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November 2013



Star Employee

IN THIS ISSUE Confidentiality Matters . . . . . . . 2 Employee Saves Client’s Life . . . . 3 Vets Add Much to Workplace . . . . 4 November Anniversaries . . . .. . . . . 5 Welcome New Employees . . . . . . . 6 Calendar of Events . . . . . . . . . . . 7 News and Notes . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

Valerie Becke earns honor Nominated for her dedication to, support of clients


alerie Becke, a clinical director at TLS, was named MCFI’s star employee of the quarter.

she said. “It was nice to be recognized, for sure.”

Valerie, 31, was nominated by TLS nurse Karen Reed, who said, “I have worked with Valerie Becke for the past three years. She is dedicated and knowledgeable of mental health. “She has a good rapport with the staff she supervises as well as the clients. She goes beyond the norm to assist clients as well as supporting her staff. She is approachable and very sensitive to clients’ needs.”

Valerie, who has a bachelor’s degree from Valerie Becke Marquette University in psychology and Spanish and a master’s from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in counseling psychology, has worked for MCFI for 6 1/2 years. Working with challenging populations doesn't faze her; it inspires her.

“I love working here because you actually see very positive change in Valerie was pleasantly surprised by a very short the honor. period of time,” “It was a very she said. “I love “I love working here wonderful that the population because you actually see one of my staff too. They’re members some of the very positive change in a nominated me,” SEE PAGE 2 very short period of time.”

November 2013


Meet OADC’s new manager Amanda Bandkowski begins second stint here


manda Bandkowski is pleased to join the MCFI staff — for the second time around.

Amanda Bandkowski

Amanda, 26, recently started her new job as manager of the Older Adult Day Center. But she’s very familiar with the center and MCFI; from 2008 to 2011, Amanda was the OADC’s administrative assistant. Between then and now, Amanda completed her degree in occupational therapy at the Milwaukee Area Technical College and worked as the Alzheimer’s program director for Mitchell Manor, a senior living community in West Allis. “I always wanted to come back here,” she said. She’s eager to learn more about OADC’s clients and incorporate their likes into their daily life. And Amanda has an advantage: She remembers many of them from her previous employment here. “That makes me happy to know that they stayed, that they’re here for the long term.” Amanda, who was just married in June, said she’s always gravitated toward older adults, who have much wisdom to impart. “I just love the history they have and their willingness to share.”

Star Employee named FROM PAGE 1

most honest people you will ever meet.” While dedicated, Valerie finds time to play soccer, volleyball and softball. “I’m a huge sports fan.” She also loves backpacking and camping. “It is my goal to go backpacking to all the national parks.” So far, she’s backpacked 26 of the country’s 59 national parks. “I love traveling, and I really am a pretty avid reader. I really like biographies a lot. It goes to my interest in knowing people.”

Confidentiality Matters


rivacy matters to most people, and MCFI, like most other businesses, adheres to confidentiality laws and regulations that require written policies and ongoing training for their employees to safeguard the information they use, maintain or disclose. To help us maintain a culture of confidentiality, we must be attentive and accountable. Being attentive means to be aware, be thoughtful and listen. It’s important that we don’t take shortcuts and that we remain informed of current expectations. We also must be accountable and responsible when we identify issues or have made an error in how we managed or completed an activity. It’s important that we report issues promptly so that the designated individuals within our agency can take the necessary actions to minimize any potential risks to our clients and our agency. We can all help develop the right culture by being attentive and accountable.

November 2013


A call that

saved a life Monday morning appointment is all but routine


ebecca Malsh’s Monday started out like any other. As a representative payee, she was on her way Oct. 7 to help a client pay her bills.

knew I was standing out there,” Becky said.

The client, an 86-year-old woman who is blind and hard of hearing, called Becky the week before and asked her to visit.

The Fire Department arrived, and firefighters found Becky’s client lying on the kitchen floor.

That’s when Becky called 911.

Rebecca Malsh “We had an appointment at 11,” said Becky, “She had been lying there since who’s been working at MCFI for six Wednesday,” said Becky, noting that years. “She usually calls when she needs “I pulled up and noticed her client has no family. “But she me — probably every other week.” couldn’t remember how she fell.”

But soon after arriving at her client’s apartment building, Becky knew something was amiss.

her mail was still in the mailbox. That, in itself, was strange.”

“I pulled up and noticed her mail was still in the mailbox,” she said. “She’s blind, so she gets audio books from the library. That, in itself, was strange. It just wasn’t like her.” Becky then rang the doorbell. When it went unanswered, Becky knocked on the door. When there was still no response, Becky called her client’s phone. “As I’m waiting there, I’m hearing banging,” said Becky, who wondered if there was construction going on in the client’s four-family building. “Then I realized the banging was getting harder — she

There was a chair in the kitchen that had been moved out of the way, and Becky surmises that her client tried to sit down and missed the chair. Despite spending five days on the kitchen floor, Becky’s client was in relatively good shape. “Her vitals were all good, but she was dehydrated.” Becky’s very grateful client was taken to the hospital and would need rehab afterward. “Thank goodness that you came,” she told Becky later. And Becky was just grateful her client will be OK. “I was shaking,” she said. “I was glad I heard the pounding — and that she had enough strength to even do that.”

