Service to others over self: celebrating our outstanding staff

As we move through a week of celebrating and expressing sincere gratitude to our staff for their outstanding support of and service to people with disabilities, one quality stands out among many. They all are focused on service to another. They get up very early or work late, on weekends, on holidays, despite inclement weather – to be there for another person, and to be fully present, alert, attentive and responsive as they actively support people who are reaching for greater independence and greater quality of life through achieving their goals. They are champions of our mission – in accountability, innovation, learning, positivity and perhaps most of all – in trust.

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Congratulations to all our staff, continued . . .

Nancy Ogden, Supervisor of Linwood Center

Nancy is supervisor of the Linwood Center which is the Agency’s senior community center. She began her career with the Agency close to 27 years ago working at the Children’s Intermediate Care Facility on Fall Road.

Then, from 2000 to 2003, she was a Direct Support Professional at Osgood residence. In 2003 she accepted a position as a day care assistant at the Linwood Center, then managed by Cattaraugus County and operated in the former Allegany High School.

Eight years later, the Linwood Center merged with the ReHab Center and Nancy found herself back at the ReHab Center.

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Congratulations to all our staff for Staff Appreciation Week!

All our staff make it possible for the ReHab Center to support more than 850 people with disabilities across three counties. 

They get up every day and go to work to support our people in a million different ways, but always with the intention to do their best to ensure that each will reach their goals and gain even a small measure of independence that day.

And, if they aren’t in a position to provide direct support, they support those who do. Together, we are the team that makes our mission such a great success.

Without them there would be no ReHab Center, no home and day services for Billy Jo or the many others who attend Day Hab, Community Hab, LifeSkills, the Youth Residence, 18 residencies, supportive apartments, seniors in the Linwood Center, Medicaid support services SubCon Industries, InTandem Solutions, Employment Connection, and the young and old throughout the community who need and receive our support.

As one of the largest employers in Olean, without each of our 484 staff members, the economic, social and cultural quality of the area would not be as significant or profound. 

The Rehab Center thanks all our staff for making us an awesome, flourishing place, creating beautiful lives for many who might never have found the enrichment and means to greater independence the Agency offers them.

The following individuals were named by their supervisors and managers for their exceptional service and commitment. But, that equally applies to each of our fantastic, caring staff.

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Agency provides a lifetime of enrichment

Agency provides a lifetime of enrichment

A bright smile spread across Billy Jo Olkosky’s face as he shared memories from his many years at the ReHabilitation Center, which has been home, rehabilitation provider and employer for most of his 67 years.

“It’s been a long time,” he said, smiling at his mother, Estelle, and step-dad, Keith, who stop by once a week to visit him and take him home for an occasional weekend and for holidays. Continue reading…


Learning job skills at PreVoc Bingo

Learning job skills at PreVoc Bingo
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Learning is often a subjective experience, drawing from each person’s individual strengths.  But, for everyone at the table from the PreVocational training program, a round of Careers Bingo stirred their creativity, igniting their interest and spiking their unique learning edge.

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SWEET MEREDITH’S FUDGERY

Meredith Doyle 006Where dreams come true . . .

Sweetness goes a long way at Cuba’s newest business enterprise. It’s in rich supply in the delicious, creamy chocolate, peanut butter, caramel, even strawberry cheesecake fudge Meredith Doyle sells to benefit the Palmer Opera House in Cuba.

Starting a business had always been a dream of the SubCon employee, a dream she never stopped believing in.

“It’s always been a dream of mine to have a business and I’ve always loved fudge. So it’s a perfect match,” she said, adding she continues to work three days a week at SubCon.
“I love seeing everyone come in.”

She talked the idea over with her parents, Connie and Michael, who assisted with the purchase of the fudge kettle and other items needed to open the fudge shop in the Opera House.
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St. Bonaventure’s ArtMobile visits Day Services

BAM 001The Day Hab classroom buzzed with activity as would-be artists from Day Services made colorful fish, traced maple leaves, and other craft projects under the direction and guidance of five interns from St. Bonaventure University’s Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts this week.

“The interns from the center’s ArtMobile brought all the materials and are helping the people make art projects and crafts,” Deena Holcomb, Day Hab DSP, said.

