Crestwood is known for our extraordinary level of commitment to our implementation of Evidence-Based Practices, from WRAP to DBT to Supported Employment. We are now being recognized as leaders in organizational education and learning. On November 9th, we were pleased to celebrate the Open House for Crestwood’s Peer Employment Learning Center (PELC) located on our Crestwood San Diego campus! The inspiration for creating the PELC began more than 10 years ago and stemmed from the vision of Patty Blum, Crestwood Executive Vice President and Supervisor for the Recovery Resilience Solutions (RRS) team, and George C. Lytal, Crestwood Chief Executive Officer, who both wanted to bring a state-of-the-art learning center that is dedicated to providing training and preparation for Peer Support Specialists in the workplace, training for the supervision of peers, and organizational recovery training for Crestwood.
More than 80 people attended the event and included representatives from San Diego County Behavioral Health Services; Riverside County Department of Mental Health; local hospitals and businesses; Crestwood Home Office executives and staff; Crestwood San Diego and Hummingbird Healing House staff; and RRS staff. Attendees were given tours of the PELC which features an open area with an abundance of natural light, as well as offices and meeting spaces, and a patio area with a stunning hummingbird mural(created by our very own Vanny Pareno). All of these design elements in the space reflect our Crestwood standard of creating beautiful homelike and healing environments.
The Open House program was kicked off by Scott Palluck and Chris Martin from RRS who welcomed guests and introduced speakers including Dr. Luke Bergmann, the Director of Behavioral Health for San Diego County and the President of Cal MHSA, who spoke about the PELC as a place of learning and connection; and Derek Dobbins, Crestwood President and COO, who noted our RRS partnership and our organizational vision. Yusef Abner, Crestwood DOO, also talked about our organization being a learning community where we are given the opportunity to learn from the people we serve; and Gene Johnson and Lori Ashcraft shared leading from the heart and the recovery journey. Two graduates of the PELC pilot program also shared their inspirational recovery journeys that included starting at our San Diego MHRC, transitioning to the Hummingbird Healing House and then graduating from the pilot PELC program and becoming Crestwood employees. They both reflected on what it means to them to be able to give back to their community as Peer Support Specialists.
This day truly marked an important moment in Crestwood history that we are very proud of. Thank you to everyone for the support and partnership in moving this vision forward and making it a reality that will change the lives of so many! The PELC demonstrates our commitment to recovery as an organization and training Peer Support Specialists who will lead the way in mental health recovery and illuminating a recovery pathway for our global community.