Healthcare Interview – Jen Lain

I interviewed Cathy Brings of Applied Behavioral Assoc (ABA) on Thursday January 30.  I wanted to interview her after reading her bio on the Applied Behavioral Health web site, which explained she is a Licensed Clinical Independent Social Worker (LCISW) in NH and Maine.  Her work involves families and their children with Autism and other social, behavioral, communication and inclusion issues.  I was quite interested in learning more about her as I have worked in social services for several years, specifically with adults with disabilities.

My interview was a bit challenging to stay focused on healthcare because Cathy also has a big hand in education, from what I learned.  She has three part time jobs, one of which is with ABA, one is a teaching job at Granite State College, and the other is a Career Coordinator at Kennett High School, Tech Center.  In speaking with her, my questions were geered towards healthcare, however conversation seemed to easily steer in the direction of education. One comment she made with regards to issues in education is that she sees a lot of parents (who didn’t go on to college after High School) not even engage in the idea that their children will go on to college.  This is something that is “assumed” and kids just talk about getting a job at a local business after school.

Cathy has lived with her husband in the MWV for 9 years.  She and her husband moved here from the North Shore of Massachusetts.  They owned land here for about 30 years, and knew some day they would like to live here, but they felt it would be better to wait until their three adopted children were grown.  She indicated that her perception of the Valley was that it would be hard to raise her kids here with limited resources compared to their community in Massachusetts.  I asked her to elaborate on that more and she felt they had more programs avaiIable for the kids (i.e after school programs, YMCA, etc). I asked her if, in hindsight, had they moved here before the kids were grown would it have been as challenging for them to raise the kids here as she thought.  She explained that perhaps it would not have been as challenging as she initially thought however she was glad she did it that way because now she and her husband can call this their home and have some space from their grown kids.

Some of the challenges Cathy felt we had here in the MWV with regards to healthcare was the lack of Mental Health Services.  She explained we have a lot of services available but there is no “Case Management” even with the Developmental Disability population.  She went on to say we are lacking Social Workers in our hospital and our police station.  She felt MWV was “behind the times” in how to utilize people.

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