Staff Member of the Month

March 2020

posted Mar 31, 2020, 11:36 AM by Swan, Vivian

Sheila Horch, RM of the Dunkirk Treatment Apartment Program is the staff member of the month.  During the Coronavirus pandemic, Sheila has been instrumental in helping the administration with keeping them informed.  In assessing how the situation was developing, she researched and ordered masks and supplies so we were able to distribute to program staff.   If not for Sheila’s pre-planning, we would not have been able to pre-order supplies.  Sheila is also on the Financial Management Work Group to help the agency with coming up with ideas and ways to help the agency be more cost-effective.  Sheila has always been helpful going on-site and training new Residential Managers with program operations.  She also is instrumental in developing and training new staff on the UCR guidelines. With the DRO project, Sheila was finding deals and purchasing the furniture for Supportive Housing’s  Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative (ESSHI) apartments.  Sheila is very dedicated to STEL, her staff, and the consumers she serves. We appreciate everything she has done for the agency.  Congratulations Sheila!


February 2020

posted Feb 27, 2020, 5:42 AM by Swan, Vivian

Kim Gates, RC, from the Wellsville Supervised Program is the staff member of the month. Michele Henry states that Kim has been a long time employee in Wellsville. She has the responsibility of grocery shopping, menu planning, and at times meal prepping at the CR, as well tracking our food stamp amounts.  Kim enjoys cooking and provides support to our residents in planning the weekly menu.  She remains within budget for her grocery shopping and is always looking for ways to save money or improvise if the need arises.  Kim is always willing to pitch and help where needed.  With a staff shortage in the WLSV Apt/SRO program, Kim has helped in those sites to see that our residents needs are met.   In addition to these responsibilities, Kim maintains a caseload of 4 residents at the CR.  She also is supportive and helpful to her coworkers. Kim was recently working with one of her residents at the CR, and she noticed her difficulty in breathing. Kim persuaded the resident to go to the ER and get checked out.  As it turned out, the resident had pneumonia and was able to get treatment.  This is only a glimpse of what Kim brings to our agency.  Kim is always on the move and always willing to help out where she is needed.  Congratulations!

January 2020

posted Jan 29, 2020, 1:04 PM by Swan, Vivian

 Ashley Switzer, Project Manager, is the staff member of the month for January.  Tom Whitney stated that Ashley has been instrumental in writing the Tax Credit Applications that have been funded by the NYS Home and Community Renewal (HCR), concurrently having worked on Dunkirk Rent to Own (DRO), Gateway Lofts in Jamestown, and the Village of Hempstead applications.  Ashley has also been integral to the coordination of the DRO construction, legal, financial, and rent up aspects of the project.  She is looking to learn new skills like blue print reading to make projects go more smoothly.  Ashley has a can-do attitude and is always looking for ways to improve STEL as well.  Besides working in development, she is working with the HR and Accounting Departments to process pink sheets and dental claims.  Ashley has worked with HR to make sure the files were in compliance for the OMH audit.  Lastly, she works with Affordable Housing to make sure the tenant files are in compliance for HCR/investor audits. Congratulations!


