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Dr. Angela M. Orvis champions DEI and expanding access to care to underserved communities

12/15/23 02:00:pm

Orvis.jpgAngela M. Orvis, PsyD, is the clinical supervisor for West Allis’ Focus Depression Recovery adult residential care. She also provides covering supervision for the System and has worked with West Allis’ Addiction Recovery adult inpatient care, Oconomowoc’s Focus Depression Recovery adult residential care, and OCD, Anxiety and Depression adult residential care.

“I think my sporadic coverage has given me a lot of opportunity to support some really extraordinary team members I wouldn’t have met otherwise,” says Dr. Orvis.

Additionally, she spends part of her time in a new role at Rogers as clinical supervisor of health equity.

“I’ve felt a lot of support from my fellow psychologists and operations leaders to make it as successful as it can be,” she says. “Ultimately, the role is designed to ensure that we stay up to date on trends, such as rising suicidality within the LGBTQ+ and black youth populations, and brainstorm how we can best support those needs. It’s also involved a lot of leadership training and protocol review and development.”

This past June, Dr. Orvis celebrated her tenth year at Rogers. She started her career as a practicum student in the Child Adolescent Day Treatment program in West Allis when she was in graduate school.

“I really enjoyed being a part of a team that provided a needed service to the community I grew up in,” she says. “It was wonderful to see kids that looked like me and my family being provided with quality care and services, despite their lack of financial resources. Now that I am in more of a leadership role, I want to do my best to create space for diverse individuals to feel that they belong at Rogers.”

After a year, she was offered a role as a psychological assistant, and later became an attending psychologist, then clinical supervisor in West Allis, and, more recently, clinical supervisor of health equity.

“I think it’s really amazing to be able to work with patients who come into a program thinking nothing has helped, this program won’t be any different, and then see them discharge having hope, using skills, asserting their needs, and knowing that this is just the start of their journey,” she says. “It’s also been great to work on system change so that we can better serve people with rising identities including BIPOC, LGBTQ+, religious minorities who might not have as much access to quality care. My team works very hard at providing safe and affirming environments of healing. It’s super cool to see them believe that and feel it, sometimes for the first time in their lives.”

Dr. Orvis loves working with her clinical team and making conversations about diversity more comfortable.

“They are all rock stars and provide amazing services to really challenging and complex cases,” she says. “I can say without a doubt they change lives every day for the better! So, thank you to all the behavior specialists, therapists, MHTs, nurses, physicians, experiential therapists, Environmental Services, Admissions, and operations leaders I have the privilege of working with every day!

Secondly, I really enjoy providing education when it comes to DEI initiatives, especially those that help support our leaders in their own DEI journey. I think the topic of diversity can be scary and that fear prevents us from learning and growing. I approach these conversations from a place of non-judgment and am really grateful that so many leaders can reach out to me so they can better support their teams and patients, regardless of their own personal thoughts or opinions. I’ve had some really engaging conversations.”

Dr. Orvis says although she’s a pretty private person, she’s challenging herself to be more open.

“Now that I’m a more visible leader, I want to be better about being up front about who I am,” she says. “I am a Mexican American, queer, cis-gender woman. Representation matters, right? My queerness and my brownness are important to me and it’s interesting to see how they intersect with my identity as a leader. Until recently, there weren’t many leaders that looked like me or were open about their identities. This is changing and I hope to see more growth in people feeling safe to do so.”

Getting to know Dr. Orvis

dog.JPGDr. Orvis enjoys nature and hiking in all seasons, even in winter. Recently, she’s gotten into rock climbing and bouldering, and she hopes to get her lead tag before the end of the year.

She has a very large family, most of whom are local, and she has a 4-year-old greyhound dog that she adopted a couple years ago named Freya.

Dr. Orvis would love to live in the Pacific Northwest one day.

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