Oct 15, 2020

Free Defensive Driving Course Offered for United Helpers Employees

OGDENSBURG – United Helpers will be hosting a New York DMV approved National Safety Council Defensive Driving Course from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020 in the Staff Development Training Room at the Behavioral Health/Life Skills (formerly Mosaic) Complex, 100 Ford St. in Ogdensburg. 

The class serves as a refresher course for drivers of all ages and includes safe driving tips and an overview of today’s vehicle and traffic laws.

Due to COVID-19 guidelines, class size is limited to 20 people. Participants will be seated at their own table. When not seated the wearing of masks will be required. Partipants may remove their mask when seated during instruction.

Successful completion of the class makes attendees eligible for a mandatory insurance premium reduction of up to 10% for three years on the base rate for their automobile or motorcycle insurance premiums, provided you are listed as the principal operator. Participants may also be eligible to have up to a four points removed reduction with the NYS DMV. The class may be taken once every 18 months for point reduction.

The cost of the class is $35, payable in cash, check or money order made out to United Helpers Care, Inc.  United Helpers employees may attend the class free of charge.

Please bring your driver’s license with you to class.  It is a requirement that you have it with you for documentation purposes.

Next month’s class will be held on Saturday, Nov. 21, also from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Advanced registration is required. To register please contact Mark Darou at (315) 394-6702 ext. 303 or madarou@unitedhelpers.org.

Sep 21, 2020

Trio of Staff at Canton Behavioral Health Clinic Advance Licenses

CANTON – A trio of clinicians at the United Helpers Behavioral Health Clinic in Canton have recently advanced their licenses with two becoming Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSW), and a third becoming a Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW).

 

Shawn Henry and Jeanine Forrester have both recently earned the designation of LCSW. Brianna Foster recently earned the LMSW designation.

 

Director of Behavior Health Services David Nelson, noted that in order for a LMSW to advance to LCSW they need to have 3,000 hours of clinical service experience. They must also pass an exam. 

Front row, Brianna Foster, LMSW, Jeanine Forrester, LCSW;
second row, Director of Behavior Health Services David Nelson,
 and Shawn Henry, LCSW.

 

Mr. Henry has been a social worker for 36 years, but he says it wasn’t until he came to United Helpers that he felt like he could take the next step in his career.

 

“I just never have the supervision and support needed to take that next step,” Mr. Henry said. “Here at United Helpers, there is an emphasis on employee development. This really is a great place to work.”

 

Mr. Henry, who specializes in chemical dependency and behavioral health services for adult clients, earned his Master’s Degree from SUNY Albany.

Ms. Forrester actually holds two Master’s Degrees, one in Education from St. Lawrence, and one in Social Work from Syracuse University. She has been a social worker for seven years and is a general practitioner with a focus on family therapy services.

 

And it’s that family therapy that Mr. Nelson said sets United Helpers apart from other providers, noting that when Ms. Forrester is seeing a family, it’s as if that family is just one patient, and not three or four people from the same household who just happen to all be receiving services.

 

Ms. Forrester said their LCSW designation now allows her and Mr. Henry to supervise interns, which in turn allows the clinic to expand the number of patients it is able to see.

 

“It also gives us an experienced pool of people to hire from,” Mr. Henry said.

 

Ms. Foster earned her Master’s Degree from the University of Southern California, completing the first half of her degree in person, and the second half on-line after moving to Northern New York. In order to earn her license, she also had to pass an exam.

 

She is also a general practitioner, although she focuses on therapy services for adolescents and children.

 

While the COVID-19 pandemic has prevented counselors and therapists at United Helpers’ Behavioral Health Clinics in Canton and Ogdensburg from seeing patients in person, it has not prevented them from holding virtual visits, something which they continue to do five days a week without a waiting list. That is something that Mr. Nelson said is very rare for behavioral health service providers, with some providers having a waiting list that is a year or more in length.

 

“We also have access to intra-agency services such as care coordination,” he said, adding that an after-hours hotline is also available for established patients.

 

“I always tell people that it’s one of us answering the phone,” Ms. Foster said, referring to the after-hours hotline. “For many providers, that is something they contract out.”


United Helpers operates behavioral health clinics in both Canton and Ogdensburg with both locations offering confidential mental health services to treat and diagnose those suffering from depression, anxiety, anger, abuse, chronic mental illness, post-traumatic stress disorder or co-occurring disorders.


Both clinics are licensed to provide children’s therapy, and also offer individual, group or family therapy, as well as psychoeducation, psychiatric diagnostic assessments, psychiatric medication management, care coordination, coping skills training, and wellness promotion.

