In This Issue:

Season’s Greetings | VIPs Visit Spectrum in Tennessee | Millbury Outpatient Services - Coming Soon! | Virginia | Mass DOC Recognizes 15 Spectrum Staff | A New Day at Everyday Miracles | Indian Creek Celebrates Milestone | Community Awareness Fair | Recovery Month | Spectrum Annual Meeting | Golf Fundraiser | Shout-Outs 

Season’s Greetings

Kurt Isaacson

Dear Spectrum employees, friends & family, 

I would like to extend my warm wishes to you for a bright and joyous holiday season. The company has gained its reputation as the provider of choice because of many dedicated employees like you. It is my pleasure to share with you some of our most recent accomplishments. 

Working together, we opened the third floor of the Faris Recovery Center this year. Spectrum’s newest residential treatment facility in Massachusetts now serves state-funded clients on the second floor and clients with private insurance on the third floor. At the same time, we converted all beds at the Giblin House to medically monitored detoxification services for New England Recovery Center clients.

We also converted 32-beds of Transitional Support Services to Clinical Stabilization Services in Westborough to better bridge the gap between detoxification and continuing care. We also converted half of our Clinical Stabilization beds to Detoxification beds in Weymouth in response to the dramatic need in that area. 

We continue to add Outpatient treatment capacity to help meet the growing demand for opioid treatment. Spectrum now serves over 4,500 clients each day—that’s up 42% in just two years! It’s a tribute to the new leadership of the Behavioral Health Division, including Spectrum’s VP of Inpatient and Outpatient Services Kristin Nolan and new Executive Director of Inpatient and Outpatient Operations Lisa Blanchard. In fact, Lisa was recently recognized by the Association for Behavioral Healthcare as an emerging leader in the field.

We also relocated the Girls' Detention Unit from Dorchester in close collaboration with the Mass. Department of Youth Services. The short-term detention program for adolescent girls is now located in Westborough.

We also launched a new peer mentoring program for DOC clients releasing in Massachusetts, which was already recognized by the U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts for improving outcomes for returning citizens. And, we just had the largest group of DOC employees ever recognized by the Massachusetts DOC for their professionalism and teamwork.

As these changes unfolded, you may have noticed an increasing technology presence in your daily work life. We have undertaken massive new development of our technology infrastructure to help us create efficiencies in a changing field. The proliferation of our electronic health records system, new video conferencing capability and a phone system overhaul are just a few IT priorities being driven by our new Chief Information Officer Bob Brandner.

Lastly, we launched a number of new business development initiatives this year including the debut of the “Airing Addiction” iHeartRadio Show hosted by Vice President of Business Development Donna Pellegrino. Thanks to everyone who has been part of these new endeavors. 

As we move in to the new year, you will see a number of new projects take shape. These projects are designed to improve retention of our many quality employees, move toward an integrated behavioral health system and position Spectrum to be a provider of choice for many years to come. 

Although I am grateful for your service and wish you well all year, I would like to extend a very special wish to you for a happy holiday season. Thank you for all that you do on behalf of the people we serve!

Have a very happy, healthy and safe holiday season.

Best,

Kurt Isaacson
President & CEO

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VIPs Visit Spectrum in Tennessee

Kurt Isaacson

Spectrum staff at the Jackson Community Supervision (Probation and Parole) Office received a surprise visit from a select group of VIPs in July. From left to right, TDOC's newly appointed Commissioner Tony Parker, State Senator Ed Jackson, State Rep. Johnny Shaw, and State Rep. Jimmy Eldridge visited with Spectrum staff.  TDOC Chief Information Officer Neysa Taylor, Assistant Commissioner of Community Supervision Bobby Straughter, and Regional Administrator David Lane were also in attendance. 

During this visit Spectrum's facilitator Ms. Brenda Scott (pictured front) was asked to speak to the group. She discussed our delivery of Batterers' Intervention, Pro-Social Lifeskills, and Victims Impact classes, and took questions from the legislators who lauded the work she does with our clients on a day-to-day basis. Brenda helped to better inform our state's decision makers of the work that is being done to reduce reincarceration, and at the same time represented Spectrum with the utmost professionalism and courtesy. 

Well done, Brenda! Thank you for a wonderful job. 

 

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Millbury Outpatient Services - Coming Soon!

On November 14, 2016 the Millbury, Massachusetts Planning Board voted unanimously to approve Spectrum’s site plans for the proposed new outpatient treatment center at 50 Howe Avenue in town. The Planning Board voted to approve the site plan under the state Dover Amendment, which protects the educational use of outpatient addiction treatment and counseling programs and prevents such programs from being blocked by local zoning action. 

Spectrum is moving full steam ahead with the buildout of the new center which will include 6 clinical offices, 2 large group rooms and a brand new Intake Office. The Intake Department will move from Spectrum's Lincoln Street Center to Millbury when the new center opens. Spectrum’s Vice President of Inpatient and Outpatient Services Kristin Nolan anticipates the center opening in early spring.

In the meantime, Kristin has assembled an expert team to help lead both the Outpatient and Inpatient Services well into the future. Lisa Blanchard was recently named Spectrum’s new Executive Director of Inpatient and Outpatient Operations, Megan Gajewski is now Spectrum’s Executive Director of Inpatient and Outpatient Nursing and Lynn LeBlanc Marrone has taken on the role of Spectrum’s Executive Director of Inpatient and Outpatient Clinical Services. These individuals have spent years honing their skills in behavioral health and with Spectrum and will work with Kristin to ensure the highest quality of inpatient and outpatient services are available to individuals seeking treatment.

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Virginia

Spectrum treatment staff participated in a Therapeutic Community Experiential Training alongside Virginia Department of Corrections (VA DOC) security staff in mid-September as part of Spectrum’s ongoing collaboration with the Virginia DOC. The training was co-facilitated by Dudley Bush and Jessica Lee of the VA DOC and Jim Piro, Spectrum’s Program Director at the Indian Creek Correctional Facility.

Spectrum first partnered with the VA DOC in 2015 when it was contracted to provide residential substance abuse treatment and reentry services at several state correctional facilities. Today, Spectrum operates one of the largest in-prison therapeutic community programs in the country at the Indian Creek Correctional Center in Chesapeake. Spectrum also provides transitional services for female offenders at the Deerfield Women’s Work Center in Capron on behalf of the VA DOC.

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Mass DOC Recognizes 16 Spectrum Staff

The Massachusetts DOC recently recognized 16 Spectrum staff who have excelled in dedication, teamwork and professionalism for the work they do in challenging correctional treatment environments. Here are the Professional Excellence Award citations from the MA DOC in their own words: 

To Melissa St. Hilaire, Eryn Burdett, Mary Geisler, Justin Perino, Paul Harrington, Charles Sexton, Meghan Popham, Bernice Richard, Samantha Gould, Constantinos Bitsikis, Nicole Charette and Paul Youngstrom -- The CRA staff at MCI Shirley Minimum have been dealing with constant changes to policies and procedures and have handled all of them with complete cooperation and follow-through since its inception in 2008. It is the only minimum security correctional facility that operates the CRA in the Department. External stakeholders and national auditors have commented on the dedication and collaboration of Spectrum and DOC security staff. Spectrum staff’s responsiveness to MCI Shirley’s every changing needs make this group worthy of such an award.

To Analisa Bono, Leslie Reed, Shane McMahon and Leann Pruell -- The Spectrum team at MCI Cedar Junction is a professional and committed group that is whole heartedly dedicated to their respective disciplines. They are a highly competent and extremely dependable, responsive group, which has integrated well into the operation of the facility. They have become integral and a needed part of the CJ community. This Spectrum team fully understands how their individual roles work into the greater vision of the treatment/classification divisions at Cedar Junction as well as the Department as a whole. They are invested in the work they do and expect results from themselves and the inmates their work with.

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A New Day at Everyday Miracles

Mike Earielo was recently promoted to Program Director of Spectrum’s nationally recognized Everyday Miracles Peer Recovery Support Center. Mike stepped up to fill the big shoes of EDM Founder Athena Haddon, who relocated to Michigan in October to be closer to family.

While Athena will continue to be missed, Mike has certainly hit the ground running. He has helped organize a Thanksgiving feast for nearly 300 community members. He has started working with the local police department to help arrested individuals gain access to available services. He is also supporting members work on a new women’s recovery initiative, which we should hear more about soon. 

The secret to Mike’s success might just be the knowledge gained from coming up through the ranks. In a recent "Two Minutes" segment of Worcester Magazine, Mike talked about volunteering at EDM before being hired as full-time staff. “When I came to EDM they told me the only limitations I have are the ones I put on myself. After that I went back to school, got an education and started believing and setting goals.” We wish you all the best in pursuit of your goals, Mike, and look forward to hearing all about new happenings at EDM!

The full Two Minutes interview with Mike Earlielo is available here.

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Indian Creek Celebrates Milestone

Staff at the Indian Creek Correctional Center recently hosted a graduation ceremony for 33 offenders who completed Phase Four of the Therapeutic Community program. Offenders were allowed to have family members attend. It was also well attended by DOC support staff. The event included music and food and was reported to be a truly uplifting event.

