Current News & Events

November 23, 2016

NHS Kids are Thankful to be Warm this Winter!

NHS Participates in Philadelphia Autism Speaks Walk
NHS Participates in Philadelphia Autism Speaks Walk

The NHS Human Services Foundation distributed more than 150 warm winter coats to children in our services on November 8 at 2506 North Broad Street in Montgomery County and to the NHS PACT (Parents and Children Together) and Children Services Outpatient programs located at 265 E. Lehigh Avenue in Philadelphia on November 16. Our partners North Penn Mazda VW and Pacifico Marple Ford Lincoln, in conjunction with the Auto Dealers Caring for Kids Foundation, donated the much needed coats. The kids were very happy and thankful to receive their coats, ranging of various sizes and colors. Click here to watch a clip from ABC News, who attended the event in Philadelphia

November 23, 2016

NHS High Point Center Shows Compassion

Staff at NHS High Point Center displayed our core value of compassion with this year’s Salvation Army Treasures for Children Tree. Every year, the team purchases holiday presents for others in need. Each tag on this year’s tree has information about a child in need, including their age and suggestions for gifts. Thank you to the dedicated team for sharing compassion both inside and outside NHS!

NHS High Point Center Shows Compassion

Pictured L - R: Ryan Benson, IDD Home and Community Program Specialist; Elizabeth Crawford, Administrative Assistant; Jessica Baird, IDD AA; Michelle Buzard, TFC Program Director; Missy Henery, IDD Regional Director; Pam Witherite, TFC Program Coordinator

November 23, 2016

Breast Cancer Awareness at NHS/AVS

NHS Allegheny Valley School on Verree Road in Philadelphia held A breast cancer walk in October to raise awareness for getting tested. Dr. Grobman, a guest speaker from the Susan G Komen Foundation spoke about breast cancer, the importance of getting tested, and finding a cure. Thank you, NHS/AVS, for your support and advocacy for breast cancer testing and treatment.

Breast Cancer Awareness at NHS/AVS

Pictured L – R: Tiffany Carter, RM; Joseph Sellers, AED; Tabitha Johnson, PA; Jeanette Dicks, BS; Gail Harris, RM; Sharema Sommerville, RM; and Dr Grobman.
November 23, 2016

NHS Participates in Philadelphia Autism Speaks Walk

On Saturday October 22, people from across the tri-state area gathered at Citizens Bank Park (home of the Philadelphia Phillies) for the 2016 Autism Speaks Walk. Even though the weather was not cooperative, it did not dampen the spirits of NHS Team Voices for Autism or the 10,000 other attendees. Representatives from the Philadelphia, St. Anne’s, and Warrington Schools were also on hand not only to show their support by partaking in the walk, but also to promote NHS Education and Autism Services. Special thanks to staff and students for their participation in helping to bring awareness to Autism and speaking for those who can’t speak for themselves.

NHS Participates in Philadelphia Autism Speaks Walk
NHS Participates in Philadelphia Autism Speaks Walk
NHS Participates in Philadelphia Autism Speaks Walk
NHS Participates in Philadelphia Autism Speaks Walk
November 17, 2016

The NHS Red, White, and Blue BBQ

NHS celebrated Veterans Day/Week on Monday, November 7. More than 170 veterans and staff members from our NHS Fresh Start veterans' program were together for an evening of good food, fun, and celebration. The night was filled with smiles, laughter, and gratitude as the Fresh Start direct care staff, management team, and the NHS executive leadership team spent the evening thanking our veterans for their service.

A DJ, karaoke, and a full menu of BBQ helped to create a celebratory atmosphere that invited our veterans to relax and enjoy the company of their brothers in arms. Robert Johnson was presented with the Calvin Savage Legacy Award as the veteran who best exemplifies gratitude and humility in and around the Fresh Start programs. Joe Martz, Paul Sachs, and Jeff Pittner all addressed the men before giving the podium to our key speaker, Timothy Wynn, an Iraq war veteran who did an outstanding job motivating the troops. One of the hits of the evening was watching the executive leadership team serving dinner to our veterans. A special thank you to Jodi Savits for planning and managing the event!

