Welcome to New Haven - A Journey of Healing Written by John L. Stewart, New Haven Executive Director

I love working at New Haven! To be a part of the courageous and hopeful path of healing that families undertake is awe-inspiring. It is so impressive to experience with families the dedication of love, devotion, and drive for a healthier family. It is an honor to be a part of this journey. I received another “6 month call” from New Haven’s founder, Mark McGregor, in April, 2001. 3 years prior to that time, every 6 months, Mark had been inviting me to work as a therapist at New Haven.

Each time this “6 month call,” affectionately titled by Mark and known to the management team, I would reply “life is good here” at my previous employment of working as Clinical Director with adults in an outpatient drug and alcohol setting. However, that day in April 2001, Mark shared with me the situation was different this time. He needed me to take over his role as Clinical Director so he could devote full time to cancer treatment. Spiritually, I knew it was time to make the change. I wanted to be a part of New Haven. And I needed the growing opportunity to work with families. I committed to join the New Haven family. The next month I started.

I learned a lot from Mark and Kathy. Their extensive sacrifice to make it all happen still brings tears to my eyes. They loved the healing journey with the families. I was fortunate to have that impressed upon me. Mark initially was able to obtain remission from the cancer and still be a part of New Haven’s operations. Unfortunately, after about a year or so, the cancer came back aggressively. Sadly, Mark passed away July, 2005.

From the beginning, the dedication, love & support, commitment, and motivation for excellence was apparent among the employees. I learned so much from so many people in those early days- Dustin Tibbitts, David Mayeski, Megan Slater, Kris Kilpatrick, Laurie Laird, Karie Swenson, Karl Jensen, and many others. We learned as a group, under Dustin’s leadership, that the Mission and Vision was the foundation, all else progressed from there. My first 10 years at New Haven I enjoyed being Clinical Director, learning how to support that vision Mark & Kathy established which I and the New Haven family of employees adhere to this day. After Dustin Tibbitts (previous Executive Director) was promoted to our parent company as President, I was privileged to be the next Executive Director. This has been a great experience- I still get to work with families, awesome employees, and learn the business side of New Haven.

Here’s what I’ve learned- everyone can make the journey of healing, the faith and trust to place a daughter with New Haven is truly inspiring, family work is crucial, devotion and passion exists here because of the caliber of people with the paycheck having little influence, animals (i.e., cats, dogs, horses, occasional goats, etc.) are great soothers, employees progressing personally along with families is impressive, and it is so humbling to be in the moment with parents who share their feelings of inadequacy and failure along with a daughter who doesn’t feel like she belongs or is loved. And they heal those traumatic feelings! Thank you New Haven!

Thank you for your interest in the marvelous story of New Haven’s beginning and journey. If you are interested in the original history write up by Dustin Tibbitts, former Executive Director of New Haven and his experience of how New Haven started from Day One please click on the link below.

Read Original History Write Up

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