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Area Residential Care’s Quarterly Newsletter

Winter 2012

LuAnn Miller, Dave Spahn and Ernie VanOstrand Named STAR Award Recipients The STAR award (Staff Tribute Administrative Reward) was established in 1986 to recognize special efforts and contributions to Area Residential Care by individuals and groups of staff members. To qualify for a STAR award the recipient(s) must provide a significant contribution of time and/or effort on behalf of the agency, which enhances services to the people Dave Spahn served or efficiency of agency operations. LuAnn Miller was presented this award for going above and beyond to help an individual with her large gas bill. Miller was persistent that the bill was extremely high for the size of the apartment and the amount this person would use. Miller continued to advocate for this person by contacting various parties to determine the proper billing. It was discovered that there was a billing error that had gone unnoticed for several years Ernie VanOstrand and now this individual will no longer have to pay the gas bill as long as she lives in that apartment. Dave Spahn received the STAR award for assisting an individual on several medical appointments for the past six months. During that time, Spahn took on the

responsibility of taking him to numerous, sometimes daily, appointments and ensuring that the complex at-home medical treatments and restrictions were accurately followed. Dr. Todd Sleep said, “I have worked with many care providers for special needs patients and can say that I have not run into someone with as much concern and dedication as Dave has exhibited in regards to my patient.” Ernie VanOstrand took it upon herself to complete all duties assigned to LuAnn Miller the chairperson of the Area Residential Care Consumer Council. The Consumer Council is a group represented by staff and individuals with disabilities that work together to provide feedback on our agency’s services. Over the last three years, VanOstrand has willingly helped out the Council when either the staff chair or secretary was absent. She has done so with much enthusiasm and no expectation for time off or even recognition. All three STAR award recipients have shown their commitment to Area Residential Care’s mission of empowering people with intellectual disabilities through their efforts. As an agency, we are grateful for all of our committed staff and how they leave a positive impact on people’s lives each day. Congratulations to LuAnn, Dave, and Ernie!

In this issue of Accolades...

“New NICC Crew” page 3

“Master of Machines” pages 4

“New Board Member” page 6

Michael McLaughlin, Master of Machines Whether it’s a long commute, a negative-minded coworker, or just the uncertainty of something new, everybody encounters many challenges when they start a new job. But every day the individuals served by our agency find it within themselves to face these same challenges, as well as those of their disabilities, and become successful in their work. Michael McLaughlin, an individual in our ICF/ID program (intermediate care facility for people with intellectual disabilities), is one such person. Michael works in our machine room, a room so loud and safety-intensive that it is situated far from the regular work area in our Vocational Services Center. In this area, door hinges are made using two machinesa saw to cut long metal strips to the appropriate hinge lengths, and a machine to punch holes for screws. Due to the nature of the work, workers and agency staff are always required to wear ear protection to protect their hearing, and heavy aprons and safety goggles to protect against flying sparks. One might think that such a job wouldn’t be a good fit for Michael, who has an intense dislike for loud noises and difficulty adjusting to changes in his routine. Our staff, however, focused on Michael’s abilities rather than disabilities, and gave Michael the choice to learn this job. Michael accepted the challenge. The challenge was quickly met. After finishing just

three hinges on the punch machine with assistance from our staff, Michael was then able to work independently. He is now able to complete as many as 200 hinges in an hour, using the skills he has gained to earn his own income. Way to go, Michael!

Area Residential Care Wins 365 Impact Award Area Residential Care works tirelessly 365 days a year to ensure that people with intellectual disabilities in Dubuque, Dyersville, and Manchester are a part of the community. We don’t do it for recognition. It’s not about awards. The work is its own award. But hey, if you want to give us an actual award, we’ll take it. Such was the case March 6th at the Mississippi Moon Bar, where Area Residential Care was honored with a 365 Impact Award for Best Overall Organization. Sponsored by Dubuque365, the 365 Impact Award is given to those who choose to make an impact in the community 365 days a year. Award categories vary from Education to Social Space. The Final Four awards- Overall Business, Overall Organization, Overall Individual, and Overall Idea, are kept secret until they are awarded. “We were notified of our winning a 365 Impact Award the week before the awards show,” said Shelby Wartick, Marketing/PR Director. “But we weren’t told which category. There was a lot of speculation going on. We figured we would win ‘Non-Profit Excellence’ since that is a category Dubuque 365 consistently awards each year. It never crossed our mind that we would receive one of the big awards. It’s such an honor

to receive the award for Best Overall Organization.” The trophy, designed by local artist Gene Tully, is currently on display at our main office at 3355 Kennedy Circle in Dubuque. Thank you, Dubuque365, for recognizing the impact Area Residential Care has made on our community.”