The NHS Red, White, and Blue BBQ
October 27, 2016

NHS Makes a Difference

Staff at the Community Residential and Rehabilitation (CRR) facility in Pine Grove, PA recognized “Make a Difference Day” on October 22 by creating and selling NHS pink ribbon shirts in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Profits from the shirts were donated to the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Staff wore their pink shirts for awareness on October 31.

NHS Makes a Difference
Thursday, October 27, 2016

NHS Presents at the 2016 Gentle Teaching International Conference in Iceland

Philadelphia Staff Development Facilitator Marge Brown was a presenter at the 2016 Gentle Teaching International Conference held in Akurayri, Iceland. Prior to her employment with NHS, Marge worked closely with the late Dr. John McGee, the creator of Gentle Teaching, and with Gentle Teachers around the world. Marge's presentation was about using a curriculum developed and shared by Gentle Teachers in Saskatchewan, Canada as a method to implement NHS's Trauma Informed Care initiative. She is working closely with Astrid Berry and Kevin Mehnert to finalize TIC materials. Marge is coordinating a pilot project with Betty Boyd, Alex Canavan, and Carol Erzen to test the impact of this approach with a small group of people receiving support through NHS/TAIG and with the four Trauma Informed Care pilot projects in the IDD Division.

NHS Presents at the 2016 Gentle Teaching International Conference in Iceland
NHS Presents at the 2016 Gentle Teaching International Conference in Iceland
NHS Presents at the 2016 Gentle Teaching International Conference in Iceland
Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Employee Spotlight: Celebrating 30 Years at NHS/TAIG

Employee Spotlight: Celebrating 30 Years at NHS/TAIG

Congratulations to Nursing Supervisor Linda Martin, RN CDDN who is celebrating 30 years of working at NHS/TAIG. Linda was at the forefront of promoting community integration for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities. Linda played an integral part in the transition from institutions such as Pennhurst, Embreeville, and Norristown State hospital to community-based living. A well-known advocate for our individuals’ health, safety and well-being, Linda has touched the lives of more individuals than we can count. Whether she is running from house to house in severe snowstorms to administer insulin to our diabetic consumers, or developing guidelines to protect consumers’ needs and rights, Linda is an amazing example of the critical role that the nursing department has in caring and advocating for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities.

Great job, Linda! You should be proud of all your hard work, sweat, and tears throughout all these years!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

NHS Participates In Big Bear Hug 1st Annual Health Expo

Program Director Lisa Quintana and Program Coordinator Rona Robbins of the Permanent Supportive Housing Program (PSH) at 4700 Wissahickon Avenue in Philadelphia participated in The Big Bear Hug 1st Annual Health Expo on October 15 in Yeadon PA at the Yeadon Borough Hall. Lisa and Rona set up a table representing NHS and the PSH program. Lisa was a guest panelist to speak on behalf of the Permanent Supportive Housing Program. She informed participants on how staff within the program assist members in the community to continue to function independently. Thank you, Lisa and Rona, for representing NHS well and for educating the attendees about our services.

NHS Participates In Big Bear Hug 1st Annual Health Expo
Thursday, October 27, 2016

NHS Pocono Mountain Center Gives Back to the Community

The management team from NHS Pocono Mountain Center served dinner on October 5 at the Pocono Alliance in Stroudsburg, PA to approximately 50 people from the Bridges Out of Poverty "Getting Ahead", a community support program that provides concrete tools for reducing poverty in the community. Great job to the team for the way you shared our core values of compassion and integrity with others!