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Linwood champions in Golden Olympics

Golden 1There’s nothing like a little competition to stir up some fun.  It may also be the impetus for creative ingenuity which bolsters self-esteem which the disabled and elderly too often feel a loss.

It may explain why a wheelchair tennis champion like David Wagner, left a paraplegic at age 21 after an accident in the California surf, would pursue his lifelong dream to be an Olympic tennis player and go on to become the world’s leading wheelchair tennis player.

This same spirit prevails at the Golden Olympics, sponsored by the Southern Tier Activity Association (STAA), in which the champions at Linwood Center placed this year.

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Love of people drives the music and service

Tim and Emily

Tim Hollamby and Emily Sullivan in “Les Miserables” 2012.

Tim Hollamby’s career path led him in several directions. But, one thing they all have in common is his love of people, expressed in his acting and music as well as support of people with disabilities as a Health Homes Care Manager. Locally, he’s a well-known actor and singer but he also supports people with physical and mental health issues and developmental disabilities for the Agency.

He always knew he wanted to help people and make a positive difference in their lives. But what exactly that looked like evaded him for a while. After his time at the State University of New York at Fredonia where he studied Sociology and Psychology, he worked a couple jobs in the area until he was alerted to his current position as a Health Homes Care Manager by a friend who also works for the Agency. Continue reading…


Dine & Donate with Good Times of Olean

June 12th-June 18th – Dine & Donate with Good Times!

As part of Good Times of Olean’s “Dine and Donate Program,” we are be teaming up to create awareness and raise funds for The Rehabilitation Foundation!

Monday

Good Times will give back 25% of all Dine-In orders that are placed through our Online Ordering site, NetWaiter

Tuesday-Sunday

Good Times will give back 10% of all online orders whether they are for dine-in, pickup or delivery, when placed through the online ordering site NetWaiter
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Creativity in Day Hab knows no limits

Smiling, bashfully, Johnny studied a Day Hab 004Facebook picture of his dog on Deena Holcomb’s cell phone.

“Go show your friends the picture of your dog,” Deena, who is a Day Hab DSP, said urging Johnny to interact with his Day Hab peers.

“Who’s that right here?” Deena continued, pointing to the picture on her phone in Johnny’s hands.

“Gigi,” Johnny whispered as a blush spread across his face.

The dinner-table kind of conversation moved on to Michelle who reported she’d listened to music the night before and ate spaghetti for dinner. And, Katie said she went for a long walk on the spring-like evening the night before. Nick reported he went to his mom’s house, watched TV and ate goulash and a salad. He added that weight control which included daily exercise was one of his goals.

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Modern motherhood breathes fire

“We are all  ‘Mother.’  We are the stewards of our planet and we are working together to resolve these intersecting issues.”            

– Kim Baker, Lifeskills Manager

Kim and Ashleigh at Women's marchΜotherhood is an idyllic, radiant ray of humanity’s most beautiful primal drive. It is the expression of unconditional love while nurturing the vulnerable and helpless infant in the predatory jungle of life.

While instinctual, these qualities of upholding, supporting, nurturing, and embracing those who are vulnerable are among the best qualities of evolved humanity.  One doesn’t need to be a mother to support the voiceless and marginalized. This fact was never more evident than during the Women’s March on January 21 which was one of the largest marches in history drawing more than 4 million participants in cities across the U.S. in addition to Washington, D.C.

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14th Annual Seafood Fest – A Success!

Seafood Fest ’17 exceeds fundraising goals

THANK YOU TO ALL OUR GENEROUS DONORS!Post event graphic

As the annual Seafood Fest auction sailed through the Old Library Event Center on Friday, March 24th,  attendees from Olean and beyond outdid themselves this year in support of The Rehabilitation Foundation. Prizes were won and gourmet food was served including a bountiful buffet with various seafood dishes, beef tenderloin and chicken. It was a fun night out for all full of excitement and entertainment.

“It was an exceptionally successful sold-out year,” Elena Bombardier, Foundation director, said, adding, “We exceeded this year’s fundraising goal.”

