Page 1

NON-PROFIT ORG. US Postage PAID Permit Number 879 Hicksville, NY 11801

hope is unstoppable

Administrative Offices Syosset Campus 525 Convent Road Syosset, NY 11791 www.mercyfirst.org

Fall 2019 Follow us:

Message from the CEO: Then & Now

The late 1800’s was a time of great industrial development but severe economic depression in the United States. Individuals who could not care for themselves lived in Almshouses or Poor Houses. These places were “home” for all sorts of people – the mentally ill, epileptics, physically and developmentally disabled, the blind and deaf, as well as petty criminals, unmarried mothers and abandoned children – all living under the same roof.

HELP READ ER! E H C P S Y A HOLID

Find out how you can help us this holiday season. E-mail ksneden@mercyfirst.org or call 516.921.0808 x 1114.

Annual Daniel and Virginia McCarthy Scholarship Dinner The Annual Daniel and Virginia McCarthy Scholarship dinner took place on June 20th, with 16 Scholarship Recipients! It was a beautiful night to honor all of the college youth’s hard work and show the graduating 12th graders what they can look forward too. This year we had three youth graduate a 4-year university. Emily, graduated from Monroe College with a degree in Health Services Administration. Ethan graduated from Binghamton University with a degree in Computer Science and Programming, and works at a Binghamton area hospital. We also had Yvette graduate from Hunter College with a degree in Early Childhood Education and accept a full time teaching position! We also had 4 students, Alyana, Amanda, Arkadiy and Denisha, graduate from Kingsborough Community College with their Associates degrees. They begin working on their Bachelors degrees this fall. We are beyond proud of all our college youth and wish them great success for their future! Congratulations to the 2019 Scholarship Recipients

At the time, the Sisters of Mercy were caring for abandoned children who came to their Mother House in Brooklyn. Running out of room, the Sisters were determined to find a place in the country where children could have a better life. They learned of a farm for sale on Long Island. Led by Sister Mary Bernard McNeil, the Sisters of Mercy of Brooklyn purchased the farm with 175 acres of land in Syosset for $7,500 from the Van Nostrand family in 1893. The following year, after much work and preparation, the Sisters opened the home and called it St. Mary of the Angels. It is believed the name was chosen because of the Sister’s devotion to St. Francis of Assisi. This was the name of St. Francis’ little chapel in Assisi where he was inspired to commit his life to one of service to the poor. The Sisters were soon caring for 175 young boys on a working farm by using their best instincts and love of children to guide their work in caring for them and providing an education and a chance for a better future. At that time, children were still not required to attend school in most states and regulations on the minimum age of employment and hours of work for children was still over 40 years away. Today, much of what we do is highly regulated by government, as it should be. Our programs are all licensed by NY State and meet all requirements when it comes to staffing, training, services, reporting, as well as fire and safety standards for residential programs. Our Campus school is run by the NYC Department of Education and meets the educational standards and accreditation of any public school. Our professional staff – Clinicians, Psychologists, Art Therapists, Physicians, Nurses, Nurse Practitioners, Occupational Therapists, Psychiatrists – have advanced degrees and are licensed by the NYS Department of Education. Supervisors and Management staff have a master’s degree with extensive experience doing this work. Our work is guided by vigorous regulations set by the Federal Government, New York State and New York City, and meet national standards as confirmed by the Council on Accreditation (COA). We incorporate Evidence Informed/Based Models (EBM) in our work including trauma-informed models such as ARC (Attachment-Regulation-Competency), SPARCS (Structured Psychotherapy for Adolescents Responding to Chronic Stress), TF-CBT (Trauma Focused – Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) and SBC (Solution Based Casework). All these models operate within an overarching trauma-informed approach called Sanctuary, which MercyFirst is also certified in. While technology is critical to much of our administrative work, MercyFirst recently won a national competition with colleagues on the use of augmented intelligence to improve the delivery of services to children and families. We have an amazing history that started 125 years ago by the Sisters of Mercy and that continues to today. While much has changed, our mission has remained the same since our founding in 1894 – to provide safe, caring and effective programs that meet the changing needs in our community so our children can grow up with the same opportunities that any of us wish for our own children. We expect nothing less! - Jerry McCaffery, President/CEO