NHS Pocono Mountain Center Gives Back to the Community
Thursday, October 27, 2016

Consumer Advisory Board Enjoys Hiawatha Paddlewheel Riverboat

Assunta Moore and Max Zurat who work in Adult Behavioral Health Residential at NHS Capital Region had a productive day at Harrisburg Area Community College (HACC) on October 5. They began their day by representing NHS at an outdoor Career Day event, recruiting for students who are attending college. While eating General Tso's for lunch, prepared by HACC’s culinary students, Assunta and Max addressed students’ questions during a “Leadership Lunch and Learn” seminar, called “Building a Foundation”. Max shared his thoughts on students working in their field to gain professional experience while earning their degree. He made his points not only with words, but also with magic tricks and candy. Assunta shared her experiences of working as a full-time night shift Psychiatric Technician for NHS Capital Region Residential while attending HACC. After earning her associates degree, she attended Penn State in Harrisburg, and attained a bachelor’s degree while continuing her employment with NHS. Assunta obtained her degree with two and a half years of experience in the mental health field. A few months after graduation, Assunta began working as a Partial Hospitalization Therapist. Students were shown that experience matters, and that NHS offers many opportunities for them to follow Assunta’s example.

Consumer Advisory Board Enjoys Hiawatha Paddlewheel Riverboat Consumer Advisory Board Enjoys Hiawatha Paddlewheel Riverboat
 
Consumer Advisory Board Enjoys Hiawatha Paddlewheel Riverboat Consumer Advisory Board Enjoys Hiawatha Paddlewheel Riverboat
Thursday, October 27, 2016

NHS Participates in the Philadelphia AIDS Walk

NHS Participates in the Philadelphia AIDS Walk NHS Participates in the Philadelphia AIDS Walk

The Adult Blended Case Management Department participated in the annual Philadelphia AIDS Walk on October 16. Participants walked in support of consumers, family, and friends, and to reduce the stigma associated with the virus.

<< Pictured: Paul Sachs, Tara Anderson-Edwards, Niesha McGill, Sarah Gawricki, Antonio Williams, Nasiya Davis, and Jason Ferguson

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Representing More than Two Centuries of Service at NHS

Representing More than Two Centuries of Service at NHS

As 2016 comes to a close and we look forward to what the new year will bring, it strikes us that while “life is what happens to us while we are making other plans” (Allen Saunders, 1957), those around us have quietly contributed to the success of our organization in multiple ways. Frequently, many of us comment that we spend more time with our co-workers than our families. Imagine the “revolving door” of support personnel who have been in and out of the lives of the people we provide care. It is hard enough to develop trust, camaraderie, security, and caring relationships among all people, let alone those who may have challenges expressing their thoughts.

To that end, at a time where commitment is sometimes limited, five employees at NHS Woodhaven Campus represent a combined total 208 years of service. Donna Jones, duty administrator, began working at NHS on April 29, 1974; Bev Werynski, program specialist, was hired on December 8, 1976; Joao Sebastiao, residential direct support professional, started on December 4, 1973; Sue Keppeler, administrative assistant, began on November 15, 1976, and Keith Fisher, warehouse and transportation, started on December 1, 1973. So, while President Nixon was resigning, the Berlin wall was falling, Nelson Mandela was released after 27 years in prison, the world wide web was invented, cell phones became a part of the human existence, President Obama was elected, and Facebook became a part of the lexicon, these five employees have been supporting, nurturing and simply being “family” to the individuals at the Woodhaven Campus. Please join us in thanking and congratulating these staff members for their incredible commitment to the NHS mission, vision, and core values. And, regardless of years of service, all of our employees are recognized for being a part of the NHS family and to the individuals we support - your role is an important one!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

NHS Capital Region Presents at Harrisburg Area Community College

NHS Capital Region Presents at Harrisburg Area Community College

Assunta Moore and Max Zurat who work in Adult Behavioral Health Residential at NHS Capital Region had a productive day at Harrisburg Area Community College (HACC) on October 5. They began their day by representing NHS at an outdoor Career Day event, recruiting for students who are attending college. While eating General Tso's for lunch, prepared by HACC’s culinary students, Assunta and Max addressed students’ questions during a “Leadership Lunch and Learn” seminar, called “Building a Foundation”. Max shared his thoughts on students working in their field to gain professional experience while earning their degree. He made his points not only with words, but also with magic tricks and candy. Assunta shared her experiences of working as a full-time night shift Psychiatric Technician for NHS Capital Region Residential while attending HACC. After earning her associates degree, she attended Penn State in Harrisburg, and attained a bachelor’s degree while continuing her employment with NHS. Assunta obtained her degree with two and a half years of experience in the mental health field. A few months after graduation, Assunta began working as a Partial Hospitalization Therapist. Students were shown that experience matters, and that NHS offers many opportunities for them to follow Assunta’s example.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

