Archived News - May 2017

May 25, 2017

Italian American War Vets Host Cruise on the Three Rivers

More than 250 consumers and employees from NHS Allegheny Valley School (NHS/AVS), NHS, and Clelian Heights School for Exceptional Children enjoyed a cruise on the Three Rivers as guests of the Italian American War Veterans (IAWV) on May 18. The journey aboard the Gateway Clipper Fleet’s Empress was the 30th IAWV “Sail for Smiles” cruise. Guests were greeted by members of the IAWV and the Gateway Clipper staff as they boarded the vessel and settled in for a two hour cruise that featured a ventriloquist performance by retired KDKA meteorologist Dennis Bowman, and music by the Red Letter Hymnal Band of Christ Church at Grove Farm, Sewickley. The warm weather brought participants to the top deck of the boat to dance and enjoy the city views. The vessel cruised past Station Square, the Carnegie Science Center, PNC Park, Heinz Field and many other well known tourist spots in Pittsburgh. “How lucky the clients and staff are to have these outings. It makes life richer,” stated NHS/AVS Franklin Group Home employee Marie Brozenic.

This outing was made possible by the Italian American War Veterans, their sponsors and underwriters. We are grateful to the Veterans for their service and for their support of the event. A special shout-out to IAWV Tony Ficarri for his efforts with the 30th annual event!

May 26, 2017

Play Ball

The 2017 Spring Miracle League season is underway. NHS/AVS is represented by 120 individuals on 10 teams. Individuals and staff members from the Pittsburgh Campus and from the following group homes are participating: Barclay, Buckskin, Brodhead II, Clearview, Clinton, Evergreen, Ewings Mill I& II, Fox, Galey, Green Garden, Hookstown, Malcolm, Maratta, Nolte, Nyetimber, Ohioview, Patterson, Pine, Regina, Snyder I & II, Windy Ghoul, and Wiltshire. We are grateful to all the House Managers and staff members who serve as team buddies, helping to make each game a special night out for the participants.

About the game...
Games last approximately one hour with each team playing two innings. The National Anthem is sung before each game. Between the two innings participants, coaches, buddies and fans sing Take Me Out to the Ballgame. Each team member takes a turn at bat and circles the bases. Staff members, volunteers and fans cheer on the players as they come up to bat and assist them in the outfield, as needed. All games end in a tie. The teams are playing ball every Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday (6:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.) now through June 29. We hope to see more fans in the stands! The Pirates Charities Miracle League Field is located in Cranberry Township, PA at the Dick’s Sporting Goods Sportsplex at Graham Park (260 Graham Park Drive, Cranberry Township, PA 16066). Come out to cheer on our teams!


2017 Spring Miracle League season is underway

 

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