In Celebration of our Intake Team’s Role in the Recovery Journey
As we close out Intake Appreciation Week, we’d like to introduce you to some of the addiction medicine leaders working to make our services accessible, understandable, and welcoming to all. Our team is driven by the fact that addiction is a disease that is treatable with small steps, every day. Often our intake team is part of the initial steps taken in the recovery journey. These are the individuals that you’ll meet during your very first interaction with Master Center. They’re here to serve you (request an appointment here) and are always available to discuss Master Center’s approach to transformation and the rewards of recovery.
Meet Melissa Toomey (King), our Director of Patient Operations Support. Melissa has been a critical part of our growing team since May 2021. Prior to joining Master Center, she worked in a variety of roles in the healthcare industry including acute care hospitals, physician medical groups, and inpatient and outpatient addiction treatment spaces. At Master Center, Melissa combines her healthcare experience with her personal desire to connect people who are struggling with addiction to resources that will help them achieve their recovery goals. Melissa’s main role at Master Center is managing the Intake team, while assisting with patient throughput and operations. Outside of Master Center, Melissa enjoys spending time with her family, reading, and quilting with her grandmother.
Victoria Gill is also a key part of Intake Team. Victoria, who serves as an Intake Coordinator, started at Master Center in January of 2021 as an intern where she shadowed the therapy and medical departments. Upon graduating from Virginia Commonwealth University with her Bachelor of Science in Health, Physical Education, and Exercise Science, she accepted a position as an intake coordinator at Master Center. Outside of working with our intake team, Victoria enjoys cooking, collecting miniature cows, and learning how to identify different types of plants native to Virginia. She is also a full-time cat-mom to Miss Kiki, the sweetest grey tabby to ever exist. In the future, Victoria hopes to obtain her Master of Social Work. We are grateful that Victoria decided to continue her career development with Master Center and we are proud to count her as a valuable part of our growing team.
Another critical component of our team is Claire Lindsey, an Intake Coordinator at Master Center. Claire, a recent graduate of VCU’s undergraduate Social Work program, has played a key role at Master Center for the 9 months. Prior to joining our growing team, Claire worked in the restaurant and service industry for 10 years. She also has vast experience working with children and adults with varying cognitive and physical disabilities, volunteer experience in healthcare systems, and internship experience addressing economic inequality, food insecurity, and helping patients connect to local mental and physical health services. Her personal connection to substance use disorder drove her toward the field of addiction medicine. She works from an abolitionist framework and her approach to her practice is based on the knowledge that patients are the experts on their lived experience. She believes that there are no broken people, but rather broken systems. She chose social work as a way to help address these inequalities and help patients see their resilience and capacity for change, healing, and acceptance. In the coming years Claire hopes to earn her Masters in Social Work and eventually become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, engaging in direct patient care. Outside of working with Master Center’s intake team, Claire enjoys spending time outdoors, cooking and baking, grabbing coffee with friends, and getting out of the city for time in the country.
Equally important is the role of Colleen Stachowiak, an Intake Coordinator at Master Center! Colleen joined our growing team in January 2020 and has been making an impact on the lives of our patients ever since. She is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University where she earned a Bachelor’s in Psychology with a minor in Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies. Fun fact – Colleen was a baker for 20 years before changing careers and joining our mission to serve as a bridge for lifelong recovery! Colleen says that her favorite part of working at Master Center is being able to make meaningful connections with patients before they come in and making sure they feel comfortable throughout the entire process. Outside of Master Center, she enjoys going on walks, reading, baking, playing board games, and attending Washington Capitals hockey games with her family (there’s big rivalry in the family between the Capitals and the Chicago Blackhawks)!
We’re also proud to count Carlos Davila as part of our growing intake team. Carlos began his role as Intake Coordinator Intern with the Master Center this spring. Expected to graduate in May of 2022, Carlos is in the process of completing his final semester of his Bachelor’s Degree at Virginia Commonwealth University, in the field of Health Sciences. He originally began his academic career pursing a degree in Business Management, but redirected his focus toward a career in healthcare because of his strong desire to be able to provide help to others. Prior to aligning with Master Center, he spent the past few years working at an artisan Neapolitan restaurant, Pupatella. Carlos is enthusiastic about the opportunity to gain experiential knowledge through participating with the various teams and patients at Master Center.
Best of all, these are only a handful of the dedicated professionals you’ll meet as part of your recovery journey with Master Center. Each of our team members play a role in defining excellence and compassion in treating those suffering from addiction by providing personalized comprehensive outpatient care. Together, we are bringing the power of evidence-based care to addiction treatment, creating a bridge from medical stabilization to long-term recovery.
Your first step to recovery begins here:
When you’re ready to take the first step to recovery, we’re ready to serve. Remember that admitting that you or a family member has a problem with drugs or alcohol is challenging, but what you do next is life changing. Ask for help. It isn’t easy, but it’s where the journey to discovering the joy and freedom of recovery begins.
For your convenience, we have multiple locations for our treatment centers. If you or a loved one needs us, you will find us in these locations: