The West Street Relocation Team of Kaitlin Alfred, Billy Doell, Glenn Forsythe, Brad Longwell, Larry Reed, Dennis Nichols, Julie Ormsby, Kristin Vance, Ray Lecceardone, Mary K Beaver, Vicki Huels, Lesa Didas, Amy Payne and Karen Andrus was named the Arc of Steuben's Team of the Quarter for the first quarter of 2015.
The team was nominated because its quick action prevented a potentially dangerous situation. In the early morning of Jan. 17 the alarm at the West Street residence went off. An investigation revealed it was the house's carbon monoxide detector. The Direct Service Professionals (DSPs) on duty called 911 and began evacuating the home.
The residents and DSPs on duty were assessed for symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning by EMTs. When one of the staff was diagnosed with needing oxygen the other DSP on duty began making the necessary phone calls to the gas company and Arc of Steuben personnel.
The staff member was informed the residents of the home would not be able to stay in the house. At that point associates began the process of making arrangements to relocate the residents to other Arc of Steuben homes.
Fortunately the house was cleared and declared safe for re-entry shortly after the relocation planning process began. One associate and one resident of the home were taken to the emergecy room for follow-up care. As the residents began re-entering, associates made sure everybody was calm and taken care of before the residents returned to bed. Additional staff members were called in to cover for the associate who was taken to the hospital.
On the following Monday the Arc of Steuben staff discussed what actions needed to be taken to prevent the situation from happening again. Members of the Facilities team replaced the hot water tank that had created the issue.
Also nominated were the Wellness Committee, for the planning and execution of the agency's annual Wellness Fair, and the Facilities Department, for shoveling off the roof of the Industrial Park facility after it was determined the building was in danger of sustaining structural damage due to the weight of the snow.
Dr. Rose Hazlitt has been named the Arc of Steuben's Instructor of the Quarter for the first quarter of 2015.
Rose, the Arc of Steuben's Behavior Intervention Coordinator, was nominated for the Behavior Theory training she recently provided at the agency's Belle Haven home.
"She got through several hours of material in just a few hours," said the nomination letter, which was submitted by Caitlin VanDuser. "Rose thoroughly explained the process in which plans are made and all the steps that are taken to come up with the plan. It was very helpful to hear her side of the process and not just ours. It helped us understand how she comes up with these plans and why it is the most beneficial for the individual."
Also nominated was Eliza Miller. Eliza, who works in the Quality Enhancement department, was nominated for a recent Personal Allowance training she provided.
Dennis Nichols has been named the Arc of Steuben's Associate of the Month for April.
Dennis, the Arc of Steuben's Director of Facilities, was nominated for his dedication and quick action when the heavy snow over the winter caused structural problems with the roof over a suite of offices at the Arc of Steuben's Industrial Park campus.
According to the nomination letter, Nichols' first thought was the safety of the people served by the Arc of Steuben and the associates affected by the damaged roof. He called upon and received expert advice and created a relocation plan for the staff members.
"He used his local knowledge base to enlist the aid of an area contractor who came right away to add braces and arrest any further degradation of the situation," the nomination letter, written by Tom Andrus, said. "Throughout the entire episode Dennis acted with great aplomb and never let his demeanor show anything but confidence that the problem was addressable This helped allay the fears of everyone and was a benefit to all involved."
Also nominated for Associate of the Month were Roxie White, Administration and Records, and Melissa Graves, Finance.
Just in time for spring, the Spring 2015 Newsletter is now available. This issue has information on the agency's Council on Quality and Leadership (CQL) certification, the Pathway to Employment program and the great things the people we serve and our associates are doing.
To read the newest version of our newsletter, click here.
Craig Allison, a resident of the Arc of Steuben's Oaklawn home, has found a way to combine his passion for volunteering with his newfound interest in physical fitness.
Craig is serving as a volunteer fitness instructor for other people served by the Arc of Steuben. He currently offers 30-minute classes for 17 people in the Arc of Steuben's fitness room.
Before Craig could volunteer for the Arc of Steuben he had to undergo extensive training that included CPR, AED and First Aid training, and a two-day orientation.
He trains people on use of the treadmills and other fitness machines. Before doing that, however, he talks to each person to find out his or her personal fitness goals.
"One individual needed upper body strength, so the plan I created for him was 10 minutes on the treadmill and then lifting weights above 10 pounds," Craig said.
