Darin Brower’s Avalon Story
I am a native of Cache Valley, born and raised. I spent 2 years in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland Canada serving a LDS mission. My schooling at Utah State University in Business Information Systems and Computer Science. While going to school I gained employment at the printing department on Campus. Learned a lot about printing and copying. As I graduated I got a full-time position at the Computer Specialist there and continued to learn and understand different way to help customers and employees.
I am married to my wonderful wife Michelle. I have three children with a forth on the way.
With downsizing at the printing department and being laid off, I started to look for new employment. In my search I came across the position for an “IT Tech Assistant.” I remember saying to myself this sounds like a great fit for me. I went thru the interview process, got the phone call with a “We are going to go with the other candidate.” Disappointed I continued my search. About a month later I got a call from Wes Winch asking me if I was still interested. I said yes and that started my path to understanding Avalon Hills.
Here are some answers to the questions.
What do you think is different about working Avalon as compared to other ED centers?
In my small view of eating disorders, I can’t imagine working elsewhere. At Avalon I have a foundation to stand on. And I can see a desire to help, not just to make a buck.
Treat to Outcome, why is that meaningful to you?
In my programing world there is input and output. In the middle is the programming that is needed to get the desired output from the input received. I focus on what is needed and until I am able to get the desired output I keep working on the program. That is what I see Treat to Outcome is. We receive a people that needs help. We do all we can to help them to get them to a place where they are able to understand and live on their own. We do all we can to get the desired outcome. We don’t stop because it’s hard, or the ability to pay, we desire them to get better and to be out of Avalon living their lives. I also see that we don’t have any set time frame to accomplish our desire. We want them to improve and be able to leave as soon as they are better.
What is unique about Avalon Hills?
Our people. Avalon Hills is alive. It’s not a name describing a geological boundary. It is becoming a description of a borderless directions that we are willing to go to help people that have been affected by eating disorders.
What do you think about the focus on innovative interventions and training?
MUSE - I received a muse headband a year and a half ago, and my first thought was I need to start using this so I will be able to help with any Technology questions that might arise. As I started to use it I realized that this was a way to get a computer nerd to meditate. (I was right about that, but I realized that is was a benefit to me also.) I have been using the Muse headband since that time and other than the seeing the graphs narrow down I wasn’t noticing any changes. This changed when my wife told me that she had noticed how she had noticed that my patients have gotten better with the kids since I started using the Muse.
Ed Hamlin presented the uses of Electroencephalogram (EEG) to measure brain waves in real time to assess how someone’s brain is working. I was engulfed in the possibilities that this technology could be used and how it help. I requested to go to the training for the EEGer systems to be able to help with the technology side. In the training I got into the science behind it and the possibilities available. I learned so much from the four day training that I was able to participate in. I then had the privilege to get training on the acquisition of the data needed for the Quantitative EEG. I am so grateful for the knowledge I was able to get from these training. The idea of being able to take the data collected for the qEEG and being able to provide information for Avalon Hills in the form of the qEEG is exciting. Although I don’t want the resposability of diagnosing clients, I look forward to being able to using the programs and software to provide the information needed for others to make the diagnosis.
Norman Doidge – I learned that Norman Doidge was coming to Utah to give a presentation. In preparation for this I borrowed the two books on tape and listened to each of them. This information was new, exciting and to me very logical. I love the idea of having (or gaining) control over my circumstances. I had the privilege of helping out at the event and was able to listen to his presentation, and got a lot of information from it. Later I have the privilege of being part of trainings that Norman Doidge gave to Avalon Hills, and gain a greater understanding of him and the world of Therapists and Therapy.
Dan Siegel – I first met Dan Siegel at family week in November 2015. The short conversation I had, I learned that he was not in need of computer help do to no PowerPoint presentation was needed. I then watched and listened to him for those two days and understood better what I had listened to in his book “Brainstorm” that I had listen to. There is a lot of information available from Dan, and I am amazed how much I have learned and how much I am still learning from him.
What’s cool about the neuro-techs? What’s cool about the nerd herd?
The coolest part of the Nerd Herd is that I am a small part of them.
What’s cool about the new Case Manager position?
The possibility of having one person that will focus on a client and guide, shape, and help clients is a great plan. Having a Case Manager that staff and parents can go to get information and direction is priceless.
What’s great about your department?
My department is led by one of the best people I know. Very few disagreements. And I get to work with all of the departments at Avalon Hills!
- Darin Brower, IT Specialist at "Avalon Hills - Eating Disorder Specialists"