In 1995, Illinois decided to create the MISA (Mental Illness & Substance Abuse) Institute to develop an infrastructure for the hundreds of organizations providing services to patients with a dual diagnosis of both a mental illness and a substance abuse issue. I was offered and accepted the job as Institute Director. The institute successfully developed a website, printed a quarterly newsletter, and held training events throughout the state on a regular basis. The success of the institute led the Department of Public Health to expand training for their staff statewide as well as community agencies working with the mentally ill. I was promoted to coordinate both the MISA Institute and the new organization.
I had always been interested in alternative medicine, and during this time I also started providing training at Berkeley Patients Group, a cannabis dispensary founded by my daughter, Debby Goldsberry. In 2002, my husband and I chose to leave Illinois and move to California where our children were living. I worked for several years as the Director of Nursing at a long-term care facility and a hospice, retiring in 2011.
In 2016, I came out of retirement to become the Director of Clinical Services at Magnolia Oakland. With my training and clinical background, I am facilitating new groups and services, along with developing training for staff. As a life-long nurse, I remain committed to the provision of quality care for all the patients who come through our doors.
Just as a side note, during my career I was invited to testify in Washington, D.C. in Congress on pay equity issues. I was president of the union that represented all the nurses employed in Illinois state agencies: Corrections, Public Health, Public Aid, etc., as well as treasurer of the Illinois Nurses Association. I worked tirelessly on the Equal Rights Amendment and marched in Washington on the final day that the amendment could have passed.
Fifty years after my mother said, “Be a nurse, you will always have a job,” I am still working.
Please come back regularly for more information on medical conditions covered by the California law and for updates on current best practices when it comes to using cannabis. Please check out the Events calendar and attend one of our groups. You are not alone!