Better Quality of Life
Interview by Stephanie Parmlee:
Kellyn is a clinical supervisor in our Living Well Program. She has been with Vital Decisions for 8 years and in that time has advanced into several new roles. Kellyn started her career at Vital Decisions directly delivering services as a Specialist and helped to test a new role in the organization focused on outreach. Several years ago, Kellyn was invited to join the clinical operations management team where she has served as a clinical supervisor and also helped to pilot a new role of intake coordinator. Kellyn, a board certified art therapist, has a master’s degrees in art therapy. Prior to joining Vital Decisions, she worked for several years in the mental health field and worked with people seeking help with substance use disorders.
“I came to Vital Decisions looking for a new challenge, the opportunity
to expand my experience, and grow my clinical skills.” -Kellyn Lopez
When I was a child, I grew up in Puerto Rico. My family lived in poverty. I was surrounded by very strong women who worked hard and valued education, eventually putting themselves through college in order to succeed. So these values were ingrained in me – you work hard, seek education, and you persevere. Failing is not an option. I also learned the value and priority of helping others. Not surprisingly, the majority of my family in Puerto Rico ended up with careers in the medical field.
My cultural experience allows me to see our clients through a lens of understanding and compassion, especially those with similar backgrounds. It’s common for families like mine to put the doctor on a pedestal, and have complete faith in their decisions.
I feel the culture at Vital Decisions is one of a kind. It far supersedes that of any other employer I have ever worked for. Both the all-around support from the company and the focused encouragement to identify, embrace, and nurture our clinical strengths is something that makes Vital Decisions unique. I’ve had great supervisors here at Vital Decisions who have pushed me out of my comfort zone in order to grow and become more confident as a clinician. And it’s not just the supervisors, it’s the whole team; I learn from them, we work together in achieving the same goal. The company values our opinions and weighs them when making changes.
My team. Having an amazing specialist team and supervisory team brings me to work every day. They push me to be my best and more, which has helped me to grow both personally and clinically. Also hearing client stories and the impact of the work that we do with them makes the work worthwhile.
Having a strong leader to turn to and other strong supervisors that bring different talents to the table. Also being presented with new challenges and having the support to meet and resolve those challenges as well as the unique perspective that the specialists provide have all played a part in my growth over the years.
To not take life for granted, appreciate every moment of everyday because nothing is promised and things can change very quickly. And make sure you are prepared. I had a pivotal experience when my father was on his death bed and I went to Puerto Rico to be with him and my family. Having worked at Vital Decisions for 4 years at this point, I came in and asked the doctors a million questions. I had a lot of eyes on me, because like I mentioned, you don’t question the doctors. It was eye opening to experience our work firsthand in this way.