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Community Awareness Fair

Southbridge

Brittany George, Lauren Cappello and Mark Orris were recently recognized by Harrington Hospital for presenting at the Community Awareness Fair in Southbridge. The Community Awareness Far was an interactive health fair designed specifically to inform the community about substance abuse treatment and recovery support services available in the local area. Pictured here from left to right are Southbridge Police Chief Shane Woodson, Spectrum Southbridge Office Coordinator Brittany George, Spectrum Business Development Liaison Lauren Cappello and Spectrum Regional Program Director Mark Orris.

 

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Recovery Month

Recovery Month was celebrated in style in September with a fun-filled month of recovery-oriented activities that included clients, family/friends, community members and staff. We have selected a few creative ideas from the Outpatient Recovery Month calendar to share below. If you are interested in including any of these activities in your own programs, Lori Canane, Spectrum’s Outpatient Operations Manager, is a great resource. 

Recovery Bracelet Competition – A friendly group competition where clients brainstorm an inspirational recovery slogan to place on a bracelet. The selected group is given a prize in addition to bragging rights!

Success Stories – During the week all clients are given a chance to write their personal success story which is then posted in the lobby to inspire others.

Free HIV/Hep C testing – Free testing is provided onsite by a community partner and gift cards are offered to everyone who participates.

Flu Clinic – Partner pharmacies are onsite to provide flu vaccines to interested individuals. Clients who participate receive a raffle ticket and a priority medication pass. 

Overdose Awareness Day – Community partners provide overdose awareness education and distribute naloxone emergency kits onsite. 

Make Your Own Stress Ball – This is an activity for clients in group that is fun and stress reducing and also promotes healthy recovery. 

Glitter Jars – Along the same lines as the Make Your Own Stress Ball, Glitter Jars require some supplies and are a calming and mindfulness-focused activity that promotes wellness. 

Family Forum – Family members are invited to attend an educational session with staff and current clients. Snacks are provided and participating clients also receive a $5 gift card.

Raffle Tickets – Clients receive raffle tickets throughout the month for participating in recovery activities, clinical sessions, and more. Raffle prizes include priority medication passes, one excused absence from group pass, meditation CDs and gift certificates for coffee and groceries. 

Recovery Quilting – Clients decorate square patches in group sessions in September. Patches are then used to create a recovery quilt for the program.

Eliana Noblet and Kerry Peck from North Adams OTP at the Josh Bressette Commit to Save a Life Rally and Vigil on 9.24.16.

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Spectrum Annual Meeting

AG Maura Healy

Spectrum held its Annual Board of Trustees meeting on Thursday, October 13th at the Beechwood Hotel in Worcester, Massachusetts. The purpose of the Annual Board meeting is for staff to report on strategic business development initiatives from the previous year and for Board members to elect or re-elect members to Spectrum’s Board of Trustees for the coming year(s). The event gathers state and local government officials, community partners, employees, consumers and their family members to recognize Spectrum’s important role in helping people in need.

This year, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey was the keynote speaker for the evening event. According to AG Healey, “You help people rebuild, you give them a second chance, and that’s why resources matter now more than ever.”

The event was attended by nearly 100 individuals and included Spectrum staff from Georgia, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Virginia and Washington State. 

 

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Golf Fundraiser

Spectrum raised nearly $70,000 in donations in early October at its 15th Annual Charity Golf Classic. The event attracted more than 120 golfers to the Framingham Country Club for a fun, festive afternoon. A very special thank you to all of our employees who played or volunteered at the fundraising event, our largest of the calendar year. We look forward to seeing you all again next year!

 
 

 

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Shout-Outs

In Georgia, shout-outs go out to Counselor LaCosta Hicks who works at Johnson A RSAT who received her Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC) credential, Counselor Bernadette Smokes who works at Coastal State Prison on receiving her CADC II credential, and Counselor Devondra Nolan who works at Paulding RSAT who became a Licensed Associate Professional Counselor (LAPC). Heartfelt congratulations to all of you! A special shout-out also goes out to staff at the West Central Integrated Treatment Program. West Central is 100% certified/licensed. BIG congrats! Georgia State Director Sabrina Hudnall had a special thank you message for staff, “I just want to simply say 'THANK YOU' for all that you do, seen and unseen. I have the most incredible and competent staff. You all have a great work ethic and dedication to this field that is unparalleled. I hope each of you have a great work week that is overflowing with a peaceful work environment. Remember that happiness is a choice… choose wisely and take care.” Thank YOU Sabrina and thank you to our Spectrum Georgia team! 

A round of shout-outs go out to Spectrum staff in Washington State. There are a number of new staff to recognize: Matthew Matthew, Chemical Dependency Professional Trainee (CDPT) at Washington State Penitentiary; Chrystal Montgomery, CDPT at Tri-Cities Work Release; Viviana Castaneda, CDP at Ahtanum View Work Release; Sherry Watson, Western WA Clinical Supervisor at Tacoma Community Justice Center; Phillip Appling, CDPT at Progress House Work Release; Charles Barnes, CDPT at the Progress House Work Release; Mitchell Lykins, Assessment CDP at the Eleanor Chase House Work Release; Kunbi Olukoya, Program Manager at the Everett Community Justice Center, Karie Kindrew, Administrative Assistant, and Dana Brooks, CDPT, at the Tacoma Community Justice Center; Karli Skjervold, CDPT, and Jamie Womack, CDPT, at the Airway Heights Correction Center; Tammie Holmes, CDPT at Helen B Ratcliff Work Release; William Haggerty, Assessment CDP at Seattle Community Justice Center; Janice Batt, CDP at the Washington Correction Center for Women; Gregory Ramsay and Michelle Merrill, CDPTs at the Larch Correction Center; La’Ticia Wilks, CDP, and Stacy Bidleman, Administrative Technician, at the Coyote Ridge Correction Center; Scott Haugh, Program Manager at the Reynolds Work Release; and, Lola Jett, CDPT at the Everett Community Justice Center. Welcome one and all!

Also in Washington, we would like to congratulate the following trainees who successfully passed the Washington State CDP exam: Steven El-Ayache, Dan James, Tana Siler, Kirk Fowler, Shawna Sunday and Brenna Taylor. Special congrats also go out to Jason Lewis who was promoted to Program Manager at the Tacoma Community Justice Center; Tiffany Traylor who was promoted to Program Manager at Airway Heights Correctional Center; and, Thomas Hamman who was promoted to Program Manager at Washington State Penitentiary.

Dennis Theriault, Executive Director of Quality Improvement and Compliance, also tells us about a key hire in his department. Christian Kelley recently joined Spectrum as the new Quality Improvement Manager. Christian has more than 12 years of experience in the behavioral health field, including extensive experience with adolescent and residential programming. Christian received his Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Marshall University in West Virginia and a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Southern California. Welcome aboard Christian!

In Spectrum Outpatient, Merrick Street Clinician Sarah Moore passed her Licensed Mental Health Clinician (LMHC) exam! Pittsfield Clinician Jess Kiernan also passed her LMHC exam! In Framingham, Senior Clinician Meghan Wood achieved her LMHC and Office Coordinator Trish GreeneDay achieved her Certified Alcohol and Drug Addiction Counselor (CADAC) credential! Way to go peeps! Also, Leominster Clinician Sonya Brock passed her test to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and Case Manager Keith Barnaby graduated with his CADAC credential. Woohoo! Program Director Shanna Large also sends a special Shout-Out to the whole Leominster team for hitting a new milestone – 400 clients served! Way to go Leominster!

In other news, Clinical Program Director Sandra Beatty and her family hosted a memorial golf tournament, which raised $15,000 for Learn to Cope, a non-profit support network that offers education, resources, peer support and hope for parents and family members coping with a loved one addicted to opiates or other drugs. Amazing, Sandra! Thank you!

Also, Mark Orris volunteered his time to speak to the parents at the Head Start program in Southbridge. He spoke to the parents about the types of services Spectrum provides and provided them with referral information. He also took time before his presentation to read “Where the Wild Things Are” to the kiddos. Well done Mark! 

In Pittsfield, Meg Tillinghast completed a Whole30 challenge. Whole30 is a nutritional program designed to help you change eating habits, restore a healthy metabolism, and balance your immune system in 30 days. Nice! Also, Outpatient Regional Director Rebecca Polastri sends a big shout-out to the team in Pittsfield on reaching a census of 600. Way to go Pittsfield! 

Christina Rossi, new Regional Director for Spectrum Outpatient Centers in Haverhill and Saugus, ran her first marathon. Way to go Christina! We also heard that Outpatient Systems Administrator Jenn Cummings ran her first half marathon on a broken foot! Oh boy!

Rounding out our Shout-Outs section is a new Nurses-of-the-Month recognition launched by Executive Director of Nursing Megan Gajewski. Nurses-of-the-Month celebrates nurses in our inpatient and outpatient programs that have gone above and beyond their core responsibilities in terms of communication, teamwork, customer service and much more. BIG congratulations go out to the following Nurses of the Month: Helenda Benoit, Alisha Goulet, Amanda Holthaus, Ryan Flattery, Danielle Kaplan-Dearden, Kenneth Umeibe, Angel Colon, Mary Thomas, Odete Herrmann and Jeffrey Stastny. Ladies and gentlemen thank you for all you do! 

