health and wellness. I love to exercise, attend boot camps and stay active.