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Appleton behavioral specialist is loved by coworkers, patients

10/21/19 10:44:am

maria recker 2.jpgFeeling comfortable and trusting your care team goes a long way in ensuring that treatment is effective and patients are happy with their care. Maria Recker is a behavioral specialist in Appleton, and the feedback she receives from her patients shows just how important trust is.

Maria’s passion, creativity, and ability to build a trusting relationship is praised by patient and peer alike.

“She is an amazing OCD behavioral specialist,” says Signa Meyers, director of operations. “She’s worked in the Appleton clinic since we opened, and patients love her. I think she really represents the fact that we can touch the lives of our patients who have seriously debilitating diseases with our stellar care.”

Maria first came to Rogers four years ago as a behavioral specialist in the eating disorder program but has worked in the adult OCD program for the past three years, which Maria says that she “absolutely loves.”

Her enthusiasm for her work is one reason why Signa believes Maria’s approach resonates with patients.

“Maria is passionate about her work in treating OCD,” Signa says. “You can see it in her eyes. She’s not afraid of the hard work it sometimes takes to really move the needle with our patients. It’s a joy to watch her work.”

Maria’s interest in working within mental health was sparked by her own struggles as a kid, “There were so many gaps in resources and I wanted to help change that,” she says. “Before Rogers I had always worked with kids, but now I’ve found that I really enjoy helping adults too.”

Press Ganey comments about Maria back up Signa’s praise. “Working with Maria was life-changing for me […] She regularly went above and beyond what I expected. Maria is the best therapist with whom I have ever worked. Rogers is so lucky to have her,” says one former patient.

Whenever Maria receives a note or a letter from a patient, it goes into what she calls a “smile file.”

“If I’m having a rough day or questioning whether I’m making a difference, I get them out and read them,” she says. “I like to see that I may have played a small part in these people getting their lives back—that is the most rewarding thing about this job.”

maria recker 1 (1).jpgIn addition to the letters and comments that Maria receives from former patients, her peers have equally positive things to say about her: “I think patients enjoy working with Maria because she really takes the time to develop a strong rapport with them,” one of her coworkers says. “She is awesome at balancing validating their concerns while at the same time challenging them. She is so passionate about her providing high quality care to her patients, her program, and the overall progress and well-being of her group. She set boundaries when necessary and uses humor when appropriate, which I think the patients appreciate.”

Throughout her time at Rogers, Maria says that she’s made too many great memories to single one out as her favorite and enjoys working with her team members.

“We do a group Halloween costume every year,” she says. “We have done other dress up or theme days that are fun and the staff once had an intense scavenger hunt throughout the entire building that got really competitive—racing up and down five flights of stairs for the clues. I also have fond memories of specific patients who had made remarkable progress.”

In her free time, Maria is usually hanging out with her family. She also loves to craft and sew, and all of her colleagues who are having a baby get their own handmade quilt or blanket as a gift.

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