NHS Fresh Start Veterans “Ride Again”

The NHS Fresh Start therapeutic equestrian program for veterans began its new season on September 30. NHS and Thorncroft Equestrian Center in Malvern PA hosted an open house for more than 20 veterans who had the opportunity to tour the facilities, meet the instructors and horses, and learn about our therapeutic equestrian program. The Program has been providing therapeutic riding and grooming lessons to NHS veterans for the last two years. Funded in large part by the NHS Foundation, more than 100 veterans have participated in this program, and have expressed their sincere gratitude for the opportunity to spend their time at the stables, as well as a great outlet to reduce stress and anxiety.

NHS Fresh Start Veterans Ride Again
NHS Fresh Start Veterans Ride Again

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Thank You, from NHS Louisiana!

Thank You, from NHS Louisiana!

The Great Flood of 2016 resulted in devastation and heartache throughout Louisiana. An estimated 60,646 homes were damaged and 30,000 people were rescued. Seventeen NHS employees were affected, many losing everything.

Following the aftermath of the flood, NHS showed great concern and support for our clients, employees, and communities. Our NHS families in Louisiana are thankful for everything that was done to help during this difficult time, and they are proud to be part of the NHS team. Staff express their appreciation for all the support received:

“Please accept my sincere gratitude for your help during my crisis. It truly showed me how much you cared. I am forever thankful!”
Carla Smith, Wraparound Administrative Assistant, Baton Rouge

“I can’t say enough how grateful I am to all those who have been a blessing to us over the last few weeks. These gifts are deeply appreciated. They brought me hope and comfort in this most difficult time. They reminded me that I am not alone.”
Desiree Godfrey, Wraparound Facilitator, Baton Rouge

“My family and I are overjoyed at how gracious so many of you were in helping us out during this time of devastation; it is truly a blessing to work with and be a part of the wonderful NHS team. Thanks so much.”
Alainae Smith, Wraparound Supervisor, Baton Rouge

“Words cannot express my feelings nor my thanks for all your help in our dire situation. Your kindness and thoughtfulness will always be remembered. For all you do, for who you are, I am forever grateful. May God bless you abundantly!”
Irina Cary, Wraparound Administrative Assistant, Baton Rouge

“Thanks for the time and hard work everyone has provided during the disaster. Your thoughts and offerings were greatly appreciated. Many times kind hearts will go unnoticed, the most thoughtful gift of all is your time and offering that you provided to me and my family. A hand that lends is a hand that loves, a man that gives is a soul that cares.”
Idi Jackson, Wraparound Facilitator, Baton Rouge

“I would like to thank the NHS staff for the kindness and generosity shown to me during these difficult times. It is greatly appreciated. Thank you again!”
Sandra Johnson, FACT Registered Nurse, Baton Rouge

“I want to say thank you so much to everyone in the NHS organization for thinking of me and my family in our time of need! We really appreciate your kindness and generosity!”
Amy Lacouture, FACT Nurse Practitioner, Baton Rouge

“Thank you so much for your gracious gift. Your contribution meant so much to me and my family.”
Latasha Sanfie, FACT Employment Specialist, Baton Rouge

“Thank you for your support and contribution during this difficult time.”
Cathleen Hyde, FACT Team Lead, Baton Rouge

“Thank you to everyone who contributed and created the Go Fund me account. Your gift helped families and employees of NHS-Baton Rouge. May you forever be blessed because of your kindness and generosity.”
Dionne Crosby Smith, FACT Program Director, Baton Rouge

“Thank you all for your love and support to help us during our time of need. We are truly appreciative of the donated time and money to transition us from being hopeless to hopeful due to the unexpected flood. We are overwhelmingly blessed to work for a company as such that coordinated ways to assist us in a rather quick and efficient way to work towards our recovery and having our lives back. We will never forget those who gave and provided in ways that we could not have imagined.”
Tyejeree McManus, Wraparound Facilitator, Baton Rouge

