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Published by Kim Stricker

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Published by: Kim Stricker on Sep 02, 2011
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New Board Members
aster Seals Michigan has appointed two newmembers to its board of directors. Henry FordHealth System Director of Operational Analytics,Julia Swanson, and mBank Vice President andCommercial Bank Officer David Leslie, recently joined the board responsible for governing andupholding the nonprofit agency’s mission toserve people with disabilities.“David and Julia’s leadership qualities are atremendous asset to our board,” says EasterSeals Michigan President and CEO Brent Wirth.“Their commitment to the community and tothe people who look to Easter Seals for supportis exactly what we need to sustain our positionas a leader in behavioral health anddisability services.”In addition to attending requisite meetings,Easter Seals Michigan board members’ duties include participatingin strategic planning and policy decisions, securing financial resources and monitoring program outcomes and operations. Leslieand Swanson’s three-year term on the Easter Seals’ board is up forrenewal in October 2013.
 June 15, 2011
Walk With Me Grand Rapids John Ball Park & Zoo
 July 23, 2011
Cadillac CTS and $50,000 Raffle
 Supported by CENTURY 21 Town & Country 
Suburban Cadillac of Troy
Raffle # C25132
September 11, 2011
Walk with Me DetroitDetroit - Rivard Plaza
For more information, call 1 (800) 75-SEALSor visit www.essmichigan.org
News from Adult Services
espite the challenges that are facing ourstate and local government economicallyand socially, I have been pleasantly surprisedand proud of the persistence of the AdultServices Supported Employment Program. Afew years ago, Easter Seals took the initiativeand was awarded a grant to implement theDartmouth Supported Employment Model.From numerous consumer surveys, wediscovered that housing, employment andtransportation are the most important qualityof life indicators to the people we serve. Unfortunately, in ourcurrent economic environment, all three of those areas aredwindling. It is not surprising that we find more people in need,requiring assistance to find and manage resources.While the employment program presented several start-upobstacles, the diligence of the two and a half member teamremained positive, pressing forward in their mission for success.Not even Michigan’s present unemployment rate of 10%, which isstill higher than the national average, could discourage them.Instead of falling into complacency, using the excuse that jobs arehard to find, our team chose a different approach…one of actionand professional growth.In the fall of 2010, we expanded the supported employment teamto four specialists with a half-time team lead. We also invested inone-on-one job development training from Easter Seals National,which included practical, hands-on-experience in cold calling,approaching potential employers, fundamentals in jobdevelopment and person centered vocational assessment. Ourbrochures and materials, used as tools for outreach to potential employers, were revamped with the assistance of the marketingteam. As a result of the added focus, including the team’sdedication and competency, the recent outcomes andachievements are impressive.
 Julia Swanson
 Inside this Issue
Trauma-Impact Practices Employee Perspective Award Recaps Autism AwarenessCharitable GivingCar Raffle
Since October, the team has successfullyemployed 23 individuals. This numberrepresents hope for many people with severemental illnesses and co-occurring disorderswho believe that it is impossible to findmeaningful work. We are optimistic that all Easter Seals’ employees will assist us in sustaining our goals of employment for all by providing the supported employment teamwith any leads on potential employers and jobs. We all can be partof the solution in changing lives.
