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Sanford Vice President & Chief Operating Officer
As Vice President and Chief Operations Officer, Katie Vokes has applied her talents as an effective and compassionate leader to all aspects of Sanford Behavioral Health. Katie began her career in physical health, leading a national sales and operations team, delivering quality care and positive financial results. After establishing Sanford’s first outpatient center, Katie played a key role in designing and launching systems for Sanford West Behavioral Health Campus.
Katie continued expanding much-needed intensive outpatient services and designed and implemented a medication-assisted treatment program for all care levels. Katie guided Sanford through the ever-changing complexities of the COVID-19 pandemic while achieving CARF (Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities) accreditation and opening the Sanford West facility. Her role expanded to include oversight of the medical department and operations of residential programs. She oversaw exponential growth at Sanford West, working on facility renovations and safety and risk management implementation. Katie led the development and implementation of the first stand-alone residential eating disorder program in Michigan; the creation of a safe, supportive living environment for clients unable to return home while attending outpatient programs; and a co-occurring residential program designed for those with more acute needs.
Today, Katie oversees a highly skilled and dedicated group of directors, including facilities, safety, culinary, substance use disorder clinical, support staff, and hospitality departments. She is also responsible for CARF and licensing compliance and risk management. Under Katie’s leadership, Sanford’s CARF accreditations have achieved perfect scores. Katie prides herself on lowering the barriers to treatment safely and effectively and is motivated by helping overcome challenges that Sanford teams face to provide quality care. Katie is a results-oriented leader who has progressively increased leadership responsibilities through her ability to improve efficiencies and minimize expenses, rising to these challenges with adaptability and agility.
When Katie is not working, she loves being out of doors. Especially in Northern Michigan on Lakes Huron or Michigan. And she likes to hike, boat, and spend time with her family and their German Shepard, Boss.
Katie says, “I have seen firsthand, through friends and loved ones, that the disease of addiction knows no boundaries. I love being a part of the Sanford team. And we’re working hard every day to improve our programs and resources to support our clients. No matter where they are on the recovery journey.”