Issuu on Google+

the connections essay by richard baer

milestones Birthdays

New Faces, New Spaces, and the Welcoming Arms of Family I cannot even muster the words to convey how wonderful it is to be back in the fold. When I first came to the organization, formerly AIDS Community Services, it was with the sincere and shared desire to help many of the individuals I knew in our community in Jamestown whose lives were affected by the disease. You see, I had been volunteering for many years with ACS and gotten to know and work alongside some of the best people I’d ever known; so, it was the easiest choice of my life when they gave me the opportunity to join them. I tell you, it was a family unlike any I’d ever known. I will not say it was unfortunate that I had to leave, because these last two years have enriched me fully and awakened in me a sense of satisfaction and resolution. What I can say is that I always knew, deep down inside, that I might one day return. And, I am so happy to be back. To use an allegory, I am the son who, literally, after reluctantly going off to college, returns home and steps out of the car, sets his bags down, and looks up for a minute at the welcoming sight of home. That is how I felt when I walked up to 206 South Elmwood a few weeks ago and gazed up at the familiar orange brick façade, with its concrete arches and triangular pattern across the top - “Ah, it is good to be home,” I thought. Then I walked through the front door only to find that my family had changed everything! I am truly amazed at the explosive transformation that has happened within this organization in the time

I’ve been away (the family business is expanding!). Surely, anyone walking through those front doors instantly comprehends what is meant by the term ‘integrated and comprehensive model of care.’ To see the Medical Center and its new, expanded waiting room (there goes another wall!), the Pharmacy fully realized (I admit, I’m a client too!), to hear of how the Pride Center is growing (and learning about their new Trans-Initiative), Care Coordinator running in here — Care Coordinator running out there, the hustle and bustle of the SEP wing, and the smell of the aroma of food from the packed Wellness Center, not to mention the new affiliation with Benedict House; all paint a grander picture of the true meaning of that model and its benefit for the clients. It is really very impressive. Listening to Ron speak at the recent agency luncheon about our history of being ‘Pioneers’, and of our future continuing to be, was simply invigorating. This new era of healthcare is daunting, to say the least, far beyond my or any one person’s comprehension, but it is the diverse and collective knowledge of organizations with forward-visioning team leaders such as Evergreen who will navigate their way to success. I for one am happy to say that I will be able to contribute and be a part of the future of this organization, its success and the well-being of its clients. Now, gimme my next list! C

Lavine Corp – November 3 Benne Evere – November 8 Susan Fiedler – November 8 Kevin Bidtah – November 10 Angela Palmer – November 10 Jessica Lehsten – November 11 Saw Min – November 11 Kathleen O’Sullivan – November 16 Shari DeMarco – November 18 Tayrin Torres – November 18 Ka e Diebold – November 25 Elisa Luciano – November 23 Katherine Barker – November 26


Andre’ Stokes – 2 years Cortney Anderson- 7 years Brian Planty – 7 years Courtney Rhines – 7 years Bridget McClain – 11 years Carolee Corbi –14 years

Your Con nued Dedica on and Hard Work Are No ced and Appreciated! - Management Team

NOVEMBER 2013 PUBLISHER/LAYOUT John Carocci EDITOR Kimberly Harding CONTRIBUTORS Richard Baer, Kate Gallivan, Michael Lee Sheila Marcheson, Christopher Miller

This photo (sans caption) appeared in the Buffalo News!

Eating healthy on a budget may seem impossible, but with planning and strategic shopping you can eat healthier and stay within your means. Planning your meals for the week is the best place to start. Make sure you include foods from each food group – pay special attention to fruits and vegetables. Planning saves time and money. Make a shopping list to avoid pricey impulse buys. Plus, planning meals means fewer trips to the grocery store! Planning is easy. Build your meal around rice, noodles or other grains. Use smaller amounts of meat, poultry, fish or eggs. Add variety to family favorites and try new, lowcost recipes. There are many online resources for finding healthy recipes. Try new ways to cook foods, such as a crock-pot, to make meals easier to prepare. Make use of leftovers to save time and money. For example, if you make a pot roast, serve half of it and freeze the rest to use later. When time allows, cook large batches and freeze family-size portions for meals later in the month. After planning your meals, make a list of all the foods you need (don’t forget to check the kitchen first!) and look for coupons for the foods you plan to buy. Avoid convenience foods (fancy baked goods, frozen meals, etc.) – you can usually make these at home much cheaper. Try store brands. They cost less and generally taste as good. When buying produce, buy what is in season. Compare fresh, frozen and canned to see which is cheapest. Buy only the amount of a food your family will eat before it spoils, to prevent waste. Read food labels and choose foods with less fat, sodium or calories, and more vitamins, minerals and fiber. When your budget allows, buy extra, low-cost nutritious foods like potatoes and frozen orange juice concentrate. These foods keep well. C

Honestly, there are a lot of people here t would have my back. But we’re talking Games, figh ng for our lives! I have to Stone. He seems sweet, and mild mann don’t sleep on him! - Maisha Drayton

I would take Katee Cieri and Nicole Co been lucky enough to build very close fr with these ladies, and with them by my si we would be one kick bu group! - Mindi Mietlicki

(Editor’s Note: Yes, Mindi broke the rules by taking two baƩle with her. But The Hunger Games is all about doi it takes to stay alive!)

