Archived News - June 2016

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

NEPA IDD Day Program Visits Communication Center

Individuals and staff from the NHS Northeastern PA (NEPA) Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Day Program toured the Lackawanna County Communications Center on June 28. During the tour, the group learned about disaster safety and what to do in an emergency situation. They spent time in the Disaster Command Center looking at the computers, a smart screen, and multiple televisions screens. They also had the opportunity to tour the 911 call center, learn about the security measures that keep the call center safe, and witness the center’s operators in action!

NEPA Communication Center

Monday, June 27, 2016

2nd Annual Zumbathon is a Hit!

Zumba ZIN Lauren Cardonick kicked the party off on Sunday, June 26 at the NHS Human Services Foundation’s Second Annual Zumbathon, held in the gymnasium at Philadelphia University. Zumba ZINs Laurenza, Mandy, Dara, and Poppa Z continued to keep the excitement going over the next 90 minutes. A fun loving group of NHS individuals in service, staff, family members, and other attendees participated in the event to raise funds for the NHS Human Services Foundation and the upcoming Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) prom.

Leading up to the event, NHS/TAIG employees held a number of fundraisers and registration events to encourage participation for the Zumbathon, raising more than $4,000! Leslie Culbreath, executive assistant at NHS/TAIG said, “Healthy competition can be good competition which was proven by the fundraisers. Not only did we raise a record number in dollars, but participation on the day of the event was fantastic. Working together in a creative way and having fun was a great teambuilding opportunity and we look forward to the next event.” Kids who attended the event had a great time having their faces painted and being on stage, while also getting a good workout! Zumba is an activity everyone can enjoy, regardless of skill level or experience. From beginner to expert, everyone can move and have fun dancing and exercising to the upbeat music.

Thank you to everyone who made this event possible by donating, participating, fundraising and volunteering their time. This event could not have happened without you! The results will be paid forward at the IDD prom scheduled for this fall.

Friday, June 24, 2016

The 18th Annual Golf Classic a Great Success

The patio of Whitemarsh Valley Country Club was a hive of activity with golfers coming and going in preparation for the NHS Human Services Foundation’s 18th Annual Golf Classic on Monday, June 20, 2016. The outing was a great success, breaking previous records of sponsors, golfers and earnings, raising more than $312,000 for NHS programs.

A new twist to this year’s event was having five foursomes play at The ACE Club, joining for both lunch and dinner at Whitemarsh Valley. With temperatures in the 90s it was a hot day on the courses, a gentle breeze and some cloud cover made it a bit more comfortable in the later afternoon. The golfers enjoyed their day. We were delighted to welcome the Germantown Recovery Community as our program recipient this year. The GRC in Philadelphia is a Community Integrated Recovery Center for persons with severe and persistent mental health challenges. The program is rooted in the creative arts, including Art Therapy, Music Therapy and Art and Music Education. Seeking funds to expand their current location and offerings the GRC brought a number of handcrafted pieces of art, paintings and artists to showcase their programs. The GRC staff was overwhelmed with the outpouring of financial support they received at the event and are thrilled that they received the funds they need to complete their expansion project in the Growing Arts Studio.

Over the past 18 years the NHS Human Services Golf Classic has raised more than $2.77 million dollars for NHS programs. Without our sponsors, players, staff and volunteers none of this could have been possible. We thank you for your continued support and dedication to NHS and the NHS Human Services Foundation.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

NHS Receives CARF Accreditation

NHS Receives CARF Accreditation

Congratulations to the Community Housing Program that supports adults with autism in Chester County for receiving a three-year accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF). an international, non-profit organization that was founded in 1966. Accreditation assists service providers to improve the quality of their services and meet internationally recognized standards. In the accreditation letter from Brian Boone, President and CEO of CARF, the program and Director of NHS’s Adult Autism Services, Cindy Hennessy, were recognized for their dedication and commitment to improving the quality of the lives of the persons served. The letter continues to state that “services, personnel, and documentation clearly indicate an established pattern of conformance to standards.” This significant achievement is another example of what distinguishes NHS from other providers and is highly acknowledged by our funding sources, by local and federal government officials, and other stakeholders.

