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Joan Browne Celebrates 30 Years with Turning Point of Tampa

Joan's 30 year Blog for Turning Points of View
Tampa Chamber of Commerce, Small Business of the year nomination 2012

First off, I would like to say that it’s been a privilege to have been employed at Turning Point of Tampa for a total of 10,943 days, one day a time.

Turning Point of Tampa was established in 1987, but my journey at TPOT began in 1993, shortly after moving to Florida from California, with my husband. Initially, we moved here to take care of my elderly parents, which was a living amends. It is hard to believe that I have “suited up and showed up” at the same place, for that long. Lucky enough, I landed at what is now not only a leader in the Tampa Bay community, but also a leader in the field of addiction, dual diagnosis and eating disorders treatment.

My career as House Manager began in The Village, which was, at the time, separate from the business/therapist offices. In those early days we made village recovery life fun! My knack for creating recovery games, art projects and activities to teach clients “Recovery through Responsibility,” as well as having fun in recovery was only the beginning of what was to come in my future; a second career at TPOT. At that time our two 12-step meetings on Wednesday and Sunday nights were established, as well as many yearly holiday events that are now a tradition on campus and continue to be celebrated to this day by our clients.

In 1996 Robin Piper was brought on board and that added another layer of expertise, standards and credentials to TPOT. Eventually, in 2002. the two locations were combined by the construction of the main office building, allowing for everyone to be on one main campus. This changed TPOT and set us apart from other treatment centers, who offer what is known as the “The Florida Model” — where the residences are separate from all other medical and clinical staff. Having everyone and everything in one location made a significant difference in services. Clients now had access to therapists, the business office and medical care, if needed. Groups are held at the main office, now only steps away from the client residences.

Robin then promoted me from House Manager to Client Coordinator, Property Manager and Safety Officer! It was a big leap to oversee house manager staff, client needs and the safety of the village. In 2006 Robin also added the Intensive Outpatient Program building, including recreation rooms, known as the Marge Porter Resource Center.

Our yearly Comedy Intervention events were born from the desire to provide the recovery community and our alumni with an opportunity to gather and connect. TPOT has hosted many recovery comedians such as Mark Lundholm, John Lehr and Alonzo Bodden. Out of all my endeavors at TPOT, coordinating special events & video productions have been some of my favorite activities and have given me many fond memories.

My second career came about 15 years ago, when Robin asked me if I wanted to work in the Marketing Department. Soon after that I became the Director of Professional Relations. Robin sees a talent in people and invites them to fulfill their potential. This is evidenced by several current and former key employees and managers who were once clients, returning to school and coming back to help people recover. I was not sure about the Marketing position, but I knew how our treatment program works at TPOT. I knew I could share my knowledge about how it feels to come to treatment and what the facility accommodations were like. I was familiar with the importance of the safety protocols, and I knew all the personalities of the clinical staff and how much passion they had for helping people to recover. Leaving my position as client coordinator to be on the road was intimidating, however it turned out to be an exciting adventure.

Working as the Director of Professional Relations brought yet another level of character building. My discovery that some treatment facilities do not always do the right thing was disheartening. Turning Point of Tampa’s mission is to instill the promise of hope for recovery within each client. With the support of Robin and a well-established and well-respected Marketer, Clara Wells, I began the work of carrying the message of Turning Point of Tampa’s excellence to more people. Throughout the years, it has been an honor to have met some of the most insightful individuals who work tirelessly with people suffering from addiction and mental health disorders. Clara and I often said to each other, “thank God we work for one of the good ones!”

During the recent pandemic, which began in 2020, the Marketing team still needed let people know we were there for them. My team and I were able to produce “The Point is Recovery Podcast.” The team, made up of host & writer, Ashley Neal, co-host, Chris Nasuti, sound engineer, Jeremiah Fowler and producer, Me , aired 38 episodes dedicated to topics relating to recovery. We hosted a number of great guests, including doctors, celebrities in recovery, therapists, law enforcement officials, sober home professionals and many others. This alternative form of media allowed us to provide information about recovery at TPOT and education addiction related issues. We continue to meet likeminded people from all over the U.S. and abroad at behavioral health conferences, educational events, and through addiction and mental health advocacy work on the state level. I continue to have hope that there are still people out there doing the next right thing!

Working at TPOT for the past 30 years has not only changed the course of my life, it has also enhanced my recovery program in many ways. I have found my interactions with others to have been an asset to my long-term recovery, personal growth and feelings of achievement. I am grateful for the day that I started my career with Turning Point of Tampa as a House Manager.

As I near my retirement, I hope that I have brought recovery, some fun and a bit of integrity to my colleagues, alumni and partners in the community. Thank you, Turning Point of Tampa, for trusting me to carry your message.

Gallery of Joan

Turning Point of Tampa Addiction Treatment Tampa Florida

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