Transforming Lives as a Clinical Outreach Specialist

Transforming Lives as a Clinical Outreach Specialist

Before she joined the Newport Healthcare team as a Clinical Outreach Specialist in Northern California, Lindsey Corcoran studied veterinary medicine, did marketing and public relations, worked in the pharmaceutical industry, and served as the director of a large restaurant group. In every stop along what she calls a “super-windy path,” Lindsey drew on two of her biggest strengths—her communication skills and her passion for making people’s lives better.

“I never dreamed that at some point all those opportunities would intersect, and that’s what I found at Newport,” Lindsey says. Working alongside a team of Clinical Outreach Specialists spread across the country, she spends her days offering emotional and practical support to teens, young adults, and families in the Bay Area and surrounding regions. 

Newport’s Clinical Outreach Specialists serve as reliable resources for adolescent and young adult behavioral healthcare in their respective professional communities. The role includes collaborating with clients’ treatment teams, both internally and externally, to provide comprehensive care coordination, and acting as an internal liaison to foster and enhance the experience and outcomes for clients and their families. These talented specialists also identify market strategy, build and deepen professional relationships, and optimize potential opportunities to increase Newport Healthcare’s reach.

Newport’s Clinical Outreach Specialists come to us from a wide variety of backgrounds and experience, and each one has their own personal “why” that brings them to the role. For Lindsey, that “why” is having had loved ones who struggled to find the right care. 

“I can identify with what families are going through,” she says. “The fact that I get to shepherd them through this journey is a beautiful way to give back.”

Comprehensive Consulting for Families in Need

Lindsey and her fellow Clinical Outreach Specialists serve as comprehensive resources, providing a compassionate listening ear along with detailed information about available services and programs. “It’s a very difficult system to navigate, and when families reach out, they’re often lost and confused,” says Michael Dzwil, LCSW, a Clinical Outreach Specialist (COS) in New York State, who brings a background in clinical social work with adolescents. “There’s a sense of relief that they don’t have to navigate this alone anymore—they can get their questions answered and move in the right direction.”

This is work that quite literally saves lives, says Kristin Wilson, Newport’s Chief Experience Officer and former Vice President of Clinical Outreach. “Looking at where we are as a country right now, and the collective trauma we have all experienced over the last 18 months, there could not be a better time to serve as a beacon of light for young people and families who are struggling.”

Clinical Outreach Specialists are not only the experts on Newport’s approach and programming, they are also the go-to consultants for all behavioral healthcare resources in their geographic area. If Newport’s services aren’t the right fit, the COS will help them research other options. If a family is in crisis, the COS can help guide them to appropriate care. When a client is preparing to leave treatment and return home, their COS is involved in discharge planning. 

“This is a consultative role, so a large portion of my day involves talking and meeting with parents who are looking for the right program for their child, having that first conversation or following up with them after the initial call,” says Kellie Kucinski, LSWNewport’s COS in northern New Jersey and the surrounding area. “We speak with families once a week at a minimum. Choosing to begin treatment is a big decision, and we pride ourselves on making sure families feel completely supported throughout the pre-admission process.”

5 Essential Skills for a Clinical Outreach Specialist 

Empathy: Our Clinical Outreach Specialists typically meet families when they are at their lowest point, feeling alone and afraid, so a key strength for this role is the ability to put yourself in another’s shoes and offer compassion and caring. “It is such an honor and such a responsibility to be that first phone call that a family in crisis makes, and then to move from stranger to trusted confidante,” says Kristin.

Connection: Like empathy, connection is one of Newport’s organizational values, and it is critical for Clinical Outreach Specialists. “A lot of what we do isn’t talking—it’s listening to what people need and allowing them to tell their story so we can better understand how we can help,” Michael explains. The COS team is continually building relationships not only with parents and young people, but also with referring professionals, schools, hospitals, and other treatment programs, as well as Newport colleagues in our Admissions, Clinical, Marketing, and Customer Relations departments. 

Flexibility: “Every single day is different,” says Kellie, who was an adolescent therapist before joining the Newport CO team. The role is ideal for someone who enjoys variety, can work both independently and collaboratively, and is comfortable shifting between different types of conversations and projects. 

Resilience: Because so many young people and families are suffering right now, and there is such a high demand for quality care, this work is incredibly important—and it can be stressful. We support our Clinical Outreach Specialists to avoid burnout by practicing self-compassion, self-care, and healthy boundaries.

Commitment: While a passion for helping others is what brings people to mental healthcare, it’s the commitment that keeps them there, says Kellie. “It’s the long-term follow-through, the dedication to ensuring that families get support and kids get the care they need.”

Looking at where we are as a country right now, and the collective trauma we have all experienced over the last 18 months, there could not be a better time to serve as a beacon of light for young people and families who are struggling.

Kristin Wilson, Vice President of Clinical Outreach

A Collaborative Environment with Room to Grow

While the members of the Clinical Outreach team are located in all different areas of the country, they come together regularly for regional and national meetings, webinars, and special events, and support each other on a daily basis. Kristin Wilson and our two Senior Directors of Clinical Outreach, Kristin Brassfield and Kimberly Storey, provide ongoing coaching, and there’s a clear path to professional development within the department: Clinical Outreach Specialists can grow into Advanced COS roles that include mentoring and greater oversight. “We appreciate what everybody individually brings to the table, and we provide ongoing opportunities for growth,” Kristin Wilson says.

Along with management and leadership training, the CO team learns about the clinical and experiential modalities that make up Newport’s integrative approach to treatment, including the Attachment-Based Family Therapy model that is used in all of our programs. Onboarding for the role includes a weeklong training immersion in which new hires directly experience the treatment environment. 

“To be able to see those therapeutic moments, within an environment of unconditional love, is so powerful in shaping their understanding of what we do,” says Kristin Wilson. 

The Rewards of Making a Difference

Helping families access care is the primary goal of the COS. “It’s incredibly rewarding to be able to engage families in their time of need, support them in getting the resources they need to initiate healing, and create a sense of hope for them,” says Samantha Finnie, Newport’s COS in Washington State.

But the rewards don’t end there. One of the biggest joys of this work is being able to follow a client and family as they move from struggling to strength—witnessing a teen or young adult regain their inner light and the family rebuild their bonds. “We get to see them progress from the beginning to the end of treatment,” Michael says. “They come to us scared and in distress, and six or seven weeks into treatment, it’s like a completely different family, so much more grounded and calm. It’s ongoing proof that what we do works.” Clients and families often stay in touch with their COS long after leaving treatment, and reconnect at alumni events.

There’s also the satisfaction of serving the region that you call home and people that you know personally. “I grew up in New Jersey, and I’m working with professionals and schools and families that I’ve known for years,” Kellie says. “I get this real sense of accomplishment being able to bring what Newport offers back to my own community.”

For Lindsey, remembering her “why,” and feeling the gratitude that goes along with that, continues to motivate her even in the hard moments. 

“That makes it all worthwhile,” she says. “To hear a parent’s sigh of relief when the family knows they have someone who’s going to support them all along the way is one of the biggest gifts I could ever get.”