Sanja Duggan, Accounting
When did you start working at Cedars?
Summer of 2014
What is your position?
Bookkeeper & staff comedian!
Do you have a story about “how you got here”?
I was meant to be here! It was a higher powered moment for sure. I was referred to Cedars at Cobble Hill by Tim Kearny, the personal trainer at the addiction treatment centre and before he even had a chance to recommend me, I had already been hired through another avenue! Not bad.
What did you think the first time you set foot on the property?
I thought to myself, this place reminds me of Tigh Na Mara Resort in Parksville, BC. I love it here! It is so beautiful. The walking trails, the fountain in front of administration, the staff and their fur animals. It is such a therapeutic environment. I sometimes choose to come on property instead of working from my home office just so I can be here!
What do you find sets Cedars at Cobble Hill apart from other addiction treatment facilities?
I find the connection and the individualized programming quite unique. Our staff to patient ratio is very high, so I feel we are best equipped to support each-other and our patients. Did I mention I also think it is BEAUTIFUL here? The property in itself is magic.
What is your favourite part about your job/working at Cedars?
The unity of our team. It feels like a big family here. There is a lot of support, integrity and enthusiasm going on. I did not grow up in the Cowichan Valley. In fact I grew up in Serbia. I moved to Vancouver, BC in 2001 and to Vancouver Island in 2008, but I find that Cobble Hill, BC, Cedars in particular, really feels like “home”.
What do you think is the biggest challenge for patients in treatment, and
how do you/does Cedars provide support? I think it is sometimes difficult for the patients to be away from their families. I communicate with the family members of patients on a regular basis regarding finances. I find I can be most supportive in listening to their concerns and connecting them with one of our addiction treatment counsellors. Residential Addiction Treatment can be tough work but I can assure you – it is worth it!
What do you find unique or valuable about the aftercare/continuing care provided to patients when they complete treatment?
From my perspective, I find the continued connection with Cedars especially unique. It is fascinating that we have the technology to connect with all of our alumni through online meetings/counseling no matter where they are whether it be in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, USA and beyond. Our continuing care provider, Simone Bell is such a supportive and wise woman, she genuinely cares for the well-being of all our patients.
Have you attended any of the lectures, is there anything you find unique or one you would like to share about the lecture series?
I have attended the Orientation Lecture, 12-Step Lecture and the Co-Addiction Workshop. What I appreciate about all of these is the real life examples, storytelling aspects, education, and science of addiction all mixed in. they are captivating and informative. I have learnt so much about the addictive process, and even how to apply the principles to my own life! I find the information provided in the lecture series at Cedars Cobble Hill to be extremely valuable. I look forward to attending more in the future!
Why do you think structure is so important in treatment?
Structure in addiction treatment I believe provides patients with a familiar process and platform to begin recovery. I find all human beings thrive with an element of structure, and a process to trust throughout the day. Learning how to do things like make it to meals on time, making their bed, attending group, having a sense of predictability and responsibility helps build confidence and the ability to “trust the process” “one day at a time”.
What do you like to do you in your spare time?
Sleep – I have two young children, a husband & a dog (I don’t know who needs me most!) So sleep is sacred and part of my self-care routine. I can’t take care of anyone else if I don’t care for myself first! I also, when not catching up on my sleep, I love to read, travel, explore Vancouver Island, BC, connect with my friends, practice spiritual principles, and shop – I love a bargain!