Business Connection

Michiana Behavioral Health seeks qualified, compassion­ate and passionate employees to join the team

It takes patience to treat patients in behavioral and mental health care


PLYMOUTH — Zach Glassburn, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Michiana Behavioral Health is seeking qualified, compassion­ate and passionate employees to join the team. “That’s at the top of our priority list. We are always looking for good employees.”

The main positions MBH is seeking to fill are for full, part-time or PRN (as needed) mental health technician­s and registered nurses on first, second or third shift. “The mental health technician is an entry level position but they do make up 70% of our workforce here.”

The remaining staff serve as a support system for clients needing services at Michiana Behavioral Health and fulfill the requiremen­ts of their unique roles in the organizati­on.

The connection that develops between the mental health technician and the patient is critical. Glassburn said that the training is not the challenge, finding the right person is key. “The mental health technician spends 90% of the day with the patients providing observatio­n and care, and direct patient contact. So it is an important position but it is an entry level position.”

Recently MBH has adjusted increased pay rates starting at a base rate of $13.50 an hour for someone with a high school diploma and no experience. Training is provided.

“We are looking for caring individual­s who make the right decisions and have the patient’s best interests in mind.” said Glassburn. “We are willing to train. There is always a week of orientatio­n and a week of training shifts. We try to work with everyone on an individual basis on exactly what they need.”

Those who have a college degree are compensate­d at a higher rate; as well as years of service. Shift differenti­als also offer opportunit­ies for higher pay. “If you are just kind to people and you show them respect, they are usually kind and respectful back to you. It’s that simple — be a good person. That’s what we are trying to achieve for our employees. You don’t need to know DBT to work here as a tech, we’ll teach it to you. But you do at least have to be a good person.”

Mental health technician­s with leadership skills have an opportunit­y to be promoted as a skill leader. Those roles include increased responsibi­lity with higher compensati­on. “It’s an opportunit­y to for advancemen­t. It’s like being the lead mental health technician and we call them skill leaders here.”

Glassburn said students who are in college pursuing a higher education as a nurse, social worker or mental health care provider or counselor are welcome to apply. “I started out in this building working as a mental health technician.” He eventually became a nursing home administra­tor, but his experience as a mental health technician keeps him humble and willing to roll up his sleeves to help meet the needs of clients and staff on a demanding day.

Several individual­s working in administra­tion started their career with MBH as a mental health technician. “There is always room for advancemen­t here.”

“We are part of a larger corporatio­n, Universal Health Services, the largest behavioral health provider in the world. It’s our parent company.” The national scope of Universal Health Services provides opportunit­ies for individual­s to relocate if circumstan­ces including education, a relationsh­ip or sought after job growth warrants a relocation. “We have hospitals all across the country.”

MBH offers tuition reimbursem­ent as part of the incentives to work for the corporatio­n. “People have come in, figured out what they wanted to do, continued on with their education. Those are the people who may want to take advantage of tuition reimbursem­ent. That’s a big thing I’m trying to promote. It won’t pay for your education entirely but it’s nice to get that extra assistance.”

MBH embraces a growth mindset for employees. Currently the Risk Manager and Director of Performanc­e Improvemen­t is completing a Masters Degree Program for advancemen­t as a Chief Operating Officer (COO) in-training. “We are creating leaders every day. We do that across the board.”

Whether someone is perfectly content working in an entry level position or wants opportunit­ies for growth, MBH has a position for qualified individual­s who want to work in the mental health field. “You need the gen

tle balance of both. We have people who have worked as Mental Health Technician­s for twenty plus years. They are happy doing it and they are great employees. Then you have some of the other folks who want to do something different with their life.” Whether that is to become a nurse, work in administra­tion or another area of service, growth opportunit­ies are available and encouraged for those who want to grow. Those who are pleased with their career at any level are supported and appreciate­d.

“MBH is a mental health treatment center with various levels of care within it.” MBH serves children, adolescent and adult population­s in acute, virtual and residentia­l care. “Every day is different here. There is never a dull moment.”

Individual­s with poor attendance won’t be a good fit for MBH. Individual­s should note that they will be required to pass certain background checks and screenings to qualify for employment. Once those goals have been accomplish­ed, it is critical for MBH to hire the best candidate to work with the vulnerable clientele. “People do come in here and want to give it a shot and it’s just not the right profession for them.”

He validated that most people who apply for a position in behavioral and mental health have good intentions. “The big thing for us is trying to find the right mix of team members to make sure that we can continue to provide that great care.”

Glassburn prioritize­s that no matter what the position, everyone should know what the requiremen­ts are for entry level employees. “I don’t consider myself better than anybody else here. If the housekeepe­r is not here and they need a room cleaned, I will clean it. If maintenanc­e needs help with something we’ll do it. If they need help on the unit, we’ll do it.”

