Donor Recognition: Claudia Marks

Music Therapy

In September, Opengate was able to offer a Music Therapy program to the residents at our Gray House location due to the benevolence of Claudia Marks. Her son, Robert, is one of the Gray House residents. She knew how well he responded to music and the positive reactions it provided for him, so she suggested her idea to make music a part of the weekly agenda.

With a generous donation from Ms. Marks we were able to secure a music therapist to organize and present the weekly program. The music program is offered on Opengate’s campus and benefits not only those from the Gray residence but other houses as well.

Not only has Ms. Marks’ donation led to the creation of the Music Therapy program, but she also contributes to general funding for the benefit of all. When asked what inspires her to support our agency she replied, “I truly believe in the work that Opengate does for the people who need their services. The staff is hard working, amazing, and passionate about their work and the individuals they care for.

Gray House

Gray House

Her son Robert came to Opengate in 2005 at the age of 21. Ms. Marks reports that she has seen marked improvements in his speech, articulation, and socialization.

He is comfortable, happier, calmer, and more independent due to the care he has received at Opengate. He’s involved in outings, classes, recreational therapy, and enjoys gardening at the greenhouse. His life is full of activity.   –Claudia Marks 

She encourages other parents and supporters to consider the financial difficulties experienced by funding cutbacks and do all they can to help supplement the budget needs at Opengate. Her personal inspiration is knowing that her son is living a full and happy life surrounded with care and compassion.

A special thank you to Claudia Marks for enriching the lives of of Opengate residents and staff.


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Employee of the Month, May 2018

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Congratulations to Winslow “Tony” Pink for being elected the Employee of the Month!

According to his fellow staff members, Tony Pink has demonstrated leadership in his position as well as initiatives towards the betterment of the agency. Described as an exemplary employee, he is dependable and available for additional responsibilities beyond his regular assignments.

Winslow (2)During his 2 years of employment at Opengate, Tony has been recognized for his kind and patient nature, especially towards the individuals he works with. He always conducts himself responsibly and has a cheerful attitude.

Tony takes great pride in his job performance and is commended as being a team player. He has been a Caregiver for many years. Tony has an AAS degree from Westchester Community College in Electrical Technology.

The Employee of the Month is nominated and elected by a vote of his/her fellow employees.


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Highlighting Dr. Amy Ruppmann, Director of Training and Staff Development

Dr. Amy Ruppmann

Dr. Amy Ruppmann

Opengate would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Amy Ruppmann on earning her PhD in Mental Health Counseling and her recent promotion to Director of Training and Staff Development.

The training program at Opengate will soon be offered in a centralized location in Hawthorne near our present Day Habilitation program. Staff members will come for mandated trainings and other staff development that will help to ensure quality service provision to Individuals with Developmental Disabilities I/DD as well as foster development of their own careers.

Dr. Ruppmann’s approach in training staff will include understanding of basic concepts essential in the work with I/DD, and also offer practical examples with opportunities for staff member’s discussions about their experiences. Trainings will focus on key areas that will address employee performance and improve competency and service delivery. The training program will deliver key concepts as they relate to compliance with state and federal regulations, safety training and prevention techniques while fostering a person centered approach to the care of those we serve.

Dr. Amy Ruppmann has been employed at Opengate for approximately 10 years. During this time, she has held positions of Social Work Assistant, Corporate Compliance Specialist, and Personal Outcomes Measures (POMs) interviewer. Her expectations are that the training program will awaken curiosity in learning and advance the development of staff members.

Opengate is recognized as a leader in the field with a strong commitment to person-centered planning, community inclusion and quality outcomes for all individuals. Dr. Ruppmann’s leadership of the staff training program will continue to offer the best support for our individuals and those who care for them on a daily basis.


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To stay apprised of the activities taking place at Opengate we invite you to follow us on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn, as well as subscribe to our Newsletter and Blog.

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Opengate Respite Care Program

RespiteCare

Opengate is pleased to announce a new Respite Program at its Skyline Drive location in Hawthorne.  This program will serve individuals living at home with their family and needing extra care at the end of their day services. The Respite Care Program is managed by Director of Day Services, Deborah Mayo.

The Respite Care Program is available from 3-6pm.  It will provide individuals with additional time to socialize by playing games, participating in arts and crafts projects and physical fitness activities. With a 1:3 ratio of staff members to participants, each individual in the program will be able to receive more personal encouragement and attention.

Respite programs provide a positive experience for the individuals enrolled, as well as giving family and care givers additional support. Many of our families take great joy in providing care for their loved ones in the home and we are delighted to offer a time when they may take a short break from their overwhelming duties.

Studies show that even a short respite period sustains the family member or caregiver and enriches their own health and well-being. It also reduces or delays the likelihood of out-of-home placement when care givers are supported.

We feel that by offering the Respite Care Program we are able to enhance our mission as well as continue engaging our individuals and assisting them to meet their personal outcome goals.

Participants in Opengate’s Respite Program are approved through the Home and Community based Waiver program which may be pre-approved with the help of their Medicaid Service Coordinator.

For more information on the Respite Program, or to enroll your loved one, please contact Debbie Mayo at Deborahm@opengateinc.org (914) 372-3014 x 1308 or Caroline Shenefield at Carolines@opengateinc.org (914)277-5350 x1235

 

Hawthorne location for Respite Care

Hawthorne location for Respite Care


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To stay apprised of the activities taking place at Opengate we invite you to follow us on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn, as well as subscribe to our Newsletter and Blog.

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Employee of the Month, April 2018

Employee of the Month (4)

Congratulations to Victor Kargbo for being voted the Employee of the Month!

 

Since 2003, Victor Kargbo makes what may seem is the impossible, possible.

Recognized by Opengate staff members as the point person to call when assistance is needed, Victor always tries his best. For example, Victor is helpful within the Opengate community IRAs, the Maintenance Department, as well as outside agencies including Cardinal McCloskey Services and the Hudson Valley DDSO.

Victor

Victor Kargbo, Employee of the Month

Victor’s fellow employees describe him as a great team player, especially during times with staffing issues. If help is needed, such as medical appointments, Victor will be sure to make it happen.

During the past 15 years Victor has worked in the Opengate Day Habilitation Program as a Direct Support Professional for 4 years, a Lead Counselor for 6 years, and in his current position as Program Manager for 5 years.

In 2014 Victor was elected by his peers as the Employee of the Year and it is nice to see that his dedication to Opengate remains consistently strong.

Also nominated by peers for Employee of the Month were Winslow Pink for his leadership, knowledge, & dedication and John Smith for going above and beyond his regular duties and making individuals comfortable.


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To stay apprised of the activities taking place at Opengate we invite you to follow us on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn, as well as subscribe to our Newsletter and Blog.

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