Dr. Celeste Johns is retiring from Bassett Healthcare Network after 32 years.  The psychiatrist spent the last 12 years working with disabled people at The Arc Otsego.

“I saw adult patients with developmental disabilities who also had mental health issues,” Dr. Johns said during an CNY News interview. “People with developmental disabilities are people that have challenges in terms of intellectual ability.”

People with developmental disabilities “means patients may have problems with day-to-day functioning. Sometimes they’re not verbal, sometimes they have issues with their behavior, which they cannot control,” Dr. Johns said.

She said her job had many rewards.  “I loved seeing how my patients were able to manage their lives to the best of their ability,” Dr. Johns said. “Over many years they really grew in terms of their ability to function.”

Treatment could take various forms.  “I would provide psychiatric care,” Dr.Johns said. “If they had psychiatric issues I would help evaluate them and prescribe medication.”

The Arc Otsego is a social services agency that furnishes support services and advocacy for those with physical and mental disabilities.  The Arc Otsego recognized Dr. Johns’ accomplishments for providing a compassionate presence for all patients.

“All of Dr. Johns patients benefitted from her expertise, her empathy, and her knowledge,” Karen Bazan, Director of Nursing and Health Services at The Arc Otsego, said.  Dr. Johns, 67, will remain in the area, taking on a new challenge managing a mental health and substance abuse program for insurance company Fidelis.

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