MEET THE TALENTED AND DEDICATED PROFESSIONALS OF HUMAN SERVICE
Or do you know one – perhaps someone important in your life or your community?
Tell us your story
Illinois’ human services professionals are talented, dedicated and smart. We call them our super humans.
Amy Loterstein, Care Manager
Brittney Hale, Adult Outpatient Therapist
Denise Bowman, Training and Community Development Associate
Amanda Gruber, Physical Therapist
Camy Duggins, Activities Specialist
Kristy Little, Family Counseling Center
SOCIAL WORKER, FAMILY ALLIANCE
Family Alliance provides a range of services for older adults.
“A lot of people we serve are facing a multitude of obstacles, some of which include but are not limited to mental illness, financial hardship, physical illness and loss. These obstacles are often inter-related. For example, if one is facing physical illness, they may have to stop working which can lead to financial strain. Stress from their physical illness, job loss and the financial strain can trigger depression and/or anxiety. Mental illness can in turn impact the way one cares for their physical health. This can become quite a vicious cycle. One rewarding aspect of this job is helping people face these obstacles in healthy ways, helping them to increase problem-solving, coping and other valuable life skills.”
“I have seen firsthand that making baby steps can make a big difference. I may just be planting seed with a client and I might not see the end-outcomes. I’ve learned over the years to count any progress because the small steps are important.”
PROGRAM SERVICES DIRECTOR, LIFESCAPE COMMUNITY SERVICES
Lifescape works to keep older adults in northwestern Illinois nutritionally healthy, independent, connected and informed.
“One of the things we do is help clients understand the complex healthcare marketplace. I worked with one family that was facing more than $20,000 in annual prescription expenses and simply had no idea what to do. I ended up connecting them with various programs, helped them through the process of getting new insurance and find a different insurance. We brought their costs down to less than a $1,000 per year. That is an extreme example, to be sure, but sometimes people just need an advocate.”
“My work has its roots in my upbringing. I grew up in a good home. My parents taught me love and compassion and to show that towards others. I got involved in the Salvation Army when I was 15 years old. I was involved in food distribution and services for homeless. Over the years I spent time in Bolivia and South Africa and a lot of rural communities where you see a lot of need.”
“In college, I started in mechanical education but wanted to find my true calling. So I changed to social work because it’s inline with my value system. I get as much as I give when it comes to my work.”
OUTREACH WORKER, THRESHOLDS
Thresholds provides healthcare, housing, and hope for thousands of persons with mental illnesses. Jim Czapkowicz is on a team that outreaches directly to homeless on CTA trains and facilities.
“I work with people that are experiencing mental health issues like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder and who have slipped through the cracks somewhere along the lines and ended up on the street. I work to get them housed and their basic needs met, which is the foundation of anyone’s life. Then we work to connect them to programs that can help improve their lives even further.”
“Of course, there are setbacks. There are people we help that end up falling back on to the street and we try again. But, we have seen people who have successfully pulled themselves out of extremely difficult circumstances. Seeing someone go from nothing to having a warm bed, consistent supply food and medical attention is very gratifying. That’s rewarding for me on so many levels.”
Are You a Super Human? Or do you know one – perhaps someone important in your life or your community? Tell us your story.