Shelby Wartick, Maggie Widmyer, Karl Stieglitz, Jean Wuertzer. Photo courtesy of

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Endeavor to Persevere Jon Romaine Executive Director In the last agency newsletter, I quoted what I thought was an obscure movie hero and had a staff member guess the hero and movie right away, so as I was thinking about writing this piece, it occurred to me that obscure movie quotes are a good method for me to theme my often disjointed thoughts. Currently the “Endeavor to Persevere” line feels quite appropriate to where this agency seems to be, and I am curious to see if that same staff member really does remember the same movie lines as I do (poor fellow). As I remember the way this line was presented in the movie, it struck me as one of those phrases that are intended by the speaker to be inspiring but those who heard it found it more ironic than inspirational. Area Residential Care and organizations like it have been endeavoring to persevere for quite a few years and each time we turn around, there appears to be another challenge in the road. This past week the Dubuque County Board of Supervisors announced an anticipated several million dollar shortfall in the funds used to pay for Mental Health & Development Disabilities services for next year. Limited funding and anticipated shortfalls are nothing new to us. Way back in December of 2010 the State of Iowa cut our funding by 2.5% and expected us to provide no reduction in services. During the few years prior to that when utility prices went up 7, 10, 20 percent and transportation prices rose, the federal and state governments limited our agency’s reimbursement rates to the federal consumer price index which was

going up 2, 3, and 4 percent at the same time. Prior to that, this agency and others like it went 3 consecutive years with “frozen” reimbursement rates. During all of these times staff members who worked at our agency, and others like it, got paid far less than those who worked in local factories. So, like the character in the movie who spoke this line, our agency continues to face situations that must be persevered through. However, as I thought about that economic perseverance and our efforts to continue in spite of it, and especially my whining about it, I also had to remember those who Area Residential Care serves and how they endeavor to persevere. It is down right embarrassing for me to sit at a computer and put economic efforts in a remotely similar class to some of the things that the people we serve on a daily basis have had to persevere through most of the waking hours of their lives. It is those struggles that people in wheelchairs or with limited intellectual skills have to face on a daily basis that most appropriately evoke the concept of persevering in the face of constant barriers; and endeavoring to do it time after time. If I/we can muster even a fraction of the endeavoring to persevere that these people show on a daily basis, then the economic vagaries of the system that pays for their care shouldn’t be half as daunting a barrier as it seems to be in my mind right now. Remembering why we do what we do is the key to endeavoring to persevere.

Eastern Iowa Outlaws Show What It’s All “Bout” We are lucky to live in a community with plenty of entertainment options. If you like theatre, there are theatre companies such as Fly-By-Night Productions. If you like movies, there are multiplexes such as Mindframe Theater. And if you like seeing tough women in roller skates bashing in to each other on purpose, there’s the Eastern Iowa Outlaws roller derby team. Area Residential Care was fortunate to be the Outlaws’ charity of the month for their February 18th doubleheader against the Sioux City Derby Dames and the Midwest Derby Divas at the Five Flags Center in Dubuque. In front of a rowdy crowd of roller derby fans, a donation of $250 was presented to Area Residential Care between bouts (like a game in baseball). Thanks, Outlaws for supporting our mission to empower people with intellectual disabilities achieve their highest quality of life.

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New Crew at NICC- Peosta Campus Area Residential Care was approached by the current Provost of the NICC Peosta Campus early in 2011 regarding a new undertaking on the Peosta campus. With the expansion projects at the college, the new community library on site, and the newly remodeled Health Sciences wing, the campus was also adding a coffee shop. Amy Esterhuizen though that the coffee shop might present an opportunity for some consumers of Area Residential Care’s vocational services program. That thought started us on a journey to put together a crew that could not only run the coffee shop Monday through Friday, but could also meet other needs that existed at the Peosta Campus. With help from Tammy Connolly, Director of Food Services, and Ron McClain, Director of Facilities at NICC, a list of janitorial tasks was created and it was up to us to put a viable proposal together. In August of 2011, a crew of five and one crew foreman started working at NICC in Peosta. The crew works 9:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. They are responsible for running the coffee shop, waiting on customers and keeping it clean; and ensuring the till balances at the end of each day. The crew also cleans both the NECAS building and the Air/ Gas Utilities building on the northwest corner of the campus as well as the entire Health Sciences wing. Not only is this new crew a great partner with NICC, but with the community as well. To date, a partnership with the RTA, Regional Transit Authority and NICC