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In This Issue:

Season’s Greetings | VIPs Visit Spectrum in Tennessee | Millbury Outpatient Services - Coming Soon! | Virginia | Mass DOC Recognizes 15 Spectrum Staff | A New Day at Everyday Miracles | Indian Creek Celebrates Milestone | Community Awareness Fair | Recovery Month | Spectrum Annual Meeting | Golf Fundraiser | Shout-Outs 

Centralized Outpatient Intake Moves to Millbury

Spectrum’s centralized Intake Department, which fields referrals for all of our outpatient services, moved from its crowded location on Lincoln Street in Worcester to new digs in Millbury at the start of May. The new area features a new phone system and 50% more workspace giving this key department room to grow alongside our bustling outpatient treatment services.

Outpatient Operations Manager Lori Canane and Intake Manager Claribel Capeles were instrumental in maintaining service levels throughout the transition. The move was also made easier thanks to hands-on support from several Spectrum IT staff -- Pat Southard, Patrick Morin and Debra Buckley – who set up the new phone system and new workstations.

The new phone system is important because it decreases the amount of noise in the department by directing incoming calls to the next available staff person rather than having each station ring simultaneously. It is also important for helping Spectrum track and report on the volume of calls made and received on an as-needed basis. The Intake Department currently receives more than 100 phone calls each day.

Left to right: Leen Abolebadeh, Lynne Lapointe, Radhaisi Bisono, Delilah Villanueva, Maryanne Hernandez, and Johanna Santo. Not pictured: Intake Coordinator Itza Rosado and Intake Manager Claribel Capeles.

 

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Bright Futures Responds to Gas Leak

A gas leak at any Spectrum program could be a disaster never mind at a staff secure residential facility. But when carbon monoxide alarms sounded at Bright Futures in Methuen on the afternoon of April 18th, staff responded quickly and effectively to address immediate concerns. They evacuated clients from the facility rapidly, meeting at the established rally point. They escalated problems with clients who were not willing to evacuate or who were fearful of the situation to help support all 10 adolescent clients residing in the program at the time. They called 9-1-1 and stayed on the phone with emergency services until help arrived.

Mark Brown, Spectrum’s Director of Adolescent and Peer Recovery Support Services happened to be onsite at the time. “I’m so proud of the way Bright Futures staff handled themselves. They were 100% professional. They stood outside in the rain with clients for more than an hour and, in some cases, stayed late to process with clients once the building was cleared by the Fire Department and we were allowed back in.”

“We do a ton of training in the Adolescent Division to prepare staff for all kinds of situations, but ultimately it’s the staff that need to draw on this training when the time comes. These folks rose to the occasion. They did exactly what they were trained for and much, much more.”

 

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Spectrum Joins Up with Amazon.com

In March, Spectrum launched a new partnership with Amazon Smile, a service provided by Amazon.com that allows all Amazon.com shoppers to direct 0.5% of their purchases toward enhancing and expanding Spectrum services for people in need. It’s free and easy to use. Here’s how:

  1. Go to Smile.Amazon.com.
  2. Enter your regular Amazon log in and password.
  3. Under “Pick Your Own Charitable Organization,” type in “Spectrum Health Systems, Inc.”
  4. Hit Select next to Spectrum Health Systems.

While Amazon Smile is not yet available through the Amazon App (I have it on good authority that it’s in the pipeline!) it does include any purchases made using Amazon Prime!

So shop away and just remember to use Smile.Amazon.com for all future Amazon.com purchases! Even after you’ve designated Spectrum as your Smile recipient, we only receive donations if you log in through Smile.

 

 

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Project Peer Connection at Work by Renee Castelli

The first time I was supposed to meet William* he missed our appointment, so I was immediately worried about if he was going to engage with the program. When I finally got in touch with him he was extremely apologetic and immediately wanted to reschedule. This time he showed up. He seemed like a shy, older gentleman that had spent many years of his life incarcerated. He was just acclimating to being in contact with his family again and had not really thought about any long-term goals. Over the following two sessions we worked together on developing his treatment plan goals around medical care, cognitive behavioral treatment, and substance abuse programming and building a strong rapport. This rapport allowed me to see William was actually a chipper, extremely positive individual who needed help prioritizing and organizing to avoid feeling overwhelmed.

After extensive outreach, we were able to find, train and finally introduce an appropriate peer mentor to William. Soon after his release, William began to have severe side effects from his Vivitrol treatment in combination with other health concerns, which caused him to stop Vivitrol treatment. While this may have deterred some individuals, William worked the process with his mentor and stayed committed to his recovery.

Through the next two sessions, William developed new goals for his health care, recovery and anger management concerns. He was able to get his financial debts in order and successfully enroll in Medicare, State Cash Assistance and other available programs with a great deal of consistent effort. William was achieving every goal he set so quickly that we discussed even bigger goals, such as going back to school, part-time volunteerships or other work he could do with his medical conditions, and, eventually, living on his own.

To date, William continues to feel proud of his accomplishments and empowered to make positive, healthy choices. He successfully completed the PPC program after six months of positive gains in the community and maintains regular contact with his PPC Mentor.

*Name changed to ensure client confidentiality.

 

 

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Georiga RSAT Hosts Sweetheart Dance

In one of our favorite staff organized events to date, Spectrum’s Residential Substance Abuse Treatment (RSAT) program in Bainbridge, Georgia hosted a Family Day Sweetheart Dance on February 10th. Program participants enjoyed time with their families and a special father/daughter dance as well. Spectrum staff came in on their day off to help with the festivities; all the artwork was made by the men in the Bainbridge program.

The Bainbridge program is a nine-month residential program for probationers. Probationers are court-mandated to this program and have a history of substance abuse. The event was a collaboration between Spectrum and the Georgia Department of Corrections and Bainbridge Superintendent Moses James was highly instrumental in the planning, implementation and success of this event.

On a side note, we wish to thank State Director Sabrina Hudnell and her team who asked participants to sign consents so that we can bring you these endearing pics of the day.

 

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Girls' Unit Celebrates One Year in Westborough

When the Girls’ Detention Unit operated by Spectrum under contract with the MA Department of Youth Services (DYS) moved to Westborough last year, many were skeptical. The program had been at its previous location in Dorchester, one of the largest and most diverse neighborhoods of Boston, for decades. The facility was easily accessible by public transportation—critical for visiting families and discharging clients. Also, most staff were from the local area and much more familiar with the city landscape than the Westborough suburbs.

But still they moved forward. Some staff moved with the program to the new facility 40 miles to the West. The new building itself, on the grounds of the DYS Central Offices, provides ample space; offers bright, clean surroundings; and is accessible from one of three state highways.

And then they thrived. Last Fall, the program sponsored three children at a facility called Sherry’s House in Worcester, which is a home for children with cancer. Staff purchased items off the children’s wish list for Christmas and clients made the children crocheted blankets, jewelry boxes and cards as a way of giving back. In December, the program won first place in a DYS “Best Decorated Program” contest with a 3-D display based on the infamous movie The Polar Express. And, most recently, the Girls Unit has been busy gardening. This Spring, they planted a huge garden in one of the open courtyards of the new facility. Tomatoes, peppers, flowers and much more have been cultivated by clients and will go on sale to the public shortly at an onsite greenhouse supported by DYS.

Clearly, program staff and clients have settled into their new surroundings. While diversity, transportation and accessibility will always be top of mind, they are balanced with the benefits of being in a new facility with new opportunities.

 

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Program Expansion Underway in Virginia

Spectrum expanded its footprint in Virginia last month with the opening of a new residential treatment program at the Cold Springs Correctional Unit in Greenville. The program will be managed by a new program director, staffed by four counselors and supported by an administrative assistant. Cold Springs houses 150 minimum and medium security offenders at any given time in dormitory-style living areas.

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TN Staff Run to Support Big Brothers/Big Sisters

On May 13th, Tennessee State Director Ryan McMahon and Regional Supervisor Emily Blevins participated in the annual Tennessee Department of Correction 5k to benefit Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Tennessee.  The race drew over 500 participants and raised over $10,000 for BBBS.  The event was held at the Tennessee State Prison, a now shuttered prison built in the late 1800s, used to film The Green Mile and The Last Castle.  The race course went through the main yard of the old prison, and participants were invited on guided tours of the facility following the race.  Ryan and Emily finished the race and we are incredibly proud of them!

 

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Four-Day Experiential Training Held for Corrections Staff in MA

The Massachusetts DOC completed a comprehensive four-day experiential training in March to help key staff learn the inner workings of the therapeutic community and its social learning theory. The training included staff from Spectrum’s Correctional Recovery Academy and Medication-Assisted Treatment Reentry Initiative. Spectrum’s Correctional Recovery Academy is a 6-9-month residential program, based on the therapeutic community model, where offenders learn to work together as a community and the staff who attended the training did just that! Special thanks to Jim Piro and Chris Petrozzi who facilitated the extensive training.

Participants pictured here: Cynthia O’Connor, Kaitlin Wright, Kelly Celata, Cassandra Colon, Amanda Bonilla, Taylor MacLellan, Madeline Tkacs, Craig Reid, Sarah Laughlin, Samantha Mallard, Nadia Shallow, Sharon Vincent, Estrella Merlot, Meghan Popham, Abagail Merrick, Melissa St Hillaire, Stacy Eady, Christian Blake, Francesca Bollitier, Ashley Wrona, Nicholas Williams, Jesse Mallette, Pete Collins, Prince Woods, Robert Lombardi and Jeanne Brennan.

