April 2022

Welcome to the Weinberg Campus newsletter, dedicated to sharing news
and information with employees, residents, families, and special friends.
Message From The President

“Easter stalks Passover. They arrive together every spring, like the daffodils and magnolia blossoms. At the Easter Vigil, a chant known as the Exultet announces that the darkness shall not triumph. ‘Be glad, let earth be glad, as glory floods her.’” -R.R. Reno

This month at Weinberg Campus, our residents have been able to experience the meaning and joys of Passover and Easter. Our staff worked hard to help our residents celebrate these holidays through food and activities. And as our beautiful campus starts to come alive with spring flowers and blossoms, our residents know what it is like to be glad as a glory of colors signals the end of a long Western New York winter.

This month we have been busy recruiting new staff members to join the Weinberg Family. Our focus is on increasing the number of clinical staff at Weinberg, which will help us provide the highest level of care possible for our residents. I am happy to report that we are making good progress with our staff recruitment efforts. Over the past eight weeks, we have recruited 60 new staff members. 

Just as spring’s flowers and blossoms signal new beginnings, I am excited about Weinberg’s future and our renewed commitment to serving the Buffalo community, as we have for over 100 years.

If you have questions or comments, I encourage you to reach out to any leadership team member or contact me directly at (716) 639-3330 ext. 2468 or [email protected].
What's New?
In Case You Missed It...
Bob Mayer was recently interviewed by WBFO News about Weinberg's plans to remain a nonprofit senior care provider. Link to story here
Why Volunteer? You can make a difference!
Every person counts! Ready to get involved? Please contact Sarah Leffler at 716-639-3311 x2492 or email [email protected].
Upcoming Career Fair
Know someone who would be a great fit for the Weinberg family? Send them to our upcoming Cinco de Mayo-themed career fair on May 5 from 11 am. - 6 p.m. at the Millennium Hotel, 2040 Walden Ave., Buffalo.
Celebrating Weinberg's Administrative Professionals
We love and celebrate our administrative professionals every day, but we'd like to show them some extra love on April 27 - the official Administrative Professionals Day! This team keeps the place running smoothly, and we don't know where we'd be without them!
The history of this celebration goes back to World War II when there was a shortage of people with administrative professional skills due to the birth-rate decline from the Depression-era and booming post-war business. In 1942, the National Secretaries Association was formed to recognize the contributions of administrative personnel to the economy, support their development, and attract workers to this field.
The day has undergone name changes, but the initial goal to celebrate and recognize all the hard-working administrative professionals has remained.
We want to recognize the contributions of our valued team members here at Weinberg Campus.
Sarah Leffler, Campus Support Service Coordinator, can be seen welcoming guests at the front desks and doing all kinds of jobs around campus!
“Sarah is an excellent communicator and conveys kindness and compassion in every interaction that she has with staff, residents, and visitors. Moreover, Sarah is a trusted resource for all who count on her for the day-to-day responsibilities, as well as strategic initiatives that she participates in,” says Matt McDougall, COO, Administrator of Rosa Coplon.
Deb Schultz is the Office Coordinator at Dosberg Manor, and she wears many hats around here!
According to Dana Notaro, “Deb has assisted every department in Dosberg this past year, doing resident hair when we had no hairdresser, serving meals, being an aide and medication technician, coming in on all shifts to cover in critical staffing including holidays, interviewing aides, filling in on Case Manager duties, helping with activities, and even bringing her dog in for pet visits, in addition to her own responsibilities! She loves the residents and is a team player willing to help wherever it is needed.” 
Garden House could not get along without its Office Coordinator, Deb Jones.
“Deb is a great support to all the staff at Garden House and has taken on many new duties during COVID, including assisting on units as needed and during holidays to ensure residents are cared for, interviewing all aides, serving in the dining room, helping with activities, and being a person that staff can always count on. She is amazing!” says Dana.
Toni Gordon, Lartrice Barefield, and Christina Escobar are Weinberg front desk receptionists…the smiling faces who greet our visitors. These knowledgeable colleagues direct calls to the appropriate place and enforce the rules to keep our residents and staff safe by ensuring visitors wear masks and test correctly.
“They are all momma bears, and it shows! I know I can count on them to stay on top of the visitation rules. Without them, the loved ones of our cherished residents would be, quite literally lost on our large campus!” exclaims Sarah.

