Current News & Events

May 18, 2017

NHS Participates in Trauma Summit 2017

NHS partnered with the Bucks-Mont Collaborative with their "Trauma & Resilience: Creating Organizations & Communities That help Heal" 10th Community Summit on May 18. NHS Executive Director for Bucks and Montgomery Counties Carolyn Lewis, PsyD led a panel discussion on trauma, its many forms, and how it affects those we serve and our own staff. The summit, attended by more than 300 people, focused on learning about trauma and how, together, organizations and communities can be more responsive to the wounds of our individuals served, our coworkers, our neighbors, and our families and ourselves.

The event featured over 20 community agencies that provide Human Services in Susquehanna County and was initiated to make residents of Susquehanna County more aware of the resources available to them. NHS NEPA and Tri-Valley Care were pleased to be invited and to share information about our services with individuals and stakeholders.


NHS Participates in Trauma Summit 2017

Pictured, L-R: Diane Dagenham, M.Ed., Lakeside Global Initiative; Carolyn Lewis; Kerri Flatau, Ed.S, NCSP, Garner Valley School District, Mary Dressler-Carre, MSN, CRNP, Abington-Jefferson Health Children's Clinic; and Scott Hutchinson, MDiv, MS, St. Andrews UCC & Touchstone Veterans Outreach.

May 18, 2017

Visit to the Planetarium

The NHS Stepping Stones Program in McMurray, PA visited the Carnegie Science Center Planetarium on May 5. With the generous support and grant from the CentiMark Foundation, more than 25 kids from the program had an “out of this world” experience. The kids and staff had a blast sitting inside the portable, inflatable dome! They learned about the stars, planets and the solar system, as well as how big our galaxy really is. After learning about the solar system, everyone was ready for lunch, so they enjoyed a delicious picnic outside! Thank you, CentiMark Foundation, for this wonderful opportunity!

Visit to the Planetarium
Visit to the Planetarium
Visit to the Planetarium
May 18, 2017

Develop-Abilities Program Celebrates 25 Years

On May 13, the NHS Develop-Abilities program celebrated its 25th anniversary. The group of about 20 people with intellectual disabilities meets every Saturday to participate in various activities that build interpersonal, social, and coping skills. They also come together to share their life experiences, and to ask the group for support and encouragement. Norm Vetter and Jay Cantor have been the facilitators for over 15 years, and we thank them for their continuous support and commitment to the program members. The anniversary celebration included awards presented to each group member, a walk down memory lane, and remarks from guests including, Senior Clinical Analyst Richard Lewis, Regional Executive Alex Canavan, Executive Director of the NHS Foundation Sylvia Purnell, Executive Vice President Terry McNelis, and family members. The event was capped off with lunch and tasty desserts.

Develop-Abilities Program Celebrates 25 Years

May 11, 2017

In Celebration of Foster Care Awareness Month - A Foster Care Success

Ryan, a little boy in foster care, officially joined the Darkoanim family and the NHS family on May 2! Maxwell Darkoanim is a Behavior Technician at the NHS Woodhaven Center in Philadelphia. Several years ago, his church sister, Henrietta Dua, told Maxwell and his wife Julianna about foster parenting through NHS. Maxwell and Julianna learned more about the program and decided they would like to open their hearts and home to a child in need. They completed the approval process and waited for a placement. Jane Cramer, Foster Care Director, contacted Maxwell on October 17, 2014 to ask if he and his wife were able to take an emergency placement of an 8 year old boy. A few hours later, Ryan arrived at his home. He was frightened after experiencing several traumatic events in his short life. Maxwell and Julianna worked with Ryan to build up his trust and help him heal. He received BHRS services through NHS to further help him. On May 28, 2015 Maxwell and Julianna formally agreed to adopt Ryan. Little did they know, it would take almost two years to complete the process because the adoption was contested. The wait and court proceedings were very stressful, but Maxwell and Julianna’s love of Ryan and faith gave them the strength to proceed. Ryan’s Godmother, Nana Yaa Kwarteng, a Unit Supervisor at the NHS Woodhaven Center was a great support to the family during the long wait. It was quite the celebration when Ryan’s adoption was final last week. His church, NHS, CYS, and birth families were all in attendance to mark this special day! Congratulations to the Darkoanim family and to Ryan!

In Celebration of Foster Care Awareness Month - A Foster Care Success
In Celebration of Foster Care Awareness Month - A Foster Care Success

May 11, 2017

Swim-A-Thon Benefits NHS/AVS

Since 2013, seniors of the Seneca Valley School District in Western PA have held a Swim-A-Thon at NHS/AVS Pittsburgh Campus. This year’s event was led by senior Jennifer Listwak with help from PHMC’s Program Director Mary Curtz. The Swim-A-Thon was held in April and paired students from Seneca Valley High School with NHS/AVS individuals to see how many laps they could swim in the Pittsburgh Campus pool. The event was well received by everyone involved. The interactions between the students and consumers resulted in lots of smiles and laughter – another sign of the event’s success!

