Nysha Recent News

Positive changes

September 20, 2015


By Mendy Hecht, Hamaspik Gazette

Growth at NYSHA Article 16 Clinic

The Article 16 Clinic run by the New York State Hamaspik Association (NYSHA), Hamaspik’s parent/support body, has filled a niche in disability care since its founding in January of 2011.

Initially operating out of a brand-new, state-of-the-art center in the heart of Brooklyn’s Williamsburg district, the NYSHA Clinic (as it is known) has since significantly expanded.

The Clinic now offers a spacious and multifaceted satellite center on the premises of Hamaspik of Orange County’s main building upstate and off-site services at several Rockland locations.

The Orange County satellite clinic is now being directed by the capable Mrs. Shaindy Weissberger, an experienced Medicaid Service Coordinator (MSC) with the agency.

What’s more, with the recent closure of the PSCH Article 16 Clinic in the Bronx, dozens more individuals with disabilities are flocking to Williamsburg for NYSHA’s specialized services.

An Article 16 Clinic, so named for the section of state law that governs its existence, provides persons with disabilities with specialty medical, mental-health and therapeutic care.

Practitioners at Article 16s are specifically trained in tending to people with special needs, giving them and caregivers a venue for comprehensive care without the discomfort of standard venues.

At the NYSHA Clinic, then, Hamaspik provides seamless and continuous quality services for those previously serviced by PSCH, with the new patients getting counseling, therapy and more.

Besides providing physical, occupational, speech and feeding/nutrition therapy, medical well visits and professional mental-health counseling out of two centers, the Clinic also “travels.”

The Clinic’s professional staff has for some time been providing outpatient services, mainly physical therapy, on the premises of Brooklyn disability services centers like Hand in Hand.

Over the last year, those outpatient services have expanded to one-on-one therapy sessions for individuals getting residential and/or Day Hab services through Hamaspik of Rockland County, as well as through other disability non-profits in the county.

At the same time, reports NYSHA Clinic Director Joel Brecher, weekly sessions with veteran psychiatrist Dr. Richard Mayer for individuals with disabilities are continuing at the Clinic.

Notably, the upstate satellite clinic has also now taken on the highly sought-after Richard Price, M.D., whose professional psychiatric counseling replaces the retiring Michael Kaplowitz, M.D.

So what’s the next big thing for the NYSHA Clinic?  “We’re continuing our mission,” proudly says Medical Director Abraham Berger, M.D.  “Everything they need is right there.”

Fall fun at Early Intervention (EI)

The fall season blew right into Hamaspik of Rockland County’s Early Intervention (EI) classroom program this October, with Master Teacher Mrs. Reizy Weichbrod and staff having their tiny-tot charges with developmental delays work their fingers and minds by working with real leaves fresh from the colorful outdoor foliage.

The little boys and girls first enjoyed an outdoor romp in the fallen leaves, even collecting samples for later classroom usage.  Back in class, they glued their real leaves onto hand-painted paper trees and sang a tree-themed fall song.

Turns out that Hamaspik’s EI program doesn’t just provide an educational environment, but also provides its charges an education from the environment.

New Front Door beneficiaries, new Hamaspik staff

Responding directly to the effectiveness of the Front Door disability services portal, Hamaspik of Kings County has taken on new Medicaid Service Coordinators (MSCs) to handle its newest beneficiaries.

The Front Door, a comprehensive and person-centered redesign of the application process, allows more people with disabilities to inquire about and obtain any of the numerous services and supports provided by the New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD). 

Hamaspik, in turn, is one of the many non-profit community agencies that partner with the OPWDD to bring those services to the community.

Thanks to the more streamlined and efficient intake and services-provision system that is the Front Door, Hamaspik of Kings County has been seeing a significant uptick of late in the number of community members served.

In turn, that has warranted the bringing on board of new MSCs Ms. Frumit Strulovics, who started with Hamaspik in early October, and who was joined on Oct. 28 by Ms. Sarah Mindy Leitner.

Like the agency’s existing team of MSCs, both will be actively advocating for the people they service—walking them through the process of obtaining and finalizing all services applications, answering their every question, meeting with them and their caregivers on a mandated regular basis, and assisting them with all care logistics, including doctor appointments.

At Hamaspik, there’s a lot that MSCs do that standard MSCs are neither expected nor required to do—and in joining the team, new MSCs Strulovics and Leitner are sure to further that tradition of excellence.