Dale or Kevin. Dudes who understand th have heard a few stories from them bo them v. Nature and them coming out on - Brendan Orrange

that I feel g Hunger pick Cord ered, but

I would take Maria LoTempio, because she always Maria LoTempio: mad smart and craŌy. follows through and is honest and straigh orward. - Josh McClain But most importantly for the Hunger Games she is tough and people are afraid of her, so I could make I would bring Michael Hamann with the provision that he have the agency checkbook and a pen. her do all the figh ng for me!! - Andy Kiener - Michael Lee

oonly. I’ve For The Hunger Games, I would have to take Nurse iendships Kyle Savage with me because his green eyes and de I know red hair would camouflage nicely with the foliage, he’s spry and canny and he’s a nurse so he could treat a wound, although the la er would not be necessary since his cu ng wit would bewilder the o players into ing whatever opponents or expose them as easy targets via their guffaws and peals of laughter. - Michele Sczerbaniewicz he land. I oth about Maria LoTempio. Are you kidding, why is that even top. a ques on? It’s LoTempio, therefore we win. - Kevin Bidtah

Trustworthy Kim Lombard. From a strategic standpoint, she complements my naviga onal and outdoor skills with her analy cal thinking and willingness to do whatever it takes to get the job done. (bonus: we look alike from a distance and have the same name. The other compe tors would never be sure if either of us were dead or alive!) - Kimberly Harding Gloria Kornowski goes into anoscopy ba le with me every day and I can’t think of anyone be er to have my back(side) LOL. - Jason Rein

a good decision by michael lee Coming aboard Evergreen as the Director of Research Projects was a fairly easy decision to make when I found myself at a career crossroads earlier this year. My previous work as a consultant for a strategy and brand firm was rewarding in that it offered exposure and experience in a bunch of various industries (including healthcare, craft beer, technology, architecture, etc.), but it lacked the more humanistic element; the connection between what I cared about and what it was that I was actually doing. When Evergreen presented the opportunity to join the team, it felt like the marriage between identifying with an organization’s mission and being able contribute in a way that mattered. And it was a good fit, especially with regard to taking on Evergreen’s research. Our research initiatives here at Evergreen are really quite fascinating, and they’re all pretty different. We have investigators engaging us that are interested in topics we address daily: HIV testing barriers, transgender HIV/AIDS incidences, cART neurotoxicity, HIV vaccinations, PrEP, syringe exchange overdoes preventions, HIV cancer risks,

ConnecƟons Poll

HIV alcohol interventions, and the list goes on from there. Each project is at a different stage, has different funding, and a different scope of work depending on investigator needs and Evergreen’s commitment to the project. I also enjoy evaluating funding opportunities for potential research projects, and connecting the dots between Evergreen and outside collaborators. Recently I’ve also had the opportunity to assist internal staff with their research initiatives with regard to study designs and data collection. I think it’s safe to say I don’t get bored any day of the week, and I absolutely love the variability that the research position offers. I genuinely enjoy the changing gears of research, and the challenge of bringing a project together completely; it’s like putting together a big puzzle. I’m incredibly happy I made the jump to Evergreen. Not only do I see the relevance in the research we’re involved with, but also the work Evergreen does as whole. All I have to do is look around at Evergreen’s continued growth and our comprehensive services to see that we’re connecting on a meaningful level, and that what we’re doing matters to the populations we serve. C


“What is Your Favorite Pet?” 21 say dog, 10 say cat, 1 says bird, 1 says fish, 1 says rep le.

Community Access Services made a big splash with the annual Na onal La no AIDS Awareness Day event held at Evergreen Commons. For more photos check out: h ps://alo

I’d start a High School based on the principles of deliberate creativity. High Stakes testing can go kick rocks! - Maisha Drayton I would do a project similar to the Wounded Warrior Project — help and assist veterans who come back injured from deployments and help their families, but I would include more fitness aspects… build playgrounds for the children and families. - Aaron Pry My not-for-profit would probably revolve around trying to save some harpy eagles. I saw a documentary on Netflix once, and these eagles eat monkeys for snacks. A bird that eats monkeys! Monkeys creep me out anyways, with their little hands. - Mike Lee I would start the much-needed “Audis for Graphic Designers” foundation, whose mission would be to link a 2013 Audi TT Coupe (in Brilliant Black, please) with deserving graphic designers. For just a few hundred dollars each month, you can make my a graphic designer’s commute a lot more fun. Won’t you please help? - John Carocci I would love to start a not-for-profit bank. A community run bank to allow low interest loans to encourage people to begin businesses or buy houses that may not normally think that is a possibility due to how the current banking system is run. - Brendan Orrange