 Juliana Stitz, director of Adult Services
 David Leslie
 Vol. 2, 2011
Easter Seals Michigan
SAMHSA Chooses Easter Seals forTrauma-Related Learning Community 
Easter Seals Michigan (ESM) is one of 21 organizations nationwidechosen by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health ServicesAdministration (SAMHSA) for the 2011 Inaugural Class of theNational Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare’s Adoptionof Trauma-Informed Practices Learning Community. The group,which convened for the first time in San Diego on May 5th, hasbeen formed to address the urgent need for a systemic protocol that ensures all people who come into contact with the behavioral health system receive services sensitive to trauma impact.“This is a great honor for the entire Easter Seals team and a greattestament to the extraordinary behavioral health services weprovide for people living with mental illness and their families,”says ESM President and CEO Brent Wirth. “A good example of ourcommitment to further advances in trauma-informed practices isthe fully integrated, holistic approach to trauma-related servicesthat we recently added to our new operative strategic plan.”Easter Seals offers a comprehensive array of behavioral services tohelp adults and children achieve their personal goals. Theseservices include using proven treatment methods, called evidence-based practices that are facilitated by a multi-disciplinary team of licensed and/or behavioral health professionals, includingpsychiatrists, therapists, case managers and clinicians.All 21 organizations selected to participate in the learningcommunity will be provided with off-site information exchangeopportunities, as well as receive technical assistance andconsultation to develop and implement an action plan to createand sustain trauma-informed practices
Employee Perspective
 Perhaps our eyes need to be washed by our tears once in a while, so that we can see lifewith a clearer view again.—Alex Tan
I’ve always loved that quote and believe it to bea true statement.The other night, I was sitting at my computerworking, when a mother and her daughter cameinto the center for therapy. Her daughter is7-years-old and has Down syndrome, a tracheal 
2387 E. Walton Blvd.Auburn Hills, MI 48326Ph: (248) 475-64001 (800) 75-SEALS toll freeFax: (248) 475-6402
Flint/Genesee Count
Family Services - North
2387 E. Walton Blvd.Auburn Hills, MI 48326Phone: (248) 475-63001 (866) 99-CHILD toll freeFax: (248) 475-6370
Dreams Unlimited Clubhouse
1222 Catalpa Dr.Royal Oak, MI 48067Phone: (248) 544-20341 (866) 296-3635 toll freeFax: (248) 544-2152
 Adult Services
22170 W. Nine Mile Rd.Southfield, MI 48033Phone: (248) 372-68001 (800) 395-9819 toll freeFax: (248) 355-1402
Family Services - South
17117 W. Nine Mile Rd., Suite 220Southfield, MI 48075Phone: (248) 483-78041 (866) 99-CHILD toll freeFax: (248) 483-7868
tube and a feeding tube. We have been working with her daughter forover a year now in speech therapy and have started to see such animprovement with her words and word formation. I overheard themother say this, “My daughter came home from school today with herfirst ever birthday party invitation. I broke down in tears, becauseshe had never been included before.”As I sat at my desk, wiping away my tears, I thought of my ownchildren and the numerous invitations that they had receivedthroughout their years growing up; everyday life occurrences that wedon’t even think about. We take so much for granted.It’s these types of stories that make me love my job more and moreand really appreciate our donors, because without you, we couldn’t dowhat we do. Thank you.
Dreams Unlimited ClubhouseRecognized by SAMHSA 
Dreams Clubhouse, which is partof the International Center of Clubhouse Development (ICCD)has been accepted for inclusionon the Substance Abuse andMental Health Services Administration’s(SAMHSA) National Registry of Evidence Based Practices (EBP) andPrograms (NREPP).“We’re absolutely thrilled to be recognized by SAMHSA,” saysEaster Seals’ Dreams Unlimited Clubhouse Manager Joyce Rupp.“We’ve always known that lives are changed by Dreams’ services,having other people believe in us as well is fantastic.”Advantages of being identified as an EBP include:1. Identifying interventions based on research studies ratherthan subjective interpretations2. EBP’s receive support from research that includesevidence from multiple studies3. Allowing funders to direct limited resources to programsand areas where they will have the greatest impact4. Many EBP’s have manuals and guidelines to assist withmodel implementation and fidelity.
Denise Durkee,
director of West Michigan Therapy Services
101 Best & Brightest
Easter Seals’ West Michigan regional office has been selected for the fifthyear in a row as a 101 Best &Brightest Companies to Work For.This prestigious honor, sponsoredannually by the Michigan BusinessProfessional Association, waspresented to the nonprofit agency during an awards ceremony onMay 5, 2011, at the Pinnacle Center in Hudsonville.“I am continually impressed with the efforts and dedication of ourWest Michigan staff,” says Easter Seals Michigan President and CEOBrent Wirth. “This recognition certainly has a direct correlation of their competencies and commitment to create a positive andproductive work environment.”The 101 Best & Brightest Companies to Work For competitionprovides the business community with the opportunity to gainrecognition, showcase their best practices and demonstrate whythey are an ideal place for employees to work. It is also designedto enhance best workplace practices, develop robust mechanismsfor community organizations and corporations to train futureindustry leaders and to engage the workforce.
