Founded downtown in 1856, the Hospital of St. Vincent dePaul, more recently known as DePaul Hospital, was more than “just a hospital.” It was a ministry of hope and mercy to patients and their families; it was a place of joy when new family members were born, and a place of loving care for those living their final moments. Thus, it is not surprising that, when this cherished institution closed in 2021, so many wondered what would happen to the property.
The Barry Robinson Center, the nation’s only residential treatment program exclusively dedicated to serving military-connected youth and their families, has announced that Mandi Wines has been promoted to Vice President of Operations with immediate effect. After a nine-month exhaustive nationwide search, Wines, who has been with the organization for five years as the Clinical Director for the Girls’ Program, was chosen for the position.
Previously, Wines oversaw clinical programming, therapy assignments, communicated with families, and managed interns in the highly sought-after internship program at The Barry Robinson Center. In her new role, Wines will oversee clinical programming for the entirety of the residential program, as well as nursing staff, educational programming, nutrition, and campus infrastructure.
As one riffles through national headlines, the overwhelming number of articles discussing the demand for staff cannot be ignored. “Help Wanted” signs are in every window locally, and large billboards detail the employee benefits for a variety of companies as you maneuver through the traffic in Hampton Roads. Employees, depending on their skills, appear to have the luxury of being very selective in their career choices. Job seekers no longer have to settle; they are able to commit their time and energy to organizations that offer more—more benefits, more advancement, and more purpose.
While these other companies are struggling to fill vacancies, The James Barry-Robinson Institute (JBRI) has 95% of positions filled! So how is a nearly ninety-year-old nonprofit in Norfolk, Virginia, not only filling those vacancies but also filling them with exceptional candidates that see a future with the organization?
At conferences and events, it is not uncommon for participants to ask questions about The Barry Robinson Center. They have heard about our program, our focus on care, and our many success stories and want to know more. As a nearly ninety-year-old nonprofit, we are eager to share our perspective with others and how they can also choose to put connection before correction. However, some of what we do can’t be put into words. The unspoken personal dedication within our team is what makes the organization special.
Upon walking back to my office this summer, Laura Chaney, our Director of National and OCONUS Relations, passed me in the hall. She greeted me with a smile, but Laura had that look—the look many have seen before—that she had a family that needed our help, and that was her focus. The file in her hand represented a mission. Within a matter of minutes, I could hear the halls buzzing with activity. This military-connected family was from outside the United States, and their child needed urgent acceptance into our facility. Within two hours, our clinical team reviewed the files for admission, the youth was assigned a therapist familiar with the unique needs of the resident, and their room was being prepared.