We are grateful to the friends, family members, teammates and staff members who supported this year’s swim-a-thon which raised $2,870! Funds will be used to purchase exercise bikes and/or sensory equipment for the Pittsburgh Campus. A big thank you to Jennifer Listwak for leading this effort, and to everyone that contributed to its success!

Swim-A-Thon Benefits NHS/AVS

May 11, 2017

Visit to the National Aviary

Using their Clear Touch White Board, the NHS/AVS Edward J. Zapp Computers Class followed the National Aviary as they welcomed two Eurasian Eagle Owlets that hatched earlier this year. The group was excited to visit the Aviary in April and see first-hand what they had been studying. Everyone loved seeing the owlets and their parents live at an outdoor exhibit close to the nursery. They toured the other areas of the Aviary including their favorites, the penguins and tropical birds. In addition to visiting the exhibits, the group had the pleasure of eating lunch at Atria’s Kookaburra Kitchen. The outing was made possible by support from the Walter F. and Ellen H. Nicoden Fund of The Pittsburgh Foundation.

Susquehanna County Human Services Resources Day

May 11, 2017

NHS DDTT in Westmoreland County – 2017 Innovations Award Winners for Recovery Services

As previously communicated, NHS congratulates the NHS Dual Diagnosis Treatment Teams (DDTT) in Westmoreland County, PA for receiving the 2017 Innovations Award for “Recovery” services! The DDTT programs were recently honored at a special awards dinner recognizing innovative leaders and visionaries throughout the region. DDTT is comprised of a specialized mobile team of professionals including a Psychiatrist, a Behavioral Specialist, Recovery Coordinators, a Nurse, and a Pharmacist, providing treatment, support, and education for individuals in the community diagnosed with a mental illness and co-morbidity development disability. Great job, DDTT, on this well deserved recognition!

May 4, 2017

NHS Foundation 3rd Annual Bowling Tournament

More than 700 staff members, individuals in our care, families, board members, contributors, and friends of NHS joined together across the state of Pennsylvania on May 2 to bowl for a great cause and to have fun as one organization! Tournaments were held simultaneously in East Norriton, Pittsburgh, and Harrisburg. Proceeds from this organization-wide event support a number of NHS programs, such as the recent Spring Gala for individuals in our IDD programs and other activities.

Everyone had a fantastic time and showed tremendous team spirit throughout the day, as showcased by video and Facebook Live broadcasts. Lanes at each location were filled with fun, food and friendly competitors eager to bowl strikes with the hopes of advancing to the championship round. The excitement and enthusiasm peaked at the end of the day when teams from the three locations won first place trophies and other prizes. 

A HUGE thank you to our sponsors, volunteers, staff and consumers for making this another fun and successful event!

Congratulations to our top team winners of the day!

EAST NORRITON
FACENDA WHITAKER

HARRISBURG
ABC LANES

PITTSBURGH
ZONE28

First Place
Pason's Posse - 138.5

First Place
Garner's Gutters - 148.5

First Place
The Samsanators - 121.2

 

 

Mike Spector

Nate Jones

Kim Sonafelt

Karen Varney

Terry Smith

Jim Battaglia

Sam Gillin

David Volpe

Jill Finney

Audrey Rupert

Scott Blumenthal

Jon Sheahan

Dan Campbell

Steve Amsterdam

Brittney Collins

Kate Williams

Derek Fisher

Second Place
Safety Pins - 132.8

Second Place
Gutterly Ridiculous - 121.5

Second Place
Team KZ - 119.8

 

 

Julie Vervelied

Sara Leonard

Daria Tauber

Bill Hart

Elaine Wolf

Cheryl Renzelmann

Matt Staron

Marge Shafer

June Griese

Mike

Jason Sisock

Jamie Pedaline

MikeDeVitis

Jim Beissel

Dana Boyer

Mike Ernst

Eric Goodling

Rozell Burroughs

Third Place
CNI - 123

Third Place
Black N Bleu - 116.2

Third Place
Johnny's Angels - 117.6

 

 

Duck Du

Jordan Massie

Robyn Cheskiewicz

Tim Kirk

Brett Massie

Ceil Kittell

Jay Rodenbaugh

Nic Miller

Bill Schenk

Joe Trodden

Erin McClay

Suzanne Kirby

John Vittorio

Hunter Brown

Jennifer Utzig

Karen Marshall

Check out media coverage from the big day!


