SEPTEMBER 2015 NEWSLETTER
Staff Performance Award Winners
Staff award winners (left to right) Catherine Thompson, Nicole Sharkazy and Elizabeth Lowell were recognized at the June Board meeting. Not pictured: Aloysius Nagbe
Some of NET's outstanding staff were recognized with Performance Improvement Awards at the June Board of Directors Meeting.
 
Catherine Thompson works in the CUA Quality Assurance and is described as the "unsung hero of the CUA's" by VP of Child Welfare Services Deszeree Thomas. Catherine is extremely responsive and supportive of the changing needs of others in her role and has worked to create reports and formats that are user-friendly for staff. Thank you for all you do, Catherine!

Nicole Sharkazy of Adult Services in the Lehigh Valley actively practices the program's model to "engage, motivate and retain" people in recovery. She has been with NET Riverside for several years and has worked in the Bethlehem and Easton offices as well. According to her supervisor Fred Brown, Nicole does an outstanding job of getting her clients into treatment, taking good care of them and making sure they stay with the program. Congrats, Nicole!

Elizabeth Lowell joined NET Steps in 2008 working in Medical Records and was soon promoted to Performance Improvement Assistant. Two years later, Liz asked for the opportunity to work more closely with the clients in the Transition Unit.  Today, she is the patients' main point of contact in the Transition Counsel program and according to her supervisor, practices the utmost professionalism and humanity. Thanks, Liz!

Aloysius Nagbe has been with NET since 2002. He has worn many hats over the years, including a Therapeutic Support Staff worker in Behavioral Health Rehabilitation Services and in the Family Focus program. Today, Aloysius is a member of the Family Based program team providing mental health services to families. No matter his role, Aloysius is dedicated to NET and its families and is willing to serve wherever needed. Congratulations and thank you to Aloysius and all award recipients!

The CUA Corner

Service Dog Brings Unique Work Culture 
 
Case Management Supervisor Casey Buckley and her service dog Gavin
CUA 7 has an official mascot. As a fully-certified Medical Alert Service Dog, Gavin works closely with his partner, Case Management Supervisor Casey Buckley, at the Ridge Avenue office. Casey is a certified handler and trainer of service dogs and has been working with Gavin since he was eight weeks old.
Now at age 8, Gavin knows over 162 commands that help Casey be able to live and work independently.  Most importantly, Gavin alerts her to any dangers that might trigger a symptom or reaction associated with her
Gavin showing his
NET pride
.
medical conditions. For example, he can sense oncoming migraines or seizures and even reminds her to avoid foods that may trigger her allergies by displaying certain behaviors.
Since Gavin has been accompanying her to the office, Casey says she has noticed a shift in the workplace culture as staff and clients become more educated about the roles of service dogs.  He also helps break down misconceptions others may have about their owner's abilities or needs. Plus, he's just great to have around.  "Gavin can have a calming effect on both staff and clients," says Casey. "He offers pet therapy when they want or need a break. Staff now help model to families how to approach and interact with Gavin. He is known as 'the NET dog' to families in the office and at community events." 

But their time is spent beyond NET. In their free time, Casey and Gavin can be found at CHOP, St. Christopher's Hospital and the Ronald McDonald House where Gavin provides pet therapy to children preparing for or recovering from surgery.
Film Highlights Former Foster Care Youth  
     
"Life After Care" film premiere at Temple shared the stories of former foster care youth Ameera and Manny (right photo, middle )
 
Hundreds gathered at Temple University's Ritter Hall Annex on July 30th to watch the premiere of "Life After Care", a documentary about Philadelphia's new child welfare reform through the eyes of Ameera and Manny, young adults from Philadelphia's foster care system. The film gives a first hand look into many of the challenges and triumphs faced by children involved in foster care and their families.

Manny and Ameera now give back to the communities that supported them during their years in foster care through their work. Ameera is employed with NET Community Care.

A compelling panel session followed, facilitated by Marvin Lazenbury, that gave guests an opportunity to ask questions directly to Manny, Ameera and the film's director, Maria Teresa Gamez, a former NET Community Care staff.
 
Thank you, Ameera and Manny, for sharing your inspiring stories.
 
CUA 7 held its annual Back-to-School Backpack BBQ and Health Fair on August 8th. Hundreds of children received free backpacks filled with school supplies and enjoyed games, music, and food while partner health organizations shared free resources with families.
 
CUA 1 Youth Community Garden Wins First Place
Congratulations to our CUA 1 youth! Their community garden at 4404 N. 5th Street was awarded 1st Place in Esperanza's large garden category again this year! The teens worked hard all spring and summer to maintain and harvest multiple beds.

A special thanks to staff Ameera Sullivan and Jessica Mercurio for supervising the program which has expanded to not only teach youth gardening skills and healthy eating, but life skills, career development, and ways to contribute to their communities through partnerships with other organizations.

If you haven't seen the garden, please stop by CUA 1 and check it out!
 
 
NET Foster Care Has a New Home
NET Foster Care staff Kamall Marell, Case Manager and Stacy Wills, Case Aide, settle into their new offices at 2701 N. Broad Street, Philadelphia. The Foster Care program moved in over the summer and are getting to know their new neighbors including CUA 1, Communications and Adult IOP staff. Welcome!

 

Adult IOP Out and About in the Community
Staff from NET's Frankford site at Philly's 25th Anniversary event of the passing of the ADA
ADA 25th Anniversary Celebration Event
Staff from Adult Services IOP participated in Philadelphia's celebration of the 25th anniversary of the passing of the Americans with disAbilities Act on July 25th. The event marked the landmark legislation with remarks by dignitaries, a resource fair, entertainment and parade to the National Constitution Center. Thanks for representing NET!

Chosen 300 Outreach
Special thanks to NET Frankford clients AnneMarie Grimes and Donald Brooks who helped serve food to 219 homeless people at Chosen 300 on July 28th. Chosen 300 is a ministry that distributes meals to the homeless in the  Philadelphia region and around the world.  In addition to volunteering, AnneMarie and Donald also handed out NET literature and memoirs. They are wonderful assets to our NET family as they promote NET every day, even while giving back to our community and maintaining their own sobriety!

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:
Laiza Santos, Communications Coordinator
laiza.santos@net-centers.org | 267.339.0564
2701 N. Broad Street, Philadelphia