has developed as the crew departs Dubuque from Area Residential Care on Kennedy Circle and rides tot the Peosta Campus and back each day. Any student at NICC has access to ride this bus route for a very reasonable fee. Our crew has received rave reviews on their work from many people at NICC. They are dedicated, dependable, and quality conscious and have brought a spark to the campus. The coffee shop continues to grow its’ business and provide the students and community members a great place to go and have a cup of Joe. Please stop by the coffee house and say hi to Don and the rest of the gang. A huge thank you goes out to Amy Esterhuizen for giving us the chance to prove our worth, to give the consumers a sense of community, and to improve the quality services at the college.

Meet Mandy Downing Meet Mandy Downing, our new Supervisor/IPC for our Bunker Hill, Castle Woods, and Pennsylvania community living homes. Mandy started at Area Residential Care two years ago, working in the Carriage Hill CLH, shortly after graduating from the University of Northern Iowa with a degree in Sociology, with an emphasis on research. She also double-minored in Religion and Ethics, and Women’s and Gender Studies. She is originally from the west side of Des Moines where she graduated from Waukee High School. With her younger sister, Hannah, studying Child Life at the University of Iowa, her parents are left with an empty nest, save for Buddy- the family’s English Springer Spaniel. Mandy’s entire family are die-hard Hawkeye fans and often attend games. When she’s not at work, Mandy can be found with family and friends shopping or enjoying a meal at the Olive Garden. She also likes to relax at home watching Antiques Roadshow and playing Mahjong. “I have really enjoyed my time thus far at Area Residential Care,” says Mandy. “And am thankful for all the new people that I have met here who have brought so much joy to my life.”

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The Corporate and Community Games Approacheth. From miles around they hear the call…and gather. They gather to do battle on the banks of the great and ancient river, seeking glory for their comrades, kinsmen…and clients. They come in many guisessoldiers, sportsmen, the occasional team of lady bugs. Noble competitors all, they wield their brains and brawn in silly games…for a serious mission. And on the fringes of the field of play, the true

heroes look on- the honorable volunteers. Eagleeyed and fair-minded, they seek not glory, but the satisfaction of lending a hand, amusement…and a free t-shirt. Can you hear it? The 2012 Corporate and Community Games beckon you. Will you answer the call? Gather your team, or volunteer. For June 14th approacheth! Do not stand idly by.

The 2012 Corporate and Community Games will be held Thursday, June 14th. To register a team or to volunteer, give us a call at 563.556.7560. See you there! Page 5

Haugen Joins Board of Directors On behalf of the consumers, staff, and volunteers, we would like to welcome Ken Haugen to the Area Residential Care Board of Directors. Haugen has been involved in restaurant and hotel management since 1985 in such estabilshments as Timmerman’s Supper Club in East Dubuque, and Olive Garden in Dubuque. He is currently is the General Manager for the Hilton Garden Inn and Property Manger for Houlihan’s, who recently donated $10,000 in exercise equipment to Area Residential Care. Ken has served on other community boards including the Dubuque Chamber of Commerce and the Dubuque Area Convention and Visitor’s Bureau. Welcome, Ken Haugen, and thank you for donating your time to empower people with intellectual disabilities to achieve their highest quality of life.

Ken Haugen, Board of Directors

With Your Assistance... The following list of items are currently needed in our homes and offices. Please contact the Marketing & Public Relations Department at 563-556-7560 if you would be willing to donate. Office Equipment • Laminator (2)

Recreational Items • Side by Side Tandem Bike

Electronics • Digital Cameras (5) • Projector for TV • VCR/DVD Combos (2) • Electric Piano Keyboard • Laptop Computer • Wii System and Accessories

Medical Items • Otoscope • Oximeter (finger tip pulse) Appliances • Commercial Grade Vacuum

Furniture • Bookshelf (4-5 shelves) • Recliners (3) • Folding Banquet Tables (2) • Dining Tables and Chairs Miscellaneous • Boardmaker Software (2008 or more current) • Safety Awareness Training Set

In Appreciation The following people and organizations have contributed to Area Residential Care this fall quarter. Their contributions allow us to continue fulfilling our mission of empowering people with intellectual disabilities to achieve their highest quality of life. All gifts, no matter the size, are always welcome and are greatly appreciated. If you are interested in learning how you can contribute to our cause, please ourMarketing & Public Relations Department at 563-557-7560 or go to Contributions are deductible for income tax purposes to the full extent provided by law. Benefactors ($1000 and up) Richard Bradley Chuck and Kathy Davis Knights of Columbus #1962 Longshadow Foundation, in honor ofAmy Merrit and in memory of Jacquie and Ben Merritt Tim and Mare O’Brien Michael and Elizabeth Schmid Patrons ($500-$999) Terry and Paula Friedman

