During their annual recognition luncheon on December 8, Amanda McCormick received the prestigious Arlene Steege Award from the Human Services Advisory Council (HSAC). This award recognizes a person in the human service area who demonstrates dedication and commitment to those in need through their employment and community service. The nominee’s agency or organization must belong to HSAC. Arlene Steege was a pillar of the Council Bluffs Community. She worked for the Department of Human Services for many years and was a founding member of HSAC. Her memory is honored through the work of a deserving award recipient each year.
Mandy’s work as a psychiatric nurse practitioner focuses on patients who have experienced trauma. While completing her post-master’s degree, she interned with All Care Health Center, working with patients from New Visions Homeless Services. It was then that she knew where she wanted to work; she felt she “clicked” with the homeless population. After completing her internship, Mandy began practicing full-time at All Care. Most of Mandy’s days are spent caring for New Visions Homeless Services and MICAH House guests while also working at All Care’s main location.
Mandy’s teammates say that brings personalization to her care to ensure that the shelter patients follow up with her and receive the mental healthcare they need. She will sit with shelter guests to see if they have mental health needs and go out of her way to assist them. She works diligently to follow up on medication management with homeless patients to ensure they receive their monthly injections, which can be difficult due to their transient lifestyle. When Mandy has no patients in her office, she goes around the shelter to introduce herself to homeless guests and helps set up appointments. A former colleague stated, “They love her at the shelter. Her patients know she is there for them, and she has a way of calming tense situations.”
Mandy stresses to her patients that trauma comes in all forms, stemming from any big change in life. Mandy asks that individuals struggling and unsure of the source of their pain make an appointment to receive help.
In addition to caring for her patients, Mandy assumes a leadership role in forming relationships with other agencies that may assist individuals who need mental healthcare. This includes examining gaps in care for incarcerated and released individuals at the Pottawattamie County Jail. Strengthening relationships can also enhance communication with other agencies, such as Heartland Family Service’s Assertive Community Treatment team. By forming these relationships, agencies can work better together to ensure their clients and residents of our communities get the mental healthcare they need. Since joining All Care, Manyd has completed Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy training. She is now focusing on learning more about functional medicine – a biology-based approach that focuses on identifying and addressing the root cause of disease. In her care, patients receive brief counseling intervention, medication management, and help to find the path that best suits their needs.
In addition to the above specialties, Mandy’s professional focuses include psychiatry, anxiety, intellectual and developmental disabilities, and the LGBTQIA+ community. Mandy hopes to help her patients feel comfortable as their most authentic selves, emulating her favorite quote,