Jessica Wheatley is a unifying force for the big team of 60 staff at Columbine Behavioral Healthcare in Durango. She has worked for Axis Health System for seven years, starting as a receptionist, then working as an Administrative Coordinator at Crossroads at Grandview. Jessica’s current title is Clinic Manager at Columbine. This clinic offers a wide variety of individual and group counseling, substance use treatment and psychiatric care.
“I love a lot of things about my job,” said Jessica, “but I think what I love the most is solving problems – all of them, for everyone.” She says patience has really helped her in her role. “Just knowing that for some of our patients, walking through our doors might have been the hardest thing for them. Though we might not be seeing them on their best day, they are here and came in for help – and that’s what matters.”
Jessica says she wants community partners to know that they can reach out to her for help at any time. ” I know that navigating Axis programs and systems can sometimes be overwhelming,” she said. “I love figuring out how to best help someone, where to send them, who they should see… it’s kind of my jam.”
Jessica grew up in Southern California and moved to San Francisco to go to college. She lived in San Francisco for about 18 years before a little stint in New York. She and her husband moved to Durango in 2014 after the birth of their son. Jessica’s husband grew up in Durango, so the couple decided Durango would be a perfect place to raise their child. She says she loves many things about Southwest Colorado: “The fact that I can go hiking right outside my door, 30 minutes to ski, the mountains, the desert – all right here. Though I have to say, I love the seasons the most. Growing up in California, we had pretty much one season… four seasons is amazing.” In her spare time, Jessica also enjoys reading, typography, architecture, hiking and backpacking.
Jessica said she is proud of her team at Columbine and other Axis locations. “We are an amazing group of individuals who care so much, and really work so hard for our community.”