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Unsung Hero: A’nna Jurich Executive Director at Gateway

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CARBONDALE (WSIL) -- Despite the pandemic, the epidemic of substance abuse continues to take a lot of lives. A local woman is not only making sure people are still being treated and in a safe manner, but also inspiring staff at a local treatment facility.

A'nna Jurich has been the Executive Director at Gateway Foundation in Carbondale for about three years. She has been part of the drug and alcohol rehabilitation center for about 26 years. Staff said she's a great leader, but in the last six months since the coronavirus pandemic hit, she has been an encouragement and inspiration.

"It's leading by example and inclusion, so everybody adds some value to the group," said Jurich.

Staff said it's her humility and the "lead by example" approach that has helped them get through this challenging time. She is the first to clean the bathrooms, hallways, and other places around the facility. She will also cover groups and overnight shifts when they are short-staffed. Jurich called it a team effort.

"Everybody that works here helps out with everything, so we all will pitch in and do whatever is needed," added Jurich. "I know you guys want me to be the Unsung Hero, but I just want to say that our counselors and nursing staff here have done an amazing job and continue to provide treatment and be as safe as they can. They just do a tremendous amount of work every day to change people's lives."

Every Friday, Jurich writes inspiring emails to staff that is packed full of information. She also includes special shout-outs to different employees, along with inspiring essays. Jurich said her goal is to make sure everyone has the best experience at Gateway, whether it's staff or those getting treatment.

Jurich also wanted to add that if you are struggling with alcohol and substance abuse, they are still very much providing services and support. Gateway Foundation offers outpatient treatment and sober living homes.

If you need help, call (855) 944-3805 or click here to find the closest facility near you. For more information about the facility in Carbondale, call (618) 323-3379.

Evie Allen

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