30 Years of Change Campaign

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Wendie Dunkin
PHP Compliance Assistant

In the past 30 years, the PHP has had many success stories. There is one, however, that impacted me personally. As the person who collects fees from our participants, I, at times, find the task to be daunting—especially when requesting payment of past due fees prior to the mailing of an advocacy letter. This leads into my story.

There was a participant named Alice (named changed for anonymity) who was not the easiest person to talk with on the phone. Alice came into the PHP in the early stages of her recovery. She was usually combative, quick with a negative response and resented being in the program. Needless to say, I was typically on edge when taking her phone calls—wondering if a simple question or request would be retaliated with a sharp rebuttal.

As it happens, Alice’s career took her to another state where she enrolled in a second monitoring program. Her PHP file was eventually closed due to noncompliance. However, several years later, she contacted the PHP in need of an advocacy letter. I was nervous about having to inform Alice of her past due fees. All I could think of was our past exchanges and how negative they were. She immediately picked up on the hesitation in my voice and questioned it. I explained my anticipation. Her response was remarkable, “Now that would not be good recovery.”

WOW, she was a totally different person! It was gratifying to see such a dramatic change in her. Alice was considerate, respectful and clearly in good recovery. Her transformation was heartwarming and will remain a constant reminder for me of the positive impact programs like ours have in changing lives.