Susan Paredes

Recovery Specialist!

Susan Paredes began working with Camillus Health Concern (CHC) in February 2018.  She was hired to conduct culturally and linguistically appropriate outreach to homeless persons who are not engaged in treatment and to assist in educating at risk patients about the risks and consequences of substance abuse including linking these patients to behavioral health services.  Ms. Paredes plays a key role in CHC’s new program being launched on August 6, 2018 in which CHC is partnering with Camillus House (CH) clients at the Day Center/Courtyard.  CHC and CH will be utilizing a hall pass and patient concierge to escort clients from the Day Center/Courtyard to the Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) clinic.  The Consumer Advisory Board (CAB) will provide patient escort services to the NCL clinic and additional providers will be available to see patients.  Susan has recently begun to provide bilingual substance abuse groups at the Day Center/Courtyard.

In her role as a peer specialist, Ms. Paredes completes the following assessment tools for our patients:  PHQ-9 (Patient Health Questionnaire), SBIRT (Screening, Brief Intervention, Referral to Treatment), AUDIT (Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test) and DAST (Drug Abuse Screening Test).

Additionally, she works with the Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP) to conduct outreach at Mother Teresa and with the CAB by participating in the Good Neighbor project and the Brownsville Project. She participates in obtaining new referrals from CHC’s latest project to provide medical, behavioral health and dental services to participants in the Child Support Enforcement Division.  Susan also conducts outreach at the NCL and provides bilingual substance abuse peer support groups. These groups provide patients with education on addiction, the recovery process, and relapse. Their recent topics have focused on are: spirituality, relapse warning signs, the connection between mental health and addiction, the importance of having a support system, instant gratification, addiction and the brain, and the benefits of having gratitude.

Ms. Paredes has over five years’ experience in the field of mental health and addiction, including working as a behavioral health technician and as a case manager. Susan is currently studying at Florida International University to attain a bachelor’s degree in psychology with an expected completion date of Fall of 2019, and plans on remaining at FIU for her master’s degree. She is a Miami native who joined the Army National Guard at age 17, while in her senior year at North Miami Beach Senior High. In the military, she had the honor of attending and completing Airborne school and receiving the Army Achievement Medal in addition to winning an award for overall performance in basic training. Susan is the proud mother of two boys, ages three and seven and in her free time she enjoys reading, watching movies and documentaries, bike riding and going to the beach.

Ms. Paredes shared a patient story in which she helped to integrate the mission of Camillus Health Concern and Camillus House: “I was helping a patient who was struggling with an addiction to crack in which the patient could only manage to stay sober for a few days at a time. The patient was very resistant about going to residential treatment and was adamant about trying to stay sober without the help of inpatient treatment. During our last meeting I empathetically told this patient that sometimes as much as we don’t want to go to treatment, it is necessary in order to arrest the disease of addiction. We discussed the benefits of residential treatment and the progression of addiction. It was not easy for the patient to ultimately make the decision to go to treatment but with support and encouragement, he made the decision and is now in a residential treatment program at Camillus House.”

Please join Camillus Health Concern and Camillus House in commending Susan for helping us to shine!

Add Comment