Hello to all –
I thought that this week I would introduce all of you to some of the amazing individuals that work tirelessly every day out in our community. Bakersfield Behavioral Healthcare Hospital (BBHH) has a department of individuals whose main focus is connecting to those we serve in Kern County and the surrounding areas. Through their community outreach efforts, committees they are a part of, fundraising efforts they spearhead, and educational programs they perform, they prove through their actions their genuine desire to help others.
The Business Development Department at BBHH is made up of Cornelio Gutierez-Lozano, Teena Bensusen, and Amber Smithson. Between the three of them they have a total of 35 years’ experience in the field of cultivating relationships within Kern County and find it a true privilege to utilize that vast experience in the field of mental health and addiction services.
I would first like to introduce you to Teena Bensusen. She has been a member of the Bakersfield community all her life, and after marrying her husband of now 21 years, they knew that they wanted to raise their family nowhere else but here. After working in the field of cultivating relationships for other companies in Kern County for the past 18 years, BBHH was thrilled to welcome her to the family. Teena has been a true asset to BBHH with her positive personality, outgoing nature, and true dedication to the health and well-being of her community here in Kern County.
During her time here with BBHH, Teena has served on several committees to help with different non-profit, fund-raising activities. Some of those committees include:
- Farm to Table(eaux) for the Boys & Girls Club or Kern County,
- The Teddy Bear Picnic fundraiser for Bakersfield City Schools Education Foundation,
- Go Red for Women by The American Heart Association of Kern County,
- And is BBHH’s representative of The Jason Foundation, a national non-profit organization that focuses on the problem of youth suicide by providing prevention and educational tools to schools and other organizations that work with youth, free of charge.
In addition to her responsibilities within the hospital, Teena is dedicated to cultivating strong relationships throughout the community, creating collaboration opportunities, providing education, promoting advocacy for mental health and addiction, as well as lending a helping hand wherever she can.
I would now like to introduce you to Cornelio Gutierrez-Lozano who also serves as an integral part of the Business Development team as another Community Liaison for the Bakersfield Behavioral Healthcare Hospital.
Cornelio was born and raised in Bakersfield and after a brief time away from his home, returned five years ago, where he began a career with the DBA for almost 4 years. Cornelio made Downtown Bakersfield his neighborhood because he loves everything that downtown has to offer.
Currently, Cornelio is serving on the board of:
- The Bakersfield Marathon Board,
- American Heart Association Board – Kern County and,
- The Children’s Miracle Network/Lauren Small Children’s Center Board.
Serving on these boards, has helped Cornelio see how each organization contributes to the wellbeing of Bakersfield and it has been his pleasure to collaborate with such non-profits in assisting Kern County to flourishing.
Cornelio joined the BBHH team about a year ago and since then has immersed himself in his role, helping our community. His ability to have his finger on the pulse of our community has lent to continued growth in local partnerships which have benefited those we serve.
Lastly, I would like to tell you a little about myself. My name is Amber Smithson and I have been privileged to raise my children and work here in Kern County most of my life. I joined BBHH about two years ago after working for many years in the Business Development and Marketing field for other local agencies. As a Communication Major and Mental Health Advocate, when offered the position with BBHH to couple those two areas, it was a dream come true. I am now fortunate enough to spend each day educating and advocating for mental health and addiction along with creating and maintaining relationships in Kern County.
In a continued effort to promote CARE and good health in Kern County, I am happy to be a part of the following local boards:
- Vice-President of NAMI, Kern County
- American Heart Association – Kern County
- Vice-President of Media Relations – Toastmasters Int.
- Bakersfield College Health & Wellness Advisory
Next time you hear about a health fair in Kern County, I would encourage you to go and take a look at all of the wonderful booths and free education that is being provided. While you are there, make sure you look around for one of us at the Bakersfield Behavioral Healthcare booth, because I assure you, we will be there.
Until next time, in everything you do – CARE
Created by - Amber Smithson, Director of Business Development