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Employee Spotlight – Erika Herits

Interview conducted by: Nichole Buckley

Over the last 5 ½ years, Erika has worked in different roles within the organization from Specialist to Clinical Supervisor where she has helped assist with onboarding a new hire class and developed and formalized the Bilingual Team.  Erika holds her BA in Psychology and MS in Mental Health Counseling and has worked in different areas of mental health services providing direct client care to children, adolescents, families, and adults in settings such as community mental health centers, therapeutic school settings, residential home, a crisis center, and her own private practice.

☀ What brought you to Vital Decisions?

I needed a change in my career. When a former colleague of mine learned of Vital Decisions, she suggested I look into it. As I did my research on the mission, I was really drawn to Vital Decisions. Unfortunately, I experienced a lot of loss at an early age. I wondered how something like Vital Decisions’ Living Well program could help families be more prepared for end of life experiences. I thought to myself that having these appropriate conversations ahead of time could potentially reduce the amount of complicated grief.

☀ What makes Vital Decisions different from any other organization you’ve been a part of?

The focus and investment on clinical growth that involves coaching, trainings, clinical groups, and supervision. I have had great supervisors in the past who have helped me develop clinically and professionally. I’ve really appreciated it. Vital Decisions is an organization dedicated to clinical growth and quality through innovative ways.

☀ How does your personal background impact the work you do daily?

As a Latina, talking about end of life was not something we did growing up. It just was not a part of the conversation. No one ever wanted to discuss personal preferences or end of life wishes as health issues came up. There was this belief that talking about it would bring death sooner. I believe if Vital Decisions had been available to my family and myself years ago, there would be less doubt and less complicated grief following losses in my family. I am passionate about our mission and the great work we do here for all of our clients and their families.

☀ What are some the things that have made you successful in your role?

Being comfortable with change and making mistakes. It can be hard, but it is the way we learn. It’s the way we find out what success really is. I have made plenty of mistakes and I’ve certainly learned from them. The supervisory team along with my team of specialists help me be successful. I believe in them and they believe in me and so we grow together.

☀ What’s been your biggest accomplishment in your career? What do you hope to achieve in your career?

I’ve really enjoyed working with other clinicians who have a desire to grow clinically. Helping them to identify their own reasons for wanting to be in the helping field and what drives them is important to me. I’m passionate about them and seeing their growth. I hope they see and feel that.

Pamela Edgar, Supervisor
Pamela Edgar, Supervisor
“It is such a gift to work with Erika! Her procedural and organizational knowledge is mind blowing, and integral to the supervisory team. She also brings a deep sensitivity and care for others, always looking for ways to provide support and be of service.”
“Erika is a great team leader. She wants you to be successful and will support you in any way she can so you can achieve your goals.”
Ana Pais, Specialist
Ana Pais, Specialist
Allan Zuckoff, VP Clinical Programs
Allan Zuckoff, VP Clinical Programs
“What has always impressed me most about Erika is the seriousness and care with which she treats the work we do. The genuineness of her desire to improve the quality of the care our clients receive by supporting the growth of her supervisees is unmistakable and inspiring.”

“Erika is a kind, caring and thoughtful Supervisor. She goes out of her way to help us whenever we need it, whether professionally or personally. Erika has contributed to my professional growth by encouraging me to put myself out there and step outside of my comfort zone.”
Annabys Jordan, Specialist
Annabys Jordan, Specialist
Michael Naughton, Specialist
Michael Naughton, Specialist
“Any time you need support or assistance, Erika is always there. She is very dedicated to the organization and the staff on her team.”