Theresa Miller: A person you want in your foxhole
Tracy Cassity doesn’t sugarcoat it when talking about what it’s like to work in a government-funded agency in a time of extreme budget cuts: “It’s been a tough year,” said the director of the Douglas Mental Health Center. At the same time staff is shrinking, there’s an expanded need for social services, including mental health care.
But those challenges have brought him a great appreciation for a staff that still puts caring for its approximately 300 clients first.
He’s especially grateful for Theresa Miller, the office manager at the Douglas Mental Health Center, whom he nominated for a Community Award. She has been a rock under any circumstance, ranging from emergencies and working with distressed clients to managing the day-to-day workload.
In his nomination letter, he wrote how she selflessly gives of her personal time and resources to help clients: “Behind the scenes she brought humor and appreciation to the professional team. She has fed us spiritually, acting in every sense as counsel to the counselors, becoming a neighbor and friend as well as a co-worker.”
Miller came in as a support office position, then quickly moved up to office manager. She has a simple explanation for her success: “It’s just a basic philosophy that anytime someone pays you, you come to work and you give 100 percent; along with that you treat everyone with respect.”
That, according to Cassity, may be an understatement of what she contributes.
“She is just outstanding,” he said. “She’s really at the heart of this center. Under pressure she’s the kind of person you want in your foxhole.”