 

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Shout Outs

Starting us off is Jodi Tarantino, Program Director of Spectrum’s Charles J. Faris Recovery Center. Jodi sends a shout out to Clinician Lucia Andrade who was recently accepted into a doctoral program and will be starting work on her PhD this fall. Best wishes Lucia! Jodi also recognizes Clinical Director Day Marshall who recently started a Recovery Church with her husband, separate and apart from her work with Spectrum. The Recovery Church is intended as an alternative to AA/NA for people in recovery. It uses biblical teachings for the message delivered during a church service and also for a study time afterwards. They also serve a meal beforehand for those interested. We wish you the best Day! And speaking of Day, she wishes to recognize The Faris Center’s Senior Recovery Specialist Hillary Dumas who is starting her journey to become a Licensed Addiction Drug Counselor (LADC). Best wishes to you!

In other news, Megan Gajewski, Executive Director of Nursing, sends a big Shout Out to the nurses who were recognized as part of the Nurses-of-the-Month program. They are: Melinda Chick, Lori Anderson, Deborah Penney, Rosie Scano, Stacy Stackrow, Rob Gallagher, Lorna Doane, Stephanie Doucimo, Diahann Brooks, Christine Hamel, Ann Marie Chimera and Michelle Pepin. Congratulations to all!

Mark Orris, Regional Program Director for Spectrum’s Merrick Street and Southbridge Outpatient Treatment Centers, sends a special Shout Out to Brookeita Payne who passed her Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) exam and Erin Sutherland who passed her Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) certification. Love it!

In Georgia, Program Director Sam Thomas recognizes staff at the Johnson State Prison RSAT. Barbara Wilbur was recently recognized as Non-Security Counselor of the Quarter at JSP! Ryan Wells is an ordained minister who volunteers his time to assist offenders with their religious needs. He was also recently the keynote speaker for a local school. Larry Pope has become a Certified Clinical Supervisor (CCS) since being employed with Spectrum. Angela Lawson has obtained her Master’s Degree and Master Addiction Counselor certification. Over the next three months, Sam has several team-building exercises and trainings planned as well as a pot-luck luncheon. Congratulations to all the folks at JSP and enjoy!

Program Director Cassaundra Thompson wishes to recognize some outstanding staff members at the Coastal State Prison in Garden City. Sherry Harvath got certified in Anger Management and Joyce Bongang graduated with her Master’s Degree in Counseling from South University in Savannah. Congratulations to both of you! Robin Tarver recently obtained her license as a Marriage and Family Therapist and, in fact, has been elected Treasurer and Secretary of the Coastal Chapter of the Georgia Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (GAMFT), the professional association of and for Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists, Prelicensees and Associates from across Georgia. Congratulations Robin! Evelyn Wilson is currently teaching a course at Unity Church in Savannah. She also opened a sober living facility for women in Savannah in January. And, as if that wasn’t enough, Evelyn also recently celebrated 45 years of sobriety. Way to go Evelyn!

At the Northwest RSAT program in Rock Spring, Program Director Katrina Payne wishes to recognize Michael Felder who received his CCS in early April. Congrats Michael! Also, Dona Davis, the RSAT Program Director at the Arrendale Probation Substance Abuse Treatment Center (PSATC), recognizes January Hudson who volunteers with Carry on Youth, an organization that provides trips, activities, etc. to help children who have lost a parent, and Leighanne Edwards who volunteers with Young Faces of ALS, an organization that brings awareness to the fact that ALS affects younger people.

Shanika Henley, Program Director at Valdosta State Prison Annex, recognizes Starkisha Belle who became a National Certified Addiction Counselor in February and Timothy Riser who received his certification with the National Association of Forensic Counselors as a Certified Chemical Dependence Counselor. Also, Alfred Miler volunteers with Family Connection in Albany where he assists kids and their families with improving their health, educational and economic well-being.

And lastly from Georgia, but never least, Constance Johnson the Program Director at the Bleckley RSAT program wishes to recognize RSAT Counselor Carolyn Hilburn who was recently certified as a Registered Behavioral Technician with the Behavioral Analyst Certification Board. Incidentally, Constance recently became a state Licensed Associate Professional Counselor herself. BIG Congratulations to Constance, Carolyn and the entire Georgia Team!

Also, in the Corrections Division, Regional Director Jennifer Zachary sends a special Shout Out to two staff who were awarded Excellence in Job Performance at the women’s facility in Framingham, Massachusetts for their work with the Pathways Model. They are Program Directors Meredith Malovrh and Kirsten Norby. Congrats Ladies! Regional Director Lisa Bonner also recognizes Francesca Bollitier from the Norfolk facility as the winner of Employee-of-the-Quarter for the Correctional Recovery Academy. Well done!

Lastly, Cindy Buraczynksi, Spectrum’s VP of External Affairs, recognizes Bob Brandner’s recent notoriety as one of Becker Hospital Review’s CIOs to Know. Bob joined Spectrum Health Systems in 2015 as its first Chief Information Officer (CIO). He supports the organization's business operations through the development and implementation of IT services and ensures the system's compliance with healthcare security and privacy regulations. Prior to joining Spectrum, Bob worked at Dell Computers in IT enterprise architecture. To see the full list of CIOs to Know, click here.

 

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The President’s Club

Spectrum President & CEO Kurt Isaacson sends a very special congratulations to the new members of Spectrum’s President’s Club. The President’s Club recognizes exceptional contributions by individuals across the company who exemplify Spectrum’s mission and values. Individuals are nominated year-round by other employees; nominations are reviewed and accepted annually. This year’s inductees are: Ken Umeibe, Christine Hamel, Sarah Moore, Alicea Jordan, Alyssa Taddeo, Alfida Sceron-Reyna, Emily Hescock, Theresa Dineen, Amy Modzeleski, Julie Dileo, Karen Lawrence, Paula Baker, Elizabeth Solomon, Jessica Colson, Kirsten Norby and Tamu Brobbey.

 

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CDCP Releases New Report on Hep C and Opioid Epidemic

New Hepatitis C virus infections in the United States nearly tripled between 2010 and 2015 according to a recent report from the federal Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP). An estimated 3.5 million people in the U.S., mainly baby boomers, have a Hepatitis C infection. Symptoms can include fever, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, joint pain and jaundice.

Report author Dr. John Ward of the CDCP states, "recent CDC research has identified increasing injection drug use is tied to the opioid epidemic in rural and suburban areas across the country.” He said hardest hit areas in terms of new infections are parts of Appalachia and rural areas of the Midwest and New England. Seven states -- Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Tennessee and West Virginia -- have rates at least twice the national average.

Read the full report from the CDCP here.

 

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Season’s Greetings

 

chuck

How will you spend the holidays? Will it be enjoying the company of friends and family, sharing the warmth of the season at home or abroad, or celebrating the faith that sustains you? What is important to you this holiday season?

The holidays are a time for joy, but for so many, this time of year is filled with difficulty, pain and sorrow. At Spectrum, we pride ourselves on helping those who come to us at the lowest of lows find some sense of joy. Whether it is in reconnecting with their families, earning their one-year pins, mastering new coping skills or simply walking tall, we help thousands of people reclaim their lives.

This is why expanding and enhancing our services is so important. In 2015, we opened three new outpatient treatment centers in Massachusetts, serving nearly 550 new clients daily. We launched a new peer recovery support center in a dramatically underserved area. We added 25 new residential treatment beds in our brand new treatment facility. We also began operating one of the largest in-prison TC programs in the country in Virginia under a new contract with the Virginia Department of Corrections and added an array of post-release services to our system of care in Tennessee.

We can and do make a difference in the lives of so many, especially this time of year, and we greatly appreciate our staff who work tirelessly to best serve those in need.

These are the things I will be reflecting on throughout this holiday season. Thank you again for all of your hard work and tremendous effort on behalf of the people we serve. I wish you a very happy and healthy holiday season and peaceful new year.

Best wishes,


Chuck Faris
President & CEO

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Peer Mentoring


In late September, Spectrum was notified by the U.S. Department of Justice of a grant award of $1,000,000 to renew and expand its peer mentoring reentry program for ex-offenders in Massachusetts. The 3-year grant represents a milestone for the organization marking one of its largest grant awards to date and allowing Spectrum to build upon its proven success.

Spectrum’s application for statewide services was based on the success of a 2-year pilot program in Worcester County. The pilot program recorded tremendous progress in connecting participants to needed services such as: 86 needed substance abuse services, 81 received substance abuse services (94%); 30 needed mental health services, 26 received mental health services (86%); 81 need employment assistance, 56 received employment assistance (69%); and, 61 needed housing assistance, 59 received housing assistance (97%). The program’s one-year recidivism rate was 18% as compared to 25% reported for the general population.

Under the new grant, Spectrum will reach out to higher-risk offenders in state custody who have a substance use disorders and are within six months of release to communities statewide. Interested offenders will be matched with a volunteer mentor to begin relationship building pre-release. Upon release, mentors will continue to act as liaisons, coaches, advocates and resources, helping individuals gain access to needed services in their local community. Mentors will generally meet with mentees on a monthly basis, with more frequency around the time of release.

Mentors are recruited from all walks of life. Each candidate is interviewed and reference and background checks are conducted. Potential mentors in the custody of Probation or Parole are screened out. Mentors who are in recovery are required to have at least two years of continuous sobriety. An extensive training program is provided to help mentors function safely and effectively in their role. Formal mentoring agreements solidify roles, expectations and support systems.

