Finding focus for a career
Aaron Barney, Registered Nurse, grew up in Brushton, NY. He spent a year pursuing an engineering degree, but wasn't feeling a connection with his chosen field. So, he enlisted in the Navy where he served for six years in a medical position - the equivalent of an EMT. During that time he was deployed in Iraq for six months. He describes the experience as tense, but the camaraderie helped him cope with his time there and focus his career goals.
He completed his nursing degree at North Country Community College, and then worked in the ICU at Massena Memorial Hospital and the Orthopedic Rehab unit at Meadowbrook Healthcare in Plattsburgh. While caring for patients, Aaron observed many people come in and out of the units with suicidal thoughts, gestures, intoxication or a combination of the three. He found himself asking, "What are we missing?"
That led him to seek out opportunities to directly serve people with behavioral health and substance use issues. When he saw the job posting for RNs at Citizen Advocates' Crisis Stabilization Center, he knew he needed to apply. He joined Citizen Advocates in March and has been temporarily filling the RN position at the Saranac Lake Outpatient Clinic until that position is filled and the Crisis Center is opened.
When not at work, Aaron enjoys playing and watching hockey, including being a major Rangers fan. He also likes target shooting and being with his children (ages 5,3, and 2).
'I always knew I would work with people.'
The first thing that greets you about Jillian is her honest smile and gentle nature. Jillian has been an Adult Health Care Coordinator for about two years with Citizen Advocates.
She offers that smile and then says, "I learn so much from the people I work with. I always knew I would work with people. I just didn't know exactly what that would mean." She explains her work in this way, "I coordinate services to help people take that first step as they come out of the hospital or jail or move out on their own. It is a lot of behind the scenes connecting the dots for linking people to services that they need."
There is something about Jillian that says she is serious. She moved to Bulgaria for two years to teach the people there English and is currently working on her MSW. She also gives guitar lessons on the side. Her minor in her undergrad was music. She gained her Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Liberty University in Virginia. She is a North Country native, having grown up in Bangor. She now lives in the village of Malone.
With her humble passion for making a difference, she adds much to our team!