Champawattie Dhanasar - Direct Service Professional Staff Member Shows Concern and Passion for Staff

Champawattie Dhanasar also known as “Debbie” has worked at Grand Central IRA residence since 2017. For three years she has been giving her all to the nine people who call the Grand Central Residence their home. Debbie is a hardworking, dependable, and reliable worker. 

 

During this pandemic, Debbie places the people we serve first. No matter what the task, she is always willing and able to provide the services needed to keep her residents safe, well cared for, and content. As a Direct Service Professional staff member, Debbie is always willing to stay an extra shift to make sure that the individuals receive their needed medications.

 

A Gentle and Motivated Direct Service Professional

Debbie is a very gentle and self-motivated person. She never complains and always goes the extra mile to ensure that the people she cares for receive personalized and compassionate care. 

Champawattie Dhanasar completes the chart on the services she provides to the residents.

 

The residents, staff, and management appreciate everything that Debbie has accomplished to make Grand Central IRA a better work environment. During Covid-19, Debbie always responds positively to be called upon at the last minute to cover shifts. She is genuinely concerned about all of the residents’ wellbeing.  “I wanted to be here for them," said Debbie. She is driven by the compassion she has for the residents and “seeing their faces light up” when she cares for them. Debbie is a model employee and role model for other staff members at WellLife Network.

Natalie Wood Creates Gives Motherly Love to All who Live at the Butler ICF Residence

Natalie Wood, Assistant Manager at WellLife Network's Butler Intensive Care Facility (ICF) ensures everyone who comes to Butler feels welcomed. New staff and visitors always get a grand tour. From the tour of the residence alone, her love for the house can be felt. She enthusiastically gives a guided tour of each room and explains in detail how the accouterments and decor meet the interests and needs of each resident in her charge.

Natalie offers comfort, support, and is always a listening ear or shoulder to lean on. She is flexible and accommodating to her staff and residents alike. Her house team is very loyal and motivated because she always does the same for them. Every month she celebrates birthdays for residents and staff, complete with cake and a song. She always shows her appreciation and gratitude to her staff, which fosters a nurturing family environment.
 

Natalie Wood, Assistant Manager, prepares packages for residents of Butler ICF.
 

A Proactive and Supportive Assistant Manager

Natalie is also very good at identifying the strengths of her staff and the residents, to ensure that the day-to-day operations at Butler are seamless.
 

On many occasions, Natalie never hesitates to put aside holidays with her family to spend time with her Butler family. The residents love spending time with her. They can often be seen following her around Butler, sitting with her in her office while she plays their favorite music with aromatherapy, accompanying her to the grocery store, or helping her in the kitchen.
 

During the COVID-19, Natalie is a staunch supporter of her staff and residence. She is attentive to their needs and offers comfort. Natalie makes sure everyone in the residence is safe and maintains a sense of normalcy for the residents.
 

Her person-centered, family-oriented approach creates a world of difference in the environment and culture at Butler ICF. Natalie Wood is truly is a Superhero!

 

Far Rockaway HCBS Bed & Respite Program Assists People in Crisis 

During times of crisis, many people are in need of additional support services but oftentimes are at a loss as to where to turn. HCBS Bed & Respite has proven to be a much-needed resource that many in the community are grateful to have. Like many programs, the Bed & Respite has experienced staff shortages during this crisis. However, there are three WellLife staff members who epitomize and fulfill our mission, promote a spirit of teamwork, and provide exemplary support to everyone that comes through our doors.

Our Superheroes Create a Super Residence

Tiani Jay, Bed & Respite Program Coordinator was recently promoted and has shown exceptional leadership skills in this ever-changing landscape. She is looked upon as a leader and friend to all who live at the residence.

 

Tiani Jay, Bed & Respite Program Coordinator
 

When many staff vacancies appeared in the schedule, Sylvia Gonzalez, Bridger Program Coordinator didn't hesitate to lend a helping hand at the Bed & Respite. She provided welcomed additional support to her colleagues and always said "yes" to "I can help out".
 

Sylvia Gonzalez, Bridger Program Coordinator
 

Fausat Sanni, Bed & Respite Direct Support professional is an essential and key staff member at the residence. She ensures that all of the day-to-day needs of the guests at the program are maintained, including her daily ritual of wiping down and disinfecting all surfaces that are touched by staff and guests.
 

Fausat Sanni, Bed & Respite Direct Support Professional begins her day by wiping down surfaces with antiseptic wipes.
 

These WellLifers, through their daily assignments, both big and small, are exemplary and dedicated staff members, making them excellent candidates as WellLife Superheroes! 

WellLife Network Salutes its Nurses

"We salute our outstanding WellLife Network nurses who are on the front lines during this COVID-19 pandemic. They are providing the highest level of quality and compassionate care to the people we serve."

