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Pat Cawley to ‘go home again’

Published Thursday, July 12, 2012 1:00 pm

July 12, 2012

by Dr. Paul R. Ahr, President & CEO, Camillus House

Some say that Friday the 13th is an unlucky day, but until now I have never found it to be so. In fact, Sam Gil, our Vice President for Marketing and Communications — the man who will edit and post this blog on our website — was born on a Friday the 13th. That was surely a lucky day for Sam, and for us.

Friday, July 13, 2012, however, will forever be a bittersweet date, if not unlucky at Camillus House. For Friday, July 13, 2012 is the day when our beloved Clinical Director, Patricia A. Cawley, LCSW, returns to Massachusetts after 15 1/2 years at Camillus House and Camillus Health Concern. She will be working for the Duffy Health Center, a Federally Qualified Health Center for the Homeless grantee in Hyannis, MA. Pat received her Master of Social Work degree from Boston College's Graduate School of Social Work and is licensed to practice in Florida and her native Massachusetts.
January 20, 2012 marked Pat's 15th year of service to persons who are poor and homeless in Miami, making her the fourth longest-tenured member of Camillus House's staff. Pat originally came to South Florida as a consultant with Boston's Associates for Human Potential to upgrade Camillus' grass-roots recovery-oriented substance abuse residential program. What began as a three-month project grew into a commitment to the poorest of Miami's poor more than 60 times that in length.

In the intervening years, Pat established the Camillus Life Center (now the Camillus House Institute of Social and Personal Adjustment or ISPA) as a state-licensed residential treatment program for persons who are homeless and suffer from a mental illness and/or an addiction. She secured Camillus' first State and Federal Funding for substance abuse and mental illness treatment, and spearheaded the transformation of ISPA's treatment programming to the emerging “co-occurring disorders” model. Recently she successfully completed Camillus' four-year long effort to enroll Camillus in the State's Medicaid program. Along the way, Pat recruited top-flight clinicians and provided first-rate training opportunities for Social Work students from area universities.
As Camillus House programming grew, Pat assumed responsibility for overall program effectiveness as Chief Operating Officer and Clinical Director. When Camillus Health Concern's Project Safe Street program for HIV/AIDS began to founder, Pat added Director of that program to her full time duties. And when Camillus' nascent Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) program needed strong leadership she added ACT Team Director to her list of responsibilities.

In her “other full time job” as Clinical Director, Pat oversaw the day-to-day operations of Camillus House's programs, including ISPA, Direct Care Ministry, Housing and the Job Opportunity Bureau (JOB). She also has spearheaded our emerging cooperative program for a new Courtyard service with Florida International University. This year, Pat was named Social Worker of the Year by the Miami Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers.

It has been my honor to work alongside Pat Cawley for half of her 15 years at Camillus House. It has been my blessing to have had the benefit of her clinical acumen, institutional knowledge and street wisdom as we have led the transformation of Camillus House during these challenging times. I cannot imagine working with a better professional partner than Pat Cawley, and I, for one, will sorely miss her. We wish Pat well in her new responsibilities as she prepares to “go home again.”

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Serving the South Florida community since 1960, Camillus House is a non-profit organization that provides humanitarian services to men, women and children who are poor and homeless.