It Takes A Village
"An African proverb says it takes a village to raise a child. I wholeheartedly agree. However, I add that it takes everyone in each village working in harmony to make a community . "
Only 1 month into 2020 year it has already proven good things. Often I say how humbled I am to work with everyday heroes at the Arc. I celebrate with you two incidences that speak to the integrity and quality of the people we call our heroes. Within a five day span in January we had two incidences where a life was saved!

On a Friday evening, a resident at one of our locations started choking on their phlegm. While keeping the person calm and assured, staff intervened, acted quickly with extraordinary measures . I shout out to the staff on duty there that day: Direct Support Professionals  Nicole Judkins, Alex Phillips, and Kylie Wood and Urschelle Reid, an RN consultant from Nurses Finders. I want to also recognize Kelly Hull, our amazing RN Supervisor, who advocated for the individual to be brought to the hospital, after EMT's deemed him fine, to be sure his health was no longer compromised. A thank you as well to Lucinda Ballard and Amber Mulford who were involved with phone and other support.

On the Wednesday to follow a  residential staff member suffered a life-threatening emergency. The other colleagues on duty carried out their training with great precision. They were able to provide necessary life-saving interventions until paramedics arrived. It is often difficult, even with training, to keep calm and do what is necessary. Chris Laroche and Rhonda Isaac did just that for their colleague. Even better news is that the staff person is healing well and will be fine. Believe it or not this is not the first time Chris has used his training. About a year ago one of our self-advocates suffered a similar life-threatening incident and Chris had to perform live saving treatments as well.  

While I am thanking people I’d like to note that staff used an Automated External Defibrillator as part of their life-saving efforts. Chris Liuzzo, a long time Associate Executive Director, now retired, and Tracey Hempel, our current Associate Executive Director of Family and Community, advocated for AED's to be installed in some of our homes and offices.  
So much work is accomplished every day by our Direct Support Professionals within our programs, our nurses, trainers, and all staff. At some point all our staff touch our supports and services in some fashion. With staffing issues and people balancing their own lives life sure can get away from you. Sometimes we lose sight of celebrating successes as they pass by. I did not want this good news to sit inside our walls. Kudos to the staff of The Arc of Rensselaer County.

Arc Partners With The
East Greenbush Central School District
Most know that the Arc provides supports and services to individuals with developmental disabilities in a variety of settings from residential, employment and day services. Did you know that we have a proud tradition of partnering with local school districts to offer innovative options for students with disabilities as they prepare to transition to life after high school?
We recently had the pleasure of building a new partnership with the East Greenbush School District. Debreen Oliva and Patricia Dority, two teachers from the district came to visit the Arc with their students exploring avenues to help our future generation learn about career path options. We proudly hosted 28 students who came to hear about careers you can find here at The Arc of Rensselaer County.

Alisa Hobb, Chief Human Resources Officer, talk about skills you should have to work in our industry. Jim Blessing, Associate Executive Director of Career Employment talked about why he works in this field. Josh Hameed, Junior Recruiter walked the students through the application process. John Greene our On-board Specialist talked about the importance of bringing in new employees to our Arc community. I spoke to the importance of having confidence in yourself making the point that everyone matters with no exceptions of race, religion, gender or ability. The opportunity to connect would never have happened if Debreen and Patty did not step up and reach out to the village known as the Arc. Again, thank you Debreen and Patty for bringing our villages together to strengthen our community.
Tom Mooney To Compete In
Special Olympics Power lifting Team 
Working out at ABC Fitness in Latham, 9 Special Olympic athletes train in weight lifting to prepare for competition. Among those athletes is Tom Mooney pictured above. Follow the link to see Tom in action and to watch his interview with Channel 10 News. Special Olympics Athlete Tom Mooney
Join Us For This First Annual Fundraising Event !
5:30-9:00 p.m. February 26
The Italian Community Center
Look Below For Details
To Become A Sponsor!