Individuals interested in being a mentor should contact Regional Director Dan Weldon at Dan.Weldon@spectrumhealthsystems.com. Spectrum’s community-based employees are welcome to participate.

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Facing the Opioid Epidemic


As the opioid epidemic continues to rage across Massachusetts and much of the country, Spectrum has increased treatment options for individuals facing the deadly disease. Spectrum recently opened a new outpatient treatment center in north central Massachusetts. Located at 40 Spruce Street in Leominster, the center offers opioid treatment, medication management, substance abuse counseling, mental health counseling, family counseling, anger management and much more.

With the Leominster Outpatient Treatment Center, Spectrum now has 11 community-based outpatient treatment centers strategically located in high-need areas of the state. Each center offers same-day admissions, which allows clients to complete all requirements and, if appropriate, start receiving medication on the same day. Also important, Spectrum coordinates same day admissions among all of its outpatient treatment centers to ensure same day admission is available 5 days a week.

chartSpectrum has also taken steps to add treatment options for more acute individuals. In September, Spectrum added 16 detoxification beds at its Weymouth residential treatment facility on Boston’s south shore. The detoxification, or acute treatment beds, replace a portion of beds previously used for clinical stabilization, allowing Spectrum to provide all three primary levels of care—acute treatment services, clinical stabilization services and residential treatment—in one location. This is especially important as 60 detoxification beds were eliminated in the local area as a result of a nearby bridge closure.

In addition to the 16 detoxification beds in Weymouth, Spectrum recently added three beds for this purpose at its Westborough treatment campus, bringing the total number of detoxification beds there to 48.

In an opinion piece published in the Boston Globe on October 30, 2015, Spectrum’s President & CEO Chuck Faris concluded, “Opioids claimed more lives in the first half of this year than in the same period last year, and there is no sign of the epidemic fading. No one overcomes addiction alone, and everyone battling addiction deserves support in their efforts to overcome their disease. It is imperative that we look at every avenue where treatment can begin and explore measures that could have a long-term impact.”

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IT Corner


bob Spectrum recently hired its first Chief Information Officer (CIO)—Mr. Robert “Bob” Brandner of West Hartford, Connecticut. Bob comes to Spectrum from Dell Computers where he has had a long and distinguished career in infrastructure assessment and strategic planning specific to healthcare and higher education.

Bob’s new role is pivotal to the growth and development of the Spectrum organization. As Kurt Isaacson, Spectrum’s Chief Operating Officer, recently put it, “We are approaching a crossroads in our use of cutting-edge medical records technology. There are a lot of good technology tools out there and Bob will help us decide how best to use them. His guidance will be critical to making appropriate decisions that maximum usage of medical technology while ensuring full safety and security of protected health information.”

As part of his new role, Bob will lead Spectrum’s IT Department. As you may recall, Spectrum brought its IT services “in-house” last year to ensure faster, more responsive service delivery. The IT Department has quickly become a “go to” group within the organization providing support to end users while ensuring strategic project execution and good customer service.

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New Leadership for ROSC


Spectrum’s Vice President of Clinical Services Sue Moitozo recently announced new leadership of the Recovery-Oriented Systems of Care (ROSC) Committee. Lisa Blanchard, Executive Director of Outpatient Services, and Amanda Pitts, Director of Inpatient Operations, will now co-chair the committee formed several years ago to assess and support a client-centered behavioral health system and formulate ROSC plans that are compatible with the tenets of state and national health care reform.

Last Fall the ROSC Committee spearheaded terminology changes to address often stigmatizing language used in behavioral health and support the recovery oriented philosophy that is at the heart of Spectrum’s mission. The Committee is once again welcoming suggestions for language shifts to support a recovery-oriented approach to client care. Suggestions can be emailed to the following ROSC representatives: Outpatient Division – Lynn LeBlanc-Marrone; Inpatient Division – Dianne McIsaac; Adolescent Division and Peer Recovery – Mark Brown; and, Corrections Division - Lisa Bonner.

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In Case You Missed It


peterSpectrum’s Chief Clinical Officer Peter Paolantonio recently received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association for Behavioral Healthcare (ABH) for his contributions over the course of his 40-year career at Spectrum. ABH is the leading behavioral health advocacy organization in Massachusetts.

In receiving the award, Peter noted, “I’m humbled and honored by the recognition of my colleagues and peers. People will often ask me why I’ve spent my entire career with Spectrum. I believe with my heart and soul in the Spectrum way and try to live it every day. I’m so proud to be a part of the Spectrum family.”

As many of you know, Peter is responsible for leading the planning, implementation and ongoing integration of best practices across Spectrum’s extensive continuum of care, including specialized programs for men, women, adolescents, young adults and criminal offenders. For the past 22 years, he has worked to integrate the therapeutic community model into in-prison treatment programs. Today, more than 90 correctional facilities across the nation benefit from his work.

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Shout Outs


Welcome to the new group of employees that have joined us in Washington State: David Allen and Stephanie Trapp, Chemical Dependency Professionals (CDP) at the Marysville Field Office; Elizabeth Myers, Assessment CDP at the Shelton Field Office; Kirk Fowler, Assessment CDP Trainee (CDPT) at the Lacey Campus; Phillip Funderburk, Assessment CDPT, and Sally Dodds, CDPT, at the Seattle Community Justice Center; Tracy Mesecher and Misty Ruhs, CDPTs at the Airway Heights Correction Center; Kerry Trout, CDP, Kristine Gifford, Administrative Technician, Rebecca Hartwell, Program Manager, Tammy Countryman, CDPT, and Stephen Wilson, Therapeutic Community Technician, at the Coyote Ridge Correction Center; Adrian Sanchez, CDPT at the Yakima Community Justice Center; Katherine Pilot, CDP at the Rap/Lincoln Work Release; Christina Pitsnogle and Marla Buob, CDPTs, at the Spokane Community Justice Center; Kenneth Morris, CDPT at the Olympic Correction Center; and, Shawna Sunday, CDPT at the Bishop Lewis Work Release.

Also in Washington, we extend big congratulations to Jennifer Brazer, Brittney Chapman and Mary Fairfield who recently passed their Washington State CDP exam and were subsequently promoted. Well done!

We also send a special Shout Out to Steven El-Ayache, Anthony Bartlett and Susan Terrell who successfully referred new candidates to Spectrum. Thanks for actively contributing to our fast growing team!

In Georgia, special recognition goes out to Shanika Henley who received her Certified Clinical Supervisor (CCS) Credential and Lakesha Edwards and Latrenda Hill who received their Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC) II Credentials. Great job! Meanwhile, at Johnson State Prison, Spectrum’s Larry Pope received his CCS Credential, Tashika Daniels was promoted to Clinical Supervisor and Samuel Thomas was promoted to Program Director. Congratulations! Barbara Wilbur, Benjamin Allen, Tracey Brantley, and Demetrice Burner received incentives for a job well done and going beyond the call of duty. Way to go Johnson SP! At the Pulaski State Prison, Clinical Supervisor Elizabeth Solomon received her CCS. Congratulations! Also at Pulaski, Hannah Davidson was invited by the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Certification Board of Georgia to become a subject matter expert for the Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC) II exam. Hannah also ran her first 5k in October. You’re on a roll Hannah. Kudos! At Lee Arrendale State Prison, RSAT Counselors Yettel Jimenez and Janet Hodges recently obtained licensure as Associate Professional Counselors. Way to go! Also, RSAT Counselor Shelina Smith volunteers her time at the Atlanta Mission serving meals to the homeless and RSAT Counselor January Hudson is a volunteer with Carry on Youth, Inc., an organization providing mentoring and support for children who are grieving. She is especially active in this organization’s memorial tree planting activities, including the annual tree dedication held this year on November 19th. Wonderful news!

In Tennessee, Turney Center Industrial Complex (TCIX) Program Director Patricia Budnick has done an excellent job providing Clinical Supervision for Spectrum programs at the Tennessee Prison for Women as we recruit a new program director. Great job Patricia! Also in Tennessee, State Director Ryan McMahon will compete in the New Orleans and Nashville Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathons in early 2016. Rock ‘n’ Role Marathons infuse live music with traditional fitness to create a fun health and wellness event for runners, families and friends. Ryan has promised pictures and details for our next edition!

In Massachusetts, staff and clients at Project Turnabout in Weymouth are working on a “blanket drive” where they are collecting blanket donations, baking cookies and making hot chocolate and delivering them to homeless people in the area. They are also collecting box tops for local schools. Very nice PT! Congratulations also go out to Tia Gaines who was recently promoted from Assistant Program Director to Program Director at Spectrum’s Acute Treatment Services (detoxification) program in Westborough.

In Outpatient, Lincoln Street Program Director Tracy Desruisseaux recognizes Clinician Lauren Duffy who coordinated the Great American Smoke Out event at the company’s largest outpatient center. All group leaders reviewed material on quitting smoking and the negative health effects of smoking. Clients completed a questionnaire recapping the information and those with high scores were entered into a raffle for a free turkey as a way to motivate clients to “quit cold turkey”. Three clients each received a 15 pound turkey just in time for Thanksgiving. Also at Lincoln Street, on November 19th, they hosted an on-site flu clinic for clients and staff in partnership with Rite Aid Pharmacy. Clients were offered incentives such as going to the front of the dispensing line after receiving the vaccination and staff wore red shirts to help draw attention to the event. Congrats to all the staff who helped organize these great events!

