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Group 401

Grow With Us: Meet Jen!

Grow With Us: Meet Jen!Meet Jen! Jen’s career at Horizon is one of a kind. She began her career at Horizon in 2010 as a Substance Use Disorder (SUD) Counselor before leaving Horizon and the City of Buffalo for another opportunity in 2012. However, we were ecstatic to welcome her back to Horizon in 2018 as a Clinical Training Specialist, before she was promoted to Coordinator of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) in 2020. As of September 2021, Jen has been serving as Horizon’s Director of DEIB and is responsible for leading our organization’s strategy and vision in supporting a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace and community where all feel like they belong. Continue reading to learn more about how Jen grew and built her career at Horizon.

What kinds of trainings/ad hoc committees/workgroups have you been a part of that have supported your growth?

Upon returning to Horizon in 2018, I was part of the Children’s Workgroup to help develop the assessment and training for Hertel-Elmwood’s Children’s Outpatient program. Shortly after returning, I also joined the DEI Committee (now known as the DEIB Council). Eventually, I began co-leading the Community Events Subcommittee, and now lead Horizon’s DEIB Council as well as Endeavor Health Services’ Council through Horizon Health Alliance.

I also was part of multiple training workgroups for different job roles, the DEIB Strategic Planning Committee, the Workforce Development Strategic Planning Committee, the Trauma-Informed, Resilience-Oriented Care (TIROC) Workgroup, and more.

I’ve also been grateful to be a part of many external local and national committees such as ASAP’s DEI Committee, the Karen Lee Spaulding Leaders of Color, Erie County Suicide Prevention Coalition’s DEIB Committee, and more!

There have been so many trainings over the years that have contributed to my development into the role of Director of DEIB, and I’m grateful I’ve gotten to take part in so many opportunities!

Can you speak to the mentorship relationships you’ve developed over the years and how these have helped you grow as a leader?

All my supervisors throughout my time at Horizon have been mentors to me in different capacities. For example, my current supervisor, Veronica, has truly helped me to develop professionally and grow into the leader that I am currently.

The Employee Services team has had a huge impact on me as well – including Lindsay and Kelly. The knowledge and experience they’ve been able to share with me has given me a better understanding of the work we do company-wide, as well as the impact that we have throughout the community.

Chrisi, Horizon’s Corporate Director of Communication, has also been a mentor to me since I started in the role of DEIB Coordinator. Although she’s not part of my direct team, our work has so much overlap. Her guidance and support have been invaluable to my growth and development as a leader.

Senior Leadership team members Erin and Brandy have also made a huge impact on me personally and professionally, as well as former CEO and President Anne.

I feel so fortunate to have the opportunity to work for, and alongside, such incredible team members. I am constantly learning something new with each interaction I have with all of them.

Do you have any goals for further growth within your role at Horizon?

My journey in this DEIB world continues to be ever-evolving. I hope that my specific role will continue to evolve and grow based on the needs of the company and for the community at-large. The need for an expansion of DEIB programming has continued to increase, and so I’m proud to now have an official DEIB Team to lead Horizon Health Alliance forward!

What would you say to someone who may be interested in growing in their career with Horizon?

There is so much possibility here! Don’t get stuck in the idea that you must continue in a role where you don’t feel you can grow. When I first began as a Substance Use Disorder (SUD) Counselor, I never imagined that I would one day be the Director of DEIB. Over the years, the opportunities that have come my way (trainings, workgroups, committees, etc.) and all the people I’ve interacted with and have been mentored by, have helped me grow my career to where it is now. When I left Buffalo and Horizon in 2012, I knew the plan was to move back one day. And when that day got closer, I knew that I wanted to come back to Horizon.

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