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Staff Spotlight

We have an amazing staff at Waterfront Recovery Services. The work can be extremely challenging but day after day, they show up to support, encourage and help facilitate the change needed to maintain a healthy recovery. Our staff are the soul of the organization and we have deep appreciation for who they are and their dedication to making Waterfront Recovery what it is today.

Jamaica Bartz

Staff Spotlight - Admissions Director Jamaica Bartz

Admissions Director

Jamaica Bartz

Jamaica Bartz
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When ADCS opened Waterfront Recovery Services in November of 2017, Jamaica was recognized as a valued asset while systems and protocols were being designed to treat clients with Substance Use Disorder in the new and very different medical model program. “She can look over data and see the big picture. She gets it,” one of the founders declared. Initially a Counselor at the new facility, Jamaica quickly advanced to Lead Counselor, Admissions Supervisor and is now Director of Admissions as well as Assistant Clinical Director.

Jamaica Bartz is one of the longest team member’s at Waterfront Recovery. Originally working as a detox specialist at the social model program run by Alcohol Drug Care Services (ADCS) Jamaica attended College of the Redwoods completing the Addiction Studies Program. Tapping into her life experiences as well as her clinical studies, Jamaica enthusiastically worked her way up to Counselor and site manager.


Before going back to school, Jamaica was in a typical cycle of drug use, much like many of the people she helps today. From the age of 15, she used off and on for 20 years, running the streets, in and out of jail - until something clicked. She knew she could do better and that she was capable of so much more. And most important, as a mom, she wanted to be there for her children.

When asked for a report card on WRS, Jamaica says it’s “always evolving”. She notes that after several challenging years, “we’ve moved mountains” to get to a place of stability. Now that Drug MediCal is funded for this region, “it’s made a huge difference, not just financially, but in the number of people we’re able to reach”. Importantly, services include longer term residential programs and extended transitional support for people from seven Northern California counties with progressive levels of care: outpatient, aftercare, and case management services - all the things one would need to be as successful as they can be. “I don’t know many other places that ‘wrap around clients the way that we do.’ Each step is a path to successful recovery and reintegration.”

Jamaica is a perfect example of the kind of change that can happen when a person decides to embrace life. Now, in addition to her leadership roles at Waterfront, she’s a busy mom, cheer coordinator, football mom and auntie. “I’m super excited to be going to a couple of cheer competitions next month with Eureka High. My daughter is a senior varsity cheerleader and decided to join the comp team. Well, actually they begged her LOL I'm so proud of her.”

Biggest challenges day to day - “I know this sounds cliché, but not having enough hours in the day because we’re trying to reach every person who is trying to access treatment,” whether it’s a family member or an agency advocating for them, “It’s also hard to watch people start to blossom or become the person they were meant to be and just completely throw it all away, walk away.” When asked why she stays at Waterfront, Bartz tears up, “Without places like this, people like me might not have a chance. I love it. I feel like it’s a part of my life.” She talks about her daughter watching her, seeing her get strong and deciding that she wants to pursue a similar line of work. “That’s when you know you’re making a difference. Through all the trials and tribulations, this place is my baby too.”

Photos: TOP - Jamaica collaborates with Kasee Duncan. MIDDLE - Stacy Smith with Jamaica doing street outreach.

BOTTOM - WRS staff attend memorial for co-founder John McManus. back row L-R Jesse Pearson, Sean Foreman, Rebecca Camlli, front row L-R Jessica Pearson, Jamaica Bartz, Dr. Bayan.


Having come to Humboldt to attend the HSU Nursing Program Jackie Coghill worked as a nurse in most of the departments at St. Joseph’s Hospital for 20 years. When many of her peers were retiring, Coghill felt like she still had something to contribute. That’s when she decided to return to school to become a Nurse Practitioner.

Before going back to school at Sonoma State University, Coghill occasionally ran into Waterfront co-founder John McManus out in the community. He regularly encouraged her to come to work at Waterfront as a nurse but Coghill was set on pursuing her higher education goals.

When she returned to Humboldt, she stopped by Waterfront to drop off a resume, “totally unprepared for an interview” and was surprised to be whisked into McManus’ office for a long conversation about the innovative medical model detox and recovery program McManus and Dr. Ruby Bayan were pioneering on the North Coast. Waterfront had only been open for a year but there was a need for someone when Dr. Bayan was out. They stayed in touch. and as soon as funding was available, McManus reached out.

Coghill is a Family Practice Nurse Practitioner but a lot of people who come to WRS require more than a diagnose and prescribe type of care. They require further evaluation. She notes that it’s difficult to get a primary care physician in Humboldt so she tries to develop a primary care plan for whatever their problem is. “Some have been self-medicating for years.”

“Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be doing addiction medicine. My program was a family practice program. That’s what my certification is in but I guess what I do here is family practice in a way. A lot of Waterfront clients haven’t seen a doctor in many years so it’s usually more than a routine examination. Nothing in NP school could have prepared me for this population.”

“Jackie Coghill’s contributions to Waterfront Recovery cannot be overstated. Her medical expertise and understanding of where substance use disorder intersects with a patients physical and mental health care needs is incredibly unique and rare, Executive Director Jeremy Campbell says of Coghill. “She has an innate ability to work with the people entering treatment at Waterfront who often feel vulnerable and anxious as they navigate the initial stages of recovery. Jackie has been a major part in actualizing the initial vision co-founders John McManus and Dr. Bayan had for Waterfront Recovery Services and the hope is that she will continue long into the future.”
When asked about the unique challenges of working with this population, Coghill says, “I have personal experience with close family members struggling with the disease of addiction and alcoholism so I’m quite familiar with the impact on the family and the ripple effects.” She had never imagined coming in that these experiences would inform her work. She’s required to see clients within 24 hours of admittance and notes that communication must be on their terms in order to build a rapport and establish trust. “It’s important to Understand the impacts and that this is a family problem. Communication with the patient/addict must be on their terms so the quicker you can understand that and let that be OK, the better treatment you can give them,” she says.

“When my son was in addiction, and I was coming to work here, I had a really good friend that would say maybe you can’t help your son but you can help somebody else’s son.” There are a lot of people at WRS who are close in age to her son   “and every single one of them, I remind myself that this is someone’s son that I’m helping. I love that.” (Her son has his life back on track.)

Coghill believes that Being  able to be a communicator and not passing judgement is part of giving care. Understanding that they deserve care like any other human being or patient despite their condition upon their arrival. “Sometimes people have been out in the elements, their lives have been difficult so getting to connect with them and have them feel valued and cared for so that they can open up and tell you some of the medical problems that they’ve been pushing in the closet for years. I think I come with good communication skills and that has helped me tremendously.”


When asked how she knows she’s making a difference, Coghill talks about the satisfaction of knowing that pregnant women are allowed to remain at Waterfront until delivery even if they’ve completed the program and women who, after having lost custody of their children, get them back. “They come in broken and get well with love, food and sleep so they can do what’s required to be a good mom so they can get their kids back.”  She says she loves running into them in the community healthy and happy and with their kids. “That brings me joy.”


“I have daily inspiration for these folks because no matter how . . . some of them come in here looking rough, I mean 10, 20 years older than their age. Once we detox them, I mean it’s as comfortable as it’s going to be anywhere because we do medication assisted treatment, I can see the light back in their eyes. It’s like when they’re using, their soul has left and when I see them in the hallways and their spirit is back, and it does come back, every time I see it, I’m just overjoyed. I see it right in front of my own eyes everyday and I think about that and I know we’re helping people. I ask myself, are we helping people and am I doing any good:? I know we are.”


“We can’t give someone the gift of recovery for the rest of their lives, they can only give that to themselves but we can give it for a brief time here as we hold and nurture them and for that period of time, their soul is back and they are living their life. If they can hang onto that . . . that’s going to be up to them. So are we doing good? Yeah, we’re doing good because that counts. And so medical is now understanding that recovery from addiction is not a straight line. Every period of sobriety counts. It doesn’t mean that if someone has a recurrence that all is lost. You pick up where yo left off and keep going. We need to change our language around recovery and I think slowly we are.  It’s not just go to recovery and get fixed. You’re probably broken in some emotional places and have been just coping with drugs or alcohol. What we offer here is offer a place to begin the healing process from that and the first step in that is to eliminate the drugs and alcohol.”


Jackie Coghill

Staff Spotlight Jackie Coghill MSN FNP-C

Jackie Coghill

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Photos: TOP - Coghill with Dr. Bayan CENTER - Coghill in her office BOTTOM - Coghill showing original art made by co-worker Ryan Colliton.

Stacy Smith, Intake Coordinator

Stacy Smith is one of the first people new arrivals to Waterfront Recovery Services will meet. Having worked here in detox, as a counselor and helping in the front office, Stacy finds her role as Intake Coordinator rewarding. “I love helping people. I remember feeling that desperate. When people are having hard times and I’m the first person they talk to, I give them the sense that everything is going to be ok. It’s that genuine empathetic compassionate conversation that you have with them.”

Stacy has always gravitated towards helping professions, previously working as a CNA, home health provider and end of life care giver. She enjoys advocating for people who aren’t able to advocate for themselves.

Emancipated at 14, Stacy was a mother at 16. “I had to grow up fast.”  She was with her children’s father for 13 years but when substances entered the picture, “My life went downhill and I lost everything.” Still vividly able to remember that time in her life, Stacy understands how Waterfront clients may feel when they arrive. This is key to Stacy’s dedication to her work. She shares her story of getting clean “the hard way,” just staying in her room, isolated and desperate.


