The Van Wert County Courthouse

Tuesday, Jul. 23, 2024

Putman new Ridgeview BH administrator

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

When you first meet her, Alyssa Putman seems a little young to be heading an organization that has grown to be one of Van Wert County’s largest employers. After talking to her, though, it’s easy to see that the 26-year-old not only has the training, but the passion needed to be the new administrator of Ridgeview Behavioral Hospital.

New Administrator Alyssa Putman in her office at Ridgeview Behavioral Hospital. (Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent)
New Administrator Alyssa Putman in her office at Ridgeview Behavioral Hospital. (Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent)

Putman, a Van Wert County native and graduate of Crestview High School — where she played on a state championship softball team — has just two weeks under her belt in her new administrative role at Ridgeview, a 66-bed mental health treatment facility located on Lincoln Highway near Middle Point.

She’s quick to point out, though, that her background and education, as well as the mentoring of her former boss, Pat Tracy, have prepared her to take on the responsibilities of operating the local residential mental health treatment facility.

Putman, who has a bachelor’s degree in psychology, as well as an MBA and a master’s degree in healthcare administration, said Ridgeview was a perfect fit for what she wanted to do as a career.

“I knew I wanted to be in management, and I first thought I wanted to be in nursing homes,” Putman said, adding that she spent some time in community healthcare-hospice, “but I later decided it wasn’t a good fit.”

That’s when she decided to apply at Ridgeview, which was then seeking employees to staff the local facility.

“I fell in love with the place, and with the patients we service,” she said of the hospital, which provides short-term residential care to people dealing with mental health issues, often with co-occurring chemical addictions. “That mental health field was intriguing to me.”

Ridgeview is basically a transitional facility that provides short-term intervention care for patients who need immediate inpatient mental health treatment. The typical stay at Ridgeview is typically 20-30 days, longer than the average of five days someone might spend in a hospital psych ward, but less than a long-term residential facility.

Patients are treated for a variety of mental health issues, including bi-polarism, depression and schizophrenia, as well as for co-occurring substance abuse problems that often come with mental illness.

“Mental health patients often try to self-medicate,” Putman said.

After seeing what was happening at Ridgeview, Putman said she was excited about the opportunity the facility provided to help what she called an underserved population that often had nowhere else to turn.

“Just becoming that voice that a lot of our patients don’t really have for themselves, to be the advocate for those who are suffering from psychiatric illness,” she said. “Just being able to provide that opportunity to be that light of hope, that ray of hope for somebody that everybody has turned their back on, that really means a lot to me.”

She also commended the staff at Ridgeview for its compassionate care of the facility’s patients, noting that staff members have also made her transition into the administrator’s position much easier.

Putman first became director of human resources at Ridgeview in 2013, and later was promoted to assistant administrator in July 2014 following completion of her healthcare administration degree. She noted that Tracy, who was promoted to a regional position with Oglethorpe Inc., Ridgeview’s Florida-based parent company, spent the past year training her to move into the administrator’s position when he left.

“He mentored me, but neither of us thought (her becoming administrator) would come this soon,” Putman noted.

Her new duties include overseeing administration of Ridgeview, as well as ensuring that the facility complies with any and all regulations.

While the transition is going smoothly, Putman said there are plenty of challenges ahead for both her and Ridgeview, which is currently completing facility enhancements to become an 84-bed facility — a project the new administrator said should be completed by October 1.

Completion of the project should also mean the addition of approximately 50 new employees to the current staff of 231, bringing the total employment to nearly 300.

While Putman said she is looking forward to seeing the project completed, she also added, with a laugh: “The last two weeks have probably aged me 20 years.”

POSTED: 08/28/15 at 8:35 am. FILED UNDER: News