Vanessa attended Minnesota State University where she earned her Bachelor of Social Work. She has worked in the field since 2013, most recently as a Family Advocate with Solid Ground and as a Resource Counselor with Wellcome Manor Family Services. Her professional goal is to continue to work towards her Master’s degree. She considers her greatest strengths to be her ability to collaborate with other agencies and resources to build networks for her clients, to value the individual’s choice in their care, and to think creatively when resources are scarce to fill the gap. Vanessa is passionate about working in the chemical dependency/mental health field because she finds it inspiring to watch the resiliency of individuals working towards recovery and reconnecting to who they are and who they want to become. In her free time, she enjoys doing a variety of crafts/projects, cooking, and playing with her dog Gryffindor.
Lillian graduated from St. Cloud State University with her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and International Relations and a minor in Human Relations and Race. She started with Park Avenue Center as an Admissions Coordinator in 2020 and was promoted to her current position as Marketing and Business Development Specialist. Lillian prides herself on her forward thinking, compassion for others, and communication skills. She is passionate about helping others become the best possible versions of themselves. In her free time, Lillian loves baking, going to concerts with friends, and hanging out at home with her cat.
Suzannah attended Argosy University where she earned her MA in Clinical Psychology. She completed an internship at Park Avenue Center and worked here as a Complex Co-occurring Counselor before leaving to gain further experience with Beauterre Recovery Institute. Suzy has returned to Park Avenue in her current role and we are thrilled to have her back! She has worked in the field in many capacities from CD Tech to Counselor since 2012 and considers her greatest strength to be her unconditional compassion. She was inspired to work in this field because of her curiosity regarding the human mind and its capacity for healing and transformation. Her career goal is to increase awareness of mental illness and reduce the stigma related to mental illness and addiction. In her free time she enjoys being with family and nature. She is passionate about soccer and spends much of her time on the sideline of a soccer field.
Jenelle earned her MA at Adler Graduate School and is actively working towards mental health licensure while serving as a Counselor in Park Avenue Center’s Women’s Program. She most recently worked for Sanford Health where she gained experience working with women in recovery, LGBTQ issues and the Native American population. Jenelle is passionate about people and is motivated to work with underserved populations. She has been involved in foster care for over a decade and is committed to community service, having served as a board member for several organizations. She was inspired to join this field due to her personal experience with trauma, multicultural family backgrounds, and the impact of generational trauma for Native America families and communities. Through this work, she feels she is better able to serve her community in a way that would make a difference and bring healing, hope and empowerment to others.
Colleen received her ADN at Anoka Ramsey Community College and attended the College of St. Scholastica where she earned her BSN in Nursing. She is currently enrolled at the University of MN where she is pursuing an advanced nursing degree to become an Adult-Geriatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner. Prior to joining Park Avenue Center, Colleen worked as an RN Case Manager with Allina Health. Colleen feels that patients with mental health and substance use disorders are often overlooked in healthcare, especially in primary care settings, and wants to be able to make a difference in the lives of those individuals. She is passionate about helping individuals in underserved communities have access to much needed healthcare service and educating patients about their health and wellness. In her free time, Colleen enjoys spending time outside in the summer, reading, and traveling.
Sefinesh attended Metropolitan State where she earned her BS in Alcohol and Drug Counseling. She became interested in the field while working in the ER at a local hospital. She met many patients with substance abuse issues and sought a way to help them. She is passionate about meeting clients where they are at, keeping a positive attitude, and getting people the help they need. Her professional goal is to continue her education and work towards becoming licensed as an LPCC.
Abby completed her MSN degree from St. Catherine University. Prior to joining Park Avenue Center, she worked as a Cardiac RN and Charge RN/Preceptor at North Memorial Hospital and was a 2018 Daisy Award Nominee-an International award for honoring exceptional nursing faculty and students. Abby has experience working with clients with SPMI, substance abuse disorders, and acute and chronic cardiovascular conditions. She feels that those suffering from mental illness and substance abuse are often under-represented and misunderstood and is passionate about helping people holistically improve their physical and mental health. Her professional goal is to continue her education and become a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. In her free time, Abby enjoys endurance sports, Pilates, and spending time with her family.
Michael completed his associate’s degree in Addiction Counseling at MCTC and joined Park Avenue Center’s Intake Department. He brings with him previous experience working with individuals with TBI. He was inspired to work in the field after meeting others who enjoyed the work and found it very rewarding. His future professional goal is to complete school and immerse himself in the field and build his skills. He most enjoys hearing the clients’ stories and experiences and getting them started on their journey to recovery. In his free time, Michael enjoys fishing.
Abigail graduated from Bethel University where she earned her Bachelors’ Degree and attained her LSW. Prior to joining Park Avenue, Abigail interned with United Hospital where she gained experience working with individuals moving into transitional care and Eastside Neighborhood Services where she worked alongside clients experiencing dementia and Alzheimer’s. Abigail chose to work at Park Avenue because she is passionate about seeing the good in people who cannot always see the good in themselves and helping them find stability and success in their lives. Her future professional goal is to complete her MSW degree and continue growing within her field. In her free time, Abigail enjoys organizing and cleaning and has a love for fashion and interior decorating.
Patrick attended the University of Minnesota where he earned his MS degree and became licensed as a Registered Dietitian. Prior to coming to Park Avenue, Patrick most recently worked for Open Door Health Center as a Diabetes Educator. While working with Type 1 and 2 diabetics and underserved populations in rural MN, it became clear to him that society has created barriers to good health. He is determined to work with clients to break down those barriers and help them better understand and take control of their physical health. He’s passionate about the role that health and wellness play in recovery from substance abuse and works to help the clients achieve their own version of a healthy, balanced lifestyle. His is currently working to complete a Masters of Social Work degree so he can better assist clients in the future.