Hidden Hero: Tammy D'Aquila

Meet Tammy D’Aquila, a hidden hero in the field of behavioral health, making a profound impact at Behavioral Health Centers. With unwavering dedication and a compassionate heart, Tammy creates a safe and nurturing environment where individuals can heal and thrive. Tammy’s commitment to her patients and her unwavering belief in their potential make her an extraordinary asset to Treatment Centers of America, shining a light on the path to recovery and offering hope to those who need it most! 

“All I see is Tammy busy running around taking care of clients and employees. Tammy backs up her nurses and she cares a great deal for the clients, if you’re having an issue she will take the time to help you even if it doesn’t pertain to the job. At my last facility, the administration spoke about employees behind their backs and was extremely unprofessional, Tammy is so far from that. Tammy is a great asset to this company and I love working under her.”

Adriana Harris, Treatment Centers of America
Tammy D’Aquila portrait
Tammy D’Aquila, RN
Director of Nursing
at Behavioral Health Centers

How did you get into the behavioral health industry?  

My husband was a disabled veteran, who had multiple surgeries. I originally thought I was going for a nursing job interview with an orthopedic rehab. After a patient had approached me, thinking I was already a staff member, he felt he could confide in me what he was battling with. After my conversation with this patient, I could see this is where I was meant to be. 

What is your WHY for working in behavioral health? 

From that day on, about 20 years ago until now I have stayed in this field of Mental Health and Addiction. I have witnessed the most happy-excited moments recovery can give and the absolute trauma and death it could also bring to an untreated person and their families. 

What was the moment you realized you love what you do? 

Early on in my career, I was told by many I had a gift to help people. It hit me more when a patient came to me thanking me for our conversation. He stated he was going to leave treatment and hurt himself. He added there was “just something you said that clicked and made me want to stay and be more hopeful about my future.” I knew I was where God wanted me to be. 

What are your wins or accomplishments that keep you motivated? 

Motivation to come to work every day and be there for others when they are at their worst is something you just have to have inside of you. They do not teach that in schools. My motivation comes from the true passion I have for the well-being of all my patients in my path. I feel accomplished every day when my patients provide feedback that they felt heard, loved, supported, and better educated. 

What have you learned throughout your career that has impacted your personal life and how you navigate through your personal self-care? 

Throughout my career, I have learned everyone has some battles to face. It is always better to deal with battles with support than alone. We are all the same with this, regardless of our income status, race, or religion. Mental health and drug addiction do not discriminate. It can affect everyone. It destroys lives and kills all the same. I continue to keep myself self-educated with the newest skills and education to be able to provide the best care I took an oath to do.    I have not one day felt this is a “job”. When I am not with my patients you can often find me spending time with my family. A few years back I became the director of Nursing, and my family has been more than patient with me as I may answer a call in the middle of dinner or have to pick up and go to a crisis. 

Some things I have recently done for myself. 1) made the commitment to go to church for my support. 2) Joined the gym. 3) Brought my bicycle back out. 4) Committed at least once a month to meet up with a friend.  5) We can’t forget to get the nails and toes done!

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About the Authors

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