Director of Quality Assurance for Mental Health ServicesNew York"I just love my job. It’s amazing to watch the development of the staff, their personal growth, and how well they’re helping clients."
Susan Pikser has worked with Phoenix House for the last decade. Before joining our team, Susan was an elementary school teacher. She also worked at the Long Island Jewish Hospital providing health education to nonmedical staff before returning to school to pursue a career in social work. She has a Master of Science in education and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW).
Susan began her work serving clients with co-occurring mental illness and chemical dependency at A Program Planned for Life Enrichment (APPLE), a New York-based provider that later merged with Phoenix House. She had left APPLE before the merge occurred and was hired by Phoenix House 10 years later, after being interviewed by some of her former colleagues who got her excited about the organization.
As director of quality assurance for mental health services at Phoenix House Brentwood Campus, Susan supervises a staff of health care professionals specializing in mental health. She provides training, coaches student interns, helps social workers grow their careers, develops curriculum, and sits on various committees. There is a lot of mentoring involved in her job, which she said is part of what sets Phoenix House apart—not all programs have the ability to offer that level of clinical supervision. Susan is fully dedicated to ensuring high quality care for Phoenix House clients.
Susan is proud that Phoenix House also incorporates vocational services in the program. Years ago, she said, clients struggling with mental health illnesses had to put working on the back burner. Now, however, she has seen many clients become stable, learn new skills, and begin to work—a very big deal.
“I just love my job. It’s amazing to watch the development of the staff, their personal growth, and how well they’re helping clients—we’re doing our very best to provide high quality care,” Susan said.