Staff Stories

We are a vibrant, community-based non-profit with more than 900 employees in 35 locations across Connecticut. Our culture celebrates quality, innovation, diversity and professionalism. We foster learning and professional development, and we respect and reward meaningful contributions. Our workforce is as broad and diverse as the array of clients we serve and the programs and services we offer, and we’re bound by a passionate commitment to a common goal: to foster positive change in the lives of individuals, families and communities.

Jessica Fay, LCSW, associate director, Children's Community-based Services


Douglas Kerr, payroll manager, Human Resources


Victor Gonzalez, program supervisor, Care Coordination


Victoria Prestileo, LCSW, program manager, Multidimensional Family Therapy


A Supportive Culture and Professional Growth and Development

Dieudonnee “Deedee” Kokoszka’s role within Wheeler has been a work in progress over the span of several years. She credits the organization’s supportive culture and leadership to her professional growth and development.

A clinical trainer in Wheeler’s Human Resources Department, Deedee teaches clinicians how to document services in the organization’s electronic health record system and navigate other aspects of required documentation. She also manages the agency’s internship program.

Deedee started her career in Wheeler’s Emergency Mobile Psychiatric Services (EMPS) as an EMPS clinician. She also worked as a clinician in the agency’s Multidimensional Family Therapy (MDFT) program before transitioning into her current role.

“I’ve always felt supported by Wheeler, and I truly believe there’s always an opportunity to grow and learn and to acquire the skills I need to succeed,” said Deedee. “There are invaluable technological resources available to us, and we are consistently nurtured through training and other professional opportunities so that we can truly achieve our full potential.”



Staff News from Wheeler


Supporting Outstanding Care, Staff

Every year in December, a select few Wheeler employees receive the Anna Tedesco Award in recognition of outstanding work. Since the award began in 1983, nearly 120 employees have become recipients, from all areas and levels of Wheeler.

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On Wheeler's 50th, A Thanks To Our Team

"This week, our 50 Years, 50 Stories article is a simple note of thanks to all our past and current employees who devoted and devote so much time, hard work and energy to provide the best care since 1968."

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Wheeler Family Health & Wellness Center, Hartford, Now Providing Chiropractic Care

Suffering from headaches, or back and neck pain? Wheeler’s Family Health & Wellness Center at 43 Woodland Street, Hartford, in conjunction with Dr. Anthony H. Debe, now offers chiropractic care for children and adults to address these conditions and more. Services are available to patients registered for Wheeler’s primary care or behavioral health services.

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Wheeler Expands MST Program in New Haven and Fairfield County

Wheeler has launched three new Multisystemic Therapy (MST) teams to better serve the behavioral health needs of youth in Connecticut. Two teams will serve the Norwalk/Bridgeport/Stamford area, and one team will serve individuals and families in New Haven.

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50th Anniversary Spotlight: Wheeler President and Chief Executive Officer, Susan Walkama, LCSW

Wheeler President and Chief Executive Officer, Susan Walkama, LCSW, exudes a quiet, strong confidence—fueled, in part, by experience and the many forms of inspiration in her life. With warmth, grace, humility and a commitment to achieve the very best outcomes for individuals and families—especially the most vulnerable—Susan guides a team of more than 1,000 at Wheeler in achieving its mission to provide equitable access to innovative care that improves health, recovery and growth at all stages of life.

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Reflections on David Berkowitz, Ph.D.

Recently, we shared the story of David Berkowitz, Ph.D., former executive director of Wheeler Clinic, as part of our 50th Anniversary series. Below are some reflections on David’s life and role as a leader at Wheeler.

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