MercyFirst Celebrates 125 Years! Throughout 2019 ,we are continuing our celebration of the 125th Anniversary commemorating the opening of St. Mary of the Angels in July of 1894 on the grounds of our Syosset Campus. During the year we have celebrated in a variety of ways. Individuals, departments, cottages and programs throughout the agency are participating in a project entitled 125 Acts of Random Kindness. The creativity and generosity of our staff, youth and families has been heartwarming. Some of the ways that acts of kindnesses have been demonstrated to date are as follows: • RISE Program Staff along with youth from our Merrick community residence collected donations for North Shore Animal League and The Guide Dog Foundation. • A team made 125 PB&J sandwiches for two local food banks and will be continuing to this on an ongoing monthly basis. • The Fiscal Department filled 125 Easter eggs and made Easter baskets for youth in our community residence. • A team of birth parent advocates put together small bags of toiletries to give to our birth parents. They will also provide birth mothers, whose children are being trial discharged, with new household items. • Youth in our community residence are making cards for the Saint Albans Veterans Home. • The staff at at the East Massapequa Group Home have created a garden to give back to the community. The goal is to donate 125 vegetables to local food pantries and homeless shelters. • Senior staff is sponsoring a project where 125 gift cards will be randomly given away to staff over 125 days. • Human Resources staff donated more than $100 dollars to purchase yarn for youth in our START With Hope Program who love knitting hats for sick babies. On July 11th, we had a grand celebration on the grounds of the Syosset Campus for staff, Sisters of Mercy and some of our partners in ministry. It began with a ceremonial ritual which commemorated our past, celebrated our present and expressed the hopes for our future. Readings were done by Board Member, Sr. Sheila Browne, RSM; CEO, Jerry McCaffery; former St. Mary’s Executive Director, Sr. Sean Foley, RSM; Sister of Mercy and former staff member, Sr. Seton Agovino, RSM; as well as other MercyFirst staff members, youth and Sisters of Mercy. A special message was also delivered by Sisters of Mercy MidAtlantic President, Sr. Patricia Vetrano, RSM. We enjoyed music provided by the extremely generous and talented members of the Shelter Rock Church. As part of the ceremony, we buried a time capsule on the grounds which contained a collection of hopes for the future along with other significant items pertinent to today. We then continued the celebration with a wonderful BBQ. We continue to be thankful for all the blessings that we have received over these past 125 years – most especially, for all of you!!! Sr. Patricia Vetrano, Sr. Sean Foley, Sr. Maureen King, Jerry McCaffery, Sr. Sheila Browne

2

Sr. Maureen King, RSM VP of Mission Integration

Meet the RISE Team The MercyFirst RISE Team, Resilient Individuals Striving for Excellence, continues to make strides in the development and implementation of best practices in creative therapeutic treatment at MercyFirst. Launched in December of 2018 as part of the NYS Raise the Age Initiative, RISE has since accepted both Male and Female from the New York area. RISE collaborators have capitalized on a briefer term treatment by enhancement and intensity of services from a multi-dimensional approach. The movement toward a normalized experience for young people in residential is possible and it is a critical shift for the wellbeing and development of those we serve. The RISE team strives to engage youth by building on a foundation of trauma informed care that has been supported by the Attachment Regulation Competency (ARC Model, a trauma-informed treatment approach that provides clinical and milieu staff with tools to help youth who have experienced multiple traumas and/or prolonged traumatic stress). At the core of our practice is highlighting strengths, competencies and resources that our families and youth already possess while encouraging self- advocacy to gain access to those they do not. Treatment planning is centered around the needs and goals of the individual clients and families. For example, RISE clients have been engaged in vocational planning through employment and 1 on 1 educational planning that targets their academic goals for graduation and continued education. They are working with Art therapists, Recreation therapists, and Occupational Therapists as well. Our RISE staff have been responsive to the wishes of their clients by creating opportunities that fit their interest and providing constant feedback through enhanced monitoring and updates to the Behavioral Modification System. Staff meet with clients daily to review the child’s perception of their progress all the while engaging them in thought of how their efforts effect themselves, their families, and their community. We recognize the hopefulness through their eyes as they participate in more and more growth opportunities. They are mentors, leaders, and advocates for their peers on campus.

