John Williamson to helm extended treatment and Skills for Life counseling programs at Willingway as Director of Extended Treatment Services

Interim CEO Cherie Tolley has created a new executive role to oversee operations of Willingway's Skills For Life counseling and extended treatment clinical service lines. Longtime inpatient counselor John Williamson has been appointed to this position as the Director of Extended Treatment Services.

John will have responsibility overseeing the operations of those programs, including Outpatient and Intensive Outpatient services at Skills For Life. Clinical Director Tracie Smith will maintain operations of the Outpatient and Intensive Outpatient programs at our Willingway Outpatient Savannah Avenue facility.

John began his career in substance abuse treatment in 2005 at West Midtown Medical Group in New York City as a methadone counselor. He was also a substance abuse counselor at the Freedom Institute, where he worked in the intensive outpatient and  adolescent/young adult programs. John came to Willingway as an inpatient addiction counselor in 2010. Additionally, John has managed Willingway’s long term residential Men's Lodge program since 2011. He was the recipient of Willingway’s 2014 Employee of the Year award. Prior to a career in substance abuse counseling, John worked as a recreation therapist for the South Carolina Department of Mental Health and Charter Rivers Hospital in Columbia. He holds a BS in Recreation and Parks Administration from Clemson University and is a Certified Addiction Counselor, Level II.  

Heath Browning will lead all new OARS treatment program
Former Director of Recovery Houses Services Heath Browning is taking on a new role at Willingway as well, with Cherie's appointment of Heath as the Director of Outpatient Opioid Addiction Recovery Services (OARS). 

This program is being launched to assist opioid addicts in titrating completely off opiates and is not a maintenance program. OARS provides tapered detox and clinical care in an outpatient setting and under a physician's medical supervision. Willingway's role in the program is to provide a much needed counseling component to addicts coming off of opiate drugs. Clinical care will include assessment, individual, family, and group therapy. This program eliminates a gap in our care continuum and helps clients who are not yet appropriate to mix into our existing Outpatient and Intensive Outpatient groups and/or who may not have the ability to enroll in a residential treatment setting.      

Heath brings a wealth of experience, with 15 years of clinical practice in the addiction field. In that time, he has had extensive exposure to all levels of care, including inpatient, outpatient, individual therapy, family counseling, and extended treatment settings. Heath has also served as the Coordinator of Clinical Services for the Effingham County Drug Court Program and counseled troubled youth at the Bulloch County Department of Juvenile Justice. 

Please join us in wishing both John and Heath the very best in their new roles!