Check out a playlist of video interviews recorded during the event and a picture slideshow!

May 5, 2017

Teachers Appreciation Week is May 8 - 12

Teachers Appreciation Week is May 8 - 12

Teacher Appreciation Week is May 8-12, 2017! NHS thanks all of our teachers and school staff around the company that support children in our care on a daily basis! We appreciate the commitment displayed by every teacher in our schools throughout NHS. Your hard work has contributed greatly to the success of our students and the entire NHS Education and Autism team. As you wind down this school year with your students, know that your dedication to the NHS mission and core values does not go unrecognized. Thank you! Show appreciation and #ThankATeacher by using resources provided by the National Parent Teacher Association, and thank them for making a positive impact on your life and the lives of children across the country.

To see how our teachers are making a difference in the lives of students across the company, please visit schools.nhsonline.org!

May 5, 2017

May is National Foster Care Month

May is National Foster Care Month

May is National Foster Care Month, a time for people nationwide to get involved as foster parents, volunteers, mentors, employers, or in other ways. It's also an opportunity to show our appreciation for the dedication of the foster families who care for these children and youth, and the social workers who support them. Every day, almost 513,000 children and youth are living in foster care because they are not able to live with their biological families. We must address the needs of these children who require a stable and secure home until they can either return to their parents or establish a lifelong connection to a nurturing adult. NHS thanks all the Foster Care families and the dedicated staff that work with them to ensure that children in our care are safe and secure!

For more information on how to get involved in National Foster Care Month activities, visit www.childwelfare.gov/fostercaremonth. If you are interested in becoming a foster parent at NHS, please contact 1-877-832-2210.

May 5, 2017

Fred Ciotti Memorial Race

As part of their Wellness Program, staff members from NHS Northeastern PA (NEPA) participated in the Greater Carbondale YMCA sponsored 23rd Annual Fred Ciotti Memorial Race on Saturday, April 22. Participants from NHS included Carol Torch, Maria Hubal, Lori Brennan, Ernie Laskosky, Gino Carachilo, Jessica Nurnberger and Allen S. Congratulations to several NHS staff who were awarded medals in their respective age categories: 

  • Ernie Laskosky (Crisis) - 1st place - walk (3 years in a row), Ages 60+
  • Gino Carachilo (Case Management) - 2nd place - run, Ages 20-29
  • Jessica Nurnberger (DDTT) - 2nd place - walk, Ages 30-39
  • Allen (Individual) - 1st place - walk, Ages 20-29

THANK YOU to all who participated, and great job!

Fred Ciotti Memorial Race
Fred Ciotti Memorial Race
May 5, 2017

National Nurses Week – May 6 – 12

Susquehanna County Human Services Resources Day

What is an NHS Nurse? He/she is a decision maker, communicator, manager of care, advocate for our individuals, and teacher. In the demanding field of nursing, we are grateful for our NHS nursing staff. National Nurses Week begins each year on May 6 and ends on May 12, Florence Nightingale's birthday.

Please take time to say a special “thank you” to the nurse(s) that work with you and individuals in our care for their dedication to the field of nursing and to NHS!


See how NHS Celebrates Nurses Week!

Celebrating National Nurses Week in LouisianaLouisiana
Staff from the Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) Team in Alexandria, Louisiana celebrated National Nurses Week with a cake to acknowledge all the hard working nurses on their team. NHS thanks all our wonderful nurses for their tireless efforts and commitment to the individuals we support!

Chamberlain UniversityChamberlain University
As we wrap-up celebrating National Nurses Week, Chamberlain University wants to recognize nurses for their commitment to the future of nursing. In honor of the important role that nurses play, Chamberlain invites you to view a webcast that featured Arianna Huffington, founder of The Huffington Post and founder and CEO of Thrive Global! During the webcast, Arianna discusses the importance of self-care for nurses and the ability to thrive in school and in practice:
  • Promoting self-care for students and nurses in practice
  • How taking good care of ourselves leads to a more innovative, creative and productive workforce
  • Achieving success through well-being, our ability to draw upon wisdom, wonder and our capacity for compassion and giving
Click here to register for the recorded version of the webcast that aired on May 9.

NHS/AVS
The nurses at NHS/AVS in Hummelstown, PA were recognized as “Super Heroes” by the campus and program staff! Thank you cards were made by the individuals with help from the residential and program staff. Each nurse received a Nurses Survival Kit and lip balm, along with some yummy goodies. The nurse’s station door was also decorated to recognize all of the nursing staff. Great job, team!