Monday, October 10, 2016

NHS Presents at the 2016 ANCOR Technology Summit and Showcase

As the focus on innovation in the emerging environment of long-term services and supports increases, technology continues to play a key role in helping providers achieve better health, improved care, and lower costs for individuals they support. ANCOR (the American Network of Community Options and Resources) hosted their 2016 Technology Summit and Showcase on October 7 in Broomfield, Colorado featuring presentations on ways technology can help the Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (I/DD) community achieve these goals. Sherri Portnoy, Shaleea Shields, and Rene Burke presented Technology Solutions for Independence, and how NHS and NHS/AVS is successfully implementing technology within our programs to increase individuals’ independence. Their presentation highlighted the Communication Technology and Biometrics projects that have given individuals in our care more independence and enhanced quality of life.

NHS Presents at the 2016 ANCOR Technology Summit and Showcase

Friday, October 7, 2016

NHS Delaware County Hosts Third Annual Community Health Fair

Senator Anthony Williams opened the NHS Community Health Fair at the Sharon Hill facility in Delaware County passionately advising attendees to strongly advocate to local and state government for the important services provided at NHS, considering the instability of next year’s State budget. This year’s Health Fair, held on October 6, included free health screenings, healthy foods, and more than 60 vendors that provided literature on positive lifestyle tips, resources, and giveaway items to attendees. There was also a yoga instructor, a massage therapist, and fun fall-themed activities for kids. In addition to the Health Fair, tours of the Sharon Hill facility were provided to attendees to showcase the success of the integrated care model, where clients have the ability to see a primary care physician, a psychiatrist and a therapist in one location. Chairman and CEO Joe Martz, EVP of Behavioral Health Services Mike Barton, VP of Administrative Affairs Suzanne Campbell, VP of Children’s Services Malcolm Musgrove, and many other NHS staff attended the Fair in support of the innovative services provided to the Sharon Hill community.

Special thanks to all the staff at NHS Delaware County who helped facilitate the Fair, to the vendors for their participation, and to the local police station for their support and for keeping everyone safe!

Monday, October 3, 2016

10th Annual Southeastern PA NAMI Walk

Staff and individuals from a variety of behavioral health programs in Southwestern PA gathered to participate in the 10th Annual NAMI walk on October 2 at the Waterfront in Homestead. NHS was a sponsor of this year's NAMI Walk with teams participating in the event during the past ten years. NHS, along with thousands of other mental health advocates, joined together to raise awareness about mental illness and to help reduce the stigma associated with it. A huge thank you to the behavioral health programs in Beaver, Allegheny and Westmoreland Counties for all of their hard work and dedication!



10th Annual Southeastern PA NAMI Walk
10th Annual Southeastern PA NAMI Walk
Monday, October 3, 2016

NHS/AVS Participates in Alzheimer’s Walk

Thirty-one (31) clients, staff members and friends from NHS/AVS gathered in Beaver, PA on October 1 to participate in the 2016 Walk to End Alzheimer’s. NHS/AVS Administrator Amanda Thomas organized the groups from Malcolm, Maratta, Nolte, Nyetimer and Sipe homes to join in the two-mile walk starting at the Gazebo in Irvine Park. “I am extremely thankful to everyone that walked to support the fight against Alzheimer’s. It was a beautiful morning and the camaraderie was just as amazing!,” commented Amanda. “ I hope we continue to spread the awareness of this disease and I look forward to us participating in the walk again next year.”

NHS/AVS Participates in Alzheimer’s Walk

Monday, October 3, 2016

NHS QCO Team Receives 2016 Best Practice Award

Congratulations to the NHS Quality and Compliance Organization (QCO) team for receiving the 2016 Best Practice Award by the Health Ethics Trust! Some of the strengths highlighted by the Health Ethics Trust include:

  • emphasis on the role quality plays in compliance and that “quality is the new compliance”
  • implementation of a measurement-driven approach to project outcomes
  • the partnership between the QCO and the local operational entities
  • incorporation of safety into the compliance/quality team
  • insurance of quality care while detecting, preventing, and correcting compliance weaknesses, including those from quality failures throughout its organization.