Leonard White, RN, Director of Nursing
 

Today, May 6th is National Nurses Day. On this day, we raise awareness of all nurses and their contributions and commitments and also acknowledge the vital role they play in society.

An Integral Part of Our Frontline Healthcare Workers

WellLife Network nurses are an essential part of our first responders and other frontline healthcare and essential workers who are facing adversity with the COVID-19 crisis every day. We laud and thank them with the utmost of praise and recognition for their rising to the challenge and providing the highest level of quality care to the individuals we serve. Our nursing staff of some 45 deserves special recognition for their efforts in delivering compassionate care while encompassing the principles of ethical practice in their profession.
 

As your Director of Nursing, I could not do my job as efficiently or effectively without your continued dedication and support. The entire Executive Staff joins me in thanking you for the devotion you provide to the people we serve.
 

We thank the nursing staff of WellLife Network who each day provides compassionate and outstanding care to the individuals and families who depend on their expertise.
 

National Nurses Week is celebrated annually from May 6-12, also known as National Nurses Day, and commemorates the birthday of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing.
 

With Sincerest Gratitude,

Sherry Tucker
CEO

Howell Schrage, MD
Medical Director

Leonard White, RN
Director of Nursing

Addiction Recovery Services Staff Makes a Difference

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Addiction Recovery Services (ARS) Huntington staff has demonstrated a unique brand of heroism. Clinical staff continues to work from the office providing services, both in-person and via telepractice, to maintain a continuity of care. 

Clerical staff continues to ensure that the office is open and fully operational. By continuing to provide daily behavioral health outpatient services, our clinicians are reducing the rate of hospitalizations due to substance use incidences, allowing hospitals to treat more critically ill patients affected by COVID-19.
 

Special Thanks to a Dedicated Staff

WellLife Network takes this opportunity to thank and praise our dedicated social workers, mental health counselors, CASACs, and clerical staff. They continue to work in the field each day to meet the pressing needs of the community. 
 

(Top Row-L-R) Jayme Gooberdhan, David Chermak, Amy Platt, Elissa Columbo, Maura Durkin, and Meryl Camer. (Bottom Row-L-R) Danielle Angotta, Daniela Yovino, Kasey Madigan, and Caitlyn Figoraski.
 

We are living in a new reality, but, there are some things that will not change, like the commitment of our staff to help others. I will be forever grateful for the many incredible heroes who selflessly provide services to those we know are most in need.
Thank you,
Rebecca Costa
Vice President, Operations

Jacqueline Pineda Creates Savory Dishes for Our Residents

It smells delicious, helps to soothe irritated nerves, and cures the monotony of home isolation and social distancing. Cooking is therapy, whether it adds a few pounds or not, it is an effective way to help the residents of our I/DD homes relax and enjoy a wonderfully hearty and nutritious meal.
 

That is what Jacqueline Pineda has discovered as the Residence Manager at WellLife Network's Glendale IRA, Hill Street 1 IRA, and Hill Street 2 Supportive IRA. Once a week, Jacqueline cooks up a storm of traditional Guatemalan food. This week she cooked Bistec Encebollado, Papa Majada, Spagety con Queso, Ensalada de Tomate, Pepino y Lechuga (steak and onions, mashed potatoes, cheese pasta, and salad). This is a time consuming task, but her dishes are created with love for each resident she nourishes.

A Dedicated Staff Member Offers a Buffet of Dishes Made with Love

Jacqueline's cooking is a destresser for all. It provides a creative outlet for Jacqueline and offers a sensory experience for the residents with aroma, taste, touch, and visual delight. "Jacqueline is one of the most dedicated staff members at WellLife Network. Her impulse for assisting our residents feel valued and empowered is her life's passion," remarked Hans Turenne, Program Director, DD Services.
 

Jacqueline Pineda cooks traditional Guatamalan dishes for WellLife residents.
 

Jacqueline's responsibilities do not end with cooking delicious dishes. She also thinks of various projects to keep the residents involved in meaningful educational activities during this pandemic. Her passion for creatively serving our most vulnerable populations makes her the perfect candidate to be designated as a WellLife Superhero. 

Sylvia Trotman Turns Hobby into Fashions for a Well Life 

It is said that Sylvia Trotman runs a very tight ship. There is no shilly-shallying in her residence. It's one of the best-run residences at WellLife Network. She supervises with a strong arm, a heart of gold, and a creative mindset in bringing new and exciting activities to her residents.
 

Sylvia Trotman, Program Director, busily crochets some two dozen masks for her residents.
 

