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New Schedule Innovations for June 2012

1 Jun

We are trying several innovations for our new weekly schedule which starts Monday.  You can find it here.

Goal Time: We are adding several offerings to our short informal 20-30 minute Goal Time period.  Goal Time is when clients can work on individual rehabilitation goals or meet one-on-one with their rehabilitation counselors.  Increasingly, its also becoming a short period for client-run clubs and very small special interest classes that staff are especially enthusiastic about but which would not generate enough client participation for our formal class schedule:

  • Goal Time — Connections:  Liz Tutino is running a new program twice per week with our young adults.   It is geared towards youth issues and interests (most members are early middle age) and emphasizes social skills and even occasional dating concerns.
  • Goal Time — 50 and Over:  Wanda Moore is getting together with our seniors (roughly age 50 or so) who enjoy a slower pace, classic movies and music, puzzles, and mature company.
  • Goal Time — Spanish Club: Our new summer intern (with staff oversight and a strong assist from Ann) is taking over Spanish Club from departing intern Angelica and promises to carry on the language acquisition gains of this past spring as well as provide a bit of Hispanic culture for our clients.
  • Goal Time — Sign Language:  Intern Courtnee Wright (with staff oversight) is testing out interest in a Sign Language Club this month and hopes to add more culture and learning to our environment.

Classes:  Our biggest change is the test implementation of a quarterly registration system.  Clients have been asked to register for one class for each day they attend and committ to it through the end of August.  This has the advantage of allowing teachers to try and go into more depth in given subjects since the same people will be in the room weekly.  It also helps with class size balancing.  We will evaluate how well this works going forwards.  Counselors in conjunction with clients can waive requirements on an as-needed basis (like letting a client switch classes).

Our other big change is the addition of team meetings.  Each counselor has one class period per week in which they meet with their own case load.  This is an opportunity for the counselor to efficiently address the same issue occuring across several clients all at once.  Teams may evolve into a friendly competition, a team-building experience, a smaller homebase group of peers for newer clients to relate to, etc.  We’ll also monitor how this initiative fares.

Other smaller class schedule changes include the conclusion of Michael’s long-running Emotional Management/Anger Control Training class, the addition of a Wellness Self Mangement class run by Liz, and a Leisure skills class run by Jeff.  Michael will be taking over Psychology 101 and moving it to Fridays.

— Michael


Thank You Elysia and Angelica!

25 May

We want to say THANK YOU to our most recent interns Angelica and Elysia who spent their last day with us today.  Both have

Elysia Amoroso

just graduated from the University of Baltimore and were here in order to complete their capstone senior projects in psychology.  Angelica is off to accumulate more medical internship hours towards an eventual career as a physican’s assistant.  Elysia is taking a short break to travel and then will likely be moving on to graduate school for clinical health psychology.

Both women spent more time with our PRP than their school internships required and both were highly valuable.  They helped out on trips, assisted with class-time activities, provided extra eyes and ears on our recent Aquarium trip, and jointly ran a Friday morning Spanish club that several clients

Angelica Amaya-Boyd

found interesting.  Spanish language resources are surprisingly difficult to come by in Harford County and they were especially useful with our few Hispanic clients.  Elysia and Angelica were required by their school to write research papers with literature reviews as part of their internship, and so deeply integrated both academic and hands-on knowledge.

Both have been highly active in, and officers of, their school’s chapter of Psi Chi — The International Honor Society in Psychology.

We wish them much luck and success in their future endeavors!

October Events at the Aberdeen PRP

18 Nov

Hayride – Happy Feet – and Halloween

By Liz Tutino

Early on October 20 clients went to Brad’s Produce in Churchville for a hayride.  It was a gorgeous fall day to pick pumpkins and everyone enjoyed the bumpy hayride through the fields.  For one client this was the first hayride she had ever been on and for another client being on the farm reminded him of happy memories of when he worked on a farm.  Everyone picked a small pumpkin and several clients decorated their pumpkins as centerpieces for our tables in the community room.

Our Advisory Board was very active planning the Halloween party and the monthly off-site trip calendar.  This committee typically involves ten or more clients.  Client participation is always encouraged and the PRP has quite a few clients with excellent communication and leadership skills which they utilize on this committee.  Many people wore costumes for the Halloween party including members of the ACHIEVE research study from Johns Hopkins – they were a hit as Batman and Robin.