In other Outpatient news, Recovery Support Navigator Kaitlyn Ausmus was promoted to Program Supervisor and Lori Canane was promoted to Outpatient Operations Manager. Congratulations Kaitlyn and Lori!

Regional Director Jen Peluso recognizes Stacy Desnoyers, Recovery Support Navigator who volunteers at the Second Step domestic violence crisis center. Stacy is also training to run a 10k and looking to travel to South East Asia in the near future. Nice Stacy! Jen also recognizes Matt Barry, a Substance Abuse Counselor at Norfolk, who is participating in a 5k for an ALS team, and Terri Keenan, a Recovery Support Navigator, on her recent engagement. Best wishes to both!

Also in Massachusetts, Katherine Waterhouse was welcomed to her new role as Human Resources Coordinator. Katherine has played an integral role in supporting Spectrum’s correctional treatment services in Massachusetts over the last several years and will now support Spectrum employees across the country as a key member of the HR Team. Congratulations Katherine!

Rounding out our Shout Outs this month is a special note of congratulations to Susan Moitozo, our VP of Clinical Services. Sue was recently recognized as a top female executive by the International Women’s Leadership Association (IWLA). Her profile is featured on http://topfemaleexecutives.com/2015/11/19/susan-m-moitozo/. Big congratulations Sue!

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In The News


Spectrum was recently recognized at the Westborough Economic Development Committee’s 2015 Year in Review event with an award for Best Expansion Projection. Read more from The MetroWest Daily News by clicking here: http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/article/20151130/NEWS/151139634

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Season’s Greetings

 

chuck

How will you spend the holidays? Will it be enjoying the company of friends and family, sharing the warmth of the season at home or abroad, or celebrating the faith that sustains you? What is important to you this holiday season?

The holidays are a time for joy, but for so many, this time of year is filled with difficulty, pain and sorrow. At Spectrum, we pride ourselves on helping those who come to us at the lowest of lows find some sense of joy. Whether it is in reconnecting with their families, earning their one-year pins, mastering new coping skills or simply walking tall, we help thousands of people reclaim their lives.

This is why expanding and enhancing our services is so important. In 2015, we opened three new outpatient treatment centers in Massachusetts, serving nearly 550 new clients daily. We launched a new peer recovery support center in a dramatically underserved area. We added 25 new residential treatment beds in our brand new treatment facility. We also began operating one of the largest in-prison TC programs in the country in Virginia under a new contract with the Virginia Department of Corrections and added an array of post-release services to our system of care in Tennessee.

We can and do make a difference in the lives of so many, especially this time of year, and we greatly appreciate our staff who work tirelessly to best serve those in need.

These are the things I will be reflecting on throughout this holiday season. Thank you again for all of your hard work and tremendous effort on behalf of the people we serve. I wish you a very happy and healthy holiday season and peaceful new year.

Best wishes,


Chuck Faris
President & CEO

Back to Top

 

Peer Mentoring


In late September, Spectrum was notified by the U.S. Department of Justice of a grant award of $1,000,000 to renew and expand its peer mentoring reentry program for ex-offenders in Massachusetts. The 3-year grant represents a milestone for the organization marking one of its largest grant awards to date and allowing Spectrum to build upon its proven success.

Spectrum’s application for statewide services was based on the success of a 2-year pilot program in Worcester County. The pilot program recorded tremendous progress in connecting participants to needed services such as: 86 needed substance abuse services, 81 received substance abuse services (94%); 30 needed mental health services, 26 received mental health services (86%); 81 need employment assistance, 56 received employment assistance (69%); and, 61 needed housing assistance, 59 received housing assistance (97%). The program’s one-year recidivism rate was 18% as compared to 25% reported for the general population.

Under the new grant, Spectrum will reach out to higher-risk offenders in state custody who have a substance use disorders and are within six months of release to communities statewide. Interested offenders will be matched with a volunteer mentor to begin relationship building pre-release. Upon release, mentors will continue to act as liaisons, coaches, advocates and resources, helping individuals gain access to needed services in their local community. Mentors will generally meet with mentees on a monthly basis, with more frequency around the time of release.

Mentors are recruited from all walks of life. Each candidate is interviewed and reference and background checks are conducted. Potential mentors in the custody of Probation or Parole are screened out. Mentors who are in recovery are required to have at least two years of continuous sobriety. An extensive training program is provided to help mentors function safely and effectively in their role. Formal mentoring agreements solidify roles, expectations and support systems.

Individuals interested in being a mentor should contact Regional Director Dan Weldon at Dan.Weldon@spectrumhealthsystems.com. Spectrum’s community-based employees are welcome to participate.

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Facing the Opioid Epidemic


As the opioid epidemic continues to rage across Massachusetts and much of the country, Spectrum has increased treatment options for individuals facing the deadly disease. Spectrum recently opened a new outpatient treatment center in north central Massachusetts. Located at 40 Spruce Street in Leominster, the center offers opioid treatment, medication management, substance abuse counseling, mental health counseling, family counseling, anger management and much more.

With the Leominster Outpatient Treatment Center, Spectrum now has 11 community-based outpatient treatment centers strategically located in high-need areas of the state. Each center offers same-day admissions, which allows clients to complete all requirements and, if appropriate, start receiving medication on the same day. Also important, Spectrum coordinates same day admissions among all of its outpatient treatment centers to ensure same day admission is available 5 days a week.

chartSpectrum has also taken steps to add treatment options for more acute individuals. In September, Spectrum added 16 detoxification beds at its Weymouth residential treatment facility on Boston’s south shore. The detoxification, or acute treatment beds, replace a portion of beds previously used for clinical stabilization, allowing Spectrum to provide all three primary levels of care—acute treatment services, clinical stabilization services and residential treatment—in one location. This is especially important as 60 detoxification beds were eliminated in the local area as a result of a nearby bridge closure.

In addition to the 16 detoxification beds in Weymouth, Spectrum recently added three beds for this purpose at its Westborough treatment campus, bringing the total number of detoxification beds there to 48.

In an opinion piece published in the Boston Globe on October 30, 2015, Spectrum’s President & CEO Chuck Faris concluded, “Opioids claimed more lives in the first half of this year than in the same period last year, and there is no sign of the epidemic fading. No one overcomes addiction alone, and everyone battling addiction deserves support in their efforts to overcome their disease. It is imperative that we look at every avenue where treatment can begin and explore measures that could have a long-term impact.”

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IT Corner


bob Spectrum recently hired its first Chief Information Officer (CIO)—Mr. Robert “Bob” Brandner of West Hartford, Connecticut. Bob comes to Spectrum from Dell Computers where he has had a long and distinguished career in infrastructure assessment and strategic planning specific to healthcare and higher education.

Bob’s new role is pivotal to the growth and development of the Spectrum organization. As Kurt Isaacson, Spectrum’s Chief Operating Officer, recently put it, “We are approaching a crossroads in our use of cutting-edge medical records technology. There are a lot of good technology tools out there and Bob will help us decide how best to use them. His guidance will be critical to making appropriate decisions that maximum usage of medical technology while ensuring full safety and security of protected health information.”

As part of his new role, Bob will lead Spectrum’s IT Department. As you may recall, Spectrum brought its IT services “in-house” last year to ensure faster, more responsive service delivery. The IT Department has quickly become a “go to” group within the organization providing support to end users while ensuring strategic project execution and good customer service.

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New Leadership for ROSC


Spectrum’s Vice President of Clinical Services Sue Moitozo recently announced new leadership of the Recovery-Oriented Systems of Care (ROSC) Committee. Lisa Blanchard, Executive Director of Outpatient Services, and Amanda Pitts, Director of Inpatient Operations, will now co-chair the committee formed several years ago to assess and support a client-centered behavioral health system and formulate ROSC plans that are compatible with the tenets of state and national health care reform.

Last Fall the ROSC Committee spearheaded terminology changes to address often stigmatizing language used in behavioral health and support the recovery oriented philosophy that is at the heart of Spectrum’s mission. The Committee is once again welcoming suggestions for language shifts to support a recovery-oriented approach to client care. Suggestions can be emailed to the following ROSC representatives: Outpatient Division – Lynn LeBlanc-Marrone; Inpatient Division – Dianne McIsaac; Adolescent Division and Peer Recovery – Mark Brown; and, Corrections Division - Lisa Bonner.

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In Case You Missed It


peterSpectrum’s Chief Clinical Officer Peter Paolantonio recently received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association for Behavioral Healthcare (ABH) for his contributions over the course of his 40-year career at Spectrum. ABH is the leading behavioral health advocacy organization in Massachusetts.

In receiving the award, Peter noted, “I’m humbled and honored by the recognition of my colleagues and peers. People will often ask me why I’ve spent my entire career with Spectrum. I believe with my heart and soul in the Spectrum way and try to live it every day. I’m so proud to be a part of the Spectrum family.”

As many of you know, Peter is responsible for leading the planning, implementation and ongoing integration of best practices across Spectrum’s extensive continuum of care, including specialized programs for men, women, adolescents, young adults and criminal offenders. For the past 22 years, he has worked to integrate the therapeutic community model into in-prison treatment programs. Today, more than 90 correctional facilities across the nation benefit from his work.

