Staff Member of the Month

JUNE 2017

posted Jun 29, 2017, 1:09 PM by Swan, Vivian

Amber Hubbard White, Accountant, recently completed a very lengthy and detailed report that Southern Tier Meadows needed for a recertification. This took hours of Amber's time and it was very involved. It required going over several times. Amber was able to finish this report in the time necessary to file it. Not only did Amber achieve this, but also in day-to-day operations, Amber is always patient and understanding when staff call with a problem or need a copy of a ledger or payout. No matter what time of day or the week, Amber is hard at work to complete any paperwork needed, and she does it right away. You know when you ask her for something that it will be ready as soon as possible. I think Amber should be nominated for her hard work and dedication.  Congratulations Amber for a job well done! Also, congratulations on your marriage to Jeff White on June 17, 2017.


May 2017

posted May 30, 2017, 1:16 PM by Swan, Vivian

Lori Karalus, RM of JTAP is the staff member of the month.  Stacey Thomas wrote, I have many reasons for wanting to nominate Lori, but I feel that her compassion for our residents and our Mission Statement, speak volumes.  As most of you know, the Consumer Council Meeting is held every other month at JTAP.  Lori always assures that she cooks a wonderful lunch with dessert for our consumers to enjoy during the meeting.  Every month, we hold a Resident Meeting with our residents and Lori goes all out to cook them a home-cooked meal.  Lori doesn't just order pizza or throw some lunch meat on a tray, she comes in bright and early and starts to prepare a nice meal with dessert.  Keep in mind, that every other month the Consumer Council Meeting and Resident meeting are in the same week so Lori cooks two days in a row.  I think what really sticks out for me though, is what Lori does for the holidays.  I'm pretty sure most programs prepare dinners on all the major holidays, but Lori goes above and beyond for our guys.  She comes in at the crack of dawn and begins to prepare a feast with all the trimmings.  Lori's famous words, "nobody should have to spend the holidays without family or a good meal." Lori prepares a meal that all our residents rave about. She sets the table, rolls the silverware, places centerpieces on the table and then puts all the food out so that it appears just like you were at home...desserts included.  Lori even goes as far as to tell our guys that if they have family or friends who will be alone on the holidays, to bring them to our dinner, as Lori does not want anyone to be by themselves.  For Easter, we enjoyed the company of another resident from another program.  It really is all about family to Lori and it shows in all she does for our residents and other residents as well.  I am so motivated and driven by the love and compassion that Lori has shown since I have worked for JTAP.  Lori truly exemplifies what STEL is all about, and I am proud to work for such an amazing woman.   Congratulations!


April 2017

posted Apr 24, 2017, 9:03 AM by Swan, Vivian   [ updated Apr 24, 2017, 9:04 AM ]

Linda Howland, RC at the Wellsville CR is employee of the month.  Michele wrote, wow it’s hard to believe Linda has been employed with STEL for 20 years.  It just seems like yesterday when she started.  Linda will be retiring from her full time RC position after 4/25/17.  It is really hard to sum up everything she has meant to the residents and staff at the WLSV CR.  Linda is such a kindhearted, caring individual, who has always put forth her best effort to meet the needs of our CR residents, as well as the residents in the WLSV apartment and SRO programs.  As many employees in STEL can attest to, you never know what you’re walking into when you come to work.  Linda is unflappable and could easily adapt to situations as they arose.  Linda’s calm, steadying presence diffused many crisis situations through the years, which could have easily escalated into critical situations.  Linda has always offered support and inspiration to her coworkers.  Linda is planning to stay on staff in Wellsville as a part time staff person, and her wisdom and knowledge will continue to be a benefit to our residents and staff.  We wish her the best with her retirement, as she is very deserving!  Congratulations!


March 2017

posted Mar 29, 2017, 9:36 AM by Swan, Vivian   [ updated Mar 31, 2017, 7:58 AM by Wasiewicz, Mark ]

Marie Moore, RC at the Olean Treatment Apartment program, is a highly valued team member who routinely goes to extraordinary lengths to ensure her residents' safety. 

In February, Marie independently conducted address checks, phone number checks and researched the sex offender registry in another state after an OTAP resident stated that a "friend" had purchased a ticket for her to go visit her in Florida, but refused to provide staff with a contact number or address where she would be going. Marie was able to track this resident's ticket by calling the Buffalo airport, who provided her with the name of the individual and flight information for our resident. Because of Marie's research, we learned that our resident's ticket was purchased by a registered sex offender in Florida. Marie spent countless hours in intervention with this particular client, and while the situation is still ongoing, she continues to dedicate a great deal of time to this client in hopes that she will decide not to go on this trip. This situation is one of many examples I can think of when Marie has taken initiative and thought outside of the box to make sure our OTAP residents are not only safe, but receiving services tailored to their individual needs. 

I consider it an honor to supervise Marie and consider her an indispensable part of our team. Congratulations!