On October 28th Dr. Lynn Yukofski, a local podiatrist, came to Key Point to offer on-site podiatry services.  7 clients met with Dr. Lynn and reported how great their feet felt after seeing her.  Dr. Lynn provided education on foot care, trimmed nails, addressed calluses, and offered education on diabetic foot care. She also wrote a prescription for one client and provided a brace for another.  The client who received the brace commented that “it is helping tremendously, especially when I exercise.”  The PRP is planning for Dr. Lynn to come on a regular basis.

The PRP welcomes Wanda Moore as our new Kitchen Manager.  Wanda has had many roles at Harford PRP including van driver and counselor and party planner.  In addition to overseeing the kitchen and serving breakfast and lunch Wanda supervises 15 Key Point clients who work at the PRP as dishwashers, servers, and cleaners.  Key Point offers these vocational opportunities to help clients build skills so they can work in the community.


Monika Butke participated in two seminars at Sheppard Pratt.  One lecture was on “How to Talk about Spirituality” with your clients and the second one was on nicotine addiction.  Monika shared the material in the nicotine addiction seminar with clients in her MISA class. They had an interesting conversation on the effects of nicotine on the prepubescent brain and how that may affect mental illness.

Happy Halloween

1 Nov

Happy Halloween from the more than slightly goofy staff at the Aberdeen PRP (some of us anyway) and our friends from the Johns Hopkins ACHIEVE exercise study!


Staffing Updates

1 Aug

We have several new staff members this summer at the Aberdeen PRP. 

Wanda Moore has completed transitioning into a part-time counselor position.  She started as a driver this spring and came to us with experience in counseling from the ARC and other employers as well as a passion for helping clients.  Wanda has been a fixture in the community room, helping with ACHIEVE classes when she did not have to, and volunteering to assist with the client-run Spanish club and Frisbee in the park with Chris.

Denton Asdourian is a student intern with our Aberdeen PRP on Fridays from James Madison University.   He is planning to become a clinical psychologist.

Chris Manzo is a student from Salisbury University with our Aberdeen PRP on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.   He has been here since early summer and is helping teach Psychology 101 and Emotional Management.

Darwayne Moran Sr. has joined the Aberdeen PRP staff as a part-time driver.  He has most recently been a delivery truck driver after a long career as a mechanic, fireman, and member of the military.

Melissa Potemra has switched to a job closer to home and we are all reluctant to see her go.  We wish her the best.  She has been a really good counselor!  Melissa is staying on with Key Point as a relief Residential counselor.

Staffing Update

10 Jun

Liz Tutino has been promoted to the position of residential manager for our Harford County residential program.  We look forward to working with her in her new role and are very glad she is still nearby!

Monika Butke has joined us as a new full-time rehabilitation counselor effective this week.  Monika brings with her some fantastic experience in behavioral and educational plan creation.  In addition to her mental health background, she packs strong capabilities in the MR, substance abuse, and forensics areas.  She has a master’s in forensic psychology with a concentration in substance abuse from John Jay College of Criminal Justice / CUNY.

Wanda Moore is gradually stepping into her new role as a part-time counselor with the PRP during late June.  Since her hire as a driver several weeks ago she has spent every spare moment when not driving helping out in the computer lab, in the community room, and with classes.  More on her background and experience here.

Staff Changes

19 Apr

There have been several staffing changes recently.  We have bid goodbye to long-time kitchen manager Kevin Barnette and lead driver Bill Doehing.  Both staff members served well and for years.  Kevin was always friendly and willing to help out.  Bill’s kind but no-nonsense leadership of the driving pool keep the van routes, maintenance, and appointment transportation flowing smoothly.  Kevin also taught a long-running nutrition class, helped with drug & alcohol (MISA) class, and ran numerous field trips with clients.   Bill put together a very well-received short-term class on the history of boxing last year.  They will be missed.

Our new kitchen manager Farrell Foy II joined us 3-29-11 most recently from Sodexo as a cook via stints as an ice cream shop owner and limo driver after a long career in law enforcement.  Wanda Moore has joined us as a part-time driver who also has significant experience as a café worker, residential counselor, and secretary.  Wanda is showing quite a bit of interest in client interaction beyond driving and we are starting to utilize her with the ACHIEVE class and as a computer lab monitor.