Back to Top

Shout Outs


Welcome to the new group of employees that have joined us in Washington State: David Allen and Stephanie Trapp, Chemical Dependency Professionals (CDP) at the Marysville Field Office; Elizabeth Myers, Assessment CDP at the Shelton Field Office; Kirk Fowler, Assessment CDP Trainee (CDPT) at the Lacey Campus; Phillip Funderburk, Assessment CDPT, and Sally Dodds, CDPT, at the Seattle Community Justice Center; Tracy Mesecher and Misty Ruhs, CDPTs at the Airway Heights Correction Center; Kerry Trout, CDP, Kristine Gifford, Administrative Technician, Rebecca Hartwell, Program Manager, Tammy Countryman, CDPT, and Stephen Wilson, Therapeutic Community Technician, at the Coyote Ridge Correction Center; Adrian Sanchez, CDPT at the Yakima Community Justice Center; Katherine Pilot, CDP at the Rap/Lincoln Work Release; Christina Pitsnogle and Marla Buob, CDPTs, at the Spokane Community Justice Center; Kenneth Morris, CDPT at the Olympic Correction Center; and, Shawna Sunday, CDPT at the Bishop Lewis Work Release.

Also in Washington, we extend big congratulations to Jennifer Brazer, Brittney Chapman and Mary Fairfield who recently passed their Washington State CDP exam and were subsequently promoted. Well done!

We also send a special Shout Out to Steven El-Ayache, Anthony Bartlett and Susan Terrell who successfully referred new candidates to Spectrum. Thanks for actively contributing to our fast growing team!

In Georgia, special recognition goes out to Shanika Henley who received her Certified Clinical Supervisor (CCS) Credential and Lakesha Edwards and Latrenda Hill who received their Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC) II Credentials. Great job! Meanwhile, at Johnson State Prison, Spectrum’s Larry Pope received his CCS Credential, Tashika Daniels was promoted to Clinical Supervisor and Samuel Thomas was promoted to Program Director. Congratulations! Barbara Wilbur, Benjamin Allen, Tracey Brantley, and Demetrice Burner received incentives for a job well done and going beyond the call of duty. Way to go Johnson SP! At the Pulaski State Prison, Clinical Supervisor Elizabeth Solomon received her CCS. Congratulations! Also at Pulaski, Hannah Davidson was invited by the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Certification Board of Georgia to become a subject matter expert for the Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC) II exam. Hannah also ran her first 5k in October. You’re on a roll Hannah. Kudos! At Lee Arrendale State Prison, RSAT Counselors Yettel Jimenez and Janet Hodges recently obtained licensure as Associate Professional Counselors. Way to go! Also, RSAT Counselor Shelina Smith volunteers her time at the Atlanta Mission serving meals to the homeless and RSAT Counselor January Hudson is a volunteer with Carry on Youth, Inc., an organization providing mentoring and support for children who are grieving. She is especially active in this organization’s memorial tree planting activities, including the annual tree dedication held this year on November 19th. Wonderful news!

In Tennessee, Turney Center Industrial Complex (TCIX) Program Director Patricia Budnick has done an excellent job providing Clinical Supervision for Spectrum programs at the Tennessee Prison for Women as we recruit a new program director. Great job Patricia! Also in Tennessee, State Director Ryan McMahon will compete in the New Orleans and Nashville Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathons in early 2016. Rock ‘n’ Role Marathons infuse live music with traditional fitness to create a fun health and wellness event for runners, families and friends. Ryan has promised pictures and details for our next edition!

In Massachusetts, staff and clients at Project Turnabout in Weymouth are working on a “blanket drive” where they are collecting blanket donations, baking cookies and making hot chocolate and delivering them to homeless people in the area. They are also collecting box tops for local schools. Very nice PT! Congratulations also go out to Tia Gaines who was recently promoted from Assistant Program Director to Program Director at Spectrum’s Acute Treatment Services (detoxification) program in Westborough.

In Outpatient, Lincoln Street Program Director Tracy Desruisseaux recognizes Clinician Lauren Duffy who coordinated the Great American Smoke Out event at the company’s largest outpatient center. All group leaders reviewed material on quitting smoking and the negative health effects of smoking. Clients completed a questionnaire recapping the information and those with high scores were entered into a raffle for a free turkey as a way to motivate clients to “quit cold turkey”. Three clients each received a 15 pound turkey just in time for Thanksgiving. Also at Lincoln Street, on November 19th, they hosted an on-site flu clinic for clients and staff in partnership with Rite Aid Pharmacy. Clients were offered incentives such as going to the front of the dispensing line after receiving the vaccination and staff wore red shirts to help draw attention to the event. Congrats to all the staff who helped organize these great events!

In other Outpatient news, Recovery Support Navigator Kaitlyn Ausmus was promoted to Program Supervisor and Lori Canane was promoted to Outpatient Operations Manager. Congratulations Kaitlyn and Lori!

Regional Director Jen Peluso recognizes Stacy Desnoyers, Recovery Support Navigator who volunteers at the Second Step domestic violence crisis center. Stacy is also training to run a 10k and looking to travel to South East Asia in the near future. Nice Stacy! Jen also recognizes Matt Barry, a Substance Abuse Counselor at Norfolk, who is participating in a 5k for an ALS team, and Terri Keenan, a Recovery Support Navigator, on her recent engagement. Best wishes to both!

Also in Massachusetts, Katherine Waterhouse was welcomed to her new role as Human Resources Coordinator. Katherine has played an integral role in supporting Spectrum’s correctional treatment services in Massachusetts over the last several years and will now support Spectrum employees across the country as a key member of the HR Team. Congratulations Katherine!

Rounding out our Shout Outs this month is a special note of congratulations to Susan Moitozo, our VP of Clinical Services. Sue was recently recognized as a top female executive by the International Women’s Leadership Association (IWLA). Her profile is featured on http://topfemaleexecutives.com/2015/11/19/susan-m-moitozo/. Big congratulations Sue!

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In The News


Spectrum was recently recognized at the Westborough Economic Development Committee’s 2015 Year in Review event with an award for Best Expansion Projection. Read more from The MetroWest Daily News by clicking here: http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/article/20151130/NEWS/151139634

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The Charles J. Faris Recovery Center

On Friday May 29th, Spectrum officially opened the 100-bed, 40,000 square foot Charles J. Faris Recovery Center set atop a hill overlooking Spectrum’s Treatment Campus in Westborough, Massachusetts. The new state-of-the-art facility is intended to provide a dignified and supportive environment conducive to the highest quality of addiction treatment.

The new facility boasts spacious group meeting spaces, a media center, fitness area and professional kitchen and dining areas. The living spaces–set up in four distinct wings—offer individual bathroom/shower facilities and kitchenettes.

The building pays tribute to Spectrum’s President and CEO whose 44 years of service dedicated to helping people with addictions live better lives recently earned him a prestigious Visionary Leadership award from the National Council for Behavioral Health. “Chuck has been an inspiration to many of us, colleagues and clients alike,” said Mr. Grenier, chairman of Spectrum’s board of trustees. “Having Chuck’s name adorn this building is a testament to his commitment to those seeking recovery from the disease of addiction.”

The Charles J. Faris Recovery Center is the newest addition to Spectrum’s Westborough Treatment Campus, the largest addiction treatment facility in New England. Spectrum’s campus also includes Acute Detoxification Services, Transitional Support Services and Young Adult Residential Treatment, as well as the New England Recovery Center™ which received its first client in early June.

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Welcome Virginia!

dsc04191 Spectrum recently launched three new therapeutic community (TC) programs in concert with the Virginia Department of Corrections. These new programs are expected to serve more than 1,000 high risk offenders on any given day.

“We are extremely proud of our strong reputation across the country and very excited about expanding to Virginia,” commented Christopher Petrozzi, senior vice president of correctional cervices. “In 1969, Spectrum began as one of the first therapeutic community treatment providers in the country. With this award, we’ll be operating one of the largest in-prison TC programs in the country at the Indian Creek Correctional Center, and look forward to being a part of the Commonwealth’s efforts to reduce recidivism for returning citizens.”

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Tennessee Expansion

Spectrum recently expanded its role with the Tennessee Department of Correction (TDOC) to include cognitive behavioral, victim impact and batterers' intervention services for offenders under probationary and parole supervision. Spectrum has provided in-prison residential substance abuse treatment services on behalf of the TDOC since 2006.

“We’re excited about having this opportunity to work directly with offenders transitioning out of Tennessee correctional facilities,” said Ryan McMahon, Spectrum’s state director in Tennessee. “We’re already seeing good outcomes and decreased recidivism with our existing addiction treatment services. This curriculum is another important step in helping offenders reintegrate, reach their goals and increase pro-social behavior.”

Built around a small group format with no more than 24 participants in one group, programming will be delivered by full-time facilitators in 14 districts throughout the state. Facilitators will be in regular contact with the parole and probation officers assigned to each offender to maintain contact regarding progress and outcomes.

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Outpatient Tx in Saugus and North Adams

Spectrum continued its outpatient treatment expansion this year with the opening of two new treatment centers in Saugus and North Adams, Massachusetts. These new centers will specialize in providing medication-assisted treatment to help address the prevalence of opioid addiction in the northeast.