Celebrating National Nurses Week with NHS/AVS

Thank you to our hard working nurses at NHS/AVS Patricia Hillman Miller Campus!

NHS/AVS Patricia Hillman Miller Campus! NHS/AVS Patricia Hillman Miller Campus!
NHS/AVS Patricia Hillman Miller Campus! NHS/AVS Patricia Hillman Miller Campus!

IDD in Harrisburg

IDD in Harrisburg Celebrates National Nurses Week!
IDD in Harrisburg Celebrates National Nurses Week!
May 4, 2017

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

Each year, millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental health condition, as 1 in 5 U.S. adults will experience a mental health condition in their lifetime. However, everyone is affected or impacted by mental illness through friends and family. Throughout May, the National Alliance on Mental Illness and providers, including NHS, across the country are raising awareness for mental health. Each year, we fight stigma, provide support, educate the public and advocate for equal care. Each year, the movement grows stronger. Help us spread the word through the many awareness, support and advocacy activities below by showing you're #IntoMentalHealth. Visit www.nami.org for more information on how you can help!

May 4, 2017

National Child and Family Services Hosts Family Fest

Family Fest, an annual event that National Child and Family Services (NCFS) started in the Baton Rouge community to raise awareness of the services offered, was held this past weekend. The free community event included face painting, door prizes, a Zumba class, a jewelry making table, crafts for kids, bubbles, dancing, resources, and much more! NCFS was delighted to have Mayor Broome speak at the event and to promote their services to the community. Representation from the District Attorney’s office and local police were in attendance for kids and families to engage in conversation. Everyone had a terrific time, and are looking forward to next year’s event!

May 4, 2017

RCPA Capital Day

On Tuesday April 25, 11 NHS consumers and staff members visited the state capitol in Harrisburg with Rehabilitation and Community Providers Association (RCPA) to advocate for a realistic state budget that supports the needs of adults and children within Pennsylvania that receive our critical services. NHS residents, Richard and David, from Greensburg, PA had the opportunity to meet with State Representative Eric Nelson to talk to him firsthand about how difficult it is to always lose staff with whom they develop close partnerships.

RCPA Capital Day
RCPA Capital Day
RCPA Capital Day
April 27, 2017

NHS 2017 Spring Galas

More than 800 individuals from NHS IDD programs in Philadelphia and surrounding suburbs, New Jersey, Delaware, and Virginia celebrated a night with dancing, food, and entertainment at two galas held on April 19 at Presidential Caterers in East Norriton and April 26 at Philadelphia Ballroom in Northeast Philadelphia. Everyone was dressed to impress in their gowns and tuxedos as they arrived in limousines, party buses, and vans. Attendees walked the red carpet and were greeted by staff members and photographers who acted as paparazzi taking their pictures. Our individuals and staff were excited by a special guest appearance from the one and only, Michael Jackson!

The Spring Galas were held to give individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities the opportunity to formally dress up, dance, to celebrate with their friends and NHS staff. Everyone had a great time, and will no doubt be reminiscing about these events for a long time!

6abc phl17 cbs3 fox29
Special thanks to staff who helped coordinate the event to make it extra special for all, and to the NHS Human Services Foundation for their support. Click below to check out clips with NHS in the news!
April 27, 2017

Connections Participates in Autism Conference

On Friday, April 21, Program Director Madeline Tousley and Behavior Technician Erin Kalka from Special Education and Behavioral Connections presented a breakout session at the DWMHA 2017 Autism Conference: Partners in Progress. Their presentation “What’s the Function? Why Problem Behavior Occurs & Strategies to Manage It” was an introduction in identifying functions of behavior and practical intervention strategies for parents, caregivers, and other professionals. Attendees practiced collecting ABC data and identifying appropriate antecedent and consequence strategies based on the perceived function of the behavior. The following day, Madeline and Erin attended the Color of Autism Foundation It Takes a Village event where they had a table with information about Connections, and Erin presented on Pennsylvania Autism services, their differences and similarities to Michigan, and outcomes. Great job, Connections team!

Connections Participates in Autism Conference
Connections Participates in Autism Conference
Connections Participates in Autism Conference
April 13, 2017

NHS Schuylkill Mountain Center Dodge for Autism 2017

In recognition of World Autism Awareness Month, approximately 200 people gathered on the floor of Penn State Schuylkill’s gymnasium on April 7. The Schuylkill County Autism Society (SCAS) and NHS Schuylkill Mountain Center partnered with Penn State Schuylkill to host the 5th Annual Dodge for Autism Tournament.

Twenty-seven teams, including 5 teams comprised of NHS individuals and family, two Penn State Schuylkill student teams, local providers and county agencies, businesses, and local school teams played dodge ball to raise awareness for autism. Many other supporters came to watch the event.