Foster Parent Appreciation Dinner MercyFirst held our annual Foster Parent Appreciation Dinner in May during Foster Care Month. This was the first event we hosted at our new offices in Industry City, Brooklyn at The Landing restaurant. Over 30 guests were in attendance to celebrate and recognize the wonderful individuals who open their homes and their hearts to children and teens in foster car

Partnering with Adelphi University’s Institute for Trauma Treatment and Training Dr. Dawn Besemer (VP of Behavioral Health Services), along with Dr. Kristan Baker and Dr. Cara Bonuso (Clinical Directors) are being educated through Adelphi University’s Institute for Trauma Treatment and Training to become trainers in the evidence supported practice of SPARCS (Structured Psychotherapy for Adolescents Responding to Chronic Stress). SPARCS is a group therapy program designed to help youth with complex trauma learn how to better understand their trauma, connect with others, problem-solve, and regulate their emotions. Dr. Besemer, Dr. Baker, and Dr. Bonuso will be working under the direction of the Institute’s CoDirectors (and co-founders of SPARCS), Dr. Mandy Habib and Dr. Victor Labruna. The plan is to train their first “class” of clinicians in early Fall 2019. Due to the limited number of SPARCS trainings that are offered in New York, the assistance of Drs. Besemer, Baker, and Bonuso will help to increase the numbers of staff members at MercyFirst who are trained in the model and who can subsequently offer these services to the youth.

(left to right) Dr. Cara Bonuso, Dr. Dawn Besemer and Dr. Kristan Baker

3


MercyFirst Celebrates 125 Years! Throughout 2019 ,we are continuing our celebration of the 125th Anniversary commemorating the opening of St. Mary of the Angels in July of 1894 on the grounds of our Syosset Campus. During the year we have celebrated in a variety of ways. Individuals, departments, cottages and programs throughout the agency are participating in a project entitled 125 Acts of Random Kindness. The creativity and generosity of our staff, youth and families has been heartwarming. Some of the ways that acts of kindnesses have been demonstrated to date are as follows: • RISE Program Staff along with youth from our Merrick community residence collected donations for North Shore Animal League and The Guide Dog Foundation. • A team made 125 PB&J sandwiches for two local food banks and will be continuing to this on an ongoing monthly basis. • The Fiscal Department filled 125 Easter eggs and made Easter baskets for youth in our community residence. • A team of birth parent advocates put together small bags of toiletries to give to our birth parents. They will also provide birth mothers, whose children are being trial discharged, with new household items. • Youth in our community residence are making cards for the Saint Albans Veterans Home. • The staff at at the East Massapequa Group Home have created a garden to give back to the community. The goal is to donate 125 vegetables to local food pantries and homeless shelters. • Senior staff is sponsoring a project where 125 gift cards will be randomly given away to staff over 125 days. • Human Resources staff donated more than $100 dollars to purchase yarn for youth in our START With Hope Program who love knitting hats for sick babies. On July 11th, we had a grand celebration on the grounds of the Syosset Campus for staff, Sisters of Mercy and some of our partners in ministry. It began with a ceremonial ritual which commemorated our past, celebrated our present and expressed the hopes for our future. Readings were done by Board Member, Sr. Sheila Browne, RSM; CEO, Jerry McCaffery; former St. Mary’s Executive Director, Sr. Sean Foley, RSM; Sister of Mercy and former staff member, Sr. Seton Agovino, RSM; as well as other MercyFirst staff members, youth and Sisters of Mercy. A special message was also delivered by Sisters of Mercy MidAtlantic President, Sr. Patricia Vetrano, RSM. We enjoyed music provided by the extremely generous and talented members of the Shelter Rock Church. As part of the ceremony, we buried a time capsule on the grounds which contained a collection of hopes for the future along with other significant items pertinent to today. We then continued the celebration with a wonderful BBQ. We continue to be thankful for all the blessings that we have received over these past 125 years – most especially, for all of you!!! Sr. Patricia Vetrano, Sr. Sean Foley, Sr. Maureen King, Jerry McCaffery, Sr. Sheila Browne

