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Happenings Around Hamaspik

Hamaspik of Kings NHTD/TBI programs, staff growing

November 18, 2016

By Mendy Hecht, Hamaspik Gazette

Where there’s a community will, there’s a Hamaspik way.

Community members turning to Hamaspik for things special-needs related, of course, is hardly news.  What is news, though, is Hamaspik’s robust (and perhaps-predictable) response.

And with the Brooklyn community’s growing need for the Nursing Home Transition and Diversion (NHTD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) programs, both provided by Hamaspik, Hamaspik of Kings County continues to respond in kind.

New York is currently in the process of gradually transitioning both programs to managed care models by January of 2018; an initial step is the state DOH’s early-2017 rollout of its new Community First Choice Option (CFCO) program, expanding accessibility to services previously available only through waivers.

With the November hiring of Mrs. Chava Laufer, the agency’s NHTD/TBI program is now perfectly poised to take on the still-growing influx of inquiries for the niche services.  Mrs. Laufer, a product of SUNY’s Empire State College with a degree in Community and Human Services, joins NHTD Service Coordinators Mrs. Surie Katz and Mrs. Sarah Lowinger, under Supervisors Mrs. Chave Silberman and Mrs. Shalva Sashitzky, to round out an excellent team.

The new hire comes relatively shortly after Hamaspik of Kings took on the excellent David Weber as its newest Medicaid Service Coordinator (MSC) over the summer.

Speaking of excellence, it is while speaking to the Gazette the morning of Wednesday, November 23, that Mrs. Silberman says this: “We just got approval for Emods while talking!”

Emods, short for environmental modifications, are the Medicaid-funded benefits that individuals with disabilities—in a number of publicly-funded programs—qualify for, providing them with home renovations that make their living environments accessible and hence more livable.  

Hamaspik’s teams of MSCs and other capable professionals have been securing Emods for needy community members for decades.  And with their new staff, more are sure to come.

Capturing Hamaspik spirit, employee volunteers hospital all-nighter

New Square, New York resident Mr. Nachman Ciment wears many hats: loyal son, devoted husband, caring father, proud grandfather, stalwart friend, diligent Hamaspik employee, and conscientious community volunteer.

On the night of Monday, November 21, he wore several of those hats, and their descriptors, at once.

Shortly before that, the hardworking and dependable Hamaspik of Rockland County Family Care Liaison, a long-time employee, was paying another voluntary visit to the agency’s Forshay Briderheim Individualized Residential Alternative (IRA), where he regularly pops in to say hello to “the boys.”

It was on Forshay’s premises, though, that Mrs. Sarah Fischer, Forshay’s Manager, informed Mr. Ciment that the young man he had come to see had been hospitalized—and that he was lonely. 

Mr. Ciment didn’t hesitate.  And it wasn’t long before the soft-spoken, hard-driving agency pillar found himself at the Westchester bedside of the young man—where he remained from dusk to dawn.

Nachmen Ciment went to work that same morning as if nothing happened.  But for the Hamaspik employee, it’s all in a day’s work. 

Make that “night.”

More STARS in the Hamaspik sky

Since its inception, Hamaspik’s Rockland County-based STARS program has been doing nothing but growing—and turning its highest-functioning participants into self-esteem superstars.

Of course, you’ll hardly notice anything special or outstanding about them at all—and that, what with integration and mainstreaming being the goal, is exactly the idea.

For the past year, reports Shloime Kornbluh, Hamaspik of Rockland County’s Director of Day Services, the STARS program has been increasingly out and about in the community field—using its “home base” at 221 Rt. 59 in Spring Valley as a springboard for daily jaunts to local employment and skills-building venues, where the young ladies are still learning valuable daily-living lessons.

And all, along, Kornbluh notes, the number of participants has been growing—with last year’s handful now this year’s van-ful.