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.

Alison Friar, LMFT, associate director, Health & Wellness Behavioral Health


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


Wheeler Absorbs St. Francis's Gengras Pediatric Primary Care Practice

Wheeler Clinic, Connecticut’s leading behavioral health and primary care provider, is absorbing patients from the St. Francis Gengras Pediatric Primary Care practice in Hartford, which closed in early January 2018. A comprehensive integrated care team is serving children and youth at Wheeler’s new Family Health & Wellness Center at 43 Woodland Street in Hartford as of January 9, 2018.

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Mott Corporation Volunteers Collect and Wrap Gifts for Children and Youth in Wheeler Foster Care and Other Programs

More than 12 Health Ambassador volunteers from the Farmington-based Mott Corporation wrapped 225 toys and gifts for children and youth in Wheeler’s foster care and other programs. Mott employees also conducted the gift and toy drive on behalf of Wheeler. The event is part of an ongoing, innovative collaboration between Mott and Wheeler to promote community health and wellness, and engage underserved individuals and families in Bristol and New Britain in accessing primary and behavioral health care information and services.

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Mott, Wheeler Recognized as Health Care Heroes by Hartford Business Journal

The Mott Corporation of Farmington won a 2017 Health Care Heroes award for volunteerism from the Hartford Business Journal for their philanthropic work partnering with Wheeler. Wheeler President and CEO Susan Walkama, LCSW, and Wheeler Clinic as an organization, are named 2017 Health Care Heroes finalists as well.

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Expanded Statewide Support for Youth in Recovery

Wheeler has launched a new statewide program to provide additional support to youth in recovery. The Connecticut Recovery-Oriented Support System for Youth (CROSS) initiative is funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) 2017 State Targeted Response to the Opioid Crisis grant (STR) through the Connecticut Departments of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) and Children and Families (DCF).

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Wheeler Expands School-based Health Services in Bristol and Plainville

Wheeler and the Bristol and Plainville Public Schools have partnered to provide expanded access to health services for students. School-based health centers are open in Bristol at South Side School, Green Hills and West Bristol K-8 schools, as well as Chippens Hill Middle School. A new clinic will soon open at Linden Street School in Plainville.

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