From the Perspectives Newsletter: Agent of Change

From the Perspectives Newsletter: Agent of Change

Tiffany Lacy Clark joins Places for People as Vice President of Clinical Services

From the Summer 2017 Perspectives Newsletter

Places for People welcomed a new staff member to its executive administration team in January 2017 when Tiffany Lacy Clark joined the Places for People community as Vice President of Clinical Services.

The Vice President of Clinical Services provides oversight for all clinical activities in the organization. Virginia Selleck, Ph.D., was Places for People’s first Vice President of Clinical Services, serving in a part-time capacity from July 2012 until retiring in January 2016.

Tiffany worked the past six years with the Illinois Department of Human Services, working for the Division of Developmental Disabilities from 2010 until 2014. For the past three years, Tiffany served as Executive Director of Region 5 Metro East of the Illinois Division of Mental Health.

“Tiffany brings a wealth of experience in community-based behavioral health care from her time spent as a leader in Illinois,” said Places for People Executive Director Joe Yancey. “We believe that Tiffany, along with an extremely talented staff, will provide the clinical leadership required for Places for People to be a high-quality, holistic health care provider for those in our community with the greatest need.”

A native of Cahokia, Illinois, Tiffany has a 10-year-old daughter, Laylah, and an 8-year-old son, Amare.

We invite you to get to know Tiffany a little better.

What inspired you to pursue a career in mental health? Was that always your chosen field?

“I clumsily stumbled into the social work field. I took a job at a group home to help pay for my undergraduate degree. What I assumed would be a year-long gig turned into a career. I worked with people who were dually diagnosed with mental health conditions and developmental delays. I knew when I walked into the door of that first group home that I would be serving the world in this capacity forever. I’d say this field chose me more than I chose it, and I’m grateful for all of the experiences and opportunities I’ve had thus far.”

What interested you in the Vice President of Clinical Services position at Places for People?

“I like to work with people who have a hard time fitting into other places. To witness the spark return to someone’s eyes when they realize that someone believes in them and will support them is my life’s mission. Places for People represents hope and support for the people we serve. I wanted to be a part of that hope, and that’s why I am proud to work at PfP.”

How did your experiences with the Illinois Department of Human Services’ DMH help prepare you for this position?

“Working with DMH is Illinois was no easy task and it taught me many valuable lessons. Being a change agent in times of uncertainty was the most important skill that I learned. As PfP transitions into our new position as a CCBHC, knowing how to plan for the future and be a forward thinker is vital to my success as the VP of Clinical Services. Learning to change the culture and policies in a collaborative way was much of my experience at DMH, and I believe this position will further develop those skills.”

What have been your immediate (short-term) goals as your start at PfP?
What are some of your long-range goals?

“My short-term goals at PfP are to streamline our work processes and make the system more uniform. I’d also like to grow our peer support and recovery programs. Expanding our menu of services and community partnerships is also going to be on my list of short-term goals. My long-term goal is to help PfP remain a staple in the community and to provide visionary leadership so that we are as relevant in 2047 as we were in 1984.”

What or who inspired you to be a leader?

“My family is very encouraging and they push me to be successful. I have a slew of relatives who have always supported me in my academic and professional endeavors, and they gave me the courage to strive for the best. My mother taught me to be a servant leader. Having a foundation based on collaboration and supportive leadership can only serve as a launching pad to great leadership.”

What are your hobbies? What do you do in your time away from work?

“In my free time I like to read, write, paint, listen to music, travel and spend time with my family and friends.”

What has it been like to start during a time of big changes at the organization?

“I am a naturally adaptable and resilient person, so change is no stranger to me. I think it gives me an advantage to start now while we are changing and growing. I’m able to provide a fresh perspective to the services we provide and macro-level vision for the future based on my experience working with the 23 agencies under my direction in Illinois.”