Card did not enter the field with aspirations to become a manager, but she was identified by her peers and organizational leaders as a dedicated and high-capacity leader and was named vice president of clinical services and director operating Greater Lakes Mental Healthcare in 1998. She enrolled in Chapman University’s Master of Health Administration program and graduated in 2005. In 2012, she was named President and Chief the management of Greater Lakes. In 2018, when Greater Lakes merged with MultiCare, she was appointed to her current position.
As COO of Outpatient Operations for MultiCare Behavioral Health, Card oversees outpatient operations for MultiCare Behavioral Health, Greater Lakes and Navos. She is still passionate about clinical work and admits that there are days when she misses the serious and sincere work of client care. However, she understands how her current role has a substantial impact on the quality of mental health services provided by her organization.
“I take great pride in developing leaders below me,” says Card. “If I can make sure they are respectful and compassionate towards people with mental illness or mental health issues; if I can organize the work and create a structure that meets the needs of the community; and if I can do the right thing for the organization, the community and the staff – for me, that’s hugely satisfying.
Card relies on his experience in the field to inform his behind-the-scenes decisions and says his role is both that of a behavioral health expert and that of a senior administrator. “Right now it’s probably 30/70, with 30% of my work focused on behavioral health, thinking about challenges directly related to things like mental health or dealing with substance abuse disorders,” says -she. “Then the remaining 70% is spent on administration, infrastructure, systems, etc.”
Whether it’s clinical care or management, Card says behavioral health is an area where care is a prerequisite. “You shouldn’t get into the field if you don’t care about human beings,” she says. “It’s necessary to treat clients and it’s necessary to supervise clinicians.”