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
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.
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.
A Better Future through Wheeler’s Bettor Choice Gambling Program: David’s Story
The recovery process is often filled with pivotal moments. For David Pogg— a recovering gambler for 20 years and a peer counselor for Wheeler’s Bettor Choice Gambling Treatment Program— one of those pivotal moments came during a walk on Hartford’s Charter Oak Bridge in a storm. David was on his way to treatment through Wheeler’s Bettor Choice program, located at that time on Farmington Avenue in Hartford.
Wheeler Foster Care Highlighted on Fox 61
In Connecticut, there are 4,000 children in foster care, and hundreds more in need of a loving foster home. Wheeler’s Chris Popilowski, senior foster care recruiter, appeared recently on Fox 61 to discuss this issue and how individuals and families can help.
Jane C. Bourns, Statewide Leader and Child Advocate
Some people have jobs, while others have callings. For Jane Bourns, a deeply devoted clinician, administrator, child advocate and Wheeler employee for nearly three decades, the latter was clearly true. Jane, who passed away in 2003, spent most of her career developing mental health services for children at Wheeler, and strengthening statewide systems and communities serving youth and families.