December 2019

posted Dec 26, 2019, 8:16 AM by Swan, Vivian

Susan Erlandson is the staff member of the month. Susan has been an Associate Counselor with STEL for 18 years and has never called in sick once. Rachael Weaver, RM stated that Susan is very reliable and extremely punctual; her motto is “if you’re not 15 minutes early, you’re late”. Susan is willing to pick up shifts and adjust her work schedule to accommodate the needs of the residents and the program.  Susan always ensures that the residents get where they need to go. She is constantly taking residents to appointments near and far and also takes them on activities. Susan recently made accommodations in her personal time to stay late to take our residents Christmas shopping at the Erie mall per their request as we are currently short-staffed. Susan assists residents with cooking and learning daily living skills such as grocery shopping. There have been several requests for Sue’s famous meatloaf and her broccoli & cheese soup (both from residents and staff)! If Susan bakes something at home she will almost always bring in extra for the residents and she bakes Christmas cookies for the CR every year. Susan is always bringing in magazines, greeting cards and calendars for the residents as well.  Susan is a pro in assisting residents with securing financial entitlements such as funding through DSS and SSI. Susan assists with completing applications, attending appointments, and answering difficult or confusing questions during the interview and/or appeal process. Susan follows up with providers after all appointments and any time clarification is needed.  Susan’s drive and willingness to help is astounding. She follows direction well and always takes action immediately with 100% follow -through. Susan always says “You can’t just do what you’re told; you have to do what you’re told and like it!” She never complains about anything and is willing to get her hands dirty. She cleans bedrooms, does laundry, paints walls, salts the driveway, and even installs air conditioners if asked; all of which goes above and beyond her job description. Her skill set goes far beyond anything this nomination could ever reach.  Susan gives and gives and gives never asking for anything in return. Her selflessness is amazing and she is a perfect example of a positive role model. Susan is an invaluable employee, a supportive counselor, an excellent listener, an irreplaceable co-worker, a true team player and the epitome of a genuinely good person. Susan is a true asset to STEL and we are so blessed to have her on our team!   Congratulations!


November 2019

posted Nov 26, 2019, 11:23 AM by Swan, Vivian

Emily Garey, RM at the Aldrich Street Community Residence as well as Gowanda Treatment Apartment Program was nominated by Kristie Kleine as employee of the month. Emily has been a very valued employee at the Gowanda licensed housing programs for just over 10 years now. Emily is an exceptional residential manager who defines and possesses all the qualities of a leader. Emily’s ability to do what she does is apparent in her success with building and sustaining the sense of oneness at two licensed programs. Emily is a key person at both programs, and she is mutually adored and respected by all clients and staff in the Gowanda area. Emily’s sensitivity to the needs’ of others is truly a precious human ability and is apparent in Emily's natural ability to connect with our clients. Emily makes our residents feel strong and capable by listening, asking questions, providing support, and advocating. She makes our clients feel like anything is possible, and  connects people to their need to be in charge of their own lives and enables others to be even better than they already are. Most importantly, Emily is positive and upbeat, generating the emotional energy that enables our clients to flourish. Our team is most appreciative of Emily’s compassion, guidance, support, dedication, knowledge, resilience and willingness to accept a challenge and to embrace it. Emily, you are a huge asset to this agency and it is my pleasure to recognize you as someone who undoubtedly demonstrates outstanding service to our consumers and co-workers. Congratulations, Emily!


October 2019

posted Oct 29, 2019, 12:32 PM by Swan, Vivian

Ina Wright, SH Counselor, is the Employee of the Month. Scott Edwards wrote that Ina has excelled at implementing new policies being put in place regarding our Service Plan process.  So much so she was asked to mentor some of her fellow peers in the process, which she gladly did.   Ina’s plans are detailed, geared toward the client’s current needs and adapt to those needs over time. Ina has also always been tremendous at relationship building.  She can make anybody an instant friend to her.  This allows her to be effective working with any client, landlord or provider.  Ina often uses this skill to negotiate better rates with landlords and secure new services to benefit the clients.  This month Ina was able to secure brand new winter jackets for some client’s in need at no cost to agency or client.  Ina has regularly covered hours for licensed programs in need as well as volunteering to take on additional tasks during Supportive Housing staff shortages. She is independently motivated and usually able to address any problem or concern before it becomes a serious issue.  Thank you Ina!


