Caption: Executive Director Art VanDivier with 20-year employee Wanda Benson.
Two centuries is a long time. When La Hacienda recently handed out service awards to 30 staff with landmark work anniversaries, their service totaled just over that: 216 years.
The importance of having employees who willingly return year after year to this service was on Executive Director Art VanDivier’s mind as he welcomed the staff to the September 20 buffet reception in the Dining Hall.
“This is a wonderful facility, but if it were just the buildings and the grounds, nobody could find recovery here. You are the people who make a difference; you see each person who comes through the gate as a unique opportunity to help someone live a new life.”
Benson Completes 20 Years
The longest-serving staffer honored was Wanda Benson, LVN, a Utilization Review Specialist who has been with La Hacienda for 20 years.
Wanda started at La Hacienda as a nurse in the Special Care Unit for 12 years and still works there occasionally. “It’s the best experience ever,” she says of helping patients in their difficult first days of treatment.
As for her reason for staying at La Hacienda, she says the staff is “almost like having an extended family.”
Utilization Review staff work with insurance providers to try and get funding for the full treatment patients need while at La Hacienda.
Her supervisor, Cade Saurage, Director of Utilization Review & Strategic Partnerships, says Wanda is especially helpful with new staff, teaching them what it means to work here.
“The many teams she has been a part of all love her,” adds Cade. “Even representatives from industry partners often take the time to brag on how great she is. Her commitment to this organization is a true blessing.”
Seven employees received 15-year awards: Cody Baker of Information Systems; Annell Decker of Clinical Services; Cynthia Dommert of Environmental Services; Scott Mitchell of the Family Program; Manning Reed of Nursing; and Sally Wall, Receptionist with Human Resources.
Completing their fifth year of service were Maria Sanchez Andrade of Environmental Services; Chris Daniel, Robert Phillips and Chris Rose of Clinical Services; and Michael Taylor, Driver with Admissions.
Thirteen staff members received two-year service awards. They are Linda Bedford of the College Station Office; Chris Boerm, Gate Attendant with Human Resources; Laura Carr, Bill Levens, and Debbie Miller of Clinical Services; Frank Faldet, Stan Mosel and David Price of Food and Nutritional Services; Elliott Franklin of Admissions; Ryan McBride and Leska Sieber of Utilization Review; Denise Pipkin of Health Information Management; and Dale Trees of Alumni Support.
Lisa Schreckenback, Director of Admissions, who joined the La Hacienda staff in 1984, has the longest continuous tenure. Fifteen staff members have been with us more than 20 years.