voicing our stories Editor’s Note: this month’s Connections Question asked readers what non-profit organization they would start if they had the opportunity. Well, our own Tayrin Torres has “been there, done that”. Tayrin is the founder of Dear Tayrin, Inc., an non-profit organization that strives to break through the silence and stigma surrounding sexual abuse in order to increase awareness of the problem, and empower those at risk along with those who have already been victimized. On October 5, Dear Tayrin, Inc. presented its second annual Voicing Our Stories event. The event drew over 75 attendees and featured entertainment, food, and the healing that was brought forth through stories shared. Below are some of the comments attendees left. Look for Dear Tayrin, Inc. on Facebook to learn more about the organization, its mission, and to see photo galleries of their events. “So many people feel like they’re alone on this horrible issue but DearTayrin is a safe haven that gives those victimized the courage to not be silent and take back their life. DearTayrin is the mouthpiece not only for this generation but for generations to come!” ~ Andrea Rosario, Supporter “Voicing Our Stories” was more than an event. It was an awakening. It brought a new found freedom for some and a renewed strength to others. It helped me remember that no matter what type of pain we have each experienced, there is always someone there to help us through it.” ~ Maisha Drayton, Supporter

“I was able to see firsthand the changes in people’s lives that Tayrin Tapia founder of Dear Tayrin is making. She is making a huge difference for people that have been a victim to sexual abuse giving them a platform to share their story whether they want to remain anonymous or not.” ~ Hass Saddique, Owner of SWAGG University “The atmosphere was loving, respectful and overall a time to smile. The entertainment was beyond amazing, talented and touching. Almost felt like each individual got time to meditate in his/her own thoughts and let out any internal struggle quietly.” ~ Maria Cruz, Supporter

“Dear Tayrin has broken ground and given everyone a voice, an opportunity, and a method to disclose their information and stories in a confident setting.” ~Andre Stokes, Supporter “What I loved most is that this event was accepting of all people no matter what their situations may be.” ~ Brittany, Owner of Just B. McKay Photography



probably seen posters around the building for the Pride Center’s Vogue for Your Life (V4YL) events. V4YL is a monthly social outreach event hosted by the Pride Center at Evergreen Commons. V4YL provides a safe, comfortable space for people who are transgender, genderqueer, gender nonconforming, or MSMs of color to express themselves, socialize and have a great time on a Friday night. It’s also a chance for the Pride Center to promote the agency’s full array of programs and services such as the Transgender Health Initiative (THI), HIV/STD testing, primary care through Evergreen Medical Group, harm reduction counseling and more to at-risk communities where the need for those services is great. Pride Center staff created the V4YL event while searching for innovative ways to tap into Buffalo's "house" culture, and engage young MSMs of color and trans individuals who are at high risk for HIV. Once the initial connection is made and a relationship is established, it becomes much easier to connect people with any of the services available through Evergreen Association member organizations. Because many MSMs of color and trans individuals face incredible amounts of stigma, up to and including estrangement from their families, the house culture may well be the only support system in their lives. Our connection with those houses makes it possible for individuals to find out about and access programs and services they desperately need. V4YL also helps the Pride Center strengthen its collaboration with a variety of community partners,

including the MOCHA Center of Buffalo and Evergreen's own Life Changes program. So what exactly is V4YL? It’s based on the underground vogue balls that came out of Harlem in the 1980s. Vogue balls and voguing attracted mainstream attention in the late 1980s and early 1990s through music videos by Madonna and Malcolm McClaren, and the movie Paris is Burning. Though it may have seemed like a fad at the time, voguing never went away completely, and it's currently seeing a mini-resurgence in pop and R&B culture. V4YL follows the format of a New York City vogue ball. Each month’s event has a theme and a wide variety of categories for participants to "walk" in. Competition is fierce for the trophies (and glory) winners in each category receive. The Pride Center staff worked hard to forge connections with the local house and ballroom communities, and so the V4YL events have been received with a great deal of enthusiasm from those communities. So far, monthly attendance has averaged about 70 people. But the Pride Center isn't resting on its laurels. They are already thinking of ways to improve the event and strengthen the community connections even more. On the drawing board are workshops, mentorship programs, a video project to inform the public about V4YL and the THI, house photo shoots, and perhaps even a Western New York version of the Latex Ball (the world's largest vogue ball, held annually in New York City). For more information about Vogue for Your Life ask a Pride Center staff member for details, watch this month’s Connections Video, or join us for the next event at Evergreen Commons and see for yourself! C

H E C O N N E C T I O N S V I D E O : V O G U E 4 Y O U R L I F E B Y L I N D S AY Z A S A D A !

November final