When former WRS staffer, Nicki Vance, told Stacy about an opportunity to get training in an EDD program funded by the Opioid Crisis Grant, Stacy opted to train to work at Waterfront. She started in detox and continued her education to become a counselor. “It was meant for me to be here. My clean date that I celebrate is November 1, 2018,” a year to the day after Alcohol Drug Care Services opened Waterfront. Coming to work at WRS was more than an employment opportunity, it became her community, her family. “I'm thankful that John McManus and Dr. Bayan gave me an opportunity and a chance to work here. It’s given me a new life. I don’t have family here in Eureka, so besides my 12 Step family, this is my family. This is my herd."


And it was this herd that circled around Stacy when she got a call one afternoon during the pandemic telling her that her partner was on life support because of a fentanyl overdose. “I dropped to my knees.” Because of the pandemic and because she was “just the girlfriend,” she was only able to see him once before he passed. They had been together for almost two years, this felt solid, like the natural progression of her sobriety and professional growth.  “In two days it just . . . this place helped me stay clean. My story was here when I met him. Jackie Coghill] and Dr. Bayan . . . I don't know what I’d do without Dr. Bayan. She's a blessing. She cares a lot for her chickadees,” she laughs. “The clients are not her only chickadees, the staff is too. It's just nice to be able to feel like you can go talk to, like, I have Jamaica Bartz and Dr. Bayan that no matter what the issue is, I can go to them and they will sit and listen.” The shock of her partner passing made it hard to go back to counseling. Perhaps the hardest was  . . .  self doubt, wondering how she had missed it. She eased back into work and eventually landed in the admissions office, all the time supported by her WRS family of coworkers.


Stacy occasionally pulls shifts in other departments, sometimes SUD counseling or medications because she’s been trained and certified and has experience so she is able to help out where needed. “I’ve worked in every department except case management and the kitchen. I love this place. It’s cool. You know, like, if we're short staffed, I'm able to help in different departments. I used to think the work started in detox but it’s really in the admissions office. It starts with that initial phone call and that screening." Recently, after COVID restrictions were lifted, WRS staff discussed walk-in screenings for locals again. Stacy enthusiastically offered to come in early to do them. She arrives at 8 in the morning does walk-in interviews from 8 to 10 a.m. Monday through Friday. “It’s first come, first served. We can only bring people with alcohol use disorder on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays but with Partnership, we work with seven different counties so the walk-in process helps us bring in more people within our community." She does between one and seven screenings a day. It all starts with a phone call where she asks what substance the caller wants to detox from. If there are mental health issues or the person is intoxicated, Stacey navigates that in the process.


Scheduling can be tight and some screenings take longer than others so when people don’t show up, it can throw things off. She likes having that first interaction with people doing in-person screenings. “You get to see them in person, you get that connection with them right off the bat because sometimes on the phone, it’s hard to get that connection with somebody because you can’t see them, there’s no eye contact . . . A lot of our phone screenings are the people that can’t make it in and the people from out of town, from other counties.”


Stacy also helps out at the Women’s transitional houses, dropping in a few days a week to talk and encourage the women working to put their lives back together. This could mean helping them navigate employment or education goals or just sitting and talking about everyday issues. “I have to remember that this isn’t my personal recovery here. I do that outside of here. I just have to learn not to take stuff home. You can't work here without doing some sort of self care. Self care is a big thing for me. You know, this job isn’t easy,” she laughs. When asked about the kind of self care she does, Stacy confides, “Nails done, toes done, roller coasters, conventions to reach out to my family outside of here.” She lives with a roommate and helps care give for their aging mom. Part of that is the realization that living alone wasn’t healthy for her. But wait . . . was that roller coasters on the list of things Stacy does for self care? Yes, she sometimes takes mental health days to ride roller coasters … “I just got back from Six Flags,” she giggles. “That’s where I go for therapy, to scream and get it all out and I come back fresh, ready to start over.” Stacy continues to work on her sobriety, attending 12 Step meetings regularly. As part of her self care she’s also working to rebuild her relationships with her kids and talks about the the need for patience in this process. “I’m doing the work,” she says softly. "You know, you don't get into recovery to like, make a billion dollars, you get into recovery to help people. I've always loved helping people. I love this place. I’m here for awhile,” she laughs.

Staff Spotlight

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Stacy Smith

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Intake Coordinator

Photos: TOP - Stacy at entrance to Waterfront CENTER - Stacy tabling with co-worker Jamaica Bartz at street outreach event BOTTOM - Stacy with co-worker Kasee Duncan doing "self care."

Stacy Smith
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