OTTAWA — Donna Konst hopes to lean on 34 years of nursing experience to help people with mental health needs as the new executive director of Pathways Counseling Center in Ottawa.
She replaced Aaron Baumgartner, the new CEO of Putnam County YMCA. Konst’s first day at Pathways was Aug. 26, and she previously was CEO at Fairlawn Retirement Community in Archbold for four years. She oversaw a retirement campus of 400 people that provided independent care and skilled nursing services.
As executive director, she will work with counselors to provide mental health and addiction services. Services include counseling, assessment, treatment, consultation, support and guidance. Specific mental health services include psychiatric services, community support, mental health education and psychological evaluations. Both children and adults receive services.
Konst said she is excited to serve as Pathway’s executive director and serve in a different sector of health care.
“I like to help people be successful. Healthcare usually ends up in crisis, so supporting them through the crisis and finding peace is what I hope to do,” she said.
What she has seen in the healthcare field is that mental health services are entrenched in every avenue of a person’s life.
“If not treated well, it affects you on a physical level. The world is focused on physical health needs, where no one would not think of treating cancer or diabetes, but what is forgotten about sometimes is mental and behavioral health services,” Konst said.
Konst graduated from Miller City-New Cleveland High School and went to St. Vincent Hospital School of Nursing in Toledo, graduating in 1985. She earned a bachelor’s degree in science in 1988 from Defiance College. She also received a master’s degree in business from the University of Findlay in 1993.
After completing her schooling, she became a nurse at Defiance Hospital, worked in long-term care. She became a nursing home administrator for HCF in Lima. She also worked at St. Rita’s Medical Center, running the ambulatory care centers in Putnam County and Delphos, and was at one time the director of care coordination at Lima Memorial Health System.
She lives in Ottawa with her husband, Kenny, and four sons.
For more information about Pathways Counseling Center, visit pathwaysputnam.org or call 419-523-4300. Hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, with additional appointments Tuesdays and Thursdays until 8 p.m.
Reach Jennifer Peryam at 567-242-0362.