November 2013


Veterans bring unique traits to the workplace


MCFI’s Diversity Team works to provide opportunities in the workplace and community, because we believe diversity enriches us all.

eterans add a layer of diversity to the workplace, offering skills and values that civilians may not share.

MCFI’s Lawrence Hayes and Elaine Brown, who both work for the IRIS program, are two such veterans.

Our mission is to foster an environment

Lawrence joined the Army at 19, and served Lawrence Hayes as a power generation repairman in Germany during Desert Storm and Desert Shield. Elaine joined the Army Reserves at age 18 and was a medical supply specialist stationed in Kansas during Desert Storm. Both say they learned a level of discipline, flexibility and patience their civilian counterparts may not have.

A Commitment to Diversity

Elaine Brown

Hayes also said he learned not to take comments personally, which serves him well as an IRIS customer service representative. “When you go in, you go in as an individual,” he said. “When you’re in, you’re no longer an individual. It’s a chain of command. You really don’t have the freedom to speak your mind.” Elaine said she entered the Reserves as a “spoiled” teen, which doesn’t bode well in the military. “They did break that for me. It doesn’t always have to be my way.” Both also said the military instilled a strong work ethic in them, and that need to finish a task has stayed with them. “I accomplish something from my hard work,” said Elaine. “I do it because I want to do it, and I see results.” Lawrence and Elaine also agreed that their military service made them more open to people of diverse backgrounds. “You come out with a little different outlook,” said Lawrence. “You’re more approachable and open-minded.” “My drill sergeant told us you never leave your fellow soldier,” Elaine said. “The Army taught me to be more caring for people.” She brings that to work with her every day. “If you’re struggling, I’m here to help.”

that reflects the community we serve, values the skills and talents of each individual, and ensures quality service to our clients with special needs.

Our vision is to be the benchmark of diversity and inclusion among nonprofit agencies in southeastern Wisconsin. MCFI will be the organization where clients want to receive services, funders want to provide support, vendors want to do business and employees see diverse opportunities.

Diversity recognitions November is National Native American Heritage Month Nov. 4: Ashura, a holiday recognized by Muslims to mark the martyrdom of Hussain. Nov. 12: Veterans Day, an annual U.S. federal holiday honoring military veterans and commemorating the end of WWI. Nov. 20: Transgender Day of Remembrance, established in 1998 to memorialize those who have been killed because of transphobia. Nov. 27 (sunset) – Dec. 5: Hanukkah, an eight-day Jewish holiday recognizing the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.

November 2013



Agency-wide food drive to benefit Friedens eam Bravo is spearheading an agency-wide

The drive will begin Nov. 18, when bins will be

food drive to benefit Friedens Community

prominently displayed at all campuses.

Ministries, which has served food to needy residents of Milwaukee for more than 35 years. Friedens oversees three pantries, which served almost 30,000 people last year. A unique feature of its food pantries is that 75 percent of its volunteers come from the neighborhoods it serves. The need for nonperishable food items is greater than ever, and Friedens is looking for nonperishable food items, like peanut butter and canned goods.

November Anniversaries Richard Zalewski, 33 years

Justin Hubbard, 5 years

Patricia Bischoff, 1 year

Brigido Laboy, 17 years

Kip Johnson, 5 years

Lisa Brooks, 1 year

Brenda Bourdo , 15 years

Jerell Newmy, 5 years

Quentin Haynes, 1 year

Lynn Dzurick, 14 years

Jennifer Vandenberg, 5 years

Michelle Landers, 1 year

Sarah Koch, 14 years

Kristina Janik, 4 years

Elizabeth Lemke, 1 year

Nan Bialek, 11 years

Marianne Payleitner, 4 years

Natalie Lynch, 1 year

Irina Shklyar, 11 years

Kristen Bruder , 3 years

Windy Mizlo, 1 year

Charles Rush, 10 years

James Costello, 3 years

Catherine Murphy, 1 year

Andrea Peterson, 8 years

Shaquela Harris, 3 years

Dawn Nuoffer, 1 year

Gabriella Fuller, 7 years

Kevin Meagher, 3 years

Latasha Scales, 1 year

Rebecca Malsh, 6 years

Shannon Tyburski, 3 years

Stacey Sherman, 1 year

Karen Reed, 6 years

Phillip Crawl, 2 years

Xzanier Starks, 1 year

Catherine Ward, 6 years

Suzanne Maslowski, 2 years

Av Vang, 1 year

Scott Curwick, 5 years

Erin Cissell, 1 year

November 2013


Library needs new name Our Leadership/Lending Library continues to add new content, from resources on professional development to family caregiving. Because of the wide range of topics covered, we are looking for a new name — and a prize goes to the employee whose suggestion is chosen. Please submit this entry with your suggestion to Tiffany Brantley by Nov. 15. My suggestion: ________________________ Name:__________________Ext. ________

