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LIVING RESOURCES ABI PROGRAM REACHES OUT TO RETURNING SERVICE MEMBERS WITH BRAIN INJURIES Brain Injuries have been referred to as the signature wound of the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Often, brain injuries go hand-in-hand with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), making diagnosis and treatment more complex and challenging. Though each person’s story is unique, the common thread that unites many wounded service members is often their struggle to access appropriate services. This was the case for Harold Horace. Growing up, Harold had always dreamed of going to college, but as one of seven kids, there wasn’t enough money in the family budget for higher education, so he opted to join the Army. By the time he left military service, he had gained many assets: a sense of discipline and duty, the ability to lead, and valuable job skills. Unfortunately, however, Harold had gained something else: undiagnosed Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, common in many combat veterans. Continued Page 3

WHAT’S YOUR M.O.S.? MILITARY CULTURAL COMPETENCY TRAINING What is an M.O.S.? If someone is in the military, should they always be referred to as a soldier? Why do many younger ex-military people dislike the term, “veterans”?* These questions and many others were answered in a comprehensive one-day Military Cultural Competency Training, presented by trainers from the Home Again Veterans and Families Initiative. The curriculum was developed to help service providers throughout the country meet the needs of returning service members and their families. The training, designed to offer individuals without a military background familiarity with the culture and issues associated with military service, is part of Living Resources commitment serving those who have served our country. This invaluable training session was paid for through a generous grant from the James and Rhea Clark Review Foundation. *Answers M.O.S. stands for Military Occupational Specialty, or the specific job skill that one was trained for in the course of their military service. The term “soldier” should be used only for someone serving in the Army. In the Navy, the term is Seaman; in the Air Force, Airman, and in the Marines, they should be referred to as Marine.

Harold Horace, CEO Fred Erlich and Gary Weitzman, owner of ArtForms Gallery at the 2012 Culinary Cornucopia. The ArtForms Achievement Award is presented annually to a person receiving Living Resources services who has demonstrated outstanding personal growth.

Meeting Life’s Challenges

Many people who have completed their military service in recent years feel that “veterans” is an old-fashioned term, referring to people of their parents’ generation or older. Younger people tend to prefer “returning service members,” “ex-military,” or want to continue to be called “Airman” or “Soldier,” etc.

MESSAGE FROM THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER Authority, using funds granted by the NYS Legislature. This house is progressive and unique as few such houses exist in the USA. The house, for six residents, uses universal design We will all confront barriers principles for individuals who have had throughout our lives that are difficult their independence severely limited. to overcome, especially if faced alone. A wide range of technology, For individuals with intellectual equipment and spatial design disabilities, autism spectrum considerations will allow occupants disorders, acquired brain injuries, or to better interact with the home just getting older, these barriers can environment. severely restrict choice and Systems utilizing passive independence. monitoring will successfully track and Our Brain Injury Program has identify potential health concerns. begun to make a significant impact with Fredrick W. Erlich This house and others like it provide services to veterans. It’s an exciting new Chief Executive Officer high-quality care and lifetime chapter, defining how we can help placement in a cost-effective manner. There is no veterans reintegrate into the community and into our doubt that keeping people in their homes is a lesslives. We are at the beginning of this new service. For costly alternative to nursing home care. Our overall 25 years, we have served individuals with brain injury; goal is to provide enhanced health, safety and security. everyday, we help more than 140 survivors. We are This project, due to its innovative nature, will require seeking support from the community through funding additional private dollars to provide the technology to implement outreach services to all people with brain that will foster independence. injuries, including veterans. 2013 promises to Recently we be an exciting year as purchased 790 Madison we move forward to Avenue, Albany. This 8working to eliminate person, 4-unit home barriers and bring will serve students these programs to either attending or fruition. Please graduating from the consider a gift to College Experience Living Resources. Program, a partnership An architect's rendering shows the design of Living Together, with your generous with the College of Saint Rose. The Resources Smart House. Ground breaking will support, we can help people residence eliminates physical occur this spring, and the residence will become with disabilities live full, home to six medically fragile individuals in the fall. barriers for students who are not productive and independent fully ambulatory, and will broaden lives. To make a donation please use the enclosed services and open enrollment to a larger audience in envelope or contact Bonnie Unser, Director of need. We are opening classes for tuition-based Development at (518) 218-0000 extension 5328, or visit students. A vast majority of young adults with our website at to contribute disabilities want to become independent, prepared for online. Thank you, your support is greatly appreciated. employment, and have a lifetime of friends and achievements. A contract to build a smart house for $650,000 was signed by Living Resources with the NYS Dormitory LOOKING AHEAD TO 2013‌ ELIMINATING BARRIERS TO SERVICES AND PROGRAMS


“Meeting life’s challenges is what defines Living Resources; championing this vision requires continuous perseverance and professionalism. Through the collaborative teamwork of CEO Fred Erlich, his staff and board members, we’re committed to providing a continuum of first-class services to individuals with disabilities, who are members of our community. These efforts prepare them in meeting life’s challenges.” — Richard A. Fuerst, Esq. Owner/Attorney at Higgins, Roberts & Suprunowicz, P.C. President of Living Resources’ Foundation Board

Newly elected Foundation Board Officers Robert Lazar, Vice President (left) and Richard Fuerst, President (right) stand beside Board Member and family member Dorothy Stevens.

