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Lunch in the Park

Honoring Our Essential Staff

“It was nice to connect with each other and see people's faces again!”

It's no understatement to say that the last year and a half has been particularly challenging for our staff and clients. Which is why it was so important to take an opportunity to celebrate the hard work of every one of our staff members last Friday. Thanks to the generosity of our Board of Directors, we were able to bring together staff from our Bronx, Manhattan, and Queens programs to celebrate at Gantry Plaza State Park in Queens. For many, it was a chance to meet coworkers in-person for the first time, or reconnect with colleagues they had not seen in over a year.

With over 80% of our staff having received at least a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and over 60% of our clients having received at least a first dose, we look forward to a future with more in-person gatherings.

The Return to In-Person

Tenants Reconnect

“Everyone at the community meeting was glad to see each other again. They had great respect for one another and they shared how they had coped in each other’s absence since their last meeting.”

Tenants from our supportive and treatment apartment programs in Queens reunited last month at their first in-person community meeting in over a year, and many expressed joy at seeing each other’s familiar (masked) faces again. Jeanette Williams, Peer Program Specialist for our Queens Treatment Apartment Program, noted that tenants "had great respect for one another and they shared how they had coped in each other’s absence since their last meeting.” This meeting focused on meditation and self-care, with tenants expressing some of the hardships they have faced so far over the course of the pandemic, including the painfulness of isolation and illness, in addition to some of the ways they have coped, from playing back-to-back video games to deep cleaning their apartments.

"Being together vaccinated is better than being apart unvaccinated."

With nearly 61% of our residential clients vaccinated, we continue to encourage our clients to take the COVID-19 vaccine. At the Wilfrid, one of our permanent, affordable apartment buildings in the Bronx, an outdoor lunch was held recently for vaccinated tenants. It was a moment of normalcy for many, listening to music, dancing, and enjoying a meal together on a warm summer afternoon. Several tenants reflected on what the vaccine meant for them, noting they took it to get back to a normal way of life, while another tenant noted that "being together vaccinated is better than being apart unvaccinated." 

The Team Approach

Care Management Services Spotlight

Our CMS staff take on each day using a team-centered approach, sharing their workload and responsibility for all of our members. In one recent example, a CMS member struggling with substance abuse was actively using drugs to cope with the symptoms of his mental illness. His reliance on street drugs had led to multiple overdoses and hospitalizations. Our team approach allowed staff to divide the responsibilities for following up with inpatient and outpatient providers and ensured that we could provide more frequent check-ins with the client. Kristina Socha-Garcia, our CMS Senior Director, noted that “the emotional impact of feeling responsible for this client was shared by the team and the care coordinator felt supported.” With over 600 CMS clients living across three large boroughs and a limited staff, we are able to work together to provide these individualized services to each and every one of our members, ensuring no one falls through the cracks.
Learn more about our Care Management Services

Celebrating a Health Insurance Victory

For five years, Sabrina Swain (pictured above), Senior Case Manager for ACMH’s Queens Supported Apartment (QSA) program, has worked to provide residents with support and access to the services necessary to live independent, happy, and healthy lives.
 
One of Sabrina’s clients, following the discontinuance of her Medicare plan, faced obstacles obtaining a new health plan through New York State’s marketplace which prevented her from signing up for insurance for over a year. This past winter the client, who works a part-time job that does not provide health insurance, began to experience painful arthritis that sent her to the emergency room. With encouragement, the client resumed her pursuit for health insurance with Sabrina serving as her constant advocate, sitting on the phone for three hours one day through the shuffle of redirected calls and insurance red tape.
 
Then, in June, Sabrina received a text message from the client: This should be a proud day for you. I finally got my health insurance after all this time. Thank you so much for helping me, because without you I would have given up like I did in the past.
 
Thanks to the perseverance of this client and the encouragement of Sabrina, the client had finally received her health insurance card in the mail and has plans to go to her first doctor’s appointment in years this summer!
Learn more about our Supportive Housing
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ACMH, Inc. is a 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit corporation founded in 1973.
ACMH is committed to the mental and physical wellbeing of vulnerable New Yorkers.
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ACMH, Inc. · 254 W 31st St Fl 9 · New York, NY 10001-2813 · USA

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