Welcome New Employees LaKendra McBride, Community Recovery Specialist

Kimberly Ousley, HR Processor

Sabrina Zahn, Quality Assurance Manager

Tricia Tamminga, Registered Nurse

Lauren Paxton, Care Case Manager

Shaday Sims, Client Experience Coordinator

Nancy Frenn, Operations Auditor

Sara Allyn, Activity Assistant/CNA

Cameron Armstrong, Client Coordinator Case Manager

Ericka Grimm, Client Coordinator Case Manager

Youree Wells, Community Recovery Specialist

Cathy Lee, Client Care Coordinator

Brittany Mclean, Lead Caregiver

LaToya Gray, CNA

Amanda Thomas, Lead Caregiver

Alissa Plehn, Client Coordinator Case Manager

Myesha Moore, Certified Nursing Assistant

LaShawndra Cooper, CNA

Kimberly Gray, ASL Case Manager

Jennifer Schmidt, Scheduler

Samuel Johnson, Food Service Driver

Leritha Davis, Custodial Tech II

Amanda Bandkowski, OADC Program Manager

Protect your portable devices


s more and more of us carry portable devices with us, including laptops, smartphones and iPads, I wanted to share some practical steps you can take to protect your devices Lock your laptop in your office desk during off hours or take it home with you. Always lock your computer screen when left unattended by pressing ctrl, alt and delete. In accordance with HIPAA and PHI rules, we need to pay attention to our surroundings at all times. Do not load passwords on the laptop, particularly those allowing remote and email communication with clients or the office. Never leave your laptop unattended in a public place, even for a moment! Save all business documents on the M: drive because it’s backed up daily. Always consult IT or the help desk when installing software from unknown sources — it may contain a virus. — Scott Curwick Workforce Analyst

November 2013


Calendar of Events November 2013

NOVEMBER 3 Daylight Saving Time WHEN: 2 a.m. Don’t forget to turn your clocks back one hour! It’s also a good time to check the batteries in your home smoke detectors!

NOVEMBER 6 Smoking Cessation: Learn about the Causes of Lung Cancer and how to Prevent it WHEN: 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. WHERE: MCFI Main Campus, Room 218 CONTACT: Dr. Rosalyn McFarland, Ext. 2257, or


Su Mo Tu We Th Fri Sat 1






























NOVEMBER 7 Diabetes Prevention and Control WHEN 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. WHERE: MCFI Conference Center RSVP: Dr. Rosalyn McFarland, Ext. 2257, or

NOVEMBER 27 Link2Success Hazard Communication and Civil Rights trainings to be completed

NOVEMBER 28 & 29 Thanksgiving Holiday MCFI offices are closed.

NOVEMBER 6 & 14 Shoo the Flu: Get Your Flu Shot and Take Charge WHEN 9 a.m. to Noon, Nov. 6 8 a.m. to 11 a.m., Nov. 14 WHERE: MCFI Main Campus, Room 218 COST: Free

Pie Distribution Day

NOVEMBER 12 Parent Café: Being a Strong Parent WHEN 5:15 p.m. to 8 p.m. WHERE: MCFI Conference Center RSVP: 414-964-7397 or COST: Free. Dinner is provided, and child care is available upon request.

November 2013


News and Notes Sam’s Club memberships

Glucose testing offered November is Diabetes Awareness Month. Your MCFI Health Center is offering free glucose testing all month long. Simply contact the Health Center at 414-937-3971 or for an appointment.

Works of Heart a success! Our Campaign for Kids Works of Heart benefit was a huge success! While we are still crunching the numbers, we had a 24 percent increase in sponsorship revenue, a 58 percent in vocal auction revenue, a 13 percent increase in silent auction revenue, and a 14 percent increase in kids art revenue. Thanks to all who attended or volunteered to help with our 2013 event.

Employees are eligible for a discounted membership to Sam’s Club. Your share of the cost is $23.50 and would be deducted from your Jan. 24, 2014, paycheck. You would also receive a $10 gift card for Sam’s. Membership renewals or applications are due by Nov. 22, 2013. A copy of the form is on SharePoint or available through Judy Williams. After completing the form, please return it to Judy via email, interoffice mail or her mailbox at the Main Campus.

Vote early, vote often! Voting continues through Nov. 14 for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Partners for Humanity Ad Contest! This year, Hare Strigenz partnered with MCFI to create an ad. Please go to the Partners for Humanity link on Facebook, "like" the page, go to the ad contest link and "VOTE"

for the MCFI "I AM ONE OF A KIND" ad. You must click on the ad to VOTE for it. Please also like and share our ad with all your friends! You can vote for our ad once a day. If we get the most votes, MCFI Children’s Programs will receive $500.

Poinsettias for sale We are again offering poinsettias for sale, with proceeds this year benefitting our SmartBaby program. This program helps expectant moms give their babies the best possible start in life. Order forms and payment (check or cash) are due to Judy Williams by Nov. 14. Forms are available on SharePoint. The anticipated delivery date is Dec. 13. Thank you for supporting this important program! .Send us your news! If you have news or story ideas for the next issue of The Connection, please contact Candace Romano, Ext. 2075.

The connection november  
The connection november