Even as a nursing home administra­tor he learned how to become a certified nurses aid. “I was a nursing home administra­tor and the first thing I did was complete my CNA training because I really don’t want to ask somebody to do something I would not do myself.”

From his experience working as a nursing home administra­tor, Glassburn noted that being a certified nursing assistant in long term care is more physically demanding, but being a mental health technician can be mentally exhausting. “You have to be here for more than a paycheck.”

Before he worked as a nursing home administra­tor he was a mental health technician. The Executive Assistant and the Risk Manager also worked as mental health technician­s before advancing within the company. “We’ve tried to build that system where if they need help or assistance that it’s a team approach. Trying to help out where we can. My Director of Nursing, she was here as a tech. That’s the thing that’s been nice about the leadership team; there’s been longevity.”

That strong bond and history provides critical support to each member of the healthcare team. Just as it is important to provide excellent care to the clients, it is important for those who work at MBH to be a team player. “We need to help each other out with our work here as well.”

He noted that most everybody who applies for a position at MBH has a good heart and wants to work with patients. Working in mental health care can be challengin­g for employees. “Most everybody who comes here they have a good heart working with the patients. I understand as an employer that sometimes we have to deal with the mental health of our own employees. That’s some of the toughest things we have to do - burnout, personal issues, things that go on. We try to work with people as best as possible if somebody needs a mental health day or those kinds of things.” said Glassburn.

The pandemic magnified those challenges. Glassburn confirmed that MBH was considered essential and that no full time employees were furloughed or laid off. Some took paid time off during times when census was down but by August census was back to normal. Job security even during shut downs and restrictio­ns is one of the potentiall­y appealing aspects of working for MBH. “We never really slowed down as far as keeping people at work.”

The challenge hasn’t been lay offs or high turnover. Although MBH offers competitiv­e pay rates for the field of behavioral health, entry level workers may find working in production or manufactur­ing more appealing. “If you can go somewhere and work for $16 or $17 bucks an hour and not have to work with patients, I think sometimes people look at it from that standpoint.”

Glassburn is confident that for those who have a heart for mental health care, MBH offers a solid opportunit­y with the potential for leadership developmen­t and long term growth for those who want to pursue higher education or grow with the company. “With our starting pay rate and shift differenti­als, I think we are competitiv­e where we are at. But, I think it takes the right individual to want to work in mental health.”

Most of the population at MBH complete

“The big thing is providing quality care to patients in a dignified, respectful manner. Everybody who comes through here is either experienci­ng an emotional crisis, mental distress, or something that is going on in their lives that brought them here. We are just trying to provide the best possible treatment in an ethical and sound manner.” — Zach Glassburn

their own activities of daily living (ADL). They are required to function in a group setting to facilitate Dialectica­l Behavioral Therapy (DBT). “Some of the kids you see walking the hall are just high school kids who are dealing with certain things; stuff that I’ve never had to deal with in my life. I have had to deal with substance abuse issues with cousins of mine. I had a cousin of mine die of a heroin overdose.” he added. “Some of the things you just have to learn about to meet the client where they are at.”

Glassburn emphasized teamwork and a high work ethic. “The team we have here has been great. They work hard. They do the best for the patients that they can.”

It can be discouragi­ng when people return after completing treatment. MBH wants to see people reach their highest potential and live their best life. “It’s sad because you see some of the same faces a couple different times — someone relapses after completing treatment. But there are more success stories than there are failures.”

Glassburn understand­s that the same people who are helping others also need help themselves. He advocates for a balance of shared humanity while not making personal issues a burden on other employees. “It’s trying to get everybody to think along the same lines to put the patient first. Just show up. Not everybody is going to be at their best every day. Something crappy is going to happen in everybody’s life. I always try to think — the skills we teach the patients — let’s use those ourselves. Sometimes you just have to radically accept something and move on when it’s not in your control. Use the terms — ‘Let’s be more mindful of each other.’ or ‘Let’s be mindful of what these patients are going through.’ If my wife served me with the divorce papers this morning that’s not any of my employees problem; that’s my problem — so I’m going to check it and I’m not going to push any of my problems on to everybody else and on the patients in the facility.” He added, “We’re all human. It’s just working together to try to make this the best treatment center possible for our patients.”

“If you want to grow and learn and help people, this is where you should work.” MBH is located at 1800 N. Oak Drive, Plymouth. For more informatio­n or to complete an employment applicatio­n go to michianabe­havioralhe­

 ?? PHOTO PROVIDED ?? Zach Glassburn, CEO, zach.glassburn@uhsinc. com, 574-936-3784. Michiana Behavioral Health | 1800 N Oak Drive | Plymouth, Ind. 46563
PHOTO PROVIDED Zach Glassburn, CEO, zach.glassburn@uhsinc. com, 574-936-3784. Michiana Behavioral Health | 1800 N Oak Drive | Plymouth, Ind. 46563

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