LIVING RESOURCES ABI PROGRAM REACHES OUT TO RETURNING SERVICE MEMBERS WITH BRAIN INJURIES Continued from cover The next several years were full of ups and downs. He began to receive help from the VA, but he was soon recalled to service, a common practice in which the military “reactivates” former personnel to take advantage of their skills. This resulted in a major setback; he returned to civilian life feeling distant and detached. Then, in December of 2006, as Harold walked along the side of a road on his way to work, he was hit by a driver who sped away from the scene without stopping. Harold was thrown 22 feet, leaving him unconscious with 2 broken legs, multiple lacerations, a cracked elbow, broken vertebrae and a brain injury. When he awoke, he had no memory of the accident. In fact, he didn’t even know his own name. His recovery, both physical and mental, has been long and complicated. Harold received services from the VA, but found that they were unable to offer all of the things that he needed to pull his life together. It was nearly five years after his injury that a friend told him about Living

Resources Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) program, and he called for information the same day. “I wish that I’d found this group a long time ago,” said Harold. “They’ve helped me to progress more in the past year than I had in the five years before.” But the relationship hasn’t been a one-way street. Harold has become an invaluable resource and connection for the Living Resources ABI program in their outreach to other service members whose lives have been turned upside-down by brain injuries and PTSD. Through Military Cultural Competency Training (see sidebar, page 1) Living Resources employees – not just ABI staff, but throughout the agency - have been learning about how to interact with military personnel and their families, and how to better meet their needs. Though this venture is in its early stages, Living Resources is committed to providing much-needed programs and services to men and women who have served our country.


LIVING RESOURCES — Friends and Family

Living Resources CEO Fred Erlich and board member Phil Fusco are joined by employees as they cut the cake at the August 21st Open House to celebrate five years at the 300 Washington Avenue Extension location.

Chef Michael Spain of Sperry’s Restaurant in Saratoga won the Grand Award at the 22nd Annual Culinary Cornucopia, held November 11th at the Albany Marriott. All proceeds from this elegant evening go directly to the many programs and services of Living Resources.

Pasta Pane, one of the 10 restaurants featured at this year’s event, set up a “Giving Tree” at their salon, with guests invited to choose a leaf on which to write something that they felt thankful for. For each leaf collected, Pasta Pane donated a dollar to Living Resources, and by the end of the evening, the “leaves” brought in $500!

I.A.M member Bob D. presents Sara O. with the "Truly Being Inspirational" award as her parents Ken and Kathy proudly look on at the 3rd Annual Capital District Brain Injury Awareness Day, held August 22nd at Tawasentha Park in Guilderland.


LIVING RESOURCES — Friends and Family

Bethany and Jory display their turkey creations at the annual After School Program Thanksgiving Dinner, held November 19th. Each year, kids and their families from all program locations are invited to a full Thanksgiving feast with all the trimmings, cooked by ASP staff and volunteers.

Living Resources held its annual State of the Agency events at the Albany Marriott and at the office on December 20th. “The Living Resources Players” performed a song to the tune of “The 12 Days of Christmas”… instead of a partridge in a pear tree, the number one item was “The Best Staff We’ve Ever Had.” Day Opportunities staff member Talia Colon was one of over a dozen Living Resources employees recognized for ten years of exemplary service to the agency.

Living Resources Home Care Agency is proud to announce that two photos of their staff and clients appear in the 2013 “There’s No Place Like Home” calendar, printed by the Home Care Association of New York State, Inc. The HCANYS promotes high-quality home care and community services throughout the state.

Home health aide Lisa Koniowka stirs the pot as her client, Marie, supervises the recipe.

Betty and her caregiver share cereal and coffee every morning. “Monique is like family to me,” says Betty.