A BIG thank you goes out to all our administrative professionals. Thank you for all you do!
Staff Spotlight: Mary Beth Ennis
Mary Beth Ennis makes a difference every day in the lives of the residents, families, and staff she works with. As Resident Care Manager, she oversees the nursing staff and the well-being of the residents in Dosberg Manor. She has been part of the Weinberg Family for many years, starting as a Personal Care Assistant. She left for a time to hold several leadership roles at Aspire and returned to Weinberg once she had earned her LPN degree and was subsequently promoted to her current role.
According to her manager, Dana Notaro, Mary Beth is a perfect fit as Resident Care Manager. “She has done an extraordinary job the past five years. Families compliment her work all the time,” says Dana.
Mary Beth says she really loves her work. “My favorite part of the job is being able to be part of helping the residents to transition to this part of their life’s journey. Being able to help resolve a medical or social issue is very rewarding and knowing that I have had a positive impact on someone’s life or have eased someone’s worries is a very good feeling.”
The compassion, dedication, and creative thinking that Mary Beth sees from her colleagues is part of what gives her job satisfaction at Weinberg Campus.
She encourages others to join the Weinberg team. “There is a diverse and friendly environment on this campus and anyone that has an interest in working with seniors should know that their hard work would not go unnoticed,” says Mary Beth.

Know someone who would be a great fit to join the Weinberg family? Send them to our Careers page to check out the variety of open positions! www.weinbergcampus.org/careers
Resident Spotlight: Van DiBernardo
When Life Gives You Lemons, Chill!
Above: Van DiBernardo, fashion enthusiast and Dosberg Manor resident.
Photo credit: Douglas Levre | © 2012 University at Buffalo

When Van DiBernardo graduated from the Fashion Institute in New York City, he never imagined that one day he would be designing products for people with health challenges. Van was headed for a life in high fashion, and he succeeded.

Van grew up in North Tonawanda in a family of artists. His dad, Vena, spent 26 years as an art teacher at Maple Elementary School in Williamsville. Van and his sisters and brother all pursued a creative career path.

In his first interview after graduating from the Fashion Institute, Van presented his portfolio to Donna Karan, American fashion designer and the creator of the Donna Karan New York and DKNY clothing labels. Her reaction to his designs wasn’t exactly what he was looking for.

“I wanted to design clothes for women and Donna said, 'your clothes are very nice, (no designer wants his designs to be called ‘nice’) but your shoes are beautiful!'" So, Van was hired to be the head shoe designer for her new line, DKNY.
He loved his life as a shoe designer. “Two of my favorite topics are women and women’s shoes,” said Van. “A woman can have five different personalities, depending on her heel height!” The work took him all over the world; France, Italy, Spain, and Brazil, where he worked with some of the world’s best leather craftsmen.

“Every country was different. In Italy, they make shoes like they make pasta, with lots of love. However, the people in Brazil were my favorite. They were not rich in money but rich in spirit. The Brazilians were so loving, warm, and generous. Their spirit showed in the way they worked with leather and the way they treated people,” said Van.

But high fashion was not going to be Van’s only career. In the late 1990s, Van was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) which eventually impacted his ability to draw, speak and walk. Van relocated to North Tonawanda to be closer to his family.

“My family is my life and my entertainment,” said Van. His sister, Luanne, became his partner in launching the second phase of Van’s design career.
When Van first came back to the Buffalo area, he devoted time to working with MS patients and those with other chronic conditions. He experienced and observed the problem of overheating which many MS patients have to manage. MS damages the protective sheath around nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. This slows down nerve signals, so the body doesn’t always respond the way it should. Heat can slow these signals even more. MS can also affect the part of the brain that controls a body’s temperature.

