Mental health care may not be the most exhilarating topic, but its practitioners are critical for caring for those experiencing serious, life-changing illnesses. In Arkansas, the field’s top facility is The BridgeWay, a 127-bed, freestanding behavioral acute care hospital offering specialized, tailored programming to all age groups including children, adolescents, adults and seniors. The hospital offers both intensive outpatient, partial hospitalization and substance abuse services alongside traditional inpatient treatment.
The hospital, which was the first private psychiatric hospital in central Arkansas, was founded in 1983 by two doctors. In 2010, Sherrie James joined the team as the chief nursing officer, and after a brief stint away, she returned to serve as the CEO. Two other members of senior leadership returned for re-employment, which James thinks is the perfect example of The BridgeWay’s positive environment.
For James, being CEO at The BridgeWay is a years-long dream fulfilled. She was drawn to behavioral health during her psychiatric rotation in nursing school and has pursued that career path ever since. She is most proud that she gets to change and save lives every day through her job, and she adores working with such a dedicated, talented and caring team of doctors and nurses.
“These staff and medical staff members are committed to the mission of providing superior care, making us the provider of choice for many clients,” James says. “We value empathy skills as much as technical skills and strive for positive outcomes for our patients and their families in all clinical decision making. These are just some of the qualities that make The BridgeWay a special place, and our commitment to quality care is the reason we are still serving our community after 36 years.”