Creating new beginnings

Dave Chapin has served in a variety of capacities in his professional career, but it has been in the area of helping others where he said he has really found his niche.

“I’ve had a variety of jobs over the years,” said Chapin, who has been the clinical director at the YWCA of Fort Dodge since November. “But I really developed a love for helping people. I discovered that I kind of have a talent for it. I’ve been a counselor, supervisor, program coordinator and now a clinical director.”

Chapin was no stranger to the YWCA or its director when he came on board late last fall, having worked closely with them when he was employed at Community and Family Resources for several years.

“I worked with Ann (Davidson, executive director of the YWCA) on several projects while I was at CFR,” said Chapin. “Then I was working for Clear View and commuting to Prairie City from Fort Dodge. Ann got in touch with me last fall and I worked with her and Dennis Baugh, the previous clinical director, and I knew it would be a great opportunity.”

As clinical director, Chapin provides oversight of client files , makes sure staff get the proper training, sets the tone for how treatment programs will work and helps develop a curriculum. Occasionally, he also works with incoming clients by providing some counseling.

“I do like to keep a hand in the counseling area,” he said.

Chapin also works with YWCA counseling staff to give insight and provide feedback on ideas they may have to help enhance the treatment programs they offer.

Since he began working at the YWCA, Chapin has helped implement a new electronic records system that is also used by the state of Iowa.

“One of the first things I did was make sure we could use electronic records,” he said. “I also have a background in IT, that’s one of my hobbies, and now we can used the state’s electronic records system and also record what doesn’t fit into the state’s record system. It makes everything much easier to access. The entire health care system as a whole seems to be getting away from paper records.”

Chapin said the YWCA is working on implementing a drunk driving/OWI assessment program.

“We are starting to do our own assessments so that we can expand our residential services to provide a full continuum of care,” said Chapin. “There is certainly never a lack of people who need help and we want to be able to provide the help and services they need. It’s my personal philosophy that when someone reaches out for help, you need to provide that help to them.”

Chapin said he considers his job a behind the scenes position.

“It’s truly behind the scenes,” he said. “With the clientele we serve there is so much potential for them to blossom into successful individuals. We help them create those success stories, but they do all of the work as we provide the guidance to nudge them in the right direction. To me, there is no greater reward than to see someone change their life for the positive.”