Insight 5th Ed._Alice J. Olson

1995. For many years, Ms. Olson taught American Sign Language classes in northwest Indiana. Well-regarded for her accomplishments in the field, she has received letters of commendation from President Ronald Reagan and Indiana Governors Robert Orr and Otis Bowen. In accounting for her success, Ms. Olson credits her ability to advocate for her patients. How have you navigated disruptions in your industry to remain a top professional? I am a very curious and stubborn person. Once I got over some of my insecurities, I always asked to mentor or observe some of my colleagues so I could learn from them. I will listen to all of the information, but I will work in my own way. I always tell my clients that I have to go to sleep with myself at night, so I want to be comfortable and happy with what I did throughout the day. What are two key behaviors/personality traits that allow you to be effective in your role? I am compassionate and caring. I also think I am a better listener, with both the “third eye and the third ear” because of my hearing loss. I am watching to see if someone is saying one thing, but their body is telling me something else. What is the most important issue/challenge you are dealing with in your industry? A lot of programs didn’t make it last year. They closed down because people were either losing their jobs or didn’t want to come in because of COVID-19. We are lucky because we are a small facility, and we took many precautions. How do you feel your industry has changed/evolved? I am old enough that I remember when managed care came in the early 1990s and I absolutely hated it, but over about five years, I started hearing about various big-name companies that had strong outcomes. We didn’t have enough data and information for diagnosis, but I always gave valid diagnoses and treatments. In the long run, the people that I talked to were just trying to make sure we were doing the right things for clients. It helped us tighten things up so that what we were doing wouldn’t drag on for three years. The evidencebased studies coming out are saying, under ideal conditions, that you can get somebody functioning much better within six months with their major depression. We have gotten better at what we do, and I mostly agree with insurance companies when they say to get rehabilitation work done in three months, which keeps us on our toes to get the right amount of time. I’m not sure what is going to happen with telehealth, but right now, my license can go over various states because of the pandemic — I am seeing people across the United States. What excites you the most about your industry? Depending on how long people have been using drugs and alcohol, it is like a lady having a baby — yes, they have to go back to work in six weeks, although their body isn’t ready for another six months, so I am watching for them to lose that blunt, lost look as they navigate going back to work and finding Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. I want to say to someone, “Oh my God, I just saw a genuine smile from you.” Sometimes they look at me like I’m weird, but then a week or two later, they will say it is easier to smile. Watching my patients rediscover their feelings and begin to feel safe and trust themselves again is rewarding. Fifth Edition Marquis Who’s Who INSIGHT 15 INSIGHT MARQUIS WHO′S WHO FIFTH EDITION