NHS Schuylkill Mountain Center Dodge for Autism 2017 The teams signed up to compete in one of three brackets: 'Adult Competitive', 'Kids Under 14 Competitive', and 'Just for Fun'. The Crimson Tide from Pottsville High School won in the ‘Adult Competitive’ category, the Playful Plaza Platypuses from NHS Schuylkill Mountain Center were the proud victors for the 'Just for Fun' bracket, and the Haven Squad won for 'Kids under 14' bracket.

Regional Director for Behavioral Health Services Melissa McGoey and member of the Schuylkill County Autism Society said, "We are incredibly grateful and pleased to see NHS staff and people from our community gathered to raise awareness for autism. Autism prevalence is still on the rise; our community needs to keep learning how to best celebrate and support individuals and families affected by autism. We appreciate the time and effort expended by Penn State Schuylkill campus to host this important event for us over that last five consecutive years."

If anyone is interested in getting involved with future events, please contact Melissa McGoey at mmcgoey@nhsonline.org.

NHS Schuylkill Mountain Center Dodge for Autism 2017
NHS Schuylkill Mountain Center Dodge for Autism 2017
April 13, 2017

Susquehanna County Human Services Resources Day

Staff from NHS Northeastern PA and Tri-Valley Care participated in the inaugural "Susquehanna County Human Services Resources Day" held on Saturday, March 25 at Blue Ridge School. Gail Learn, NHS NEPA MH Outpatient Director represented Behavioral Health Services. Judy Cantarella, Tri-Valley Care SCO Administrator and Barb Stone, Tri-Valley Care SCO Supervisor represented Tri- Valley Care and Supports Coordination Services.

The event featured over 20 community agencies that provide Human Services in Susquehanna County and was initiated to make residents of Susquehanna County more aware of the resources available to them. NHS NEPA and Tri-Valley Care were pleased to be invited and to share information about our services with individuals and stakeholders.

Susquehanna County Human Services Resources Day

April 13, 2017

NHS Participates in 9th Annual Labor Management Conference

On April 7, 2017, Indiana University of Pennsylvania - Employment and Labor Relations Program, in conjunction with the Laurel Highlands Labor and Employment Relations Association Chapter, held the 9th Annual Labor Management Conference. This Conference invites Human Resource and Labor Union Professionals to come together to discuss various topics and trends within the world of Labor Relations.

Phil Horrell, Labor Relations Specialist for NHS, was selected to participate on a panel to also include, a Union Delegate for SEIU Healthcare PA, and two Labor Attorneys to discuss perspectives on demographic challenges and opportunities for collective bargaining in relation to the increase of millennial supervisors and union delegates in the workforce. The panel discussion was moderated by Jack Yoedt of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Services (FMCS). Phil provided his insight on working collaboratively with our different Labor Partners here at NHS and in promoting NHS’s Mission and Core Values with an ever changing and diverse workforce.

NHS Participates in 9th Annual Labor Management Conference

April 06, 2017

NHS Delaware County Launches Biometric Technology

NHS Delaware County Launches Biometric Technology

The NHS Behavioral Health Division is excited to announce the successful implementation of technology into its model of care. A behavioral health biometric kiosk was installed at 800 Chester Pike in Sharon Hill, PA in December, and it has proven successful in helping clinicians to provide a better treatment experience for individuals in our care.

As part of meeting the meaningful use criteria and in an effort to promote an integrated healthcare approach, the site is required to gather clinical data (Blood pressure, weight, height and Body Mass Index) from individuals in service to evaluate general health status at the time of their mental health visit. Prior to the biometric kiosk, this data was manually gathered and recorded. The hand written information was then walked to the psychiatrist/physician/Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner to evaluate at the time of the person’s clinic visit. With the use of technology, NHS can now collect this same clinical data with equipment that transmits the data directly to into the Kiosk database and produces a comprehensive printout of the person's results from their current visit, as well as the past ten visits, giving the physician valuable information for providing treatment. The kiosk provides the means to track and monitor use, improving the clinic's ability to perform any necessary quality improvement strategies so that compliance to payers can be met. Other benefits of the new technology include: elimination of hand transcription and data omission errors, utilization of data for trending reports that may identify subtle changes in health conditions over time, and an opportunity for immediate alerts if the measurements are out of normal range. This is only the beginning towards the incorporation of additional technologies in the supports provided to consumers. One of the next phases will be to have the Kiosk database connect directly with Avatar, which will increase staff efficiency with data collection even further.

