The road from working an entry-level position at a psychiatric hospital as a UNT student to founding one of Texas’ largest privately owned behavioral health services provider with more than 12 locations in Dallas-Fort Worth was a long one for Awstin Gregg, but it’s also one that he embarked up with compassion and intention from the first step.
“I fell in love with the work when I was a psychology student working at an inpatient psychiatric hospital,” he says. “At the same hospital, I progressed through different positions in seven years, from a mental health technician to therapist, an intake director to an administrator, and then eventually as the CEO of the same hospital. Throughout my journey, I loved what we did, but I always felt there was an entrepreneurial piece to myself, so in 2018 I formed Connections Wellness Group, which has become a wonderful story I will hopefully tell for the rest of my life.”
Gregg believes the focus of his business should be on the team first, encouraging those who encourage and supporting those who support others. Company culture is key, Gregg says, and his approach to employee satisfaction hasn’t gone unnoticed. Connections Wellness Group has won more than 140 best-in-class awards at every location, including a prized Best Healthcare Places to Work in the Nation award in 2022. It is also one of the few mental health centers in the region to earn the Cognia accreditation to serve adolescents patients within the program. The organizations Gregg leads have created several hundred jobs, which have in turn treated hundreds of thousands of people across Texas and the U.S.
“We are in the service industry, so the best way to take care of our patients is to take care of our team,” he says. “Adding to the number of lives we touch and we serve—there is no greater purpose for us.”
Leaving the community, state, and even the world a better place is something close to Gregg’s heart, and in the space of mental health, he is contributing to this goal in an undeniable way.