Meet Curt Mower, our New Chief Clinical Officer
Children’s Home proudly provides clinical services to youth and families who need it most in our community. We recently welcomed a new Chief Clinical Officer from Colorado to lead the agency’s therapeutic programs and offerings.
Welcome to Peoria! Tell us about yourself and your background.
I grew up in a rural, small town in Central Utah where I enjoyed a wide variety of outdoor activities and aspects of a small, agricultural town (ask me about cow-tipping or snipe hunting sometime!) I especially loved music and sports. After graduating from high school, I spent a few years as a heavy equipment operator and truck driver before I started on my undergraduate degree in Psychology at Utah State University. It was here that I had my first job in the behavioral health field as a direct care staff working 2nd shift and weekends at a small program that provided care and treatment to people who experienced severe and persistent mental illness. After graduating from USU, I eventually moved across the country to complete a Master’s degree at Auburn University.
Since then, I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have so many great experiences with a variety of organizations serving a vast array of people in various levels of care. My memories of all those experiences are dominated by recollections of wonderful, caring, dedicated, intelligent, passionate people I’ve crossed paths with. Everyone I have met at Children’s Home has been so kind and welcoming, and I’m incredibly excited to work alongside the people who make up this organization.
You’ll be overseeing all the Clinical operations and deliverables at Children’s Home, which impacts nearly every single program. Can you paint a picture of how you approach your work when it comes to providing care for our population of at-risk youth?
There are many effective models and approaches to providing care to at-risk youth and families. The proliferation of research and focus on evidence-based approaches in the past decade or so has been a significant step forward in the behavioral health industry. As we continue to discover more and more effective interventions, it will be increasingly important for organizations to stay abreast of the latest research and to invest in providing ongoing and highly effective training to staff. While the approaches we select to use will continue to change and our practices evolve, our ability to apply those approaches with Curiosity, Compassion, Communication, and Connection will set us apart as a premiere provider.
What does it mean to be a Behavior Analyst? Can you explain that term to folks who are new here?
Behavior analysis is the science of behavior, with a history extending back to the early 20th century. It is based on the premise that attempts to improve the human condition through behavior change (e.g., education, behavioral health treatment) will be most effective if behavior itself is the primary focus.
So basically, it means that you have to dissect the behavior from the incident itself. You have to analyze the “why.” Behavior analysis is great because it applies to literally everyone! It’s the predictability and science behind what we do and why we do it.
How that impacts me, my field, and my role as it relates to youth with behavioral health needs is that analyzing the behavior helps us to develop effective treatment and care.
What was it about Children’s Home that made you want to pursue this opportunity?
There are so many things that made me excited about this opening at Children’s Home. I liked the long and important history of the agency being a key social support for the community. The diversity of programs that make up Children’s Home was, and is, very appealing, too. When I visited the area, I felt very welcomed by people here. I’m excited by the leadership team’s commitment to make Children’s Home the best at what we do, to treat people right, to listen to our staff, and to be innovative and creative providers of excellent services.
You recently relocated from Colorado – why did you chose to move to Central Illinois? We don’t have mountain views like you’re probably used to!
I will miss Colorado for sure! It’s a beautiful place. In my opinion, the best part about Colorado is its people, and Central Illinois seems to have the same kind of wonderful and kind culture that I experienced there. That was a big part of the reason I chose to join Children’s Home!
If you had to choose: ski or snowboard?
Ha! I don’t do either, as surprising as that is! I have preferred snowshoeing for a winter sport. Less traffic and crowds and you still get to see some beautiful backcountry.
How do you like to unwind? Where can we spot you around town on the weekends?
I got into cycling in Colorado and I unwind with a good indoor workout or outside ride when the weather gets a little warmer, and then replacing those calories with a good craft beer! You’ll definitely spot me checking out some local mountain bike trails, discovering some new roads to ride, and at local restaurants and breweries for the post ride celebration!
Anything else you’d like to add?
I’m looking forward to a great new chapter in Peoria and am excited to serve Children’s Home youth and families.