The BH Division is hopeful that this project will lead towards other technology that will better integrate physical and mental health services, as they are already investigating testing blood glucose and cholesterol through the Kiosk and will be producing health information sheets in an effort to provide an overall better approach to engage the individual in their own efficient form of quality healthcare management.

April 06, 2017

NHS Schuylkill Mountain Center Participates in Annual Bowl for Kids' Sake

NHS Schuylkill Mountain Center Participates in Annual Bowl for Kids' Sake The Behavioral Health and Intellectual Developmental Disabilities Departments at NHS Schuylkill Mountain Center (SMC) participated in the annual Big Brothers/Big Sisters Bowl for Kids' Sake In Pottsville, PA on March 24. SMC has been a part of this annual community event for many years. This year, NHS had six teams including two teams each from behavioral health, IDD, and the Consumer Advisory Group. Each team consisted of at least five individuals who raised $50 each and bowled two free games with free shoe rental, free sub sandwiches, chips, soda, and ice cream.

Big Brothers/Big Sisters is one of the oldest and largest youth mentoring organizations in the United States. Big Brothers/Big Sisters mentors children of all ages in communities across the country. To become involved in this great program please visit: www.bbbs.org.

April 06, 2017

NHS Stepping Stones Students Meet Romibo

NHS Stepping Stones Students Meet Romibo

Children in the Pre-K and Kindergarten classes at the Stepping Stones (SS) Program in McMurray, PA have been learning and practicing social skills with the aid of Romibo, a social therapy robot. Romibo is from Fine Art Miracles, a non-profit organization that offers diverse therapy within the Pittsburgh area. The name, Romibo, was chosen because it sounds like the words "robot for me". Romibo was first introduced to classrooms in 2013, and there are now 35 Romibos in six countries including the United States, the United Arab Emirates, Australia, Denmark, South Korea and Spain. This program will be conducted in our SS classrooms for eight weeks focusing on introductions, reciprocal conversations, answering WH questions and engaging in small group activities…all with the aid of Romibo.

April 06, 2017

Angels from the Heart Visits NHS/AVS

On April 2, Good Deeds Day*, members from Angels from the Heart Charitable Foundation, dressed as princes, princesses and superheroes, performed a song and dance routine for nearly 80 NHS Allegheny Valley School consumers, staff, and family members. Many audience members sang along to the songs and danced in their seats. Cast members encouraged audience participation for the Cupid Shuffle and WOW. The floor of the Pittsburgh Campus gym was packed with dancers! After the performance, cast members enjoyed meeting and posing for pictures with the attendees. A great time was had by all!

*Good Deeds Day, created in 2007, is a global day that unites people from more than 75 countries to do good deeds for the benefit of others and the planet. Thank you again to Angels from the Heart for sharing their time and talents with us.

March 30, 2017

NHS Participates in Representative Dan Miller’s Summit

NHS is grateful for the opportunity to participate in State Representative Dan Miller’s 4th Annual Children & Youth Disability & Mental Health Summit. On March 23 and 24, NHS had a table and representatives in attendance for the Support Services Resource Fair and Employment & Transition Resource Fair. During the two days, NHS staff members shared its array of services provided in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Education and Autism and Behavioral Health with families, community members and other organizations. The Resource Fair included local organizations and companies that offer services to and/or employment for people with disabilities. The conference had three full days of sessions focusing on topics relevant to individuals with disabilities, family members, and others.

NHS was honored to be a part of this important community event and thanks Representative Miller for making this free summit available to the region.

NHS Participates in Representative Dan Miller’s Summit
NHS Participates in Representative Dan Miller’s Summit

March 24, 2017

Recognizing Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month

Thank you to all who wore burgundy and silver on March 21 in honor of Developmental Disabilities Month! Burgundy represents adults with disabilities and silver represents brain disabilities and children with disabilities. A door decorating contest is currently being held and winners will be announced in the coming weeks.

March 07, 2017

Lighting it Up Blue at NHS

Lighting it Up Blue at NHS Join NHS as we recognize individuals with autism during the month of April, and Light it Up Blue on April 2!

Light it Up Blue is a campaign spearheaded by Autism Speaks to bring awareness to autism by shining a bright blue light on the issue. April 2nd is World Autism Awareness Day, which represents that kickoff of Autism Awareness Month. During this time, world landmarks, buildings and iconic structures turn blue to show their support. In the past, the Empire State Building, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Sydney Opera House and over 7000 other buildings and landmarks have participated in Light it Up Blue. NHS also encourages you to build awareness for autism. We challenge you to Light it Up Blue for those fighting hard to communicate to understand others. How can you do this?

