Valley Behavioral Health names new local director
November 28, 2014
Dodie Wilson had to make a decision.
She was always interested in psychology, but ultimately became an elementary school teacher, instead. She was quickly promoted from vice principal to acting principal within a few years. If she wanted to continue in school administration, though, she needed to further her education.
"I had to decide if that was what I wanted to do," Wilson said.
As it turns out, it wasn’t.
Rather than continue working as an administrator at Carden Academy, which is now Park City Day School, Wilson decided to pursue a master’s degree in counseling. She became a licensed professional counselor and joined the staff at Valley Behavioral Health about six years ago.
She served as the substance abuse program manager for the last few years, before being named interim director in August.
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From educating adolescents to dealing with a myriad of behavioral issues, Wilson’sjob description may have changed, but not her focus.
"I was always very involved in the community when I was a school administrator," she said. "It’s just now, I am really committed to looking at what the community behavioral needs are, too."
‘Mental Health Authority’
Summit County contracts with Valley Behavioral Health in Park City, 1753 Sidewinder Dr., as a local mental health authority to provide state and federal authorized behavioral health services.
"We offer treatment for individuals of all ages and demographics," Wilson said.
Valley Behavioral Health offers a variety of programs to residents in both English and Spanish, including domestic violence therapy, substance abuse treatment, and outpatient services.
Six full-time therapists are employed, along with three part-time therapists, a part-time nurse, and a part-time medical doctor.
The prevention department has established a strong presence within the school district, offering substance abuse programs targeted at both teens and adolescents across Summit County. Within the last month, Valley Behavioral Health began offering both individual and family services to middle and high school aged-students.
‘Part of the Fabric’
Rich Bullough, Summit County health director and Valley Behavioral Health board member, said Valley Behavioral Health is "a critical community partner" and "part of the fabric" of the county.
About four years ago, most people in Summit County didn’t really know what Valley did, Bullough said, but the staff really turned the focus around in the community within the last few years, especially Victoria Delheimer.
"I was concerned when Victoria left because she changed the whole dynamic," Bullough said. "She took an entity that was kind of invisible to the public and built partnerships with other departments and the community."
One of the partnerships that Delheimer fostered the creation of the drug court and similar preventative programs.
"Delheimer was focused on preventing people from recycling in and out of the jail and the legal system," Bullough said. "And I think that really changed the dynamic. But Dodi is a clinician who also brings the community component and is very vested in drug court and preventive programs.
"She has stepped into that role and is absolutely perfect," he added.
Summit County Chief Prosecutor Matt Bates said Valley Behavior Health is instrumental in helping the county run the drug court programs.
"It’s a huge asset to have a treatment provider in Summit County," Bates said. "I’m kind of excited to see what Dodi can do with her strong treatment background. She has a lot of compassion for the people she works with and we’ve been happy with Dodi’s enthusiasm for what’s going on over there."
‘It is the core to everything we do’
Even though she’s been with Valley Behavioral Health for more than six years, Wilson was named interim director to become acclimated with the role before stepping in as director of services.
"The idea is just to see how I like the position and see how they like me before I become the permanent director," Wilson said.
"But I like it," she added quickly.
Part of Wilson’s role as director has required her to manage all of the programs and to ensure they are meeting the community’s needs.
From July 1, 2013 until June 30, 2014, Valley Behavioral Health saw 3,887 patients. 2,464 patients were diagnosed with mental health issues and 321 patients diagnosed with substance abuse problems, with the remaining 1,102 patients participating in the preventative programs.
Wilson regularly meets with the county’s attorneys as part of the drug court team and works closely with Valley Behavioral Health in Salt Lake City.
"I can’t overstate it enough," Wilson said. "Mental health is the core to everything we do," she said. "We all really care and work tirelessly to meet the behavioral health needs of the community because when people are heard and get the help they need, it really helps everyone in the community.
"If we can help somebody with their emotional issues, they can become higher functioning," Wilson said. "It trickles down to positively affect the community that we live in."
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