“I always loved to walk, and I am a fast walker, but with MS, a brisk walk could wipe me out for days,” said Van. He tried several types of cooling vests that were available to help control body temperature, but they were all bulky and uncomfortable.

Luanne encouraged Van to design a better cooling vest and so he did. The siblings focused their “Coolture” cooling garments for people with heat intolerance due to chronic conditions. The high-tech fabric in the vests was developed by NASA for astronauts. The lining of the vest holds the lightest available coolants and absorbs body heat, allowing the cool packs to work.
In 2009, Coolture became ORO Sports, which is positioned to become the leading, innovative, go-to brand in cooling wearables. The line now includes cool wraps, headbands, cooling gloves and cuffs, and even a dog collar, as well as a variety of vests.
“The most important part of our products is that they work,” said Van. “The products are simple, clean, and not bulky.”

“MS makes me deal with physical challenges, but I always see the good in every situation. Life is a series of adjustments. I’m grateful for my neighbors here at Dosberg and my family in North Tonawanda,” said Van.

“I brag that I’m the fastest resident at Dosberg now that I have my CoolVest to keep me comfortable when I’m walking,” laughs Van.
Hello, New Employees!
MARCH 2022
Jetaun Adams, PCA, Dosberg Manor
Aniyah Alexis, Food Service Worker
Bertha Austin, PCA, Dosberg Manor
Aveona Banks, LPN, Rosa Coplon Living Center
Katty Battle, Food Service Worker
Dominique Brown, CNA, Rosa Coplon Living Center
Kaila Brown, Social Worker, Dosberg Manor
Martine Cabeche, HHA, Garden House
Diana Chojnowski, Food Service Worker
Hayley Colosimo, HR Coordinator
Theresa Davis, Resident Counselor, Greenwood
Lauren Dechambeau, Food Service Supervisor, Homecare
Nakaiah Epps, Food Service Worker
Matthew Firmstone, Housekeeper
Felicia Gaddis, PCA, Dosberg Manor
Misha Hall, CNA, Rosa Coplon Living Center
Deontae Holmes, Food Service Worker
Temeka Jackson, PCA, Dosberg Manor
Donann Kesterson, HR Assistant
Johanna Luper, HHA, Garden House
Tiara Mack-Moore, Food Service Worker
Thomas Massenburg, Housekeeper
Deborah Nazzarett, HR Generalist
Nachelle Price, LPN, Unit Nurse Supervisor, Garden House
Amir Respress, Housekeeper
Ariana Rodriguez, Food Service Worker
Kali Rosales, RN, Unit Nurse Supervisor, Rosa Coplon Living Center
David Rote, Housekeeper
Kristen Rubert, LPN, Unit Nurse Supervisor, Dosberg Manor
Whitney Shapard, Housekeeper
Cheryl Sullivan, Resident Counselor, Greenwood
Liane Tomlinson, LPN, Rosa Coplon Living Center
De'Brayla Williams, PCA, Dosberg Manor
Ajahnae Williams, CNA, Rosa Coplon Living Center
Resident Activities
Check out our activities calendars filled with options such as yoga, creative indoor sports, cooking, and musical entertainment. Click the links below or visit: www.weinbergcampus.org/News-Events/Activities-Calendar.aspx.

All activities are carefully planned with COVID safety guidelines in mind.
Photo Gallery
Celebrating the Easter and Passover holidays!
A day in the life of a Weinberg Campus resident - always room for fun with friends!
Weinberg Campus Feels Like Family
Watch for more employees to share why they love Weinberg Campus. To tell us why Weinberg Campus feels like family to you or to share a story about someone who exemplifies how they make Weinberg “feel like family," please contact Dee at [email protected].