LIVING RESOURCES — Friends and Family KAY’S LEGACY by Fred Erlich, CEO I would like to share my experiences over 30 years with Kay and Nancy Dixon. I have a special bond with Nancy as she was an individual with Down syndrome that I interviewed at Rome State School when I was a social worker involved in the beginning of Living Resources. I immediately developed a soft spot in my heart for Nancy and was very happy to be able to help her to get closer with her family and return to the Capital Region. She moved into Living Resources’ first home and I remember having Christmas with her at that home in 1974. Once I got to know Nancy, I also started having conversations with her family. That’s how I met her step mother, Kay. During the start up of Living Resources there were a few families that were our enthusiastic cheerleaders and helpers in making the organization successful. It almost felt like one thing fed the other as Kay and some other core families encouraged and supported us. As a new agency, we were highly motivated to show how much people could change, grow and develop. With Kay’s encouragement, Nancy was one of the first people we moved into the Supported Living Apartment Program. There were six people that demonstrated the capability to be independent: they could take care of all their basic needs, benefit from more independent socialization activities in the community, and make wise and safe decisions with staff oversight. I remember that Nancy was one of the people that Kay Dixon enjoys holding her great grandchild. others wanted to room with; she had such a sweet nature and was fun to be around. Nancy flourished in the apartment program. When it was no longer a benefit for Nancy to live on her own, we supported her through the development of a small community residence on Corlaer Avenue in Schenectady. Once again, Kay’s wise counsel was very helpful throughout the transition. Over the next 10+ years we found that Nancy was having other physical and mental challenges. Ultimately, Nancy developed Alzheimer’s disease and we once again moved her to another house where she would receive a higher level of staff support and nursing intervention. After Nancy passed away, we remained close friends with Kay. We visited with her and celebrated her success when she published her memoir, Red Cross Kay, in 2009. Kay continued to be very supportive of me and the agency; we were sad to see her age and Nancy Dixon at home in Rotterdam. eventually pass away. (Photos provided by Nancy’s brother, Living Resources is honored by Kay’s decision to make a major gift to Kent Dixon.) our Legacy Society through a bequest in Nancy’s memory. The work of Living Resources is all about the individuals we help to have a complete life; we receive great joy in knowing that the agency makes a difference. Kay’s gift affirms the importance of our mission and ensures that individualized services will continue into the future to benefit generations to come. On behalf of Living Resources, I extend heartfelt thanks to the entire Dixon family.


HONORARY AND MEMORIAL GIFTS TO LIVING RESOURCES January 22, 2012 through January 25, 2013 The following donors have chosen to pay tribute to a loved one through a gift to Living Resources. Thank you, family members and friends, for your vote of confidence in our services and for honoring our work with your generous contributions. Only with your help can we continue to meet the challenges facing individuals with developmental disabilities and brain injuries.

GIFTS MADE IN HONOR OF: Pasquale & Angelica Colicchio from William & Jacqueline Tureby Kimberly DelSignore from Stephanie A. Balnaitis Andy Draffen from Jack & Barbara Draffen Dana Jackson and Easter from Elizabeth Jackson Dale Miller & Bryan Kelly from Jane R. Levine Anne Murphy & The Carriage House Arts Center from Grayce Susan Burian Rick Navickas’ birthday from Richard A. Fuerst, Esq. Dottie Stevens’ birthday from Richard A. Fuerst, Esq. GIFTS MADE IN MEMORY OF: Manning Balcom from John Alexander Balint, M.D. James Doig Dick & Gail Oliphant Mr. & Mrs. Arthur Young Louis J. Bonan from David M. Capka Mary & Vince Capka and the Bonan Family George Butler from Paul & Phyllis Cooney Rory M. Carroll from Stuart Auslander Sinead Brosnan Carmel United Soccer Club Rita & Charles Carr Karen & James Carroll Alice M. Cronin Charles Day Mr. & Mrs. Robert Dieck John & Mary Dolan Anthony J. Ferrara Robert Fischer Tony & Bridget Forde John & Nancy Hayden Ingerman Smith, LLP

Katonah-Lewisboro District Special Services Dept: Sue Fowler Cindy Greenberg Connie Hayes Wallis Leeds-Grant Catherine McNulty Barbara Milone Katy Montilli Jeanne Zelem Katonah-Lewisboro District Teachers Association Carol Ann Lee Mary & Theodore Leissing, Jr. Lee H. Lew Long Island University, Doctor of Physical Therapy Program Priscilla Luckow Sarah & Michael Lynch Kimberly Monzon Scott Persampieri Danelle & James Placella Marjorie Schiff Christine & Dann Soldan Margaret & Richard Taylor Christina Todd Gail & Lawrence Weiss Nancy Cornwell from Charles & Jeanette Cornwell Howard & Faye Cornwell Jean S. Creighton James Sessions Bob Cummings from Robert S. Cummings, Sr. Carl S. Derwig from Barbara K. Carbo Nina Driscoll John & Susan George Jim & Betty Gourlay The Lunch Group of the Class of 48 Nott Terrace High School: Bob Carmichael Bob Groff Ray Homic Glenn Kaler Ray Whimple Tina & Ed Massa