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GOV. CUOMO SUPPORTS DSP WAGE INCREASE, CALLS FOR $55 MILLION ALLOCATION IN BUDGET

NYS LEGISLATURE, GOVERNOR AGREE TO MAKE INITIAL INVESTMENT IN DISABILITY PROVIDER WORKFORCE

The following is reprinted from a news bulletin by the Developmental Disabilities Alliance of WNY:
Yesterday, in the State Capitol, Governor Cuomo and the leaders of both Houses, along with the mental hygiene committee chairs, promised a group of bFair2DirectCare demonstrators that they all support the addition of funds to increase direct care salaries. The Governor said he would not sign a budget that didn’t include $55 million for direct care providers. Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, Senate Independent Democratic Conference Leader Jeff Klein and members of the Senate Republican Conference including Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan were unified in their support and all commented on the effectiveness of the campaign and the unanimity it evoked among legislators. The Governor noted that this funding would come on top of the increase provided to bring workers up to the minimum wage, with a total 6.5% wage increase occurring over two years. Continue reading…


Linwood Center ignites new purpose for seniors

Linwood Center ignites new purpose for seniors

Linwood Center w RayThe wisdom of their years is only amplified by the joy they share at the Linwood Center.

After a lifetime of hard work, raising families, fighting and surviving wars, recessions and many hard northern winters, today 30 seniors enjoy their well deserved day in the sun.

As an adult day center, the Linwood Center is a deeply honoring and welcoming place for adults over age 60. While some are fully independent and just need the social interaction of others of their own generation, others may need a little extra support to remain independent in their homes.

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Supported employment makes a perfect blend at Union Tea Cafe

Supported Employment makes a perfect blend at Union Tea Cafe

Tea Cafe

Nicole Herbert, left, whose new job working as a dishwasher at the Union Tea Cafe, has met the delight of Owner Amy Sherburne.

A portrait of the Queen’s coronation, crystal chandeliers and a fireplace displaying items from the Victorian era might seem out of place in an Olean cafe. Quite the contrary.

The city’s newest business, the Union Tea Cafe and Tea Shop, is a hit with the locals. Offeringmore than 90 different teas and a delightful pallet of English tea pastries along with delicious and healthful American and Middle Eastern cuisine, the cafe is a jewel in the city’s emerging business district. Continue reading…


Nursing is a joy for residential LPN

Nursing is a joy for residential LPN

Carolyn Lawson 005 photoshoppedCarolyn Lawson worked for Olean General Hospital for 19 years before coming to the ReHab Center four years ago.  She thought she loved her job at the hospital until she met the people she cares for at the three residences where she’s an LPN.

“I love my job,” she said, matter-of-factly.  “It’s actually a job I truly enjoy.  I found my niche.”

She began at Hinsdale and then Big 6 was added, and more recently Fall Road joined her already busy schedule.

While Carolyn is working closer to 60 hours a week rather than her regular 40 hours, she’s happy for the extra hours. She rises at 3:30 am to be at Fall Road by 5 am to give meds. Despite the early hour, she looks forward to her day ahead. Continue reading…


Family Care, a gift from the heart

Family Care, a gift from the heart

rehabcenterphoto-6 photoshopped

It’s hard to imagine the historic old house, now a beehive of activity as a home and family care residence, was once the site where Verne Cummins ran the Cummins Cider Mill.
The former cider mill was artfully redesigned with a vaulted cathedral ceiling and winding stairway to an upper loft to make room for an expanding family.

Today, it is home to Verne’s nephew, Jerry Cummins and his wife, Deb, who raised their four children there and now provide family care support to Jeff, Bruce and Rhonda who are as much a part of the family as their own four children and seven grandchildren. Continue reading…


Wish Trees provide gifts to those in need

Community generosity warms many this winter

tommy-kleever-2They are only two of many people who now have warm clothes and gifts for the children for Christmas thanks to the Foundation’s Wish Tree.

Brittany Tarr and Tommy Kleever both received Christmas gifts through the Wish Tree which they otherwise would not have received.

Brittany’s daughter, Maggie, received new boots, just in time as winter weather stormed into the area last week.
“Brittany was giddy when I delivered her gifts,” Karen Hunt, her MSC, said. “She was so happy and especially grateful for the new boots for her daughter.”

Tommy, who lives in an upstairs apartment in Olean with his mother, has no car or job, and is often seen riding his bike through town.
“Tommy is an outdoors guy,” Karen, who is also Tommy’s MSC, said.

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Rehab Wish Tree brings single mom holiday hope

brittany-photoshoppedRehab Wish Tree brings single mom holiday hope

The season may be blogo2right with the excitement of children’s “sugar plum dancing in their heads,” or of dasher and dancer and lonely little Rudolph.

