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The Arc Steuben’s Innovative Supports Department has been named as the Team of the First Quarter. Associates who work in this department are Brianna Long, Becky Wheaton, Katie Carrigan, Tyler Salisbury, Jonathan Stromsness, and Darla Naples. The team was nominated by Stromsness and Naples for seamlessly merging two departments while maintaining a positive, fun work environment. “Each member of this team deserves credit in putting in the extra time and effort to build a new department that strives to improve the lives of the people we support, and to best assist all other departments in their daily responsibilities,” wrote Stromsness and Naples in their nomination.
As a team, the Innovative Supports Department participated in the annual multi-agency kickball tournament at Pathways; won The Arc Steuben’s office decorating contest for the holidays; and came in second for beach-day themed employee morale photo contest. This team’s creativity and adaptability can not only be seen in their participation in events but also in their daily contributions to the agency. “Always keeping in mind the FiSH Philosophy, we are often ‘playing’ at work,” wrote Stromsness and Naples in their nomination.
In the beginning of 2018, the Innovative Supports Department was comprised of two associates; a coordinator and a broker. Shortly into the year, the department expanded to include three additional planning specialists and a second department coordinator. “We discussed with the members of our team, the possibility of doing some cross training. Everyone was on board and looking forward to the opportunity of sharing responsibilities and working side by side with teammates,” wrote Stromsness and Naples in their nomination.
By summer, all members felt the impact of the Care Coordination transition. Not only did the Planning Specialists have to join a new department but their roles also changed. According to Stromsness and Naples, the department was quite fragmented and working on various islands based on job descriptions and responsibilities. “We took the opportunity to work closer together to move forward and develop our new roles and accept our additional responsibilities,” wrote Stromsness and Naples in their nomination.
The Innovative Supports Department not only has to function as a single unit, but also has to work in concert with many other departments each day to best support those that receive services. Each member of the Innovative Supports team has taken on additional responsibilities and has been cross trained in another area. “At this point in time, we are a well-rounded team. Everyone has stepped up and done their part to make us a cohesive team. We now have full department team meetings; we all continue to learn each other’s roles; and we have embraced each other’s differences. We are ready for a new year with new team opportunities,” wrote Stromsness and Naples in their nomination.
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.