Employee of the Month, August 2018

Employee of the Month (3)

 

Congratulations to Shannon Clark for being selected as the Employee of the Month!

Shannon Clark

Previous to joining the staff at Opengate, Shannon Clark attended Dutchess Community College.

She began her employment with Opengate as a Direct Support Professional and is currently the Assistant Residence Manager at our Grasso House.

Her fellow employees describe Shannon as an amazing team player, always available to assist others, and always presents a positive attitude.

Shannon has helped all the community managers with finding coverage for their houses, and, if needed, she provides AMAP coverage.

Congratulations to Shannon Clark from the staff of Opengate for being nominated and elected Employee of the Month by your fellow employees.

Other nominees include: Jennifer Siano, Heather Cassese and Geoffrey Nyambati


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Direct Support Professional Recognition Week 2018

Behind the scenes in virtually every agency which serves people with intellectual and developmental disabilities is a quiet hero, a Direct Support Professional (DSP).

Opengate joins the nation in recognizing the hard work and service of DSPs during the annual National Direct Support Professional Week, September 9-15, 2018.  In addition to their dedication, compassion, and skills, they fulfill a critical role in the lives of the vulnerable people who need them most.

DSPs wear various hats as they tend to the unique needs of those they work with on a daily basis. Every individual comes with distinct necessities that a DSP is trained to handle.

The list of responsibilities of a DSP is staggering. They create the foundation of support for each individual in their care, ensuring they receive personalized attention and assistance to achieve their best outcomes.

DSPs nurture and encourage individuals to rise and meet the challenges they face and support their efforts to participate in new interests and pursue their goals, living their lives to the fullest.

Not only are DSPs daily caregivers, they are the liaison between residents and families, sharing in their achievements, and earning trust and loyalty through building relationships. They are the lifeline of our agency, and we honor the work they do every day as they connect with our residents and program participants through their caring and compassion.

Thank you, Direct Support Professionals, for your service to others, your loyalty, and sensitivity. Yours is not just another job that anyone can do, but an honorable profession.

DSPs

A few of our dedicated Direct Support Professionals


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Thank You, Dr. Amy Ruppmann

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When faced with the overwhelming task of securing support services for an individual with disabilities, parents and/or caregivers often are not completely equipped for the long and arduous process.

Opengate staff member, Dr. Amy Ruppmann, recently assisted a neighboring family who reached out to us for help applying for Medicaid Waiver service.

As you can see by the following letter, Amy was able to step in before the family became disheartened by all that is required.

Dear Mr. Hulten,

This correspondence is sorely overdue! My husband and I want to take the opportunity to thank you from the bottom of our hearts, not only for responding to my recent “S.O.S” related to securing help to apply for Medicaid Waiver services and everything else that’s required for eventual group home placement for his adult sister, but for sending us the angel that is Amy Ruppmann!!!! She has been our life-saver, patiently helping us complete the MANY steps, procedures, paperwork, documentation, etc. involved in such processes. To say that she is efficient, thorough, compassionate and one who “goes the extra mile” is a tremendous understatement! We honestly cannot fathom being left to accomplish this overwhelming task alone and are forever grateful that we won’t have to be!

With Sincere Appreciation, Cynthia M. Greco

Although Mr. Greco’s sister is not a resident of Opengate, the family lives near one of our group homes and we were happy to help them.

Dr. Amy RuppmannDr. 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. She recently earned her PhD in Mental Health Counseling and has been promoted to Director of Training and Staff Development.

Many thanks to you, Dr. Ruppmann. Opengate is proud of your ability to accomplish things that others may be unable to do. Your service to our staff members, individuals, and their families is greatly appreciated.


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Opengate Personnel and Staff Changes

Deborah Mayo Named Chief Operating Officer

DeborahMayo (1)Our sincere congratulations go to Deborah Mayo on her recent promotion to Chief Operating Officer of Opengate, Inc. Deborah replaces Randi Rios-Castro who has accepted a position outside of the agency. We all wish Randi well in her future endeavor and thank her for many years of service to Opengate.

