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.
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.
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 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.
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.
The 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.
There’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.
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…
This Father’s Day post is offered in gratitude to our fathers and grandfathers who have guided and inspired us, leaving their indelible footprints in our lives and world.
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!
Good Times will give back 25% of all Dine-In orders that are placed through our Online Ordering site, NetWaiter
Smiling, bashfully, Johnny studied a Facebook 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.
“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
Μotherhood 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.
Seafood Fest ’17 exceeds fundraising goals
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.”
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
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.
Supported Employment makes a perfect blend at Union Tea Cafe
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…
The Rehab Center, along with other NYS-ARC agencies throughout the state, is calling on Governor Andrew Cuomo to increase DSPs salary to a living wage.
The following is reprinted from The Observation Deck by TU Editorial Board
Nursing is a joy for residential LPN
Carolyn 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
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…
Community generosity warms many this winter
They 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.
Rehab Wish Tree brings single mom holiday hope
The season may be bright 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…
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!
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…
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.
Holiday Candle Sale! Support a local business 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).
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
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…