Katherine P. Dixon from Richard A. Fuerst, Esq. Betsy Hermesmann from Mr. & Mrs. Stanley Wilczopolski Sylvia C. Kaplan from Milton M. Kaplan Grace “Dolly” Marrazzo from Maggie Kirwin Mr. & Mrs. Louis A. Ricci Elizabeth “Betty” Milano from Richard A. Fuerst, Esq. Lorraine Miller from John Miller David M. Mullins from Sandy & Gregg Booth Ken & Charlene Christopher and Family Josefina Cochayone Sandy Daly Dom & Bonnie Digirolamo Robert & Betsy Higgins Dottie Marino’s Bridge Group Dottie Marino’s Mahjogg Group Mr. & Mrs. Michael Nathanson Dale B. Neubert Rick Navickas from Richard A. Fuerst, Esq. Kevin J. O’Brien from Peg O’Brien-Tucker Thomas Prater, Ph.D. from Richard A. Fuerst, Esq. James Henry Riccardi from Hermes & Linda Ames BBL Charitable Foundation Mr. & Mrs. Herbert Ellis Georgette Hathaway Mr. & Mrs. William Kehn Margaret & Edmund Maloney Mr. & Mrs. James E. Pollock Ann P. Riccardi Susan & Douglas Stevens Carol B. Swyer Marian Sevinsky from Richard A. Fuerst, Esq. GE Energy

Richard O. Siver from Mr & Mrs. Mark Culotti Heidi DePiero’s 4th Grade Class at Pinewood Elementary Pat & Ellen Hunsinger Lois & David McDonald Beverly & William Morrison Maryann & Brock Osborn Les & Carol Relyea James V. Sharkey Penny Smith-Bogert Lucinda Strasenburgh James Stouch from Mr. & Mrs. Stanley Wilczopolski Thomas Unser from Timothy & Bonnie Unser John & Sarah Unser William Welz, Jr. from Sonia Squazzin H. Eugene Wray from Frances Livesay & Guy Rich Cheryl Perry-Leyden

A listing of all donations received by Living Resources is published yearly in our Annual Report, available on-line at To view, click “Publication Archive” under Quick Links.



GE Matching Gifts GE Employees, retirees, surviving spouses and Directors can have their gifts matched dollar-for-dollar. Visit or call 800-305-0669 for more information.


Meeting Life’s Challenges

Albany, NY Permit No. 950

300 Washington Avenue Extension Albany, NY 12203-7303

State Employees Living Resources participates in the State Employees Federated Appeal. Our code number 5000202 covers all counties in the Capital Region.

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BOARD OF DIRECTORS Officers John S. Delaney, President Bonita Sanchez, Vice President Richard T. Cody, Treasurer Vladia C. Boniewski, Secretary

FOUNDATION DIRECTORS Officers Richard A. Fuerst, Esq., President Robert W. Lazar, Vice President Peter J. Cornell, Treasurer Drue Sanders, Secretary

Board Members William Davies Sara Erickson Gary Foster Judy Fruiterman Dr. Philip Fusco Christopher Greagan Neil L. Levine Thomas McEvoy Kristin McVeigh-Parente Gayla Riccardi Elizabeth Squires John Sullivan Robert Wakeman

Board Members Raymond A. Bleser, Jr. Vladia C. Boniewski Jill Braverman-Panza, M.D. Darren Donohue Maggie Kirwin, Ed.D. Stephen J. Obermayer Robert H. Ormerod Carolyn Peterson-Vaccaro John J. Puig Michael A. Quaranta Daniel Round Alta Schallehn Greg Scott Catherine J. Stevens Dorothy S. Stevens Paul C. Valente Christopher D. Ward

Welcome New Board Members Corporation Board Gary Foster Neil L. Levine Thomas McEvoy Gayla Riccardi

Foundation Board Vladia C. Boniewski Darren Donohue Stephen J. Obermayer Greg Scott Paul C. Valente

HONORARY BOARD Bishop Howard J. Hubbard Mayor Gerald D. Jennings Karen B. Johnson Dale L. Miller, CMC, WGMC, AAC Sandra V. Nardoci Rabbi Scott Shpeen

Sharing the Journey is published three times yearly by the Development and Public Affairs Departments of Living Resources. Color printing courtesy of Benchemark Printing, Inc.

Sharing the Journey  

Winter issue of Sharing the Journey

Sharing the Journey  

Winter issue of Sharing the Journey