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Some November Happenings

16 Dec

On Wednesday’s in November you could find Aberdeen clients going on a road trip to the Key Image Salon located in the Key Point PRP in Dundalk.  Many clients have taken this opportunity to receive hair services for little or no cost.  Clients have had their hair dyed and styled and men have had their hair cut and beards trimmed.  Everyone comes back feeling great with their new look and they have all received positive feedback form the other clients.  Thank you to our Dundalk Key Point office for providing this valuable service to our clients!

In early November Brenda Merrill and Liz Tutino attended a lecture on Art and Addiction at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore.  The lecture was presented by Dr. Jack Henningfield, PhD, a professor at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and Patricia B. Santora, PhD a Senior Public Health Advisor at the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment.  The presenters described their Innovators Program which was developed to educate, prevent, and control substance abuse through art. Many moving pieces of art were displayed and it was clear that using art in substance abuse education captures the intense emotions of those who have family members with substance abuse issues or are substance abusers. Key Point has purchased a copy of their book Art &Addiction for use in MISA classes.

Key Point had a community Thanksgiving on November 23rd.  Mountain Christian Church very generously donated funds so that a traditional Thanksgiving meal could be catered by Bob Evans.  All the clients had their fill of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and gravy.  To contribute to this holiday meal clients went shopping on Tuesday and purchased cranberry sauce, apple cider, pies, and whipped topping.  During the month of November clients were daily encouraged to write down one thing they were thankful for.  The items were written on a piece of paper and a “Gratitude Chain” was hung for all to see.  Each day the chain grew a little longer and during the Thanksgiving celebration all the clients read one of the strips of paper.  Many clients then stood and expressed what they were thankful for.


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.

Social Media and Insurance Fraud

4 Feb

An interesting article from the Los Angeles Times:

Insurers Are Scouring Social Media for Evidence of Fraud

The article concerns the ways in which insurance companies are using FaceBook and other social media to detect fraud.  A case example is given of a women losing disability benefits for depression after posting photos of herself going to the beach.

This gets me rather angry actually.  Imagine being depressed and NOT going to the beach for fear of not looking depressed?  We all know how much more depressed clients are who isolate and don’t try.

I’m having visions of blogs all in black with sad faces and thunderstorm video links maintained by people who want to look depressed to maintain their benefits.

I’m also imagining idiot database engines denying me coverage and what-not based upon my buying patterns… I buy books on every disorder imaginable… I must be really sick…

So — is this a real problem?  Do we all have to rush out and scour our FaceBooks?  Or is the LA Times just finding a good fear angle to sell papers?

Or maybe insurance companies SHOULD do this — if they intelligently investigate all angles?

— Michael

Road Repair

23 Sep

Our drivers, clients, and several care providers are grateful to the Maryland State Highway Administration for their **2-3 business day** response time when we requested services to fill in ruts with stone and cut vegetation obscuring the view of traffic at the intersection of Rt. 7 and Catafalque Road in Abingdon.

The picture is a before photo.  It’s now much safer for our vans to pull out onto busy Route 7!

— Michael

TRIBES! — New Class

1 Feb

By Liz Tutino

(Liz & Jeff run this class on Thursdays)

Reality TV has inspired a new program at the Aberdeen PRP. On February 11, 2010 TRIBES will make its debut. TRIBES, an acronym for Team up for Recreational, Intellectual, Bonding Exercises, fosters teambuilding, socialization, and intellectual stimulation in a fun environment.

Twice a month at the PRP clients will gather in groups, designated by a specific animal, called “tribes.”  A series of interactive group games will be played and teams will score points based on their performance.

In January clients previewed this concept and played three games.  In the Number Game each member of a tribe was given a digit from 1 -5.  The MC called out a 5 digit number and teams had to arrange themselves to display that number correctly.  The first team to arrange themselves in the correct order won and scored points.  This was played for several rounds and quite a fun competition developed. The second game was a baby food guessing game.  In this competition one member of the team was selected to taste 10 jars of baby food and identify the contents. This was not an easy task as everything tasted the same! Points were given for each correct answer and bonus points were given if tribes could beat a staff member also doing the tasting.  The third game is called the “Ah, Um Game.”  Each team selected a representative and they were given a topic.  They had to stand up and talk about that topic for one minute without saying “ah” or “um” This was a tricky game and only one tribe scored points.

In February tribes will be scoring points doing similar activities.  The tribe that scores the most points each week will gain the privilege of getting meals first and getting on the vans first for trips.  Points will accumulate for the month and at the end of the month the tribe with the most points will be treated to lunch or another exciting prize.

Birthdays, Birthdays

28 Jan

PRP did a double celebration today of all the December and January birthdays.

New Creative Writing Class

28 Jan

By Melissa Potemra

Creative writing is a class that is just as much fun to teach as it is to participate in.  Writing and using ones imagination is a healthy, personal way to express thoughts, feelings, and emotions.  It also helps participants to focus/concentrate, to share ideas, and to interact with peers.

Each week a different topic is introduced, and the class has an allotted time to write about it.  Spelling and grammar do not apply!  It is all about creativity and self expression.  Participants are then encouraged, but not required, to share their creation with the group.  Everyone in the group is given his/her own personal journal in which to write each week.

I have taught this class in the past at another PRP, and it was very successful with the clients.  They enjoyed expressing themselves through writing, and most of them felt comfortable and looked forward to sharing their creations with the group.  The class was also very rewarding to me, as I was able to have a part in assisting others in finding creative, fun and healthy ways to express themselves.

(Melissa and Lyneia are teaching Creative Writing on Mondays starting in February.)