Millie Hoerner in memory of Bob & Tommy Hoerner Knights of Columbus Council #5513 Knights of Columbus Council #10069 Advocates ($250-$499) Valita M. Bradley Butler Family Foundation Eastern Iowa Outlaws Donna J. Less in memory of Allan Less

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Morison Brothers Company Patrick and Joyce Portzen in memory of Todd Stelken Ned and Wakako Smith Virginia Von Talge in memory of Richard Von Talge Robert Wahlert Companions ($100-$249) Peter and Cynthia Alt Hylene Anderson Avalon Body Shop Mr. and Mrs. Herbert C. Bailey

In Appreciation Continued... Companions ($100-$249) Cont. Karen and Scott Buechler Dubuque Home Improvements Mr. and Mrs. James J. Giese David Geisler Mike and Teri Johannsen Sr. Theresa Mackin, B.V.M. Shirley McVay Lisa Mensen in memory of Ralph Oberbroeckling Gary and Lisa Meyer Barbara Ogden Harold E. Schuster Roger and Lynn Vogt David J. Weber, DC Supporters ($50-$99) James and Judith Bailey Keith and Lugene Berning Jamie Bishop Donald Brimeyer Wayne & Nancy Ellerman in memory of Diane Ellerman Gerald W. Klein

John and Ruth Riedl Mary Schmeichel Schwartz Plumbing and Heating Co. Bill and Linda Wolf Tandem Tire and Auto Service Associates (Up to $49) John Besler Doug and Suzanne Boeckmann Earl S. Brimeyer Marcelline Capesius Chuck and Kathy Davis in honor of Dr. Thomas Sinsky. Lillian M. Freund Bob and Mary Pat Breitfelder Julie Bush Anthony Faulhaber John J. Hinderman in memory of Gary Hinderman Paul E. Hoffmann, DDS., P.C. Patrick and Deanna Koopmann Mr. and Mrs. Leo J. Kress

Evelyn Mootz Helen Osterhaus Thomas Raschke Don and Mary Ann Richardson in memory of Mike Nelson Judy and Marty Sheehy Jim Sullivan Jane A. Wagner In-Kind Donations CN Community Ticket Program Lolly Cornwell Cottingham & Butler Michelle Divino Michael & Ann Domeyer Fly-By-Night Productions Bob Lucas Kathy McWethy Mossy Oak Steve’s Ace Hardware Adam Uptegraph Dr. David Weber

Board of Directors

Company Directory

The agency’s Board of Directors is a group of volunteers dedicated to promoting the vision and mission of Area Residential Care. For more information about them, please contact our Executive Director.

Area Residential Care 3355 Kennedy Circle Dubuque, IA 52001 [P] 563.556.7560 [F] 563.556.7565

President | Duane Frick Vice-President | Kevin Stevens Secretary | Karen Dorshkind Treasurer | Virginia Von Talge Charles Davis Ken Haugen Roger Hoeger Teresa Johannsen Sean Murphy Tim O’Brien Barbara Ogden Jim Schilling John Stevens

Quality Services Coordinator | Angie Cocayne Executive Director | Jon Romaine Associate Director | Maggie Widmyer Financial Director | Tammy Hendricks Marketing and PR Director | Shelby Wartick Human Resources Director | Teri Pitzen ICF/MR Services Director | Dara Fishnick Residential Services Director | Elly Day Community Services Director | Cindy Leifker Dubuque Vocational Services Director | Jean Wuertzer Facility Operations Director | Karl Stieglitz Manchester/Dyersville Services Director | Michelle Steege

Foundation Board Kevin Stevens | Foundation Board President Chuck Davis Mike Duggan Duane Frick Cheryl Kramer Marv Mulert Tim O’Brien Jim Schilling

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3355 Kennedy Circle | Dubuque, IA 52002 Accolades Winter 2012 Edition


Floral Treasures Let Area Residential Care capture a special event or loved one by turning the owers you receive into a beautiful wreath or shadow box. Your order provides work and income for people with intellectual disabilities. For more information, call our Marketing Assistant at 563.556.7560.

Area Residential Care Winter 2012 Newsletter  

quarterly publication for a Dubuque nonprofit serving people with disabilities

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