2011 OCCMHA Award Winners
Three Easter Seals Michigan nominees were honored during the2011 Oakland County Community Health Authority (OCCMHA)Achievement Award presentation this past April. Sherry Gerbireceived the Director’s Award and Joshaunna B. and Kayla S. weregiven the Rights & Advocacy Award.The OCCMHA awards were created to highlight and showappreciation for individuals receiving behavioral health serviceswho also takesteps to reducemental healthstigma, helpothers andmake thecommunity abetter place tolive and work.
“Easter Seals Michigan (ES MI) voluntarily complies with the applicable provisionsof Sarbanes-Oxley legislation. ES MI has a separately established Board AuditCommittee to oversee the integrity of our annual independent audit. This committeeoperates separately from the Finance Committee of the Board. To receive a copy of the annual audit, Audit Committee member qualifications, or our Form 990, pleasesubmit a written request to the CEO at 2387 E. Walton Blvd., Auburn Hills, MI48326. The Board of Directors review and approve Board and Staff Code of Ethicspolicies annually and they are also available by written request.”
Easter Seals is accredited by CARF 
Easter Seals Michigan’sOakland County Mental Health Programs areprimarily funded by Oak-land County CommunityMental Health Authority.
Collaborative Solutions
269 Summit DriveWaterford, MI 48328Phone: (248) 706-34501 (866) 212-4389 toll freeFax: (248) 706-3455
Centro Latino
269 Summit Dr.Waterford, MI 48328Phone: (248) 681-19401 (866) 933-4611 toll freeFax: (248) 706-3455
Flint Therapy Center 
1420 W. University Ave.Flint, MI 48504-4897Phone: (810) 238-04751 (877) 238-0472 toll freeFax: (810) 238-9270
West Michigan Therapy Center 
4065 Saladin Dr. SEGrand Rapids, MI 49546Phone: (616) 942-2081Fax: (616) 942-5932
 Easter Seals Michigan staff and Board Chairperson Jackie Dangl attended the101 Best & Brightest award’s ceremony.
Kayla S.
“I was so honored to receive the Director’s Award, especially whenI read that the award was given to someone who inspires othersto strive to be their best,” explains Sherry. “Two years ago, Ifound myself at a crisis-point, a real low, as a result of my mental illness. I was hospitalized and got hooked up with Easter Seals’clinical services and Dreams Unlimited Clubhouse. With the helpof the Clubhouse staff and members, I reclaimed my recovery.”Teenagers Joshaunna and Kayla, both nominated by Easter Seals,were the only two recipients of the 2011 OCCMHA Rights andAdvocacy Award. The girls were nominated by Easter Seals’ FamilyServices, a comprehensive, evidence-based behavioral healthprogram benefitting families with children from birth through 18years of age.
Mom Promotes Autism Awareness
“I really went through a grievingprocess and then I had to let go of the anger, fear and worry and justmove on,” says Clarkston residentMelissa Rohn about her four-year-oldson Lukas’ autism diagnosis last year.Lukas represents the one in 110 children born with autism.Autism is a complex developmental disability that typicallyappears during the first three years of life and affects a person’sability to communicate and interact with others. It’s defined by acertain set of behaviors and is a “spectrum disorder” that affectsindividuals differently and in varying degrees.“I was very much in denial,” remembers Rohn. “Lukas is hyper-sensitive to touch and had difficulty sleeping. At six-months-oldhe refused to eat anything except oatmeal cereal, sweet potatoes,and breast milk for eight months.”In March of 2010, test results revealed that Lukas had mildautism with hyperlexic features -- a fascination with printedwords and letters. Rohn’s pediatrician immediately referred her toEaster Seals Michigan and the Play and Language for AutisticYoungsters (P.L.A.Y.) Project.“P.L.A.Y. is really pulling Lukas up the social ladder, creating asolid foundation for him to grow on,” added Rohn.
Caden & Lukas Sherry Gerbi  Joshaunna B.

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