September 2019

posted Sep 26, 2019, 9:03 AM by Swan, Vivian

Bruce Clarkson-Hendrix, Assistant Manager, is  staff member of the month. Bruce has been a tremendous asset to the operations of the Dunkirk Treatment Apartments. He has a strong work ethic, and demonstrates a genuine dedication to the staff and residents. Earlier this year, while the manager was on an extended sick leave, Bruce did an excellent job in managing the program to ensure it ran effectively. Recently, while the program has been short staffed, Bruce continued to take on additional responsibilities, necessary for the program to operate efficiently.  He has a good rapport, is patient, kind, and supportive of the residents. They genuinely trust him, and are grateful to enjoy his fantastic cooking skills.  Bruce has an excellent relationship with the staff, is well respected, and always works as part of a team.  Bruce has facilitated training of new staff and interns. He also assisted in the agency UCR training.  He is professional with providers in the community, and family members. We are thankful to have Bruce on the DTA team.  Congratulations!


August 2019

posted Aug 28, 2019, 7:10 AM by Swan, Vivian

Tasha Johnson, RC at JTAP,  is the Employee of the Month. Stacey Thomas wrote that Tasha handled a potentially life threatening incident with a client and her medications.  The client was seen by both a primary care doctor and a psychiatrist at the same place.  When Tasha received the medication list, Tasha immediately noticed that her client was prescribed two of the same medications by both doctors.  Tasha got right on the phone to rectify and to clarify which medications her client should take.  Tasha received no response, but continued to call for the next three days.  When Tasha had a day off,  she called the JTAP office to ask staff to contact the nurse.  Tasha would not dispense the medications to her client until she had spoken with someone.  Staff called and explained to the supervisor that Tasha has been calling for the past three days in regards to these medications.  When this writer told the supervisor of the the medications in question, the supervisor immediately said that it was quick thinking on Tasha's part in not giving her clients the medications in question, as dispensing the medications could have been detrimental. The supervisor thanked staff and asked to apologize to Tasha for it taking so long for someone to respond, and also for being diligent in handling this matter, as it possibly saved her client’s life.  Kudos to Tasha for being on her toes, and for putting her client's safety first and foremost.  Congratulations Tasha!


July 2019

posted Aug 6, 2019, 5:50 AM by Swan, Vivian

Ann Marie McGavisk, RM of the Olean CR is the staff member of the month for her exemplary work ethic and genuine dedication to the residents and staff at the Olean program.  Bob Roth stated since taking over the management responsibilities in July of this year, Ann Marie has ensured that personalized care and support is provided each day. Her creativity and initiative in dealing with problems and challenges  has been a major reason for the programs' stability during the transition period.   Ann Marie has managed to operate the program with minimal staff and has done an excellent job of fostering cooperation and team work.  Her willingness to work  16-hour shifts, weekends, and overnights, and her on-call availability is a great example to staff and residents. I am pleased to recognize Ann Marie as someone who demonstrates  outstanding service to our consumers and staff members.  Congratulations!


June 2019

posted Jul 1, 2019, 11:30 AM by Swan, Vivian

Joan Wesolowski has worked two nights a week as a part time Associate Counselor for three years at the Olean CR.  Joan is always willing to work relief when needed.  Joan has demonstrated an exceptional ability to remain calm and focused during a crisis.  I have often heard Joan respond with the words "safety first."  Recently Joan prevented a potential tragedy at the residence.  In the early morning hours, Joan was alerted by a consumer that there was a fire in her bedroom.  Joan found a box of tissues and blouse burning on top of a metal cabinet.  Joan had been moping the floor in an adjacent room and extinguished the fire by pouring water from the mop bucket on the fire.  Police and fire departments investigated the fire.  None of the consumers in the residence were harmed or disturbed.  There was no damage to the residence.  A few months ago, Joan reported for a 4 PM to midnight relief shift, two hours after the passing of a consumer at the residence.  Joan assisted with med counts and maintaining the normal evening routine for consumers.  Joan's decisions and actions are based on her belief in safety, respect, and kindness with regard to the consumers.  Joan's wellness to be a team player and assist wherever she can is greatly appreciated.  Thank you Joan and congratulations!


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