Laura Bishop, who works as a social work supervisor with the behavioral health services division, was selected as the employee of the quarter.
Laura began work at the health department in July 2012. She is a member of leadership and manages four programs within the behavioral health services division – pregnant/postpartum services, community based peer support, START (Sobriety Treatment and Recovery Team) at the Washington County Department of Social Services (DSS) and the state care coordination program, developed to improve outcomes for individuals in the early stages of recovery. Laura provides clinical supervision to the peer recovery team in a way to help them feel supported and empowered to provide excellent care. She revitalized the Recovery Oriented Systems of Care (ROSC) community initiative and chairs its subcommittee, composed of numerous local providers and the health system. The group has created a system where “no wrong door” exists locally when a person is trying to access behavioral health services. She has successfully organized multiple trainings for this division’s team to improve service delivery and skill sets. As a leader within her division, Laura provides creative problem-solving skills for workday issues that arise; guides and educates staff daily; and aids other members of leadership to create training flyers and problem solve issues within various programs. Laura has excellent, collaborative relationships with other members of leadership.
Laura works with multiple agencies on a regular basis, including DSS, Meritus Health, treatment providers in the community, Maryland’s Behavioral Health Administration and The Mental Health Authority. She is creative and helps identify ways for individuals to find adequate services within the health department and out in the community. Laura works closely with the prevention services team for substance use efforts, and provides assessments and refers women with children to long-term residential programs, where hope and support is offered to this population who are often stigmatized in their own community. Her empathy and passion to help members of the county access much-needed services became more obvious when she independently responded to a sharpshooter incident near Clear Spring, Maryland. She went to the hospital, provided crisis support to the victim and ensured that he and his family would be connected with resources to help in their recovery from the trauma. As a result of this experience, Laura is now working with community agencies to develop a crisis mental health team to respond to major community incidents. Laura’s excellent rapport with those served by the division’s team is like no other, all while demonstrating outstanding boundaries and ethical standards as a professional.