‘Opportunities to Grow’ has Inspired Three Generations of One Family to Work at McLean

June 28, 2016

When Cathie Bowen started working at McLean in 1974 in the Patient Accounts department, she had no idea she would have a fulfilling, 35-year career at the hospital, or that her daughter, Wendy Currie, would graduate with a degree in psychology, earn her master’s degree in social work, and become the Director of Psychiatric Triage, or that her granddaughter, Jenny Currie, would graduate college with a degree in psychology and work as a research assistant at the hospital.

“When my daughter was in first grade, I wanted to find a job and an agency placed me with McLean,” said Bowen. “I worked in Patient Accounts for five years and then I was encouraged to apply for a position in the Administrator’s Office to work for Henry Langevin for 13 years until he retired. I then worked for Michele Gougeon for an additional 16 years,” Bowen said, noting that she recently helped open the Lincoln Residence and also worked in the Division of Alcohol, Drugs, and Addiction.

Bowen-Currie family
Three generations of one family have worked at McLean. Wendy Currie, left, her mother, Cathie Bowen, and Wendy’s daughter, Jenny Currie

She retired in 2009 when she was working for Bruce M. Cohen, MD, PhD, then director of the Shervert H. Frazier Research Institute, and in 2012 decided to come back to the hospital per diem. She now works in the Facilities Department and has enjoyed seeing many familiar faces. “I built a lot of friendships at McLean,” she said. “It’s always been a place that felt like home and there were always opportunities to grow.”

The opportunity to grow and “having the drive to want to help people” is what inspired Wendy Currie to start working at McLean while she was in high school. During the summers she work in food service, the former secretarial float pool for the Social Work Office, and in the Registrar’s Office to help pay for her education at the University of Massachusetts, Boston.

“Coming to work at the hospital and knowing my mother was well known and well respected, was a bit daunting, and I knew that I had a lot to live up to,” she said.

“I was intrigued by the hospital and knew that psychology was going to be my major—that was my goal,” said Currie, who in 2003 went back to school to earn her master’s degree from Boston University. She has worked in Admissions for the past 27 years, and has served as director for the past two years.

The most rewarding part of her job, she said, is “feeling like we are making an impact on mental health, fighting the stigma, and helping people receive extraordinary care with all our services.”

Like her mother, Jenny Currie was always interested in psychology and wanted to pursue a career helping people. She recently completed her degree in psychology from UMASS Boston, where she also earned the title of Most Valuable Player on the hockey team.

She is currently working as a research assistant in the Murphy Lab within the Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder Research Program and is also involved in training to learn how to interact with patients.

Her next move is to apply to medical school, either in psychiatry or surgery, and meanwhile is grateful to have the opportunity to gain valuable experience at McLean. What she appreciates most, she said, is “seeing just how many people with different disorders are being helped and the amount of research that’s being done here.”

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