To schedule an appointment in Canton, call (315) 386-0264. To schedule an appointment in Ogdensburg, call (315) 541-3042.

Sep 8, 2020

UH Employee Activity Team Sponsoring Free Outdoor Movie!

That's right, grab your popcorn, blanket, and your family. It's time for another United Helpers Employee Activity Team Movie Night! Trolls: World Tour will be shown at 7:15 pm on Friday, October 2nd at the Eleanor Burke Pavilion next to UH Independent Senior Living and the United Helpers Rehabilitation and Senior Care located at 205 State Street in Canton. 

 

Poppy and Branch discover that there are six different troll tribes scattered over six different lands. Each tribe is also devoted to six different kinds of music -- funk, country, techno, classical, pop and rock. When rockers Queen Barb and King Thrash set out to destroy the other music, Poppy and Branch embark on a daring mission to unite the trolls and save the diverse melodies from becoming extinct.

 

We're sorry, due to physical constraints and the current guidelines for social gathering, this event is only open to UH employees and their family members. In the event of rain, the movie will be shown on Saturday, October 3rd, same time. 







Sep 2, 2020

United Helpers Offers Employees Free Defensive Driving Course

 

OGDENSBURG – United Helpers will be hosting a New York DMV approved National Safety Council Defensive Driving Course from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020 in the Staff Development Training Room at the Behavioral Health/Life Skills (formerly Mosaic) Complex, 100 Ford St. in Ogdensburg. 


 The class serves as a refresher course for drivers of all ages and includes safe driving tips and an overview of today’s vehicle and traffic laws.

 Due to COVID-19 guidelines, class size is limited to 20 people. Participants will be seated at their own table. When not seated the wearing of masks will be required. Partipants may remove their mask when seated during instruction.

 Successful completion of the class makes attendees eligible for a mandatory insurance premium reduction of up to 10% for three years on the base rate for their automobile or motorcycle insurance premiums, provided you are listed as the principal operator. Participants may also be eligible to have up to a four points removed reduction with the NYS DMV. The class may be taken once every 18 months for point reduction.

 The cost of the class is $35, payable in cash, check or money order made out to United Helpers Care, Inc.  United Helpers employees may attend the class free of charge.

 Please bring your driver’s license with you to class.  It is a requirement that you have it with you for documentation purposes.

 Next month’s class will be held on Thursday, Oct. 29, also from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

 Advanced registration is required. To register please contact Mark Darou at (315) 394-6702 ext. 303 or madarou@unitedhelpers.org.

Aug 20, 2020

Spies Award Winners Honored

 

OGDENSBURG – As an organization, United Helpers employs well over 1,000 people. Each year, three of them are recognized as winners of the Margaret R. Spies Award.

“The award is only given to three employees, out of more than 1,000,” said United Helpers CEO Stephen E. Knight during a zoom meeting where the awards were presented. “It’s safe to say we’re recognizing the best of the best.”

“The best of the best” is also a phrase often used by Ann Spies to describe her mother, Margaret, for whom the award is named. Ms. Spies created the honor in memory of Margaret, a one-time resident of what is now United Helpers Rehabilitation and Senior Care in Ogdensburg, as a way to honor and recognize direct care staff, such as those who cared for her mom.

This year’s awards went to Amber Evans, a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) in Ogdensburg, Crystal Klimowicz, a CNA in Canton, and Sherry Friot, a Direct Support Professional (DSP) from the Lisbon IRA, each of whom were nominated by their peers for the honor.

Timothy Parsons, who serves as Vice President of Operations in Ogdensburg where Ms. Evans works, said he was pleased to see her selected for the honor. 

Timothy Parsons, Amber Evans, & Marie Woods

"I am so happy for Amber,” he said. “She has been nominated several times by her co-workers over the past few years indicating that she is clearly one of our best CNAs.”

Mr. Parsons also had no shortage of stories to share when citing examples of things that make Ms. Evans a great CNA, but perhaps the most telling example wasn’t even included in her nomination packet.

“While we were accepting nominations, I received an unsolicited phone call from the daughter of a resident who had recently passed away,” Mr. Parsons said. “They wanted to make me aware of how special Amber was and what she meant to the resident and their family. They told me that their mother was so close with Amber that on more than one occasion she called Amber by her daughter’s name.”

The fact that Ms. Klimowicz was selected as Canton’s recipient is something that came as a surprise to no one, said Canton’s Vice President of Operations Kimberly Blair, who recalled a conversation with Ms. Klimowicz’s immediate supervisor. 

