Health Solutions chief draws inspiration from care art Lexington Herald Leaderfree health care

So it is important to Perry that when any client, regardless of socioeconomic or illness, walk through the bright and airy hallways with the vaulted skylights and park benches, they feel like they belong.

When she was years old, Dorothy Perry stood at deaths door.

In April , Perry joined the staff of Spanish Peaks Behavioral Health. Under her guidance, the agency rebranded itself as Health Solutions and, in mid, purchased its current campus.

Not one to be deterred, Perry eventually took up fiber work, learning to weave, use a loom and make Navajo blankets. An original Navajo in understated black, red and white rests in a corner of her office.

In this Jan. , photo, CEO Dorothy Perry is reflected in a mirror she made as it hangs on a wall inside Health Solutions building in Pueblo, Colo. Perry is the president and chief executive of Health Solutions, which provides behavioral health services, primary medical care, creative therapies such as art and horticulture and substanceabuse treatment, including a residential opioid treatment cility, among other services.

On the opposite wall hangs a mirror with a customized frame made of ceramics, beads, glass and buttons, to start. The brightly ed reds, greens, golds and creams of the mosaic frame lend a joyful atmosphere to the office suite.

She is also the organizations designer and primary artist.

Health Solutions has a million budget, and about of its patients are on Medicaid, Perry said. The agency counts the chronically homeless and some of the most seriously, persistently mentally ill members of our community among its clients.

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Perry went back to school in pursuit of a Masters of business administration, her second masters degree. Her first is in education with an emphasis on counseling, and she in she earned a doctorate in human services with an emphasis on health care administration. Eventually the highly educated and driven Arizona native made her way to Pueblo and, from to , a stint as executive director of SyCare.

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Call it a case of early realization lovingly taking shape in a vision that was built to last.

In my mind you have to .?.?. provide good services, but you have to provide them in an atmosphere where the patient feels, I deserve this. I am welcome,? she said. Its not enough to provide a warm place to come. .?.?. If youre comforle with the place you come to get health care, youre more likely to continue with treatment.

We had waste issues, electrical issues, said Dawn Yengich, Health Solutions public relations and marketing director.

It was so impactful, and I had to do that every day for six weeks.

To say the building needed some work would be an understatement. The dilapidated campus had its share of infrastructure problems and had been occupied by, for lack of a better word, squatters.

It was heart wrenching, she said. I would go out to my car and just cry sometimes.

Whether it be the outdoor fountains that greet guests during the warmer months, the comforle waiting areas, or the stone, glass, ceramic, mirrored and beaded mosaics that are sprinkled around the ,squarefoot building, theres nothing on the Health Solutions campus that Perrys eye and touch has not influenced. Or, in many circumstances, made.

I am absolutely absorbed in it, she said. There are so many ways to do mosaics, its endless.

Under Perrys direction, and with the blessing of the agencys board of directors, the building was all but gutted and renovated from scratch. Two tenants a dialysis provider and internal medicine office remain from that original building.

Occasionally I think about the tumor and think Wow, that was years ago,? Perry said. Wow. Why have I been blessed to be able to live all these years?

With a clean canvas on which to work, Perry set about designing the building in such a way that it combines both her artistic passion and her fervent belief that the cility should feel welcoming to all of its clients.

Today, that vision is on in full in the courtyard, vestibules and hallways of the Health Solutions central campus in Pueblos Belmont neighborhood. Perry is the president and chief executive of the organization, which provides behavioral health services, primary medical care, creative therapies such as art and horticulture and substanceabuse treatment, including a residential opioid treatment cility, among other services.

Health Solutions chief draws inspiration from care, art Lexington Herald Leader

When I was done, I decided I was going to finish my MBA because I had a vision for health care, Perry, , said.

In this Jan. , photo, CEO Dorothy Perry is reflected in a mirror she made as it hangs on a wall inside Health Solutions building in Pueblo, Colo. Perry is the president and chief executive of Health Solutions, which provides behavioral health services, primary medical care, creative therapies such as art and horticulture and substanceabuse treatment, including a residential opioid treatment cility, among other services.

I tend to be rightbrained and leftbrained, Perry said. I can sit and pour over spreadsheets at my desk and then go home and flip on the other side.

Perry, then a counselor, underwent surgery, chemotherapy and days of the highestlevel radiation a human being can survive.

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Nearby, a series of handdecorated bowls, platters and trays depicting everything from a large flower to an abstract cubist pattern bedeck an antiquelooking wooden dresser. A large mosaic platter decorated in rings of descending hangs above this collection. The palette of the eyecatching piece comprises cool hues of greens, purples and blues set against a white .

All of these are original Dorothy Perry works. For it was in the multimedia world of mosaics that Perry found her medium of choice.

But I took a class and it was horrible, the softspoken CEO said with a laugh.

You just have to pinch yourself Im still here. Thank the Lord.

A tumor had broken through her brain tissue and had wrapped around the carotid arteries feeding her brain. While the mass was not cancerous, it was squeezing one of her arteries, a critical source of blood to the organ.

Backtrack a half a lifetime, now, to that notyetyearolds brush with mortality. Following surgery, Perry spent long hours receiving chemotherapy. Treatments ran five days per week over six weeks, and she said sitting alongside and chatting with her fellow patients some of whom ced terminal illnesses changed her perspective on health care.

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