12 years ago Deborah Mayo developed a working relationship with Opengate individuals attending her Day Program at the Keon Center. It was suggested she bring her expertise to our agency.

In 2006 Deborah served as Quality Assurance and Medicaid Service Coordination and was promoted to Program Coordinator in 2008. After 2 years she was named Director of Day Habilitation, then Director of Community Programs. With the addition of ICF residences she became Director of Programs and in 2017, Director of Day Services.

New Additions to Opengate Staff

Dr. Elizabeth Melnychuk is our new Medical Director.  She received her doctorate in Osteopathy from the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine.  Dr. Melnychuk has many years of experience within the OPWDD service delivery system.  She has been the Medical Director at both the Hudson Valley DDSO and Richmond Community Services.  She was the attending physician at both the Westchester Institute for Human Development and St. Jude’s Habilitation Institute.

Ronald Ruphuy is our new Director of Day Services.  He received his Bachelor’s degree from the College of New Rochelle.  Mr. Ruphuy was most recently employed at Another Step Inc. where he held several titles including, Residential Director, Habilitation Director, and Medicaid Service Coordinator.  He also worked in management at United Cerebral Palsy and Children’s Village.

Louis Nieves is our new Incident Management Specialist.  He received his MBA at the New York Institute of Technology and his BS in Business at Nyack College.  He was most recently employed at Innovative Resources of Independence as a Residential Coordinator and spent several years at the Andrus Children Center as a Business Manager and Residential Coordinator.

We would like to welcome Jijo Antony back  to his previously held position as a Behavioral Intervention Specialist.  Mr. Antony has his MSW from Meredian College and most recently worked at Rockland ARC as a Behavioral Intervention Specialist.  He has also worked at Abbott House as a Behavioral Intervention Specialist & Assistant Manager and at St. Agatha’s as a Disability Specialist.

Internal Position Changes

Nadra Grandison (currently the Residence Manager at IRA East) has accepted the Residential Program Coordinator position and will be over seeing the residences at our Somers location.

Sandra Du-Barry (currently the Residential Program Coordinator overseeing the residences in Somers) has accepted the ICF Day Program Manager position.

William Hooke (former manager for the Auerbach ICF) has recently accepted the Residential Management position of the West IRA.  Mr. Hooke will be responsible for the management of both the Auerbach ICF and West IRA.  Effective 8/13/2018.

Charles Ngeri (currently the Lead Counselor at IRA East) has accepted the position of Residence Manager at IRA East.

Jelani Winfield (currently a Direct Support Professional at IRA East / Day Habilitation Program)  has accepted the position of Assistant Manager at IRA West.

Jennifer Siano (currently the Residence Manager at Lissauer IRA) has accepted the position of Residence Manager at the Rivera IRA.  Effective 8/24/2018.

Please join us in welcoming our new and returning employees to Opengate as well as current employees in their new positions.  We wish them all much success in their new work assignments.


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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, July 2018

Employee of the Month (2)

Congratulations to Nadra Grandison for being selected as the Employee of the Month!

 

Nadra2Nadra has been employed with Opengate since January 2008.  Her positions include Direct Support Professional (DSP), Lead Counselor and Residence Manager.  Nadra has been a supervisor at Opengate for over 10 years.    

Over the course of the past year, one of our IRAs experienced some major challenges. Through it all Nadra maintained a positive attitude, worked diligently supporting her team by being actively involved, even working in a DSP capacity, She served as an excellent role model for her team, and did a great job managing overtime.

Nadra has also worked for the Hudson Valley DDSO as a DSP for over 7 years.  She attended Dutchess Community College where she studied Human Services.

Congratulations to Nadra Grandison from the staff of Opengate for being nominated and elected Employee of the Month by your fellow employees.

Other nominees include:  Richard Johnson

Richard has been involved in the recruitment process and has been out to the malls and local colleges to recruit new staff for the Agency.  Richard has demonstrated leadership in taking initiative toward the betterment of the Agency by demonstrating dependability and responsibilities in his duties as a Lead Counselor.


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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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