In addition to the award, the QCO will present their model and successes at the Healthcare Best Compliance Practices Forum on October 17, in Arlington, Virginia. Congratulations, QCO!

Monday, October 3, 2016

Recovery and Resiliency Training in Ethiopia

For the past three summers, Paul Sachs, executive director of NHS Philadelphia, has hosted Fellows from the Mandela Washington Fellowship, a project that is part of President Obama's Young African Leadership initiative (www.irex.org). In Summer 2015, Maji Hailemariam, a social worker from Ethiopia, participated in her professional development experience at NHS with Paul. In 2016, the IREX organization announced a reverse exchange, allowing American professionals to travel to Africa. Paul and Maji's application was accepted.

Paul and Maji provided training to Ethiopian professionals about recovery and resilience approaches to mental health care from September 9-24. Trainings were provided at the Ayder Specialized Hospital in Mekelle, Ethiopia and at the Social Work Department of Addis Ababa University in Addis Ababa. They also visited the Mekelle Rehabilitation Hospital for men and women with substance abuse disorders and the city of Hawassa.

"Everyone I met was extraordinarily welcoming and appreciative of the training" said Paul. "The situation there, however, is very different from the USA in many ways. There are fewer than 100 psychiatric beds for a country of 100 million people. Other resources for support that we take for granted here, such as social service groups, self-help groups, and substantial funding for mental health services, are scarce if they exist at all. Maji's research shows that it is 18 months before a person finally decides to approach a mental health professional if they come at all. During those 18 months, people are consulting faith healers, or drinking holy water, or hiding in the back of their home because of the community stigma about mental health."

The participants in the training recognized that it would be a long process of change to increase community awareness of mental illness and recovery approaches. They particularly were interested in the Mental Health First Aid initiative, and in how to use motivational interviewing to engage people. Paul hopes that the collaboration can continue and grow in the years ahead.

Recovery and Resiliency Training in Ethiopia
Recovery and Resiliency Training in Ethiopia
Recovery and Resiliency Training in Ethiopia

Monday, October 03, 2016

NHS Presents on Disruptions and Secondary Adoptive Placements

NHS Presents on Disruptions and Secondary Adoptive Placements

Congratulations to Steve Petrucci, director of children’s programs, for successfully presenting at a national adoption conference jointly sponsored by the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys and the National Council for Adoption last week in New Orleans. With over 400 registered attendees, the panel presentation was an unqualified success. The topic, Secondary Adoptive Placements, was very timely and interesting to the attendees. Steve, along with licensed Social Worker, Trish Hackman, shared evidence based ideas to those in the trenches working on disrupted adoptions. Following the question and answer period, almost a dozen attendees approached Steve and Trish with individual follow-up questions and to share ideas. Great job, Steve, for representing NHS well, and for your expertise on this very important topic!

Monday, October 03, 2016

NHS Delaware County is Recognized as a PA Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic

NHS Delaware County is Recognized as a PA Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic

Congratulations to NHS Delaware County, in Sharon Hill, PA, for fulfilling the criteria to become one of Pennsylvania’s Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics! This acknowledgement from the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, is the result of a year-long collaborative effort by the behavioral health team at NHS Delaware County. From the original 74 organizations that sent letters of intent to the State to become CCBHCs, the list was culled down to ten applicants in September. Many organizations could not meet the voluminous requirements, however, NHS Delaware County is one of two providers so far who have received this special recognition.

The core services provided at the CCBHC include crisis services, Targeted Case Management, outpatient mental health and substance use services, patient-centered treatment planning, screening, assessment, and diagnosis, psychiatric rehabilitation services, peer and family support, care for veterans and members of the military, and outpatient primary care screening and monitoring. The federal Excellence in Mental Health Act established the CCBHCs as a way to improve the quality and effectiveness of behavioral health care. Further, the payment mechanism for services will shift from fee-for-service to a prospective payment system. Participation in this grant process will transform the delivery of care and will place NHS at the forefront of change in behavioral health care.