For Vera Kurdian, CEO at Advanced Behavioral Health Inc. (ABH), innovation, authenticity, integrity, excellence, and inclusion are the essential qualities for any leader. “As a 16-year old Armenian Lebanese immigrant, she has seen war, devastation, and chaos.” Still, being a strong-willed woman and wanting to make a difference in peoples’ lives, she chose social work as a second career. Her desire to inspire people has led her to pursue post-graduate education and, by the end of 2021, her organizational leadership doctorate. She states,
“I love inspiring and assisting women in believing in their strengths and finding their passion.” Supporting, coaching, and guiding young professionals have allowed her to take ABH to new heights.
ABH was born based on the current needs of individuals suffering from mental health issues. There is a stigma associated with receiving mental health services, and many people struggle with having the means to get to an office. ABH wanted to bring the convenience of therapy to individuals’ homes and schools. “We are about to celebrate our 10th anniversary and are very proud of the work that we have accomplished. Our compassion towards our diverse communities, collaboration with our partners combined with the expertise of our clinicians, have allowed us to be present in at least nine counties within Maryland with physical offices in five counties,” says Vera. “We are an independent community-based service providing intensive wraparound services to children and families. We provide psychiatry, therapy, and life skills to adults and children. We also provide educational workshops for professionals working within the field. Our goal for our clients is to help “you and your family build the skills needed to be successful with the problems that you face.” We also strive to develop our clinicians’ skills to elevate their experience and knowledge to be the best skilled within their area of expertise.
Vera and her team of highly experienced Psychiatrists and Nurse practitioners provide a comprehensive approach to psychiatric treatment. Their Licensed Therapists team provides Off-Site Counseling Services in their home, community, and children’s school.
“Our clinicians are trained and experts within their fields. We custom tailor a treatment plan based on clients’ needs using evidence-based “interventions”. We use best practice guidelines and “CARF (Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities) accredited,” she adds. “We have MOUs with various schools and are privileged to work with our community partners.” We also have clients who are more comfortable coming to the office.” “Of course, with the pandemic, we had to move our services to “virtual and now we are safely transitioning to in-person sessions. We were ready to practice on March 17, right after the Governor announced the state of emergency. We acquired the necessary software to ensure continuity of services with the least amount of disruption. It is our responsibility to find the best way to provide services.”
Numerous cases had a success story, but Vera shares one particular story: a young lady who came from an abusive household struggled with depression and anxiety. Through her commitment to wellness, she worked hard to make sure that she addressed her life obstacles. The young lady did not only get better, but she was inspired to get into the helping profession to help others. Today she is a fully licensed clinician providing excellent service to families. “The work we do doesn’t just help people heal, but it also inspires them to help others,” adds Vera. “My goal is to make ABH a great place to work as well as a great place for individuals to receive treatment. We offer a wraparound approach to treatment. We believe in collaboration, communication, and excellence. These are ingredients towards achieving excellence that will lead to future growth and sustainability. As the CEO, I focus on making sure that my staff finds their “why” and promote their passion. If you love what you do, then the opportunities for personal and professional growth are unlimited.”