Craig stresses not only the physical benefits of exercise, but also the mental benefits. He noticed that working out helped the people he mentored reduce stress and develop a more positive attitude. His approach to fitness reflects the Arc of Steuben's philosophy of total wellness.
Volunteering has awakened a passion within Craig. It's inspired him to work on his own fitness goals and created a desire to serve as a role model for those with whom he volunteers.
"It's meaningful to me that I can help people," Craig said. "I wouldn't take a paying job over volunteering because it's worthwhile and more fulfilling than a paying job. Working out and helping other people makes me feel happy because I'm getting out of the house. It's giving my life more meaning because I'm helping others."
Craig's accomplishments in the fitness room have bolstered his confidence and prompted him to set his sights on other goals. He wants to work toward his GED, attend Corning Community College and ultimately become a teacher.
Officials from the Arc of Steuben and the City of Hornell cut the ribbon on the agency's new Hornell Field Office.
The new office, which is located at 42-46 Seneca St., houses both offices and a day habilitation program. Associates also provide service coordination, supported employment and janitorial services at the new location.
The Arc of Steuben has had an office in Hornell for more than 15 years. The previous location of the office was Loder Street.
"We are very fortunate to have had a great partnership with the City of Hornell for many years," Executive Director Bernie Burns said during the ceremony. "Providing programs and services at this great location is another step forward in this partnership."
Arc of Steuben Board of Directors President Denece Gossie said the new Hornell Field Office opens up opportunities within the community for people receiving services from the agency.
"The opening of this office provides ouir residents of the Hornell area the opportunity to expand their horizons in the area of volunteer opportunities, art exploration and membership in local organizations," Gossie said. "It allows the people we serve to become more integrated in their community."
Hornell Mayor Shawn Hogan also praised the relationship between the city and the Arc of Steuben.
"The Arc of Steuben has a long history of establishing group homes and removing the stigma surrounding these homes in our community," Hogan said. "Economically, what you have done by building these residences and providing employment within the community is just fantastic."
A total of 10 of the Arc of Steuben's residences lie west of Bath, including six in Hornell, two in Canisteo, one in Prattsburgh and one in Wayland. The new field office allows people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in these communities easier access to the programs and services offered by the agency.
The conference room at the new Hornell Field Office provides a private meeting area for people to speak with their service coordinators and employment specialists, a feature the previous office did not have.
The Arc of Steuben has received accreditation from the Council on Quality and Leadership (CQL). The accreditation runs through 2018.
CQL has been the preeminent organization for more than 40 years in defining, measuring and improving the quality of life for all people, including those with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The Arc of Steuben becomes the only human services agency within Steuben County to receive the CQL Person-Centered Excellence Accreditation. Only 28 agencies in New York State have received this prestigious accreditation.
The person-centered philosophy championed by CQL and embracede by the Arc of Steuben places the people receiving services in control. The programs and services they participate in are not dictated by what others think is best for them. With guidance from their Circle of Support, the people with intellectual and developmental disabilities make decisions based on their interests, passions, dreams and desires.
"Accreditation establishes a partnership with an organization with more than 40 years of leadership and peer-reviewed research focused on increasing people's quality of life," said Jean Jensen, the Arc of Steuben's Chief Strategy Officer.
As part of the accreditation process, the Arc of Steuben undertook a top-to-bottom evaluation to determine how well the agency conformed to CQL's standards for person-centeredness.
The agency also held a two-day intensive series of meetings that included members of the leadership team, associates from different departments throughout the agency, members of the board of directors and people who receive services from the organization. The group examined what the agency does well, areas it could improve and specific steps to enact these improvements.
Arc of Steuben Executive Director Bernie Burns said the evaluation techniques that were part of the CQL accreditation process give the Arc of Steuben another set of tools in the agency's quest for continuous improvement.
We at the Arc are committed to the people we support," Bernie said. "With the assistance of CQL, we now know how we can get better at what we do."
The complete catalog for the Arc of Steuben’s Lending Library is now on the website. The library is searchable by category, with the categories listed on the page. You can also use the Search field to search by title, author, topic or type of media (book, cd, dvd, game, etc.).
To use the library catalog select the Resources menu above and click on Lending Library, or click here.
“ I am truly enjoying my employment for the Arc of Steuben. I am obtaining my Masters Degree in Human Services Management in hopes to achieve other positions. ”