STEVE VELZEN-HANER, LMSW, MM
Executive Director, Reliance Community Care Partners
Education:Bachelor of Arts (Psychology—Calvin College); Masters in Social Work (Clinical—Michigan State University), Master's in Management (Marketing—Aquinas)
Treatment Philosophy: Always treat each person as unique, with the utmost dignity and respect. Educate, train, and support individuals to make informed decisions. Empower those we care for with the skills to manage and cope on their own, allowing them to live as independently as possible, wherever they choose to live. Develop therapeutic relationships and environments that support individuals as they work through life's challenges.
Why I Love What I Do: I love helping others. I love overseeing an agency that administers numerous programs that I can believe in, programs that assist and support others in very meaningful ways. I am in an environment that supports me in the implementation of my treatment philosophies. I am here for a purpose, in a place that fosters my ability to create and administer incredible programs that assist those, who are in great need. I am in a place where staff members throughout the organization, feel the same way about helping, teaching, and caring for others in a way that is dignified and respectful. All of this contributes to why I love what I do.
DEBORAH B. WAGENAAR, DO, MS
Geriatric Psychiatrist, Associate Professor Michigan State University; Michigan State University Health Care, Inc. Faculty Member
Geriatric Psychiatry Fellowship Director, Michigan State University
Education: Medical School (Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine); Residency (Psychiatry—Michigan State University); Fellowship (Geriatric Psychiatry—University of Washington); Primary Care (Michigan State University); Master's (Epidemiology—Michigan State University)
Treatment Philosophy: High quality outcome based psychiatric consultation and psychotherapy for older adults in a community based or long-term care setting.
Why I Love What I Do: I enjoy treating older adults and teaching medical students, residents, and fellows. I value working with older adults who have a lifetime of experience to share. Collaboratively working with multiple disciplines in order to care for older adults is personally rewarding for me. I enjoy working with patients who have both medical and psychiatric challenges.
AYESHA SYED, PMHNP, FNP
Licensed Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP)
Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP).
Education & Experience: 15 years working in mental health and in the medical field. Bachelor's degree from GVSU, PMHNP from the University of Cincinnati, FNP from Walden University.
Treatment philosophy: To promote holistic care by providing empowering intervention for culturally diverse populations as well as to promote self-management of mental health across the lifespan of her patients.
Why I love what I do: I enjoy seeing patients begin to live better lives as they play a proactive role in their mental health through a positive experience of care consisting of therapy, medication, and education. All of which empowers the individual toward continuous improvement in their functionality.
LAUREN GUTTERSEN, LMSW
Clinical Social Worker
Education & Experience: Background in behavioral health since 2008. Bachelor of Arts (Social Work—Western Michigan University); Masters in Social Work (Western Michigan University); Specialty Program in Alcohol and Drug Abuse (SPADA). Experience working with mood disorders, anxiety, trauma, addictions, personality disorders and life transitions. Worked in various roles to empower adults including Community Mental Health/MedicalCase Management, Older Adult Outreach, Outpatient Therapy and Residential Therapy along with leadership roles developing programs to improve social service delivery.
Treatment Philosophy: Holistic assessment and collaboration are used to understand each person’s barriers to achieving their goals. I respect the autonomy of each person as holding the key to their own success. Working together as a team, treatment is based on a foundation of Person-Centered and Trauma Informed Care. Evidence based practices incorporated include Motivational Interviewing (MI), Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET),Cognitive Behavioral Therapy(CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)and group therapy.
Why I love what I do:I am passionate about whole person wellness and helping people maintain meaningful connections to their community.
REBECCA BENJAMIN, LMSW
Clinical Social Worker
Education: Graduated from Grand Valley State University with a Masters in Social Work. Experience working with grief, end of life, post-partum, mood disorders and life transitions. Worked in various roles including care management, hospice, hospital and insurance.
Treatment Philosophy: I believe in taking the time to listen to the person to determine the best approach to help navigate the journey. We all go through different stages that require different things and different support. My goal is to empower people to find their voice and develop their own goals. My approach to therapy includes mindfulness, cognitive behavioral therapy, strength based and motivational interviewing.
Why I love what I do:I have witnessed firsthand the power of investing in mental health and believe it is a strength to ask for help. I am passionate about helping people find peace, purpose and joy in their lives.