The Arc Steuben Names Associates From Oaklawn Home as Team of the Fourth Quarter

Wednesday, November 28, 2018
The Arc Steuben Names Associates From Oaklawn Home as Team of the Fourth Quarter

The Arc Steuben’s Oaklawn home has been named the Team of the Fourth Quarter. Associates who work in the home are Rebecca Miller, Michelle Thompson, Terry Bedard, Brittany Williams, Trina Sullivan, Jordana Schoolcraft, Meghan Williams, Sara Broadus, Karen Tadder, Diane Costello, Amanda Fenn, Patricia Horgan, Erinn Smith, Linda Atwood, Tanya Wray, Darren Abrams, Shannon Obrien, James Heath, Katie Gillette, Curtis Rice, Leslie Moon, Michelle Peacock, Kriggy Porter, Mykaela Webster, Shanna Camera, Courtney Shull, and Ann Barkalow. The team was nominated by Schoolcraft for their time management skills and ability to juggle multiple responsibilities during times of stress throughout the seasons.

Throughout the winter, the Oaklawn home was managing turnover between associates and residents. In December and February, two people moved out of the home to be closer to their families. Early February brought a freezing winter storm which caused associates to take on half hour shifts shoveling the sidewalks and driveway; switching between team members to get warm only to head back outside. Associates were tasked with providing around the clock care for a resident. During this time, associates were working 12 hour shifts to cover all the needs of the home. In February a person within The Arc Steuben family, who was deeply cared for and loved by all, passed away. By the end of February, the Oaklawn home had three residential openings and one person enrolled in the residential respite until mid-spring; along with an opening for a medical assistant.

By April, the Oaklawn home had four new residents and an additional 20 shifts for one-on-one coverage. Oaklawn had received four new residents in a span of 18 days. With four new residents, associates had to communicate effectively as a team and build a whole new rapport with four new residents. “Collectively, associates collaborated to figure out what worked and what didn’t work. The four new people who moved into the Oaklawn home helped our team improve communication on a daily basis,” says Schoolcraft.

In May, associates were told the Oaklawn home and apartment would be merging event calendars and shift scheduling. After the merger, the home suffered an associate turnover rate of 50 percent with associates transferring to other locations at The Arc Steuben or moving on to new agencies.  “(The merger) was a true test for Oaklawn team members on who truly wanted to be here, and who didn’t. With the merger we were down 11 full time positions, which meant our 20 open shifts for one-to-one coverage tripled to 60 open shifts for coverage alone,” says Schoolcraft.

By June, the Oaklawn home started implementing community habilitation to support a person to be more involved with the community and the team began piloting a program that uses positive approaches and encouragement to create a more productive environment for both associates and the people we support. The organization’s day habilitation service and residential home, West Street, have also been piloting this program. Schoolcraft says that positive changes were noticeable within the home after only three weeks. “It’s not just a program at the Oaklawn home that we are piloting; it’s more of a movement of change,” says Schoolcraft.  

Summer was a busy season for the Oaklawn home whose residents went on numerous trips including Roseland Waterpark, Darien Lake, SplashTown Waterpark, Sea Breeze, and zoos across the state. Schoolcraft says some people even had ‘their very first experience on The Viper and Grizzly Run rollercoasters’. Also in the summer season, Oaklawn hired a new residential coordinator assistant, direct support professional, nurse, and medical assistant. “The hiring process was on fire for recruitment at Oaklawn. They did a fantastic job at hiring eight new associates who shadowed, and received clearance to work alone [sic],” says Schoolcraft.

Schoolcraft recognized multiple associates in her nomination for their contributions to the Oaklawn home during times of stress including Keli Machuga for coordinating relief and to associates Kriggy Porter, Mykaela Webster, Shanna Camera, Michelle Peacock, and Erinn Smith for accepting full time positions. Schoolcraft says without the’ relief associates helping pick up any or all extra shifts none of our success would have been possible’. “There is no other team that I would want by my side to help me and the (people who) we take care of on a daily basis…for that I’m extremely grateful for the compassion, empathy, trust, and growth that are shown within this team,” says Schoolcraft.

The Arc Steuben currently provides services to more than 950 people in Steuben and surrounding counties. Services include job-readiness training, community employment, residential, transportation and in-home services. For more information, visit www.arcofsteuben.org.

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©2018 The Institute for Human Services, Inc.


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