Gretchen Anderson is the clinical director of Continuum at Meadows Edge, and is passionate about finding new ways of reaching those who need care.
Gretchen’s first experience in healthcare was volunteer work in her home state of Minnesota. After doing her undergrad studies at the University of New Mexico, she worked in a residential facility for adolescents and debated between going into either nursing or social work.
She chose the latter, and obtained a Masters of Social Work from Highlands University in New Mexico. “I’ve always had a kind of nurturing sensibility and I like to problem solve, so this field was a natural fit for me.”
After relocating to Rhode Island, Gretchen worked at Butler Hospital for 11 years as a social services clinician, a position that provided important training for her current role. “My experiences at Butler made me a better clinician, but it also helped me to understand healthcare structures and the importance of making sure other clinicians have the support they need.”
She started at Meadows Edge in October 2016. As clinical director, she is responsible for ensuring that the Center is following state regulations and policies, improving care in current programs and looking at implementation of new programs, among many other things.
But unlike most clinical directors, Gretchen also keeps up with an assigned caseload of patients in addition to her administrative duties. “It keeps me grounded and focused on a day-to-day basis, and it helps me to think creatively about the different systems we need to develop to offer better services.” When seeing patients, she is very holistic in her approach to care, and tries to meet people where they are at, whether involvement with legal issues, family issues or personal issues.
The variety is an aspect of the position Gretchen greatly enjoys. “My duties can range from going outside and sweeping the front porch to triaging an acute patient situation.”
What does Gretchen feel sets Continuum at Meadows Edge apart? “The talented staff and the accessibility of appointments. We have doctors and a nurse prescriber that are available to meet with our patients, and we’re usually able to give someone an intake in the first 24 hours, which is not typically the case everywhere.”
Looking to the future of Meadows Edge, Gretchen is exploring the possibility expanding intensive outpatient hours to Saturdays and extending their successful pain program. “We have a long history of solid clinical expertise; my job is to look at better ways of delivering care and reducing the stigma surrounding substance use treatment.”
Outside of work, Gretchen likes outdoor activities and spending time with family.