  • Change existing light bulbs from white to blue
  • Put up blue Christmas lights in your windows or around your home
  • Challenge your street to become a “Blue-evard” by lighting every house up blue
  • Project the Light it Up Blue logo on a wall or a building
  • Put a Light it Up Blue sign in your yard
  • Use washable car window paint to show your support
  • Put up blue balloons in your office or on your mailbox
  • Dye a strip of your hair blue or use a blue clip-on hair extension
  • Use the hashtag #LIUB to be a part of Autism Awareness Month on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram
  • Turn your website, Facebook or Twitter profile blue or use the LIUB logo
  • Personalize your own LIUB Selfie Sign

Light it Up Blue – It is your time to shine! Visit www.autismspeaks.org/liub for resources and tools to LIUB!


Staff from Assertive Community Treatment, Family Based, Therapeutic Family Care, and administration at NHS Pocono Mountain Center, and from the Pine Grove Community Residential Rehabilitation at NHS Schuylkill Mountain Center supported Light it Up Blue World Awareness Day this past week by wearing blue.

Lighting it Up Blue at NHS Lighting it Up Blue at NHS


The Adult Behavioral Health Blended Case Management Unit at 27 East Mt. Airy Avenue in Philadelphia participated in Light It Up Blue this week to support Autism Awareness!

Lighting it Up Blue at NHS

March 17, 2017

Goals for Giving 2017

The NHS Blue Thunder faced off against the NHS White Lightning at the 13th Annual Goals for Giving Hockey benefit on Sunday, March 12, 2017 to raise money in support of the mission of NHS and the NHS Human Services Foundation. The teams, comprised of hockey enthusiasts and Philadelphia hockey celebrities, “battled” each other on the ice, in a fierce – but friendly – competition at the Flyers Skate Zone in Northeast Philly. This year the Foundation raised more than $100,000 to support the NHS IDD (Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities) Prom, the NHS Schools lunch program (Pantry for Pride), NHS Behavioral Health addiction services (Recovery House Scholarship), and other NHS programs. Debbie, an individual in our IDD program at NHS Woodhaven in Philadelphia, proudly dropped the puck to kick-off the game for her 13th time at the event! Many individuals, staff, and families also came out on a frigid Sunday afternoon to cheer on the teams.

A Meet and Greet Reception at the Southampton Room followed the exciting game, where guests had a chance to get autographs, and to take photos with the hockey celebrities. A huge thank you to all who supported Goals for Giving, especially Lintons Managed Services, the players, celebrities, sponsors,  donors, volunteers and NHS staff! 

Check out news coverage advertising the event and at the event on PHL17 and NBC10 News!

MArch 07, 2017

NHS Autism Center Open House and Ribbon Cutting

More than 250 families, providers, and state representatives in Baton Rouge and surrounding areas came out on March 7 to be part of the grand opening of the new NHS Autism Center in Louisiana! NHS CEO Joe Martz began the program and welcomed everyone to the event. Karen Markle, EVP of Education and Autism Services, introduced the new staff at the Center who gave tours and answered questions from the many families in need of support. After opening remarks, everyone gathered outside to witness the sign unveiling and ribbon cutting.

Due to her incredible support of NHS and for helping to develop the new facility, the Center has been named in recognition of Shelley Hendrix, advocate for children with autism. Shelley’s surprise reaction after the unveiling left everyone in happy tears! “My hope is that the Center will provide an additional resource to families that are living with autism and have that continuum of care that’s available to children…to make sure their needs are being met, not only for the person with autism, but for the whole family as well,” said Shelley. The NHS Autism Center officially opens on Monday, March 13.  

Visit www.brproud.com to watch a clip of Karen Markle and Shelley Hendrix discuss the new NHS Autism Center with BR Proud host Chad Sabadie!

Check out news coverage advertising the event and at the event on PHL17 and NBC10 News!

March 07, 2017

Congratulations, Tom Morgan, Executive Management Award Winner

National Social Work Month2017Tom Morgan, Vice President for Information Technology, was recently acknowledged and awarded an Executive Management Award from SmartCEO. Tom received his award at the 2017 Philadelphia Executive Management Awards celebration held at the Ballroom at the Ben in Philadelphia on March 8.

The Executive Management Awards program recognizes the leadership and accomplishments of the region’s executive management all-stars. These individuals uphold the highest ethics, lead collaboratively and creatively, and enhance and support the organization’s mission. Click here to view Tom’s video profile on SmartCEO’s website.

Congratulations, Tom, and thank you for all that you do to support the mission and vision of NHS!

March 07, 2017

March is National Social Workers Month

National Social Work Month2017Our nation’s more than 600,000 social workers have amazing tenacity and talent, confronting some of the most challenging issues facing individuals, families, communities, and society. They forge solutions that help people reach their full potential and make our nation a better place to live. NHS celebrates the contributions of social workers during National Social Work Month in March.

