40 Under 40 Class of 2020

Shannon Hicks

Clinic Director, Center for Human Development; Age 36; Education: Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (BA), Springfield College (MSW)

Hicks has immersed herself into the communities she serves. She saw firsthand the destruction the opioid crisis brought to the region and has kept the Center for Human Development (CHD) on the front lines of that fight for the last five years. As a member of various prevention and solution initiatives, she contributes a wealth of knowledge and advocacy to various coalitions throughout the western part of the state. As a licensed independent clinical social worker, certified as a dialectical behavior therapist and a recovery coach supervisor, she oversees and supervises large clinical operations at CHD’s Easthampton Behavioral Health Outpatient Clinic and the Greenfield Center for Wellness, and is also the director of the agency’s Dialectical Behavior Therapy Clinical Internship Program — a program she designed to create an opportunity for the next generation of master’s-level social workers to enter the field trained in what’s considered a cutting-edge, evidence-based practice. She also leads dialectical behavior therapy groups for adolescent girls and adult women in the community who are struggling with maladaptive behaviors. Hicks also helped launch CHD’s integrated behavioral-health and wellness center in Greenfield, acting as the liaison between CHD and the Community Health Center of Franklin County to ensure that the most vulnerable people in that community are cared for. Her leadership has helped create a unique setting that co-locates primary, dental, and mental healthcare, removing barriers to care and providing a welcoming setting to all who enter.

Shannon Hicks

Shannon Hicks     Photo by Leah Martin Photography

What did you want to be when you grew up? I always wanted to have a job where, if people came to me for help, I could help. I was unsure of what that job would be, exactly, but that passion and desire led me in the direction of social work.

What three words best describe you? Motivated, loyal, compassionate.

What’s been your biggest professional accomplishment so far in your career? The development of the outpatient clinics I oversee in both Franklin and Hampshire counties.

What goal do you set for yourself at the start of each day? To do the best I can.

What are you passionate about? My family and providing support to those who are in need.

Who inspires you, and why? My two children and my husband, because they are the reason I do what I do.

What will work colleagues say at your funeral? That I was dedicated to the work we do and always there for them.

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