2

Sr. Maureen King, RSM VP of Mission Integration

Meet the RISE Team The MercyFirst RISE Team, Resilient Individuals Striving for Excellence, continues to make strides in the development and implementation of best practices in creative therapeutic treatment at MercyFirst. Launched in December of 2018 as part of the NYS Raise the Age Initiative, RISE has since accepted both Male and Female from the New York area. RISE collaborators have capitalized on a briefer term treatment by enhancement and intensity of services from a multi-dimensional approach. The movement toward a normalized experience for young people in residential is possible and it is a critical shift for the wellbeing and development of those we serve. The RISE team strives to engage youth by building on a foundation of trauma informed care that has been supported by the Attachment Regulation Competency (ARC Model, a trauma-informed treatment approach that provides clinical and milieu staff with tools to help youth who have experienced multiple traumas and/or prolonged traumatic stress). At the core of our practice is highlighting strengths, competencies and resources that our families and youth already possess while encouraging self- advocacy to gain access to those they do not. Treatment planning is centered around the needs and goals of the individual clients and families. For example, RISE clients have been engaged in vocational planning through employment and 1 on 1 educational planning that targets their academic goals for graduation and continued education. They are working with Art therapists, Recreation therapists, and Occupational Therapists as well. Our RISE staff have been responsive to the wishes of their clients by creating opportunities that fit their interest and providing constant feedback through enhanced monitoring and updates to the Behavioral Modification System. Staff meet with clients daily to review the child’s perception of their progress all the while engaging them in thought of how their efforts effect themselves, their families, and their community. We recognize the hopefulness through their eyes as they participate in more and more growth opportunities. They are mentors, leaders, and advocates for their peers on campus.

Foster Parent Appreciation Dinner MercyFirst held our annual Foster Parent Appreciation Dinner in May during Foster Care Month. This was the first event we hosted at our new offices in Industry City, Brooklyn at The Landing restaurant. Over 30 guests were in attendance to celebrate and recognize the wonderful individuals who open their homes and their hearts to children and teens in foster car

Partnering with Adelphi University’s Institute for Trauma Treatment and Training Dr. Dawn Besemer (VP of Behavioral Health Services), along with Dr. Kristan Baker and Dr. Cara Bonuso (Clinical Directors) are being educated through Adelphi University’s Institute for Trauma Treatment and Training to become trainers in the evidence supported practice of SPARCS (Structured Psychotherapy for Adolescents Responding to Chronic Stress). SPARCS is a group therapy program designed to help youth with complex trauma learn how to better understand their trauma, connect with others, problem-solve, and regulate their emotions. Dr. Besemer, Dr. Baker, and Dr. Bonuso will be working under the direction of the Institute’s CoDirectors (and co-founders of SPARCS), Dr. Mandy Habib and Dr. Victor Labruna. The plan is to train their first “class” of clinicians in early Fall 2019. Due to the limited number of SPARCS trainings that are offered in New York, the assistance of Drs. Besemer, Baker, and Bonuso will help to increase the numbers of staff members at MercyFirst who are trained in the model and who can subsequently offer these services to the youth.

(left to right) Dr. Cara Bonuso, Dr. Dawn Besemer and Dr. Kristan Baker

3


NON-PROFIT ORG. US Postage PAID Permit Number 879 Hicksville, NY 11801

hope is unstoppable

Administrative Offices Syosset Campus 525 Convent Road Syosset, NY 11791 www.mercyfirst.org

Fall 2019 Follow us:

Message from the CEO: Then & Now

The late 1800’s was a time of great industrial development but severe economic depression in the United States. Individuals who could not care for themselves lived in Almshouses or Poor Houses. These places were “home” for all sorts of people – the mentally ill, epileptics, physically and developmentally disabled, the blind and deaf, as well as petty criminals, unmarried mothers and abandoned children – all living under the same roof.

