Archived News - April 2017

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!

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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.