November 1, 2020, ONARGA, IL – After 27 years with the majority of those serving as Executive Director, Dennis Wiley announces his plan for retirement from Nexus-Onarga Family Healing. His leadership has helped the residential treatment facility through ongoing growth and improved services for thousands of youth struggling with emotional, behavioral, and mental health difficulties.
Nexus-Onarga was a newer program when Wiley joined in the early 1990s, operating out of a single building with 3 staff and 20 youth in care. Nexus-Onarga tapped into creative and innovative clinical strategies to build up their staff and set the stage for future treatment developments. Since then, Wiley and his team have built a strong program with expertise in treating youth who demonstrate sexually problematic behaviors.
The campus has also expanded to include additional residential treatment dorms serving emotional and behavioral needs, an on-campus school, group home, transitional living program, and two therapeutic foster family homes. These additions have been crucial in providing a continuum of care to assist youth in every step of their treatment, ensuring a successful outcome as youth transition back into their regular life.
Of his accomplishments, Wiley said, “There is not one standout story, but a culmination of our growth to serve more youth and families that has made an impact on my career. I was fortunate to help create and work alongside a very competent core staff, building a highly motivated and hardworking leadership team. This group has embraced challenges and believes in setting – and continuing to reset – a high bar for this very challenging, yet rewarding, line of work.”
After retirement, Wiley plans to work on his golf swing, and spend as much time as possible with his wife and two kids.
Dr. Michelle K. Murray, CEO of Nexus Family Healing, said, “Nexus-Onarga has always been open to innovation and change at every step of the way, thanks to Dennis’ commitment to provide the right services at the right time. We are grateful for his dedication over the years and as we transition to a new executive director.”
After months of extensive search for the next Executive Director, Nexus has appointed an internal candidate to the role. Jamie Kozma, Clinical Director at Nexus-Onarga, accepted the position and will be working alongside Wiley to plan for a successful hand-off at the end of this year.
About Nexus-Onarga Family Healing
Nexus-Onarga Family Healing is part of Nexus Family Healing, a national nonprofit network of mental health agencies with over 45 years of restoring hope for thousands of children and families through outpatient/community mental health services, foster care and adoption, and residential treatment. We use innovative, personalized approaches to heal trauma, break cycles of harm, and reshape futures. We believe every child is worth it — and every family matters. Learn more at nexusfamilyhealing.org.