Kimberly Blair, Crystal Klimowicz, & Jessica Barr

“I spoke with her supervisor yesterday and she said that even before Crystal was a CNA, when she was working as a task aide, she knew she was going to shine,” Mrs. Blair recalled.

Citing another example, Mrs. Blair reflected on Ms. Klimowicz’s work as a mentor to other CNAs even before she was officially a part of the building’s mentoring program.

“She has helped us train new employees without being recognized or compensated for many weeks until she was able to attend mentor training,” Mrs. Blair said, reading from a nomination submitted by Robin L. Leonard, who oversees the building’s mentoring program.

Ms. Friot is one of the most impressive DSPs that her Program Leader Brady Dullea says he’s ever seen. 

Brady Dullea, Sherry Friot, & Michele Montroy

“In all my time working with OPWDD (Office for People with Developmental Disabilities) programs, I have never met anyone with all the abilities she has,” Mr. Dullea said. “There is no one who better embodies, ‘Always Caring.’ She never has an off day.”

Mr. Dullea said the opportunity has even arisen several times for Ms. Friot to be promoted to a supervisory position, but each time she politely declines, noting she doesn’t want to give up the level of involvement with direct care she enjoys now.

“Despite declining leadership positions, Sherry has never shied away from taking control when times get tough,” he said. “She has successfully handled many difficult situations, not because she wants to step up and take charge, but because she wants the best outcomes for the people living and working in the house.”

Each year since 2001 the Margaret R. Spies Awards has been presented to three employees — one each from United Helpers Rehabilitation & Senior Care in Ogdensburg, United Helpers Rehabilitation & Senior Care in Canton and United Helpers Behavioral Health & Life Skills — who embody the most desirable qualities in direct care staff: dedication to the people they care for and a willingness to go above and beyond expectations.  Nominations for the honor come from fellow United Helpers employees.

A plaque that lists the names of all the Spies Awards recipients hangs at United Helpers Rehabilitation & Senior Care in Ogdensburg.

To view video from this year's presentation, which was held via Zoom, please visit... https://zoom.us/rec/play/vcYkf-2op2g3SdSQ5ASDC6N9W426LqOs0XIa_6IEmEnhVXEGYVGhZ7sUZ-K_dKg4KszXBiA1Sk1tiOJG?startTime=1597165386000


Jul 13, 2020

Visitation Guidance from NYS DOH: Coming soon!

United Helpers received word last Friday that New York State issued guidance related to rehabilitation and nursing home visitation.

The Department of Health has not approved our facilities for visitation at this time but we are working hard to submit a safety plan and put the necessary protocols in place to initiate visitation.

Visits will have to be scheduled in advance and will be held outside, for limited time periods, to accommodate all residents. Health screening upon arrival, social distancing, and masks will be required during the visits.

Our residents and families will be among the first to know when we will be able to welcome visitors and how they can schedule visits.

We are very excited that our residents will have the opportunity to see loved ones in person once again!

Jun 22, 2020

Society Awards Helen S. Randles Scholarships


OGDENSBURG – Three high school seniors who furthering their education and planning to work in health care were recently honored with Helen S. Randles Scholarships.

The scholarships are presented by the Society of the United Helpers using funds from an endowment created by the late Ms. Randles, who served as a volunteer with United Helpers for 46 years.

Melissa Barr
Speaking about Ms. Randles, Scholarship Committee Chairman, Dr. Ed Gordon, who also serves as Society Board President said, “Education was very important to her, particularly for young people looking for careers in health care.”

This year’s winners included two students from Ogdensburg Free Academy and a student from Madrid-Waddington.

Melissa Barr, of Ogdensburg, will be attending Russell Sage College with a dual major in biology and physical therapy. She is the daughter of Nicholas and Annette Barr. 
Courtney Baker

Courtney Baker, of Ogdensburg, will enroll in the dual degree nursing program at SUNY Canton. She is the daughter of Arthur Baker Jr. and Brandy Baker. 

Alexis Sullivan
Alexis Sullivan, of Madrid, will be attending SUNY Potsdam where she will major in exercise science. She is then planning to enroll at Clarkson to receive her degree in physical therapy. She is the daughter of  Jennifer Sullivan and Michael Sullivan.


Dr. Gordon said the decision on whom to select is never an easy one.

“The quality of applicants this year was excellent,” he said. “All 15 were definitely worthy, but you three rose to the top.”

Dr. Gordon also said that he hoped the Zoom meeting where the scholarships were “presented” would not be the last time United Helpers hears from the students.

“Part of Helen’s hope in establishing this scholarship was that you would come back and work with us,” he said. “We certainly hope you keep us in mind and let us know how you are doing throughout your careers.”