Regional Program DirectorNew England“I am humbled and honored to effect change in a person’s life and encourage prosperity through my work at Phoenix House."
James Henzel has been working in the field of substance abuse treatment since 1985. During his career in program support and management, he’s worked with all populations—from families to people facing DUIs—and across the continuum of care.
James is certified as a chemical dependency therapist; he has an associate’s degree in chemical dependency and a bachelor’s degree in management from Keene State College. After his own personal recovery from substance abuse, James worked as lodge manager for the treatment center Beech Hill Hospital, where he provided staff supervision and administrative oversight of the facility and accounts. He enjoyed the work and the opportunity to support a range of services, from family to adolescent programming.
James has worked as continuing care facilitator, family program coordinator, adolescent program counselor, and adolescent program manager. He gained experience working with people from all walks of life and found his niche with adolescents. Through the hospital’s inpatient program, James provided individualized adolescent treatment and family counseling along with program orientation.
After working as an account manager at another substance abuse provider, James came to Phoenix House as a program director in 1999. He now works as regional program director of the Phoenix House RISE programs—community-based transitional living and recovery support centers in Bellows Falls, Brattleboro, and Burlington, Vermont.
James took leadership of the RISE programs at a key time and built up their services and partnerships. “The core of the program is life skills training, case management, and networking with the community—setting up services for the individuals,” he says.
Our RISE programs succeed due to collaboration and communication with partners in the community, including the Department of Corrections, recovery centers, and local probation and parole departments. Through these relationships, James is able to connect our clients to other service providers and help them gain the job experience and connections they need to sustain recovery. In turn, Phoenix House clients volunteer for local food banks and recovery centers across the state.
“We try to really focus on the needs of the clients,” James says. “Ultimately we want them to be able to live independently.”