We are pleased to introduce you to a key team member at The Prairie Recovery Center, Leslie Downing, LCDC, NCIP, CGRS. Leslie graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Houston – Clear Lake with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. She is a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor, Nationally Certified Intervention Professional, and Certified Grief Recovery Specialist who has worked in the addiction treatment field for fifteen years. Leslie’s background in operations management, clinical work and business development offers a well-rounded outlook in her Executive Director role.
Get to know Leslie as a person and a professional through this insightful Q&A.
Q: How would you describe your role at the Prairie?
A: “As Executive Director, my role involves a broad range of matters like leadership and organizational structure, ensuring we’re in compliance with state laws and licensing and fostering a culture that’s congruent with our mission and values here at the Prairie.”
Q: What are your main goals, and what do you hope to accomplish?
A: “My main goal, what I hope to help accomplish, is to uphold Ethos’ values by cultivating a culture amongst staff and clients where we all work collaboratively, putting individuals ahead of profit, to create an environment and atmosphere that’s optimal for long-term healing and wellness.”
Q: What attracted you to this role? What are you most excited about?
A: “In a nutshell, what attracted me to this role is the clinical philosophy; a well-rounded, psychodynamic approach to compassionate, integrative care. I’ve known [co-founder] Robert for a long time; I believe in this philosophy, and I believe this organization will stay true to this approach. I’m excited to be part of a team that is so competent and passionate, and that we get to create something really great together.”
Q: Can you tell us a little about your background and education?
A: “I’ve been in the behavioral health field for a while, and I’ve held many different seats—almost every role at a facility other than a medical provider, which I believe has given me a well-rounded view to bring to my current role. I started as an RA, then moved into clinical work, and finally worked in business development for many years.
“Over time, my largest passion has grown from helping patients on an individual level to a more overarching view, which is why I am working toward a Master of Science in Leadership. It’s so important to ensure our organization is operating in a way that models healthy relational patterns, because this is what we are working to help our patients and their families create. Focusing on culture and ensuring our employees have all they need to do their job well can ensure the dynamic at The Prairie is one that fosters health and well-being for both team members and patients.”
Q: What brought you to the Behavioral Health field?
A: “In-part, my own story of recovery brought me to the field, but in reality, in the midst of my own story, I began volunteering at the Harris County jail. From that experience, I recognized I wanted to become a counselor, and I did that for ten years. It was exciting, rewarding and something I looked forward to every week. I still miss it. Some of the smartest, funniest and most genuine people I’ve ever met have been the inmates I worked with at Harris County.”
Q: Is there anything you’d like to share about yourself, i.e. family, hobbies, passion projects or fun facts?
A: “I love Crossfit, taking my dogs for walks and reading. My partner of ten years and I live a simple and fulfilling life that we are grateful for.”