Success: Steve Smith

During his time at Mount Mercy University, Steve Smith ’08 learned valuable people skills through his participation in basketball. Today, he uses those skills in his career as a chemical dependency counselor and mental health worker at Unity Point Health – St. Luke’s Hospital in Cedar Rapids.

"…I did job interviews and people recognized what it meant that I went to Mount Mercy."

Steve Smith ’08
Chemical Dependency Counselor/Mental Health Worker
UnityPoint Health/St. Luke’s Hospital
Cedar Rapids, IA

“Basketball had the biggest impact on me because it gave me the ability to show leadership qualities as well as grow in my development as a person,” Smith said. “Because of sports I feel my people skills have blossomed, which I feel is key in day to day work relationships whether patients or co-workers.”

After graduating with a major in criminal justice in 2008, Smith started working full time at St. Luke’s Hospital on the behavioral health unit as a patient care tech. Remaining part time at St. Luke’s, he went to work at the Anamosa State Penitentiary full time, but soon returned to the hospital full time with more experience and a certification as a substance abuse counselor.

Smith meets with patients admitted to the behavioral health unit under the influence or who have a history of use. A consult is completed and the patient is offered different levels of treatment.

“The idea is to raise awareness in the patient of how detrimental their substance abuse has been on their daily lifestyle,” Smith said. “I enjoy the hands-on work with patients and to see them leave better upon discharge than the day they walked in.”

Smith credits Mount Mercy with his work ethic and appreciates the community’s positive view of the university.

“College helped me build a routine in my life that otherwise I wouldn’t have had,” he said. “I didn’t understand while in school just how important a degree from Mount Mercy was until I did job interviews and people recognized what it meant that I went to Mount Mercy. It’s a good feeling to know that the hard work you put in is paying off and others notice it.

“If you want a genuine experience at a place where your actions matter, Mount Mercy is the school for you.  The work ethic you develop while in school will take you far in your day to day life, as far as working, relationships and—to me most importantly—building a healthy family dynamic.

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