Newsletter Article

Why Are You Here?

In this series about CalMHSA staff, we offer a profile of our colleagues and why they’ve chosen to contribute to the work we do. 

Meet Gisselle Galloway, Peer Certification Program Supervisor 

Gisselle Galloway is not only a program supervisor with CalMHSA’s Certified Medi-Cal Peer Support Specialist Program. She is also a Medi-Cal certified Peer. And away from work, she finds time to coach mothers in recovery through a nonprofit she founded.  

“I love CalMHSA’s Peer certification program,” she said. “Being a Peer coach myself in my nonworking hours, I know the numbers are staggering for what a difference it makes when someone has a Peer in their corner.”  

Gisselle has played a key role on CalMHSA’s Peer certification team since she began in 2022. The Medi-Cal certification program for Peers was just getting started, so she has had a hand in many foundational activities: reviewing applications to ensure compliance with Department of Health Care Services standards, creating a reasonable accommodations process, reviewing training providers’ curriculum, and helping to develop a best practices guide for counties that employ Peer workers.    

One of Gisselle’s best qualities is her interest in helping others succeed,” said Lucero Robles, CalMHSA’s Director of Quality Assurance and Compliance, who oversees peer certification. “She uses her advocacy skills to help customers and staff alike. She thrives on seeing others get the support they need.”   

Supporting others has been an intentional journey for Gisselle. Previously, she worked in health care information technology, but after 20 years of sobriety she felt a calling to “shed some light and hope” for people whose struggles she understood.  

“I realized that moms in recovery need their own space, so in 2020 I founded Over the Influence Recovery,” she said. “We provide one-on-one coaching with Peers, goal setting, access to community resources, support meetings, and help navigating the child welfare system.”  

Recently, one of the mothers she coached received her Medi-Cal Peer certification and has begun working as a Peer support specialist in her own community.   

“California recognizing the value of this work is just phenomenal because it also gives those folks in recovery more to look forward to, knowing they can help others with their own experiences,” Gisselle said. “Giving them a role in a multidisciplinary team, putting them in a room with a clinical team is a game changer.”  

Some of Gisselle’s goals at CalMHSA’s are to continue building credibility for Peer workers and to grow awareness of their value in behavioral health.   

“I really want to be sure I’m building bridges to ensure CalMHSA is viewed not only as the certifying entity but as an organization that respects the incredible work Peers have been doing,” she said. “I’m here because CalMHSA is building a process to elevate this role through certification, professionalism and ongoing education, and I want to be a part of that.” 

February 27, 2024