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Meet Heather Sprouse

Social worker Heather Sprouse has been a clinician at MiraVista Behavioral Health Center since the Holyoke facility opened. As MiraVista’s role as a regional provider of psychiatric and substance use services has evolved, so too, has Heather’s career.

In reflecting on her position at MiraVista, Heather speaks with confidence about her experience working with both adults and adolescents seeking help for their mental health, and those in substance use treatment as well.

“I like the fast pace and nature of the work and learning all the different diagnoses and presentations of patients,” said Sprouse of what she enjoys about her work. “Seeing patients come in and leave presenting better, being able to take care of themselves.”

She praised MiraVista for having a culture where “everyone is willing to go above and beyond to meet the patients where they are and listening to them whether it is a patient with substance use or a patient who may be in distress, they are heard and well cared for here.”

She feels as MiraVista approaches its third anniversary this spring “our name is getting out there in providing good quality care and that we not only listen to our patients, but respect their opinions and choices.”

“We have grown strong in that respect,” said Sprouse, a graduate of Elms College in Chicopee with a Master’s degree from the University of St. Joseph in West Hartford.

Recently, Sprouse was named Supervisor of social work under Angela O’Neil, Director of Social Work at MiraVista and sister hospital TaraVista in Devens.

“As I step into the Supervisor role, I am helping us to establish training protocols for our on-boarding process for social work, making sure the team is ready for the challenge and understanding of their role in what they need to do for our patients, and I also assist with any difficult cases,” Sprouse said. “So, I am able to assist the staff as well as train them.” She added one of her focus areas will be facilitating better “communication among all disciplines.”

“Whether it is first, second or third shift, I want to make sure we all know and follow the same policies and protocols,” Sprouse said. “We are all working together as one team for the patient, with each bringing a unique set of strengths and perspectives.”

She added, “We have social workers who are strong in diffusing behaviors among our adolescent patients and understanding where they are coming from and helping them express their frustrations. We work to understand the needs every patient and what they want for themselves as they leave.”

Sprouse, who finds stress-relief in coaching her 10-year-old daughter’s gymnastics, says her supervisory role suits her “strong leadership skill” that she likes especially when it comes to mentoring younger social workers.

“I definitely know what I want and how I want to present it in terms of how we need our team to be,” Sprouse said. I like helping our social workers to build their own skills so that we are representing MiraVista in a way that speaks volumes about our compassion and commitment to quality care.”