The Garden's Mask-Making Project

Sylvia is the Program Director of WellLife Network's Far Rockaway Gardens Residence. She has many hobbies and talents, her favorite is crocheting. Sylvia can crochet up a storm of beautiful sweaters, booties, or blankets. So she and her coworkers decided to create masks for all of the residents at the Gardens. She called it the Mask Making Project
 

(L-R) Far Rockaway Gardens staff, Oluwaseun Sonde, Direct Service Professional and Pauline Wright, Case Manager apply their sewing talents to complete the masks.
 

A Group Project Becomes a Lifesaving Art

Soon, other staff members approached Sylvia with offers of help. Leslie Wilkins, Case Manager offered outstanding assistance with the project. A hobby was soon to become a mission of creating life-saving masks. The residents at first were reluctant to wear them, and that's when the team became creative and crocheted custom masks that fit the personality of each resident. The team then added fabric to the masks for an extra layer of protection. Soon everyone was proudly wearing one of Ms. Sylvia's masks. The residents also learned about social distancing. Sylvia and her staff hope that these crocheted treasures will help to save lives.
 

Thank you Sylvia for applying your talents and hobbies to bring safety and wellness to the people we serve. You are truly a WellLife Superhero!
 

Charles, a Far Rockaway resident proudly wearing one of Ms. Sylvia's masks.

Jason Kanable - an Information Technology Superhero

Jason Kanable, Business Application Manager, IT serves the Agency behind the scenes in a myriad of ways, including ensuring the implementation and training for new and existing applications and software tools across the organization. He also provides leadership and mentorship for the IT team. Jason assists with website and Learning Management System development, upkeep, and maintenance.
 

A Favorite Hobby Satisfies a Critical Need

One of Jason's favorite hobbies is 3D printing. He enjoys creating amazing objects and signage from intricate trinket boxes and masks to futuristic robots with eyes that move. You have probably have seen his work at the annual staff party with his robotic light-up masks.
 

The 3D printer busily at work creating the base for the face visor.
 

Soon into the COVID-19 crisis, Jason learned of the extreme difficulty that the purchasing department had in finding protective face shields at a reasonable cost and that would ship quickly. The online cost was prohibitive anywhere from $6-60 each and many did not include the plastic visor insert. None were available for shipment until the middle of May.
 

Overnight, Jason programmed a visor holder and used heavyweight clear acetate to create the shield. An amazing bit of IT ingenuity. The average cost of Jason's visors were a thrifty fifty-five cents each.
 

Jason Kanable quality tests a newly assembled face shield.
 

In a matter of two days, he created, assembled, and packaged some 200 visors for use in our residential services. These face shields are life-saving barriers to the virus, giving both our staff extra protection as well as the individuals we serve.
 

Jason was proactive in seeing an acute Agency need, taking the initiative to resolve the issue and, at the same time, saving WellLife much needed dollars. Thanks, Jason - the next roll of printer filament for your printer is on WellLife Network.
 

 

WellLife Network, one of the region’s largest nonprofits, proudly announces that it is the recipient of the 2020 Platinum GuideStar Nonprofit Profile Seal of Transparency. This is the fourth consecutive year that WellLife Network has earned a platinum rating. This award is the highest level of recognition offered by GuideStar, the world’s largest source of nonprofit information. GuideStar’s evaluation method focuses on metrics related to progress and results based on a charity’s stated mission, and awards ratings resulting from the level of transparency in reporting. Only three percent of the more than 1.8 million nonprofits evaluated by GuideStar, nationwide, have achieved this Platinum rating. By updating our GuideStar Nonprofit Profile to earn a Platinum Seal, we can now easily share a wealth of up-to-date organizational metrics with our supporters as well as GuideStar's immense online audience, which includes donors, grantmakers and our peers.​
 

“This award is timely as our agency is coping with the COVID-19 crisis,” said Sherry Tucker, CEO of WellLife Network. “Now in times of heightened awareness, operational efficiency is more important than ever. As WellLife Network faces the challenges of this pandemic, we pride ourselves in receiving the GuideStar Platinum Seal. This highly-regarded recognition is further validation of WellLife Network’s steadfast commitment to upholding operational transparency, accountability, and improved performance.”
 

In addition to transparency, the organization excels in the effective use of funds. Ninety percent of all expenses go directly to program services.
 

About WellLife Network

WellLife Network is proud of its services to 25,000 New Yorkers each year and its leadership role in the development of new models of care. Our broad network of high quality, outcome-based behavioral health, developmental disabilities, children and family, housing, addiction recovery and community education services are supported by a robust infrastructure and sophisticated technology platforms. WellLife Network will increase its scale and capabilities to thrive and grow in a changing health care environment, allowing it to compete more effectively and with sustainability in the health and human services arena.

Visit us at: www.WellLifeNetwork.org

Visit WellLife Network on GuideStar

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