Great job to Cindy, her team, and everyone who provided support in acquiring this well-deserved accreditation!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

NHS Twin Lakes Attend Rally for PA Budget

Individuals from the AIM center in Greensburg, PA, along with program and administrative staff attended a rally at the Greensburg courthouse on June 22. The rally was held to show support for individuals affected by the state budget stand-off and to encourage our local and state politicians to push for a timely budget approval for this fiscal year. Speakers, including local politicians, church leaders, school leaders, and individuals with mental health needs shared their stories of how the 267 day stand-off affected them and their services. NHS individuals and staff participated in the rally to represent all individuals who rely on our services and are most affected y the budget process. They also met local politicians, including commissioner Gina Cerilli (pictured with individuals). Individuals in attendance included David G (spokesperson for the NHS Twin Lakes Advisory Board), Charles S, and Johnathan C. Staff in attendance were Araya Bindi, Kassandra Kolenc, Kim Sonafelt, Jerry Valenti, Phil Horrell, Debra Smith, and Katie Burkett. Thank you, NHS Twin Lakes, for your efforts and support for the individuals we serve!

Read more on triblive.com

NHS Twin Lakes Attend Rally for PA Budget

Monday, June 20, 2016

NHS Philadelphia Recognizes Outstanding Employees of 2015-2016

NHS Philadelphia Adult Behavioral Health Services recognized and celebrated the accomplishments of outstanding employees for the 2015-2016 year at a breakfast event on June 10. Program managers nominated employees for their exceptional work and commitment to NHS consumers and values. The employees represented all NHS PHL programs, including Blended Case Management, Community Integrated Recovery Centers, Residential, Outpatient Mental Health and Outpatient Addictions Recovery Programs.

NHS Philadelphia Recognizes Outstanding Employees of 2015-2016


Back row: Lillian Levasseur, Emily Andrews, Kourtney Dunmyer, Joe Pemberton, George Ruiz, Eric Battestelli, Jahlia Smallwood, Barbara Simmons, Carolyn Marshall
Front row: Carol Fritzsche, Angela Williams, Darlese Claitt-White, Bernice Taylor, Deborah Baynes, LaRhonda Whitfield, Niara Woods

Tuesday, June 14, 2016
#OrlandoUnited
Our sincere thoughts go out to the victims, their families, their friends, and the communities affected by this weekend’s horrific tragedy in Orlando. As a result, there is an outpouring of sympathy, support, and encouragement throughout the world. As members of the Trauma Informed Care network, NHS encourages anyone struggling to cope to contact the numerous support resources available around the country.

Linda Rosenberg, President and CEO of National Council for Behavioral Health states, "The psychological wounds of a trauma of this magnitude can be severe. For survivors, the world may no longer feel safe. Mass violence once confined to action movies and war zones became a reality in their own backyard. In a moment, their sense of safety and trust in the world around them shattered. These reactions are natural responses to mass violence. Healing is possible. People are resilient and when support is in place, a person can find meaning in their lives again, even after a terrible tragedy."

Please share the information below with your colleagues, individuals served, families, neighbors, and community members to ensure everyone has access to these resources.
findtreatment.samhsa.gov/
www.cityoforlando.net/
www.orangecountyfl.net/

Friday, June 10, 2016

NHS ATF at Allegheny Center Joins Penn Hills Community Garden

The NHS Adult Training Facility (ATF) at Allegheny Center joined the Penn Hills Community Garden to give our individuals the opportunity to learn how to plant a garden, to increase their socialization skills with other community members who also share lots of land in the community garden. One of the stipulations for participating in the Community Garden is that a portion of what is grown at the garden must be sold or donated back to the community. The individuals and staff are excited about this wonderful opportunity, as it is another way for our individuals to truly integrate into their local community. Members of the Consumer Advisory Group will also be involved in attending to the Community Garden.

NHS ATF at Allegheny Center Joins Penn Hills Community Garden
NHS ATF at Allegheny Center Joins Penn Hills Community Garden
NHS ATF at Allegheny Center Joins Penn Hills Community Garden

Friday, June 3, 2016

NHS Stevens Center Programs Wins Nonprofit of the Year Awards

The NHS Stevens Center Clinical Team and Drug & Alcohol Program were awarded the Nonprofit of the Year by the Partnership for Better Health on May 31. The Clinical Team consists of Outpatient Psychiatrist, Dr Henry Wehman, and Outpatient RN, Karen Bajorek, and the Drug and Alcohol Program consists of Tom Merrill and Cheryl McCullough. Both programs are led by Jen Cox, program director for Outpatient and D&A. Each year, the NHS Stevens Center Clinical Team and D&A program receive generous grants from the Partnership for Better Health so they can continue to serve the uninsured and underinsured communities of Cumberland and Perry Counties. We are all so proud of the dedication and hard work provided by these professionals. Congratulations NHS Stevens Center Programs!