Visit www.socialworkers.org to read more about National Social Work Month and how you can celebrate our staff!

March 02, 2017

NHS DDTT Wins Mental Health America 2017 Innovations Award

NHS DDTT Wins Mental Health America 2017 Innovations Award Congratulations to the NHS Dual Diagnosis Treatment Teams (DDTT) in Westmoreland County, PA for receiving the 2017 Innovations Award for “Recovery” services! The DDTT programs will be honored in May at a special awards dinner recognizing innovative leaders and visionaries throughout the region.

DDTT is comprised of a specialized mobile team of professionals including a Psychiatrist, a Behavioral Specialist, Recovery Coordinators, a Nurse, and a Pharmacist, providing treatment, support, and education for individuals in the community diagnosed with a mental illness and co-morbidity development disability.

Great job, DDTT, on this well deserved recognition!

March 02, 2017

Goals for Giving...in the News

Philadelphia Flyers alumni and NHS Human Services Foundation Board member Brian Propp and Executive Director of the NHS Human Services Foundation Sylvia Purnell participated in radio and television interviews this past week to promote the 13th Annual Goals for Giving Hockey Benefit scheduled for Sunday, March 12. Brian and Sylvia sat with radio host Brad Segall from “The Philadelphia Agenda” to discuss all the details of the event, the NHS Foundation, and about NHS services. The show will air this Sunday, March 5 at 6am on WOGL 98.1, WTDY 96.5, and at 7am on WXTU 92.5. The show will air multiple times as well as on their affiliate HD channels.

Brian and Sylvia also participated in a promotional ad with 6ABC News in Philadelphia, which will also air this weekend.
Great job, Brian and Sylvia, and thank you for promoting Goals for Giving!

Goals for Giving...in the News
Picture 1 - L-R: Samantha Byles - Bellevue Communications, Mike Neilon - Bellevue Communications, Sylvia Purnell, and Brian Propp
Goals for Giving...in the News
Picture 2 - L-R: Brad Segall, Sylvia, and Brian
MArch 02, 2017

NHS/AVS 'A Night to Shine' Prom

“It was a lot of fun,” said Liz, “I thought it was a really cool thing to go to.”  Added Jonathan, “I can’t wait to go back next year.”

On Friday, February 10, individuals from NHS and NHS/AVS put on their prom dresses and tuxedos and headed to the Night to Shine Prom. In western PA, 28 individuals attended proms at two local churches including Woodland Valley Church in Cranberry and The Bible Chapel in McMurray.

The event, hosted by the Tim Tebow Foundation, is an unforgettable prom night experience for people with special needs. On one night, churches around the world hosted Night to Shine for thousands of honored guests. Every guest entered the complimentary event on a red carpet to a cheering crowd and friendly paparazzi. Once inside, they were given the royal treatment at hair, makeup and shoe shining stations, and as they received corsages and boutonnieres, sang in a karaoke room. They then danced the night away! The highlight was when each guest was crowned as a king or queen of the prom. “We walked down the red carpet,” commented Tess. “My favorite part was the dancing.”  Megan added, “We got our hair and make-up done!”

We are grateful for the area churches and the Tim Tebow Foundation who partner with us to enrich the lives of the individuals that we serve.

March 02, 2017

A Story of Hope

Bob is a 77 year old man who resides at the NHS Lehigh Valley Center IDD program in Slatington, PA. This past year has been quite a challenging year for him medically, but due to the strength, love, and dedication of his team he has overcome these challenges and is on his way to recovery and back to being the Bob they all know and love. In June of 2016 Bob had become so ill that he was hospitalized and then went to Manor Care for rehabilitation. He was discharged back to the NHS Lehigh Valley Center IDD program and his outlook was not good. He was hospitalized again in September and October and the team was not sure he would return this time. Well, Bob proved all of us wrong! With the dedicated staff visiting him almost daily, he returned back to the program in November and has been improving every day with leaps and bounds.

Thank you to this dedicated team at NHS Lehigh Valley Center for helping Bob get back on the road to recovery.

A Story of Hope
A Story of Hope
March 02, 2017

Celebrating Mardi Gras

Individuals and staff members at NHS/AVS Kennedy Program Center in Pittsburgh celebrated Fat Tuesday on February 28 with a Mardi Gras parade. Each classroom created a theme for their parade float, and they were announced as they came down the halls. The celebration was enjoyed by all!

Celebrating Mardi Gras
Celebrating Mardi Gras
Celebrating Mardi Gras
Celebrating Mardi Gras
Celebrating Mardi Gras