(with throwback photos!)
It’s truly hard to believe that today marks two decades since Chrysalis Center opened its doors. At that time, we were 2 psychologists in a small 3-room office in Oleander Office Park and now we are incredibly grateful to be in a sprawling 4-suite office space in Burnt Mill Business Park employing 12 therapists, 4 dietitians, 1 prescriber, and 4 administrative support team members.
We are also exceptionally proud of the training programs we offer, having precepted numerous interns over the years in a variety of disciplines from several different universities who are able to provide pro bono counseling in our community. We are also a behavioral health rotation for the family medicine residents in our area, teaching future doctors about eating disorders which are highly complex disorders wrought with potential medical complications. Both Kelly Broadwater and Terri Mozingo are approved supervisors for the International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals (IAEDP) and we have several clinicians on staff who are able to supervise associates for their respective licensing boards. In addition to teaching, supervising, and supporting the next generation of clinicians, our ambitious team shares a love of learning and have (or are currently) pursuing various specialty certifications. Most recently, Jen Myers became a licensed Be Body Positive facilitator, Aiereal Lloyd earned her Perinatal Mental Health certification, and Terri Mozingo is a newly minted certified Intuitive Eating counselor.
Outreach is another area we proudly focus on, feeling it’s important to give back to the community, as well as share our knowledge base with other professionals in our disciplines. Since our last anniversary, we have assembled a team that participated in the Cape Fear Heart Walk, we were sponsors of the Wilmington Out of the Darkness Walk associated with the American Society for Suicide Prevention, we collected and donated items to the Good Shepherd Center which supports the unhoused in our area, and we held a networking event for perinatal health professionals and will have a resource table at the upcoming Climb out of the Darkness walk which benefits the NC Chapter of Perinatal Support International.
Our team has also been busy with professional presentations this year. Kelly Broadwater has shared her bariatric expertise with the Carolinas Bariatric Society, the Obesity Action coalition, and in a few weeks will speak at the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgeons annual meeting. Terri Mozingo and Riley Burns co-presented at the 2023 SEAHEC Pediatric Symposium in March and Alaina Van Gelder led a four-hour training at the 2nd Annual Southeastern Behavioral Health Summit in May.
Another exciting development in the past year is our Health Equity Initiative, headed up by Riley Burns and Megan Vaughn, focusing on providing affirming care to LGBTQIA+ clients. Understanding that this population has unique needs when it comes to mental health support and eating disorder recovery, we are striving to better meet those needs via staff training and providing more inclusive programming. This year we launched an Embodying Queerness group led by Kaelin Kennedy for LGBTQIA+ clients, focusing on building trust and pride in their bodies.
Hopefully this synopsis demonstrates just how committed we are as an organization to our values of quality and teamwork! Speaking of quality, we’d be remiss not to acknowledge and honor the memory of one of our founders who passed away in 2022, Dr. Kiersten Nash (Okine) Andersen. Kayj was a counseling psychologist and eating disorder specialist who took both our executive director and clinical director under her wing early in our careers and taught us so much during our time as our supervisor. Her passion for teaching and love of learning was truly foundational to key members of our team and we hope that her legacy lives on as Kelly and Meghan both supervise future clinicians and eating disorder specialists.
I am humbled to be writing this blog and reflecting on the growth of Chrysalis over the past 20 years and the amazing accomplishments just in the time since our last anniversary. I hope that we continue to embody our mission, vision, and values and “Restore Hope” and “Empower Change” for many years to come.