by Derrick Vander Waal SIOUX CENTER, IOWA – Wendy Stangeland learned how to be empathetic with people while working as a 911 dispatcher.
That’s a skill that she knows she will use in her new roles as a behavioral health coordinator, receptionist and interpreter at Promise Community Health Center because patients need a person they can trust and feel comfortable talking to about their difficulties.
Wendy Stangeland has assumed her new roles of behavioral health coordinator, receptionist and interpreter at Promise Community Health Center in Sioux Center. She wants to help people feel more comfortable with the idea of visiting with a therapist and help them better understand how that can benefit their overall health.
Stangeland thinks the responsibilities are an excellent fit for her.
“I love working with people and interacting with them,” she said. “Being part of the behavioral health team will have me doing that and more. I also love seeking how people change from one stage in their life to the next, seeing them succeed for themselves, and if I/we can be part of that in their life, then I am happy to do it.”
Stangeland grew up in Maurice and graduated from MOC-Floyd Valley High School in 2009. She earned her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice administration from National University in 2013. She worked as a 911 dispatcher in Waynesville, MO, for over a year before starting at Promise this fall.
“I had heard so many great things about Promise, and I wanted to be a part of it,” she said. “It gives me the opportunity to be part of a great team.”
As the behavioral health coordinator, Stangeland’s primary duties will be talking to people about the behavioral health services offered at Promise and letting them know how those services can benefit their overall health. She will help people feel comfortable about talking to a therapist no matter what they are going through – whether it’s anxiety, depression or another situation. She also will interpret for Spanish-speaking patients when they visit with Megan Birdsong, who serves patients onsite at Promise two days per week as a mental health therapist from Seasons Center for Behavioral Health.
As a receptionist, Stangeland wants to be the welcoming face that greets people when they arrive and thanks them when they leave.
“Being the face of this clinic motivates me to do my best and be the best with each and every patient,” she said.
She has been impressed with Promise.
“I have noticed that everyone gets along and sees each other as a family instead of just people they work with,” Stangeland said. “Staff also cares about patients and tries to do everything to make every visit a good one – no matter what their situation is.”
Wendy Stangeland and her husband, Jeff, have a 4-year-old girl, Aubree. They live in Sioux Center, but Jeff currently is stationed in Rogers, AR, in the Marine Corps.She enjoys traveling, doing photography, watching movies, baking, and spending time with family and friends.