NHS Stevens Center Programs Wins Nonprofit of the Year Awards
NHS Stevens Center Programs Wins Nonprofit of the Year Awards


NHS Stevens Center Programs Wins Nonprofit of the Year Awards

Thursday, June 2, 2016

NHS/AVS Expands their Technology Efforts in Philadelphia

In recent months, NHS/AVS at Verree Road in Philadelphia has undertaken three projects that benefit the needs of the individuals by enhancing their environment. They have focused on three very special projects over the past year, including a Memory Care Apartment, for persons affected by dementia, an additional sensory area for the individuals of Apartment #8, and the application of AbleLink Assistive Technology, giving individuals direct opportunity to employ the use of computers. A team of staff assisted in the development of a plan to make environmental changes to Apartment #3, as Verree staff continue to develop the Memory Care Apartment. Apartment #3 is home to eight women, three of whom have been diagnosed with Dementia. Three employees from the Verree Road facility attended additional training to learn techniques around the impact of dementia. A few simple changes were made to the environment to better assist individuals in coping with the progression. Contrasting color was added around all doorways, personalized room identification shadow boxes mark the locations of their rooms, and special attention is paid to the timing of the blinds being shut, and the intentional reduction of distracting objects. The changes have been beneficial and the individuals enjoyed planning and assisting with the changes.

The Department Heads and front line staff within the facility felt that more sensory time was warranted for daily activities. Sensory activities can assist a person to be prepared for routines or interaction with others. The Recreation Therapists (Charles Tribe and Cynthia Williams) received additional sensory training in Western Pennsylvania. Planning was completed and some necessary room changes were made. A second sensory area within Apartment #8 has been constructed. The individuals have formal goal planning in the room and others are utilizing the environment as a calming experience. The renovation of the room was made possible by the NHS/AVS Nicoden Fund.

Third and perhaps most exciting, Verree Road has implemented assistive technology in the facility. A committee began working with NHS technology experts responsible for the Communications Technology Demonstration Project in August 2015 . Twenty-five individuals and their families were identified, based upon their interest in email or the use of Skype, to communicate with one another. Such access also provides the individuals who reside at Verree Road an opportunity to improve their social, recreational and communication skills. A new admission to Verree began to use the technology immediately to help him adjust to his move. This gentleman can communicate with his former housemates via Skype and to meet new friends at the Edward J. Zapp Center, in Coraopolis, PA. He also speaks with his support Psychologist, about his move, via Skype. He has enjoyed “Skyping” and meeting new friends. When his session is complete, he has a big smile on his face, and has thanked the Verree Road staff for giving him the opportunity to be involved in the project.

Another project benefitting all of those who live and work at Verree Road is the use of digital communication via large screen. Looping messages about the facility, the staff and daily and monthly events are communicated via television screen. Special events, important training reminders and information to include employee milestones are included to better inform staff and visitors of monthly events. Many staff and families have remarked on the use of pictures to assist them in getting to know colleagues and staff better.

NHS/AVS Expands their Technology Efforts in Philadelphia
NHS/AVS Expands their Technology Efforts in Philadelphia
NHS/AVS Expands their Technology Efforts in Philadelphia
NHS/AVS Expands their Technology Efforts in Philadelphia
Thursday, June 2, 2016

NHS at Mental Health Association Bell of Hope Awards Dinner

NHS supported and was represented at the annual Bell of Hope awards dinner which is held by the Mental Health Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania held on May 19. This year’s event honored Mr. Joseph Rogers, the organization's Chief Advocacy Officer with the Bell of Hope awaRoad Mr. Jean-Loup Archawski received the Family and Youth Services awaRoad.

NHS at Mental Health Association Bell of Hope Awards Dinner
Thursday, June 2, 2016

NHS Partners with Habitat for Humanity

volunteering opportunities at Habitat for Humanity in Washington PANHS individual, Chris and staff, Mike Hairston, have partnered to explore community volunteering opportunities at Habitat for Humanity in Washington PA. This dynamic partnership has been volunteering four days every week for the last two weeks at the Habitat for Humanity where Chris has been completing a wide variety of tasks in the store including; stocking, stacking, cleaning, sorting and any other tasks needed. Chris' plans are to move their partnership to locations in the community and help build houses for people in need, while learning valuable job skills and gaining experience.

Great Job Mike and Chris, and keep up the fantastic work!