Skip to main content

From Advocate to Medical Assistant: Meet Jen Curtis

Jen Curtis, a newly-certified medical assistant working out of the Maine Behavioral Healthcare Rockland office, is passionate about fighting stigmas associated with mental health. As someone who had not previously worked in a behavioral health care setting, Jen’s passion brought her to the MBH team in April 2020, and in August of 2021, she completed her medical assistant certification.
Jen Curtis, MA

Though she originally applied for a receptionist position with the MBH Rockland office, practice manager Lisa Beeckel knew right away that she was a better fit for a direct patient care role, and hired her as a medical assistant. Leading up to March of 2021, Jen was responsible for attending patient care appointments and scribing notations throughout the visit. However, with the system-wide transition to the Epic shared electronic health record, her role quickly shifted because Epic required a medical assistant be clinically certified to access patient notes and data - a certification which Jen had not yet had time to achieve.

In the interim, Jen served as a psychiatry assistant, which is less clinical and more administrative, but according to Jen, the timing could not have been more perfect. Already motivated to get her medical assistant certification, Jen had started her classes and learned that MBH would reimburse her for her schooling, which started the first week of April 2021.

“The program I selected was online and self-paced and for a few months, my schedule was packed!” Jen shared. “Balancing full-time work, classes and my family – including my son who has Autism – I had to stay goal oriented.”

Jen completed her clinical certification classes – 27 classes over the course of 11 weeks - in June and passed her test in August.

As a newly-certified medical assistant, Jen primarily supports Ted Logan, MD, in Rockland, and has made it her mission to provide a comfortable, non-judgmental environment for our patients. Knowing first-hand how it can feel to accompany a family member to a mental health appointment, she advocates for normalizing patient interaction and treating everyone who walks through our doors with respect, as one would receive at any other type of appointment or visit.

“I think we all know someone who can relate to the feeling of being judged for a mental health diagnosis,” she said. “It is important to see the person – not the diagnosis. I think it makes a big difference.”

Over the years, the need for medical assistants at Maine Behavioral Healthcare has continued to grow as our patient population has evolved. Jen is just one example of the incredible individuals who are supported in their continuing education. She notes that the support she received from leadership, specifically from her manager, Lisa, was the encouragement she needed to take the leap. “It really has been above and beyond any support I would ever expect from a manager.

Her new role is not without challenges. “You never know what someone’s day has been like, and sometimes it shows if they have had a tough go of it.” Still, Jen’s passion for mental health and patient care endures. “I can’t bear the thought of any patient feeling like I was judging them. You don’t know what someone’s day has been like. I am here to help make their day better.”

MBHC in Rockland

Open 8 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday, this location provides an array of services for adults, adolescents and children with mental health conditions, developmental disorders and/or substance use issues.

Autism and Developmental Disorder Services

The Center of Excellence in Autism and Developmental Disorders serves individuals and their families through a continuum of care—from inpatient to outpatient settings. Our specially-trained providers have expertise in the emotional and behavioral needs of people with autism and other development disorders. We use evidence-based practices designed to meet each patient's unique needs.