Nysha Recent News

New York State OPWDD Taps Hamaspik of Rockland County to Host Regional Training

March 28, 2017        

By Mendy Hecht, Hamaspik Gazette

Dozens of Hudson Valley Professionals at Required Two-day Course

This time, it wasn’t another flawless audit of a Hamaspik group home, or a finding-free survey of Hamaspik’s Medicaid Service Coordinator (MSC) program, that came of another agency interaction with the New York State OPWDD.

Instead, it was a mandatory two-day training course on investigating incidents involving safety and support provided to individuals with intellectual and other disabilities.

The training sessions were held March 22-23 at the Hamaspik Terrace social hall at Hamaspik of Rockland County’s headquarters on Monsey’s central Route 59.  They were attended by dozens of investigators and other professionals from several Hudson Valley disability non-profits.

Coordinated by Elaine Zoldan, Incident Compliance Officer with the New York State OPWDD’s Hudson Valley Regional Office, the two full-day sessions walked attendees through all official protocols.

Greeting OPWDD presenters Leslie Fuld and William Murray, the respective Director and Investigative Reviewer at the OPWDD’s Albany-based Incident Management Unit, the morning of March 22 was Hamaspik of Rockland County Director of Development Zalman Stein. 

Mr. Stein ushered the two officials to the multipurpose ballroom that was shortly turned into a conference room.  Ms. Zoldan was also on hand throughout.

By 9:00 a.m., several dozen women and men from all major Hudson Valley disability services providers were seated in rapt attention to the informative presentations.

In walking newly-minted agency in-house investigators through the ins and out of investigating incidents, the presenters also reviewed the four categories of incidents requiring investigation.

Those four categories, each discussed in detail with plenty of real-life examples, are abuse and neglect, significant Incidents, serious notable occurrences, and minor notable occurrences.  What to do about, and how (and to whom) to report, each type was laid out for attendees to internalize.

During the day-long trainings’ breaks, and in mid-training interactions, participants got to know one another as members of the same professional community and informal family that they are.

When the training concluded the afternoon of Thursday, March 23, participants came away informed and empowered on providing objective and thorough protection to the most vulnerable members of society whom their community collectively supports.

In a follow-up e-mail the following Monday, Ms. Zoldan thanked Hamaspik.  “I want to express our appreciation for letting us use your lovely facilities for our Investigation Training,” she wrote.  “Your agency really went above and beyond with helping us set up.  It was also great meeting your staff people in person.”

Safety of people with disabilities has long been a top Hamaspik priority shared by the New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD), Hamaspik’s state partner. 

And given both the convenient location of Hamaspik of Rockland County’s headquarters and its superlative track record of compliance with safety and all other regulations, the OPWDD’s choice to have its regional training hosted by Hamaspik was almost natural.