But, for mothers and fathers of less abundant means, the holiday tugs at their hearts.  Do they pay their bills late to make a memorable Christmas for their child? Certainly none suffer more with this dilemma than Brittany, a single mom, living on her SubCon Industries pay with higher than usual heating bills nipping at her wallet. Continue reading…


2017 Seafood Fest

Seafood Fest Olean NY

Presented by Our Admiral Sponsors:
Bryans & Gramuglia CPA’sUnivera HealthcareIroquois Group, Inc. 

Relph Benefit Advisors AN ALERA GROUP COMPANY  Kinley Corp of NY 


14th Annual Seafood Fest: Friday, March 24th 


Thanks to overwhelming community support, the 2017 Event is sold out!

Please e-mail or call us to be notified of next years event!

The Rehabilitation Foundation’s 14th Annual Seafood Fest promises another exciting night on the high seas to benefit the important work of the Rehab Center. This years event is planned for Friday, March 24th, 2017 at The Old Library Event Center in Olean, NY. This event usually sells out quickly, so mark your calendars!

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Anxiety-The New “Common-Cold” of Mental Health?

tony2015

 

 

By Tony Sowers, LMSW

Tony is a clinician in the Article 16 Clinic. He wrote the following article for the ReHab Center’s health and wellness monthly newsletter.

 

Paying bills. Our health. The economy. Common, everyday worry and anxiety can take many forms and everyone has things they are concerned about from time to time. Unfortunately for some people anxiety and worry can become an everyday, sometimes constant, struggle. The number of cases of anxiety disorders, which include among them generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and certain phobias, have steadily increased in the United States. In fact, they are close to unseating depression as the number one mental health issue in our country. Continue reading…


‘We Remember Committee’ honors those who have passed

Dan Evans, owner of PleasantValley Greenhouses & Nursery, provides wreathes to Linda Manross for the graves of people we supported.

Dan Evans, owner of Pleasant Valley Greenhouses & Nursery, provides wreaths to Linda Manross for the graves of people we supported.

The lives of 40 people we once supported are remembered with gratitude, as our staff and a local business give back.

Linda Manross and Mike MacWilliams, both of whom launched the Agency’s staff-supported “We Remember Committee” several years ago, placed wreaths on graves of people we once supported in St. Bonaventure, Allegany and Five Mile cemeteries, all in Allegany; Mt. View in Olean, Pleasant Valley in Hinsdale, Crawford and Calvary cemeteries in Salamanca, and Chestnut Hill Cemetery in Portville.

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Holiday Candle Sale!

Holiday Candle Sale! Support a local badusiness and local people.

16oz. Hand-poured, eco-friendly soy candles. Available in 12 fragrances. These make a perfect Holiday Gift! We have partnered with The Potato Creek Candle Company out of Smethport, PA on a Holiday Candle Sale fundraiser. Proceeds from the sale benefit The Rehabilitation Foundation. The Foundation financially assists programs and services of The Rehabilitation Center and people with disabilities in the community.

Candles are $15 each, and can be picked up at The Rehab Center Admin Building (1439 Buffalo Street, Olean, NY 14760) or shipped for an additional $5 (select option at checkout).
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Making a difference in the Marines

There are a handful of unsung heroes here at the Rehab Center with a rare and noble courage.  Some have done double-duty in military service and firefighting. With the deepest appreciation, the ReHab Center thanks all  of you for your service to our country and your community. 

Leadership in the Marines

stevesteve-gonska-quote

Steve Gonska, who works in the agency’s maintenance Department, always wanted his life to make a difference, and he has been successful at that.  After graduating from high school, he went directly into the Marine Corps Boot Camp.  Next, he was deployed to Iraq, which has left an indelible mark on him.

“I wanted to serve my country,” he said, and ”I wanted to  be a leader and not a follower.  Going into the service gave me better skills to be a leader.”

After he returned from the service, he decided to join a fire department and serve the community. He has  served as a volunteer firefighter for 10 years.

“I started by serving my country, but when that journey ended, I wasn’t satisfied that I had done enough.  So, I joined the Westons Mills Fire Department, “ he said.  “Everyone knows them.  They have lime green/yellow fire trucks.” Continue reading…