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CHANGEMAKERS Patrick (P.S.) Gordon

WHAT IT’S LIKE Behavioral Health Case Manager Tiffany Parkman shares what it’s like assisting clients at the nonprofit Improving Lives Inc., which provides professional counseling and psychotherapy for individuals, couples and families who cannot afford care.

Celebrated local artist partners with Parent Child Center of Tulsa. BY JAMIE RICHERT JONES


he work of well-known Tulsa artist Patrick (P.S.) Gordon, has been continually exhibited in many prominent galleries across the country. However, a painting he created for his daughter 25 years ago helped forge a special relationship with Tulsa’s Parent Child Center. “I started on a painting (a still of toys) for my daughter, Emily, before she was born,” says Gordon, who recently moved back to Tulsa after nearly a decade in New York City. Emily was born with meconium aspiration and was in intensive care for two weeks. Gordon says it was a hard time for their family, and he didn’t complete the painting. Despite the painting being unfinished, he recalls, “The Parent Child Center of Tulsa took that painting and made it into a poster for the center and also to give to people who have donated for five years or more to the charity. I always thought it was such a lovely thing and so nice of them.” Th is year, Gordon will serve as honorary


TulsaPeople JANUARY 2019

chairman of the Toyland Ball 2019 fundraiser for PCCT. “As honorary chair, Mr. Gordon has donated a beautiful original painting to be auctioned in our live auction, and he sits on the Toyland Ball Committee to help plan for the other live auction items as well as other details for the event,” says Carrie Little, the nonprofit’s director of external relations. As for Gordon, he is enthusiastic about his homecoming and his role at Toyland Ball 2019. He says, “The best part of being back in Tulsa are the people, old friends and new friends.” TP

JAN. 19

TOYLAND BALL: PAINTING A BRIGHTER FUTURE 6-11 p.m. Cox Business Center, 100 Civic Center. Black tie with a whimsical theme. $1,000-$25,000, patron opportunities. To purchase event tickets and event raffle tickets, visit toylandball.org.

“Some of my work is done face to face with clients and sometimes advocating on their behalf. At times I have maintained a caseload of up to 45 clients. At other times, my load is much lighter so that I can invest the adequate time and effort into cases that have higher needs. “The best part is celebrating the successes when they make progress. Watching the face of a client light up when they see that someone cares about them and that recovery is possible ... is pretty amazing. “Looking in the eyes of a child who is afraid is the hardest part. Some of the most rewarding cases were when I have watched children pull out their resilience and open up in therapy. It is also about rehabilitating the parent. Success in these cases make it all worth it. “There is not a ‘cookie cutter’ solution for addressing trauma, grief or mental illness. Different personalities respond better to different approaches.” — JUDY LANGDON



“It is my privilege to help individuals overcome obstacles that stand in the way of their recovery from mental health challenges. My job is to link and refer people to resources. Many don’t know where or how to tap into their needs for food, shelter, employment, transportation, legal issues, education, etc. It is also my duty to advocate for those whose voices are not being heard.

Profile for TulsaPeople

TulsaPeople January 2019  

TulsaPeople January 2019