HELP READ ER! E H C P S Y A HOLID

Find out how you can help us this holiday season. E-mail ksneden@mercyfirst.org or call 516.921.0808 x 1114.

Annual Daniel and Virginia McCarthy Scholarship Dinner The Annual Daniel and Virginia McCarthy Scholarship dinner took place on June 20th, with 16 Scholarship Recipients! It was a beautiful night to honor all of the college youth’s hard work and show the graduating 12th graders what they can look forward too. This year we had three youth graduate a 4-year university. Emily, graduated from Monroe College with a degree in Health Services Administration. Ethan graduated from Binghamton University with a degree in Computer Science and Programming, and works at a Binghamton area hospital. We also had Yvette graduate from Hunter College with a degree in Early Childhood Education and accept a full time teaching position! We also had 4 students, Alyana, Amanda, Arkadiy and Denisha, graduate from Kingsborough Community College with their Associates degrees. They begin working on their Bachelors degrees this fall. We are beyond proud of all our college youth and wish them great success for their future! Congratulations to the 2019 Scholarship Recipients

At the time, the Sisters of Mercy were caring for abandoned children who came to their Mother House in Brooklyn. Running out of room, the Sisters were determined to find a place in the country where children could have a better life. They learned of a farm for sale on Long Island. Led by Sister Mary Bernard McNeil, the Sisters of Mercy of Brooklyn purchased the farm with 175 acres of land in Syosset for $7,500 from the Van Nostrand family in 1893. The following year, after much work and preparation, the Sisters opened the home and called it St. Mary of the Angels. It is believed the name was chosen because of the Sister’s devotion to St. Francis of Assisi. This was the name of St. Francis’ little chapel in Assisi where he was inspired to commit his life to one of service to the poor. The Sisters were soon caring for 175 young boys on a working farm by using their best instincts and love of children to guide their work in caring for them and providing an education and a chance for a better future. At that time, children were still not required to attend school in most states and regulations on the minimum age of employment and hours of work for children was still over 40 years away. Today, much of what we do is highly regulated by government, as it should be. Our programs are all licensed by NY State and meet all requirements when it comes to staffing, training, services, reporting, as well as fire and safety standards for residential programs. Our Campus school is run by the NYC Department of Education and meets the educational standards and accreditation of any public school. Our professional staff – Clinicians, Psychologists, Art Therapists, Physicians, Nurses, Nurse Practitioners, Occupational Therapists, Psychiatrists – have advanced degrees and are licensed by the NYS Department of Education. Supervisors and Management staff have a master’s degree with extensive experience doing this work. Our work is guided by vigorous regulations set by the Federal Government, New York State and New York City, and meet national standards as confirmed by the Council on Accreditation (COA). We incorporate Evidence Informed/Based Models (EBM) in our work including trauma-informed models such as ARC (Attachment-Regulation-Competency), SPARCS (Structured Psychotherapy for Adolescents Responding to Chronic Stress), TF-CBT (Trauma Focused – Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) and SBC (Solution Based Casework). All these models operate within an overarching trauma-informed approach called Sanctuary, which MercyFirst is also certified in. While technology is critical to much of our administrative work, MercyFirst recently won a national competition with colleagues on the use of augmented intelligence to improve the delivery of services to children and families. We have an amazing history that started 125 years ago by the Sisters of Mercy and that continues to today. While much has changed, our mission has remained the same since our founding in 1894 – to provide safe, caring and effective programs that meet the changing needs in our community so our children can grow up with the same opportunities that any of us wish for our own children. We expect nothing less! - Jerry McCaffery, President/CEO

Profile for MercyFirst

MercyLInk Fall 2019  

MercyFirst Newsletter Fall 2019

MercyLInk Fall 2019  

MercyFirst Newsletter Fall 2019

Advertisement