Loveday: Empathy is critical in working with Red Legacy Recovery’s clients

Published 9:21 am Tuesday, November 26, 2019

By Greg Miller

STAR Correspondent

Samantha Loveday, the director of Red Legacy Recovery, says the program is an all-women’s recovery program that helps its clients cope with substance use disorders.

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A great quantity of empathy, according to Loveday, is critical

in working with the clients of Red Legacy Recovery. “I don’t see how anyone that works in this type of work cannot have empathy,” she remarked. “Whether it’s a little bit of the stern side of empathy or the super sweet side or the nice balance in the middle. You have to have the heart and soul for this type of work. And you have to want to love them, each and every client.

“We meet them where they are, wherever they are active in their substance use disorder or recovery. I make a treatment plan during the initial intake of the client that is individualized to their needs, and we move forward daily from that point. If the client was to have a potential relapse, we move forward with a different route of the treatment plan. Our motto is, ‘If you fall 50, we are going to pick you up 51.’”   

Red Legacy Recovery is based in Carter County, according to Loveday, who has served in her current job since June of 2018. “We can go into all eight counties and serve clients,” she said. “We are a non-faith based organization. We’re also a non-profit. We operate under two different grants. We have what we call the State Opioid Response (SOR) grant, of which Red Legacy Recovery is a hub-and-spoke model. We are a spoke off of that model. Then we have the Addiction Recovery Program (ARP) grant. Through both of these grants, we are able to serve the women enrolled in our program exclusively.”

All of Red Legacy Recovery’s programs are free to the organization’s clients, according to Loveday, who states that every day brings its own set of challenges. “Every day here is not the same,” she said. “It never will be. It never has been the entire time I’ve been here. It’s an adventure. We offer a variety of groups throughout the day and in the evenings to meet the needs for each of our clients.”

Loveday’s number one job-related goal is to make sure Red Legacy Recovery is well-publicized. “Carter County does know about who we are,” she remarked. “We’re becoming more well-known within Frontier Health.” She says Frontier Health and Overmountain Recovery are now referring more clients to Red Legacy. “We’re also getting referrals from the Needle Exchange program, which is a part of ETSU,” she said.

“We just got a new day transporter. Before that, I was doing all the day transportation and all the director’s responsibilities, and all the groups.”

Loveday observes that in dealing with the clients the greatest coping skill is being able to put herself in the shoes of the clients. “In working with our women our biggest coping skill that we have to have is being able to put ourselves in where they are at that moment, to be able to sit there and talk to them and determine what direction we need to take next.”

Loveday, who has served in her current job since June 2018, notes that the most challenging part of the job is probably “recruiting clients in and spreading the word and telling people about our organization.”

Lovelady acknowledges taking the stresses of the job home with her, and she knows the necessity of keeping a good attitude and a good mindset. “With the stress of the reality of this type of work, you take it home,” she said.

A good, positive attitude is “something I have to demonstrate every day.” Loveday said. “I have to make sure that my attitude is positive due to the nature of the job and for my clients.” If she feels as if her attitude is less than optimal, “We excuse ourselves from the situation.”

Loveday notes the importance of maintaining a positive attitude for the sake of the clients. “We may be the only positive thing they’ve seen all day,” she remarked. “We’ve got to make sure when they come in here, even if we’re not, we’ve got to put it on just for a little while, they can say, ‘Even though Sam is having a bad day, still she’s trying.’”

The most rewarding aspect of the job is “definitely seeing clients grow in their sobriety and in recovery and seeing them achieve things that they thought were not achievable and now they are through recovery and regaining things back like home, children, jobs, things like that.”

In May 2003, Loveday began working within a Treatment Recovery Program. “I started working at Magnolia Ridge, which is a division of Frontier Health,” she said. “I worked with both men and women, there at 900 Buffalo Street, Johnson City. I worked there until almost 2008. I helped open Willow Ridge, which at that time was also for both men and women. It’s just a step-up house. From there, I went to work for Plasma Biological Services, which is a division of Interstate Blood Bank. I was there for about three months and became part of the management team. I became a training coordinator there and trained in five production areas. I was part of quality assurance and traveled around opening plasma centers for that company as well.”

In November 2011, Loveday began working for Mountain States Health Alliance and LabCorp. She decided to go back to school to earn her Bachelor’s Degree. She then went to work for Blood Assurance, a whole blood company based in Chattanooga. “I helped bring the company out of Chattanooga,” she said. “I went to Chattanooga and worked weeks upon weeks. I came home on weekends. I brought the company to Johnson City, Bristol, Abingdon and Kingsport.”

Loveday says she is “absolutely” glad she chose to work in the field in which she is employed. “I’m not leaving here any time soon,” she stated, “because we have a million and one things to grow with Red Legacy. I want to spread the word. I want everyone to know about us and offer everything to everyone in the community. I am very excited about the future of that aspect.”

Loveday also plans to return to school. “My goal is to be back in graduate school by fall of 2020,” she said. A 2001 Daniel Boone High School graduate, Loveday earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Clinical Psychology with a minor in Sociology from East Tennessee State University in May 2013.

A single mom, Loveday has twin sons, Lennox and Nolan, who are very active within the community. Lennox and Nolan are both involved with the Carter County Drug Prevention with Director, Jilian Reece.

Red Legacy Recovery is located at 210 S. Hills Drive, Elizabethton. For more information about Red Legacy Recovery, visit the website,, visit the Red Legacy Recovery page on Facebook, e-mail or call 423-342-6893 or 423-342-6894.