Director of Grant Writing
, Centerstone Research Institute, Inc
For Jan Goodson, it is unacceptable to know patient populations are denied access to beneficial treatments due to a lack of funding. Her work at Centerstone Research Institute (CRI) helps level the playing field. Since joining CRI in 2003, Goodson has been integral in securing more than $50 million in federal and private funding for behavioral healthcare research and treatment at Centerstone.
Goodson's decision to go into this very specific field was the perfect marriage of her interest in helping those who struggle with behavioral health issues and a love of writing. "I love that I get to be a part of helping people experience healing who might otherwise never access the treatments and assistance that they need," she said.
An Indiana native, Goodson moved to the Nashville area as a teenager but lived away from the state while her husband was in the Army. When he returned to civilian life, she returned to school, majoring in psychology with a minor in sociology and criminal justice at Middle Tennessee State University.
Goodson was looking for work in behavioral health when she learned of a grant writing position at CRI. "It seemed like a great opportunity even though I wasn't exactly sure what it entailed," she recalled with a laugh. As someone who has always loved to write — mostly poetry and short stories — she had an idea this type of job might suit her. Before long Goodson said, "It became blatantly apparent it was a good fit for me."
She cut her teeth in grant writing under the watchful eye of Grant Writing Coordinator Fran Crater, who has since retired from Centerstone. Goodson also credits Centerstone Research Institute COO Tom Doub, PhD, as significantly influencing her ability to progress along her career path. "Together, they mentored me in grant writing, program development and leadership, and I am eternally grateful."
Goodson said CRI is always focused on mission-driven grant writing … that is being mindful of gaps that exist and then purposefully finding funds to meet those needs. She also noted the lag time between science and service is often too long. "Part of what the grants do is enable us to integrate evidence-based practices, which aren't always covered by insurance," she noted.
Her driving passion at work is helping the most vulnerable populations break destructive cycles. "Mental illness and addiction are among the most debilitating disabilities, and people who are untreated often remain sick and without jobs, homes, and the support of families, which makes it virtually impossible for them to access care." Goodson continued, "There is little in life that is more fulfilling than knowing that you play a small role in helping people find recovery."
She added, "In this difficult economy, I think that it is increasingly important that we identify and seize opportunities to provide needed health services for individuals with limited means. Accessing and providing quality healthcare is an investment in individual lives, our communities, and our future."
While her grant writing helps others find balance in their lives, Goodson knows she must be vigilant in maintaining her own equilibrium. "When you are blessed enough to have a home and work life that you love and enjoy, it can make balancing personal and professional demands challenging." With husband William, the Goodsons have two sons — Gage, 16, and Jared, 10. "They are by far my greatest passion and priority. They are always in the forefront of my thoughts … at home and work. I hope that my efforts in both areas improve their lives, as well as the world that they … and my future grandchildren … will live in."