Stop, Collaborate, and Care: Inside the Culture of UPMC Western Psychiatric

Header image of Jeremy W., Director of Clinical Services, UPMC Western Psychiatric Hospital

For more than 60 years, UPMC Western Psychiatric Hospital has been a national leader in providing best practice, research-based care and a broad array of innovative psychiatric and addiction services for children, adolescents, adults, and seniors at every stage of their recovery.

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Passion for Patients

For Jeremy W., Director of Clinical Services at UPMC Western Psychiatric Hospital, his passion for medicine has always been driven by people.

Jeremy began his career as a manager at a big box national retailer. While he enjoyed his job, he struggled with the market instability in his line of work and his underlying desire to work in a field where he could make a difference in the lives of others. As he considered his options, Jeremy observed the impact of his wife, Mary, an oncology nurse at UPMC Shadyside. Mary frequently came home with stories of patients and their family members who had approached her with appreciation for the care that they received.

Inspired by Mary’s example and her passion for helping patients, Jeremy chose to switch paths and pursue a career in nursing.

Jeremy’s Career Journey

Jeremy’s career at UPMC began as a Student Nurse Associate on the Atrium unit at UPMC Western Psychiatric Hospital. “I always had an interest in psychology and behavioral health,” Jeremy said, “and I knew that I wanted to work as a nurse in behavioral health.” After graduating from nursing school, he transitioned to a new role as a psychiatric nurse in the General Adult unit.

As his career progressed, Jeremy’s skills as a manager and his interest in leadership led him to take on larger and larger roles. In 2018, his leadership expertise led him into his current position – Director of Clinical Services at UPMC Western Psychiatric. According to Jeremy, this role involves “looking at how we can improve systems and processes that positively impact outcomes.”

On a day-to-day basis, Jeremy finds himself working to improve the patient experience, balancing the needs of direct care and support staff, and dealing with all kinds of challenges that arise. Yet at the end of the day, the people who surround him make it all worthwhile.

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

Jeremy’s team is composed of nurses, physicians, and therapists who each bring unique backgrounds and experiences to their work. His mission every day is to keep the whole team striving towards the same goal: providing the very best care to their patients.

“Promoting a culture of collaboration is what excites and motivates me,” Jeremy said. “Collaboration with patients in formulating plans of care, collaboration with staff to enhance engagement and professional development, and collaboration with leadership to position UPMC Western Psychiatric as the leader in behavioral health care.”

That’s a huge goal, but according to Jeremy, it’s the small moments that matter. “Reading a thank you card from a patient sent from home that says they are doing well, or seeing staff receive a recognition award on a unit, or seeing teamwork collaboration every day that yields positive outcomes — all in all, the little things really stick out to me throughout my UPMC journey.”


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