“It’s just like coming home,” Renee McConey remarks with a smile. Renee joined The Door as the new Director of Adolescent Health Services a mere four weeks ago, but she’s already comfortable, composed and ready to hit the ground running.
Her easy demeanor speaks to her decades of experience working with young adults and teens, and a comfortable familiarity with who we are and what we do – what she’ll be doing as part of the team. “I grew up in Brooklyn and have spent most of my life in the city. I’ve known about The Door since I was young, actually. I had neighbors who went, classmates – it’s always been here,” she says casually. And while she’s moved around a bit and served in numerous different positions – as a Regional Director of a Planned Parenthood affiliate in Nevada, the Vice Presidence of Medical Services in Central and Northern New Jersey – she just had a feeling that she’d be back someday soon.
“When I saw the open position here, I was thrilled. But, you know, it said it was closed! I was disappointed, but I had this feeling… I went for it. I just knew this was the right place for me. I’m so passionate about public health education and reproductive health, and that’s such a critical part of this job. It felt so dear to me.” And, luckily for The Door, her feeling was dead on: she joined the team and couldn’t be more excited to move forward.
Her dedication to progress, especially in reproductive health and education, is one of the key factors that makes her such an excellent fit for her position. “I must’ve been a teacher in another life, I swear. I really enjoy helping young people – we just don’t talk about reproductive health enough; they don’t hear it from their other providers, or from their parents or schools. They need to hear it, because reproductive health is so much more than you’d think. It’s about smart life planning and setting goals, making sure that you take the right steps to get where you need to be.” With that explanation at hand, it’s apparent why she clicks with The Door so well already. She’s ready to bring this aspect of healthcare to the forefront of the Adolescent Health Center, helping it integrate with the many other programs we offer here.
Having such a comprehensive list of other services available to youth might seem daunting to health professionals who are used to a more traditional health clinic environment; not to McConey. “I like to see challenges as opportunities. How can we increase access? How can we break down some of these barriers so that the young people who come here get everything they need, when they need it? That’s what The Door has always done, and what I’ll continue to push with the Center. I’m always thinking innovation and progress in a positive way, and that’s really what The Door stands for.”
While she gets settled in, she’s got plenty of experienced staff at her side to learn from. “I’m definitely enjoying learning from Dr. Bob and Dr. Mel and the others. There are a lot of staff who have been here a long time, and that speaks to the fact that we all just want to be here. I think it’s just like coming home – this is where I was meant to land.”
To learn more about the services we offer at our Adolescent Health Center, please visit their program page.