Staff Spotlight: Gina Sheehan shares insights of Latham’s life-changing work

August 9, 2018

Gina Sheehan has taken on a new role at Latham as Director of Adult Services, after 9 years of service in our Children’s Program. Gina was recently promoted, and VP of Operations Lee Chamberlain said she couldn’t be happier to have this enthusiastic, energetic leader guiding the program. Gina’s talents, education, and qualifications are impressive; she is a licensed social worker (LCSW) and earned a Bachelor of Science (Social Work) from the University of New Hampshire and Master of Social Work from Boston University. Gina has presented at national conferences on numerous clinical topics, and she is a certified instructor of CPI’s Nonviolent Crisis Intervention training.

Gina’s professional development path is the perfect example of “growing a career” at Latham Centers. She has held several positions here, including direct care services, clinician, and most recently Director of Children’s Residential Services. “With Gina joining our Adult Program, we have an exceptional role model who will continue to enhance the sharing of support, resources, and team building across programs,” Lee said. From Gina’s perspective, “Moving to Adult Services has reaffirmed for me that this entire agency is filled with talented and dedicated people.” Gina was surprised by the number of staff members in our Adult Program who have chosen to remain at Latham for many years—even decades. “There is so much knowledge and experience, but mostly there is an understanding of how important it is to be at Latham. Throughout our agency, people have dedicated large parts of their lives to ensuring quality of care and advocacy for the residents at every level,” Gina said.

Gina has also learned more about Latham’s Shared Living and Independent Living programs. “I’ve learned how self-determination, voice, and focus on increased independence must drive treatment goals. And I have learned much more about the impact of advocacy in this field and learned that advocacy starts with the needs of the residents and is broadened to a macro level so Latham can continue to change the lives of others.”

It is the opportunity to make lives better that brought Gina to Latham originally, she said. “That is still true today. But at this time in my life and my professional career, I have more to say. You get into the human services field because the work is rewarding at first. You arrive there because it’s your passion to care and help. No one ever told me it would change me. No one tells you that you are going to adapt, learn from the people you work with, and be the very best person you can be. Latham has changed me. It’s helped me grow into a dynamic, caring, and patient professional. I have learned lessons from the students and residents at Latham that I will never find in a text book: I’ve learned from them to appreciate each day, laugh, take your time, try your hardest, actually listen to what people say—and especially to what people don’t say—, and to be authentically yourself. I am forever grateful for these lessons; that’s what keeps me at Latham.”

For anyone interested in exploring a career at Latham, Gina offers this insight: “Know that once you step foot on the campus or into one of the group residences, you won’t ever come back from it the same. Know that working here will make you your best self and the responsibility you have is vast. Make this agency a part of your life and you won’t regret it.”