Addresses and phone numbers for the newest outpatient treatment centers are:

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  • 184 Broadway, Suites 17 & 18,
    Saugus, MA 01906-1099
    Phone: 800-464-9555 ext. 1161
IMG 5977 3
  • 1274 Curran Memorial Highway,
    North Adams, MA 01247-3907
    Phone: 413-664-9024

"We reviewed national, state and local public health data in addition to the geographic distribution of our existing client base in determining new site locations," said Kristin Nolan, Spectrum's vice president of outpatient services. "With increased access we ensure clients receive the treatment, education and support they need to further their recovery while maximizing their productivity" added Nolan.

Saugus and North Adams represent Spectrum’s ninth and tenth outpatient treatment centers in Massachusetts, a 100% increase since 2012.

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New Peer Recovery Center Opens in Lawrence

A new Peer Recovery Support Center opened its doors on May 8th in downtown Lawrence, Massachusetts. The new center at 487 Essex Street is hosted by Spectrum under contract with the Department of Public Health and is expected to serve over 100 residents of Lawrence, Haverhill, North Andover and other nearby cities and towns each day.

“The opiate addiction crisis in our region has increased the demand for treatment services across the board,” said Kurt Isaacson, chief operating officer of Spectrum. “Many individuals who finish an inpatient or outpatient program help sustain their recovery through the strong network of support offered through our peer recovery programs. We are pleased to partner with the Department of Public Health to bring this proven program to Lawrence and the surrounding communities.”

The Lawrence Peer Recovery Center is based on a peer “participatory” model that has proven successful at Spectrum recovery centers in Worcester and Marlborough. Each center offers a variety of peer-driven support groups, recreational activities, social events and volunteer opportunities. Members also have access to onsite computers and a wealth of resource materials.

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Spectrum’s Georgia RSAT Program at Turner Receives Accolades from Assistant Commissioner

Spectrum’s RSAT program at the Turner Residential Substance Abuse Treatment facility in Sycamore, Georgia was visited by Assistant Commissioner of Education, Dr. Buster Evans and Anthony Jenkins. They toured each dormitory, RSAT classes, medical, food service, counseling, laundry, commissary and the academic classroom.

Both Drs. Evans and Jenkins stated that they were impressed with the overall appearance of the facility, friendliness and attitude of staff and the participation of detainees in academic classroom and RSAT classes. Dr. Evans expressed that GDC is about trying to make people's lives better, giving them hope and that RSAT is about helping people.

Dr. Evans spoke words of encouragement to the detainees. He posed the question to the detainees asking them if they were aware that in three years that they would be influenced by 1) what they read and 2) the people they hang around. He emphasized that these two things have a great impact on who you are and what you become. He encouraged the detainees to take advantage of the program and the importance of reading.

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IT Corner

Earlier this year, the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative awarded an eHealth eQuality Incentive Program Grant to Spectrum Health Systems to assist with its electronic health record (EHR) systems implementation. The $83,000 grant award is based on the achievement of specific milestones linked to EHR implementation. Milestones include developing a transformation plan, replacing paper charts throughout our inpatient and outpatient divisions, and achieving interoperability with other data systems. The grant program kicked-off in May and is expected to run through June 2017.

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Addiction Counselor Education (ACE) Graduates

ciweuqdwgaa6vpe.jpg large Congratulations to the eight Spectrum employees who recently graduated from the company’s Addiction Counselor Education (ACE) program which offers full-time, unlicensed employees in Massachusetts a convenient and affordable opportunity to become credentialed clinical staff. The program includes six nine-week courses for three hours per week and a 272-hour practicum. Graduates are eligible to apply to the Massachusetts Board of Substance Abuse Counselor Certification to take the State Exam and become a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LADC) and/or Certified Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor (CADAC). The ACE program is funded by Spectrum as part of its ongoing commitment to professional development.

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Shout Outs

State Director Perry Mowery and the Washington State leadership team welcome the following new employees to the Spectrum team: Melanie Miller, chemical dependency professional (CDP), Yakima Community Justice Center; James Nelson Dixon, program manager, Jordan Miller, CDP and Ryan Cross, CDP trainee (CDPT), at Monroe Correctional Complex; Hardeep Gill, assessment CDPT, at Madison Inn Work Release;  Ashley Updike, assessment CDP, and Susan Terrell, CDP, at the Bellingham Field Office; Jefferson Butler, CDP, at Reynolds Work Release; Debra McDermott, CDP, at Tacoma Community Justice Center; Gretchen Pickett, CDPT, at Everett Community Justice Center; Tera Phillips, CDP, at Port Angeles Field Office; Karen Lavoie, assessment CDP, at Lacey Campus; Steven Glenn, CDPT, at the Washington State Penitentiary; Mary Brown, CDP, at Larch Correction Center; Grace Birrenkott, assessment CDP, at the Spokane Community Justice Center; Brittany Wheeler, CDPT, and Michael Desmond, CDPT, at Airway Heights Correction Center; Kymberli Cochran, CDPT, at the Seattle Community Justice Center; Anna Lang, CDP, and Lesley Gunderson, CDPT, at the Coyote Ridge Correction Center; and, Robin Nielsen, CDP, at the Bremerton Field Office. Welcome one and all!
 
Big congratulations go out to Alicia Hale who was recently promoted to program manager for Yakima Community Justice Center and the work releases at Tri-Cities and Ahtanum View; Scott Haugh who was recently promoted to program manager for Everett Community Justice Center and the field offices at Bellingham, Mount Vernon, Marysville, and Port Angeles; David Musser who was recently promoted to southwest clinical supervisor and Tiffany Traylor who was recently promoted to eastern clinical supervisor. Way to go Alicia, Scott, David and Tiffany!
 
We also send special Shout Outs to Danny Makupson, Kristina Jubinville, Jamie Wilkinson, Debra McDermott; and Jennifer Kahlenberg who successfully passed their Washington State CDP exam and were promoted to chemical dependency professionals. Congrats to you!
 
And a sincere ‘thanks’ goes out to Brenna Taylor, Robert Woodland, Tana Siler and Jayne Cooley Granlund who received an Employee Referral Bonus for referring successful candidates for Spectrum employment.  Thanks for actively participating as part of the Spectrum team!
 
In Georgia, State Director Sabrina Hudnall congratulates Ashley Harrison, Jennifer Crews, Danielle Durr, January Hudson and Joshua Matthews who became Certified Alcohol & Drug Counselors, Elizabeth Solomon, Larry Pope and Dane Mincey who became Certified Clinical Supervisors (CCS), and Sondra Wright who became a fully Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC). Wonderful news GA team!
 
In addition, Evelyn Wilson at the Residential Substance Abuse Treatment (RSAT) Program at Coastal has been invited speak at the 2015 International Convention of Alcoholics Anonymous being held July 2-5, 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia. This year’s theme is "80 Years – Happy, Joyous and Free.” We’re proud of you Evelyn! Also, Stephanie Charles will deliver a presentation at the Georgia School for Addiction Studies during their upcoming annual conference being held August 24-28 in Savannah, Georgia. The presentation is on the topic of sleep in treating clients who have substance use disorders. This is Stephanie’s second presentation just this year!
 
In other news, the Georgia Substance Abuse Aftercare Services (SAAS) program will kick-off the upcoming fiscal year with its first training in July 2015. SAAS Counselors will receive training on addressing the needs of the suicidal client in addiction treatment. This will be followed by the annual SAAS orientation that highlights SAAS program requisites, duties and responsibilities.
 
In Massachusetts, Nicole Costa, executive director of inpatient and residential services, sends a shout out to Shakira Ayala who was promoted to program director for our Transitional Support Services program in Westborough, Massachusetts. Dennis also sends a special shout out to Diane McIsaac who was promoted to the clinical supervisor at the Young Adult Program also in Westborough. Diane has worked for Spectrum for many years as a clinician at our Milford Outpatient treatment center. Big congratulations Shakira and Diane!
 
Executive Director of Outpatient Operations Lisa Blanchard recognizes Melissa Yerganian, the new program director of the Saugus Outpatient Treatment Center (OTC), and Jaime O’Neil, the new program director of the Waltham and Framingham OTCs. Congratulations Melissa and Jaime!
 
Rebecca Polastri, Spectrum’s program director in Pittsfield and North Adams, recognizes Christine Usyk who passed her exam to become a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC). Rebecca also recognizes Ashley Wilock who was promoted from clinician at the Pittsfield OTC to clinical program director of the new North Adams OTC; Jennifer Wager who was promoted from clinical office coordinator to case manager/medical coordinator at the Pittsfield OTC and Karen Moisuk who was promoted from clinician to clinical program director at the Pittsfield OTC. Kudos to Christine, Ashley, Jennifer and Karen!
 
We also learned that Jessica Keirnan, a clinician at the Pittsfield OTC, volunteered for 7 days at the AIDS Life Cycle event. She was part of a team that biked from San Francisco to Los Angeles and helped raise over $600,000 for AIDS medication, treatment and research. Thank you for your time and dedication Jessica!
 
Also in Massachusetts, Kate Toomey was selected by the International Council of Alpha Gamma Delta (AGD) to be one of the first of 16 recipients of the AGD Talent of Leadership Award. According to the AGD, “alumnae nominated for this award are those women who make a significant contribution to their professions or who have made a positive impact in their local communities. Congratulations Kate!
 
And rounding out our shout outs, Cindy Buraczynski, Spectrum’s vice president of external affairs, welcomes Brendan Melican to the new role of public relations manager. As PR Manager, Brendan will focus on building community awareness, promoting Spectrum’s image externally and implementing a range of activities involving media relations and fundraising. Welcome Brendan!

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