Legacy and Juniper’s Leadership Speaks Out About Navigating COVID-19
The leadership at Legacy Outdoor Adventures for Men and Juniper Canyon Recovery Center for Women has begun to speak out within the industry about the ability of therapeutic programs to handle a crisis like COVID-19. In webinars, virtual conferences, and Zoom calls among colleagues, the folks at the forefront of Legacy Treatment Center programs’ response to COVID-19 are offering advice and reflection. It boils down to this: the ability to handle COVID-19 starts at the top with healthy leadership.
For leadership at any program or organization, COVID-19 will fundamentally challenge how to engage with the entire team and cultivate a strong culture. In the long term, this situation may present an opportunity to think about how to elevate communications, create a more resilient workforce, and build more focus on health and well-being for employees and clients. There is also a need for inter-program collaboration and support systems; over the last few weeks, the Legacy team has stepped up and provided insight into their process, to assist other therapeutic and wilderness programs in navigating these uncertain times.
On a recent call with industry leaders, Legacy co-founder Derek Daley provided some insight: “It is important to remember that this crisis will pass and that there will be others in the future. We can prepare, be rational, and even altruistic in response. There is and will always be disruption. AND there will always be recovery. How we (program leadership) act in this time of crisis will inform the long-term impact we have on our community.”
Executive Director Gil Hallows explains that in moments of uncertainty and concern, it’s not only what leaders do but equally HOW they do it that matters. Legacy Treatment Center (Legacy Outdoor Adventures for Men and Juniper Canyon Recovery Center for Women) leadership took the bold step of adding an additional mission statement to help navigate this crisis: “We will SAFELY do everything within our power to continue to admit clients and to keep all of our team members employed.” They did this with the intention of communicating to all those who they are responsible to (clients and staff) and to acknowledge the risk and uncertainty of the moment.
Daley recently collaborated with NATSAP (National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs) on a webinar addressing the complications for programs during the pandemic. One of the things he presented on was a framework organization can use to navigate a crisis like COVID-19. Aspects of the framework include establishing a crisis response leadership team, confirming critical roles/responsibilities and contingency plans, and evaluating how the format of one’s program may have to shift during the specific time of crisis.
At the end of the day, a crisis like COVID-19 has the potential to have devastating impacts on work-place culture. Together programs must recognize that these are moments that matter: how leadership reacts now has the potential to leave a legacy over the long term. As the industry collectively handles COVID19, Legacy Treatment Center is committed to caring for the health and well-being of their employees and clients, and also playing a positive role in supporting industry programs, colleagues and professionals.
It’s not that you should always put people first in a time of crisis, it’s that you should always put people first. Period.
Legacy Outdoor Adventures and Juniper Canyon Recovery Center are licensed Residential Treatment Facilities for adult men and women. They are also premier wilderness therapy programs for adults. For more information contact Admissions at (866) 436-4458.