By Hugh C. McBride
Carol Regier would probably prefer that you not read this article.
And though Regier, the executive director of Keystone Treament Center (a substance abuse recovery program in South Dakota) isn’t the type of person you’d ever want to disobey or disappoint, this is one of those rare occasions when you should take the risk of doing just that.
This is an article about Regier’s recent induction into the South Dakota Hall of Fame — a significant honor that puts her in the company of some of her state’s greatest leaders and most recognized citizens (including, but hardly limited to, noted broadcast journalist Tom Brokaw, former Sen. Tom Daschle, acclaimed artist Terry Redlin and Native American leaders Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse).
As impressive as that honor is, the South Dakota Hall of Fame is just the latest in a long line of organizations, associations and individuals who have recognized Regier for her decades of selfless service.
A Distinguished Career
From the Distinguished Service Award for Outstanding Chemical Dependency Counselor in South Dakota, which she received in 1998, to her Business and Professional Women/USA’s 2001 “Women of Achievement” Award, to the countless colleagues and clients who have credited her with giving them both the opportunity and the inspiration to pursue their greatest potential, Carol Regier has likely amassed more accolades than she could count.
Not, of course, that she would ever spend time counting such things. (Nor would she likely appreciate anyone else doing so either).
In her 36 years (and counting) with Keystone Treatment Center, Regier has been a passionate advocate for individuals and families who are struggling with substance abuse, chemical dependency, compulsive behaviors and dual diagnoses.
But when she is asked about the rewards of her service, she doesn’t talk about plaques, trophies or testimonial dinners. Instead, she recalls faces of family members whose loved ones have finally found a place where they can truly heal.
And she refers to her colleagues — many of whom have remained at Keystone for decades, providing the program with a consistency and depth of experience that have allowed it to become a leader in the field of addiction recovery.
“Seeing the ways that families are able to change and heal, and working with this great staff, those are the blessings of this job,” she said. “This [hall of fame selection] is a credit to the great team we have here.”
‘An Honor to Work beside Her’
Given her desire to deflect attention and credit onto those with whom she works, Regier would likely rather avoid a long list of testimonials regarding the impact she has had on Keystone, on her community, on her colleagues and (perhaps most importantly of all) on those who have turned to Keystone Treatment Center for help with life-threatening addiction-related disorders.
But it’s just about impossible to write about Regier without addressing the esteem in which she is held by those who know her.
For example, Keystone Adolescent Program Manager Christy Allen said that Regier is an inspirational presence within the program. “Carol is warm, genuine and always encouraging,” Allen said. “No matter what is going on, she will take time to hear you, really listen and offer the support and encouragement needed to continue to grow as a person and a professional. It is an honor to work beside her.”
Another colleague, Keystone Clinical Supervisor Bob Bogue, said that Regier is “probably the kindest person I’ve ever met,” and noted that her dedication to her clients and co-workers has even inspired him to pose a challenge to new employees.
“Whenever someone starts here, I tell them to try and walk past Carol’s office at the end of the day without her saying ‘thank you,'” Bogue said. “It can’t be done. No matter how long you’ve worked here, you can’t get past her office without her thanking you for what you did that day.”
Dedication & Appreciation
More than three and a half decades after she agreed to take a temporary nursing position in order to help Keystone get off the ground — and after more than18 years as the program’s executive director — Regier has experienced myriad changes in the field of addiction recovery. She has also been at the forefront of many advances that have helped countless clients both at Keystone and throughout the nation.
But as a leading figure in an ever-changing industry, Regier has remained constant in at least three areas: her faith, her dedication to her clients and her appreciation for the men and women with whom she works.
“It’s all about our team,” she said. “It’s been a great opportunity to work with this great staff and to help families heal. I don’t think there’s any other job that has the rewards that this one does.”
About Keystone Treatment Center
Keystone Treatment Center in Canton, S.D., provides quality residential and outpatient treatment services to adults, teenagers and adolescents who are struggling to overcome chemical dependence, pathological gambling and co-occurring illnesses (such as addiction and psychiatric disorders).
Keystone offers a wide range of treatment options, including medically monitored adult and adolescent inpatient treatment services (including detoxification), adult and adolescent partial care, adult and adolescent outpatient services, family programs, aftercare services, mental health services, Native American counseling services and employee assistance program (EAP) services.
For more information about Keystone Treatment Center, call (877) 762-3740 or visit www.keystonetreatment.com.