Dr. Doreen Samelson

Cues and Views

Catalight Chief Clinical Officer Doreen Samelson, in brief.

Dr. Doreen Samelson

Home: Northern California .  Age: Happily 60 plus.  Profession: Psychologist.  Organization: Catalight.  Title: Chief Clinical Officer.  Pronouns: She/Her/Hers.  Alma mater: San Francisco State; University of Minnesota; University of the Pacific; Alliant University.  

Current project: Providing clinical leadership for behavioral health research, including the development of new modalities of care and addressing unmet needs through technology advancements.  Recent recognition: First research article published for the newly formed Catalight Research Institute.  Latest accomplishment: Trapped and got six feral kittens neutered and released to live healthy undomesticated lives.  Latest contribution to others: Charitable gift to Easterseals Hawaii.  What’s been your big (or biggest leap)? Leaving a large HMO and coming to work for a nonprofit.  Principal motivation for your career choice: Understanding.  

Hobbies: Reading.  Pets: Two cats, Ariel and Kabuki.  Last book read: The Loop, by Jacob Ward.

Personality profile: Outgoing, decisive, driver.  What one word would your closest friend use to describe you? Decisive.  Moral compass: Giving back.  How do you define an ideal business relationship? Trusting.  What is your greatest joy? My children.  What occupation, other than your own, do you most admire? Family medicine doctors; we need more of them.  How do you relieve stress? Reading.  What ingredient is essential to your perfect vacation? The water.

What was your first paying job? Babysitting.  What was your favorite college course? Psychology.  What’s prominently featured on your home or office wall? My sister’s art.  What’s the best advice you received growing up? Have your own money.  What’s the best advice you received in your career? Stay close to your values.   What is your go-to source of news and information? MSNBC.  What personal circumstance has had the greatest influence on your life? Losing a child.

What is your big idea?

Establishing a research institute.

What message do you want to send out into the world? Disabled people can have wellbeing (high quality of life).  What widely held belief do you reject? That the US is not a racist country.  What mega-trend most concerns you? That we should focus on ourselves and not others.  

What title would you choose for the movie about your life? She Didn’t Give Up.  As a kid, what did you first want to be when you grew up? A nurse.  How would you choose to spend tomorrow, if you knew it was your last day on earth? With my daughter, telling her how proud I am of her.  What advice would you give your younger self? It will be okay.  Being diagnosed with MS and loving through other challenges will not stop you from giving to others and being a leader.  

Personal mission: To improve and expand treatment and program options for developmentally disabled children and adults and their families.  Personal motto: Get it done.  Favorite quote: “Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you” (Ruth Bader Ginsberg).

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