Submitted by Tina Capito


February 2017

posted Feb 28, 2017, 8:15 AM by Swan, Vivian   [ updated Feb 28, 2017, 8:16 AM ]

Jill Schmidt is employed as a Health Home Care Manager and oversees a large caseload throughout Cattaraugus County. Jill works in a professional manner with consumers and her interactions are always honest and direct, but allow for flexibility when it serves the individual needs of the person. Jill has a keen sense of understanding and awareness of the various psycho-physical-social needs of the individuals she serves and takes a genuine interest in improving their health. Jill has recently completed training on the NYS Eligibility Assessment, the NYS Community Mental Health Full Assessment and Plan of Care instruments which certifies her as a Home and Community Based (HCBS) assessor. Jill will be working closely with Managed Care Companies to finalize a person-centered Plan of Care which meets federal and state requirements. Bob Roth believes Jill has seized the HCBS assessor designation with vigor and resolve, and I am pleased to recognize Jill as someone who demonstrates outstanding service to the STEL agency.  Congratulations!


January 2017

posted Jan 30, 2017, 7:59 AM by Swan, Vivian

Elisha Gerholdt has been employed by STEL for nine years.  She started out working with JTAP as a counselor, but has spent the majority of her employment as Jamestown's SRO counselor.  Elisha has been an extremely dedicated, knowledgeable, and caring employee since the time she was hired.  Elisha has established a nice balance between being supportive and understanding, and being firm when she needs to be.  Elisha always takes the time to work through day to day struggles with her clients, and is constantly developing new strategies to help her clients maximize their independence.  Recently, Elisha dedicated several hours (at work and at home) to developing a plan that ensured that the SRO client's transportation needs were being met, while also limiting the dependence the clients had on staff transportation.  Elisha first called Medical Transportation for the nearly 30 clients currently in the SRO program.  She determined which clients were eligible, and made a separate plan for the few that were ineligible.  SRO staff are currently working with each individual in the program 1:1 to show the process and procedure of calling and planning medical transportation as a result.  Elisha was also able to adjust the weekly grocery run schedule to make the weekly outings more convenient for the staff transporting, while simultaneously ensuring that all of the clients had an equal number of opportunities to attend each month.  Elisha has also come up with new activity ideas and is present at nearly ever SRO or STEL event.  Elisha has also attended important community events with residents such as: The Out of Darkness Walk and The Walk to End Alzheimer's.  Elisha even drove residents in the STEL van in last year's Christmas Parade!  Elisha's never ending desire to improve the SRO program and client's lives positively promotes STEL in the community. Congratulations Elisha and thank you for everything you do! 


December 2016

posted Dec 22, 2016, 9:30 AM by Swan, Vivian

Dan Dake, Maintenance Supervisor, has been a real asset to STEL.  STM nominated Dan because whenever there is a problem or concern, he is quick to respond no matter what time of day of night it is.  He is always respectful of the residents space and has a good rapport with staff as well as residents.  Dan also has a pretty good sense of humor and will add a little levity to the day. He is a good listener as well and helps to solve problems. During the winter months, Dan is out early making sure the programs can get in and out of their driveways, generally making several passes so that staff and visitors don't become stuck. Dan responds to emergency needs in a fast and timely manner, no matter if it is a regular workday or a holiday.  Dan is always quick to assess the situation and respond.  If Dan can't make it to the site, then he will quickly send other maintenance personnel to complete the task. I think Dan and his team do a great job and should be recognized for it. Congratulations!


November 2016

posted Nov 29, 2016, 7:18 AM by Swan, Vivian

Ina Wright, Supported Housing Counselor, has been working with a specific client to get her into rehab. Ina has gone above and beyond for this client. Ina has put in countless hours working with this client, her providers, and the clients' family members in assisting with this process. Ina has had to go to several crisis situations where she has has to go to the client and calm the client down. The client wanted to leave detox, and had signed the papers to leave against medical advice. Ina was able to talk her client down and into staying at detox. Ina has put in several long hours and days with this client. Ina continues to care for her clients through their tough times. Ina does well thinking in crisis situations, and continues to work with her client through the clients very tough time. Ina continues to work very hard and endlessly with this client so the client can get the care that they deserve.  Congratulations!

October 2016

posted Oct 18, 2016, 9:27 AM by Swan, Vivian

Marissa Cussins, RC at Park Avenue began her journey at STEL as an intern from SUNY Fredonia.  Marissa joined our team full time a few months ago and has proven to be an exemplary staff member.  She is always willing to help when needed, pulling extra shifts when we have been short staffed, providing exceptional services for residents, and taking on additional caseloads if necessary.  Marissa is a true team player, and one that I am proud to say is a part of our Park Avenue family.  Congratulations and thank you Marissa for all that you do!!


September 2016

posted Sep 20, 2016, 12:36 PM by Swan, Vivian

Stacey Thomas, RC at JTAP recently helped a client in an intense crisis. The individual called the office to say he was jumping out the 3rd story window with the intention of suicide. Stacey immediately contacted the local authorities for assistance while keeping the client on the other phone. Stacy went to the apartment making sure it was safe before entering. After going inside the apartment, she found the client half way out the window. Stacey used de-escalation and support techniques to little avail. When the client decided to go out the window, Stacey physically grabbed on to the individual preventing him from falling out the window. Although the client was pleading to be let go, Stacey told him she would not let go and would hang onto him with all her strength. I believe at that point, the client realized someone did care and allowed Stacey to aide him back inside the apartment. This individual is now getting the care he needs. I am proud Stacey is part of the JTAP team. Along with her strong commitment and caring nature, she followed all of STEL'S policies and procedures to the letter.  Congratulations on a job well done!!


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