Lekeisha Dawkins Receives Wholeness of Life Award
7/9/2012 12:50 PM
“Choose your friends wisely
because people’s spirits are transferable.”
Lekeisha Dawkins has always combined her passion for people with learning. Her single parent mother taught her values, organizational skills and the importance of consistency in all areas of life. Watching her mother struggle to provide for her family with little education, Lekeisha decided to get all the education she could, but in what?
Health care, her mother’s field, seemed logical, but blood and wounds were not for her, nor was the work of a dietician. Fascinated by human behavior, she works to understand the root of behavior, and especially those things that will enable her patients to live fuller, more meaningful lives. Lekeisha chose social work and began her educational journey with a major in psychology and a minor in health administration. Next was a Master’s in social work and certificates in drug rehabilitation counseling and social work instruction. She is still going strong with post-graduate studies at Mercy College.
All this led her into the fields of mental health, substance abuse and HIV/AIDS. She uses it all at St. John’s Riverside Hospital, ParkCare Pavilion, as clinical supervisor of the women’s rehabilitation unit. There, she provides direct care to clients with a wide range of problems related to their substance abuse, especially those with dual diagnoses. Lekeisha has found that women have particular bio-psychosocial issues that interfere with their ability to access and utilize treatment strategies while in rehab. She has become a strong advocate for a more effective, gender-responsive environment for women in treatment.
With her staff, Lekeisha is an effective communicator who listens well and leads by example. She encourages them to continue their personal and professional growth and to stay focused on the healing work so vital to women in treatment. Both staff and clients consistently say she is honest and straightforward, always treating everyone with dignity and respect. Her integrity and work ethic inspire their imitation. They see how her spirituality grounds her, giving a sense of humility, of being loved and at peace. Believing that families are essential for nurture, love, support and well-being, help create “family” on the women’s unit and live it out daily with her husband and two children.
On Thursday, June 28, 2012 Lekeisha Dawkins was honored with the Wholeness of Life Award for 2012. The difference she makes every day in the lives of clients and staff on the women’s unit at ParkCare Pavilion, St. John’s Riverside Hospital is appreciated and admired.