Introducing, Kara Gately. Plumas District Hospitals Social Worker24-Jul-2020
Plumas District Hospital is very pleased to welcome Kara Gately to our team. The following is an introductory letter that Kara asked us to share with our community:
Thank you Plumas County for welcoming me back in every phase of life.
Though a Quincy native, here’s a little about me:
I knew early on that my chosen profession would be one geared towards advocating for others. What that looks like professionally has changed more times than I have transferred schools (that’s a lot). I graduated from CSU Chico with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science; my ideal degree due to my indecision and political science itself being a culmination of not one subject, but the intersection of the realms I am passionate about: history, politics, racial studies, social work, law, social justice, corrections, and systems.
I took two years off between my undergraduate program and graduate school attempting to find direction and my next step. I worked several jobs during this period (and moved to New York and back). One of these roles as a substitute teacher and another as a children’s foster care caseworker. I began to directly witness the disparity between children based on the environments in which they were raised, the resources available to them, their own health, and the health of their parents.
Social Work found me as I was searching to understand this pull towards social justice, mental health, and marginalized populations. I attended George Fox University in Portland, Oregon and graduated with my Master’s in Social Work in May 2019. My practicums included working within Child Protective Services as well as with children permanently placed within the foster care system. I also served as a mental health provider with the Oregon Youth Authority in a juvenile correctional facility. The strength and resilience that was shared with me in these spaces will forever inform my perspective and professional career.
After graduation I began working as an addictions counselor in the Portland area within several justice reinvestment programs. Essentially, these individuals were offered to engage in substance use treatment or fulfill their prison sentences. Once again, I was humbled by the manner in which I was welcomed into the lives of these individuals.
More recently I moved to Anchorage, Alaska after an employment offer to work in a children’s trauma center serving as a mental health provider for children who have experienced complex trauma and deemed mentally and emotionally disturbed. These federally mandated labels sound extreme, but mostly they were brave and beautiful children who were dealt a rough hand in life and were being parented by individuals that had experienced their own trauma. As it turns out, selling everything you own, moving days before the onset of a pandemic, and not knowing a soul on Alaskan soil isn’t the most sustainable of life plans. So here I am; blessed to be placed back in this little community of mine.
Things I get excited about: the neuroscience of trauma and addiction, foster care, attachment, mental health, correction reform, paddle boarding, pit bulls.
Tidbits I’ve learned along the way:
Multiple (and sometimes opposing) truths can be true at the same time.
People are often doing the best that they can with the tools and knowledge they currently possess.
People are hard to hate up close. Lean in.
Thank you everyone that has already welcomed me here to PDH. I am incredibly grateful for this opportunity to continue my education here and be involved in this effort to increase mental health services in rural communities.