WellLife Network honored 12 loyal employees who have gone above and beyond in performing their job responsibilities at its Annual Staff Employee of the Year Luncheon, organized by the HR Department on February 16, 2018. Collectively, the assembled staff brings more than 121 years of program and support services – ranging from residential, day habilitation, quality assurance to case management, pre-vocational training and more. More importantly, they bring to the workplace their passion and compassion for the people we serve. 

 

"Working at WellLife Network for many years is like working with family. Together, we work in unison to make a difference." - Michelle Gilchrist 

 

Compassion for the People We Serve

 

Michelle Gilchrist was Employee of the Year. She was nominated for her compassion towards program participants who lost a fellow resident on Thanksgiving Day. She stood by these residents and sacrificed her own family holiday to make certain that they were cared for and had mental health support during their time of loss. 

 

Other award recipients include: January, Soso Manuel; February, Beatriz Washington; March, Rachel Hasan; April, Nick Galiatsatos; May, Ileana Santana; June, Jennifer Marino; July, Tanya BridgesAugust, James Martino; September, Peter Sauerwein; October, Alexandra Lemma; November, Michelle Gilchrist; and December, Peter Hom

 

Sherry Tucker, President thanked each staff member for their loyalty and stewardship to WellLife Network. "We are truly blessed to have a staff that believes in promoting the individuals we serve in helping them to reach their life goals," she said, "You each serve as role models." 

 

Making a Steadfast Impact on the People We Serve

 

Honorees received a Certificate of Appreciation and a beautifully detailed badge recognizing their achievements. Honorees spoke of their journeys at WellLife Network and how their efforts made a steadfast impact on the lives of thousands of individuals we serve each day.

 

Addiction can impact anybody–whether it's your co-worker, neighbor or loved one. Starting pro-active conversations about addiction challenges can be difficult to do though. 

 

Where do you start? How do you bring it up? What questions do you ask? The Kitchen Table Toolkit was developed to assist parents, teachers, counselors and the community with guidance on how to initiate conversations about heroin and opioid abuse.  

 

Starting a conversation about addiction can change the life of someone around you. The Kitchen Table Toolkit is a great starting point for getting the confidence you need to get started.

 

If you or a loved one are faced with addiction recovery challenges, WellLife Network is here to help.

 

You can contact us at the number below or visit any one of our clinics on Long Island. 

 

Central Intake Call Center

631-920-8324

Clinic locations: 

Wyandanch

234 Long Island Avenue

Wyandanch, NY 11798

Huntington

55 Horizon Dr.

Huntington, NY 11743

Smithtown

11 Route 111 

Smithtown, NY  11787

Chemical Dependency Prevention

11 Route 111 

Smithtown, NY  11787

 

The past holiday season is all but a faint memory of family, friends and wonderful meals. But for many children, this holiday season was a hurtful reminder of the challenging times that broken families face during the joyous season.

 

These children have often been subject to conditions no child should experience. Some children face parents struggling with anti-sobriety diseases or that have severe and persistent mental health issues who repeatedly revisit non-compliance and become frequent visitors of an Emergency Room. For others, the future is just as daunting as they awaken everyday with 100 other families, all homeless, all wanting more, yet many having no choice but to endure the cycle and wait.

 

WellLife Network’s Care Coordination Team Made a Difference

 

WellLife Network’s Care Coordination team made a difference in the lives of some 70 families through their generosity and outreach of caring. This past holiday season, our 3rd annual Toys for Tots Drive saw more than 160 new and gently used toys distributed throughout Brooklyn, Queens and Long Island.

 

WellLife Network's Care Coordination teams wanted to ensure that we provided a positive holiday experience to the children, even if but for a moment.

 

We also want to thank our generous and caring WellLife Network staff that donated the toys, participated in the gift wrapping and distributed the gifts to those less fortunate this past holiday season. We look forward to putting a smile on even more faces in the upcoming year. 

 

Today, we had the incredible honor of recognizing and awarding 98 of our dedicated staff members for their longevity and their commitment to the WellLife Network mission. Each individual has worked for the agency 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 years. Collectively, they have brought more than 1,000 years of dedicated service, business insight, expertise, care and professionalism to our programs across New York City and Long Island.  

 

Alan Weinstock, CEO thanked each of the staff members for their loyalty and years of service to the local community. “We are truly blessed to have a staff who believe in our agency, one another and those we serve each day", stated Weinstock.

 

Honorees were given a Certificate of Appreciation and a beautifully detailed badge recognizing their years of steadfast service. 

 

The WellLife Network Family

 

 

Crystal John, Director of Behavioral Health Residential Services said it best by saying, "At WellLife Network, we are all family." Our staff shows that commitment day in and day out as they serve more than 25,000 New Yorkers each year. 

 

Join us in congratulating the following staff, who each day empower individuals to lead more independent lives. Their talents and skills strengthen our outreach to the communities we serve and demonstrate that as an agency, we truly embrace our mission of helping individuals realize their full potential by achieving meaningful life goals.

 

Award Recipients 

 

Sometimes it takes individuals in need to see the need in others. 

That is what participants with intellectual and developmental disabilities who attend WellLife Network's Day Habilitation programs found out when they raised money to provide holiday meals for less fortunate families on Long Island. 

 

Participants of the Astoria, Station Road and Long Island City Day Habilitation Programs raised more than $250 in support of WellLife Network's Smithtown food pantry. With a matching grant, provided by senior executive staff, the total became $500. Through the sale of baked goods and healthy snacks, some 80 families will receive a nourishing and satisfying meal this holiday season. With contributions from our Board of Directors and generous vendors the total grew to more than $4,500.

 

"We wanted to help people who are hungry. People should not be hungry during the holiday," exclaimed Maria, a participant at the Station Road program. "We want everyone to have a great holiday!" 

 

The WellLife Network Day programs assist individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in learning basic life, socialization and prevocational skills through structured activities and volunteering in the community. 

 

Serving More than 5,000 Long Islanders

The check was presented to Carolyn Dornstauder, Program Director, and Rebecca Costa, Vice President, Long Island Operations on Tuesday, December 19, 2017. This WellLife Network pantry is one of four located in Suffolk County. Each year, some 5,000 people receive groceries and toiletries from our pantries in Huntington, Smithtown, Wyandanch and Coram. 

 

The event was covered by Kristin Thorne from Channel 7, WABC Eyewitness News.

 

Partners Make a Difference

Working in cooperation with Long Island Cares and Temple Beth David, WellLife Network will provide a traditional holiday meal for a family of our, including: turkey, mashed potatoes, vegetables, dinner rolls, cranberry sauce and a delicious apple pie for dessert. 

 

Here's How You Can Help

Join the WellLife Network who takes care of one another by clicking here to make a donation today!

 

 

 

 

 

Today, we had the privilege of hosting WellLife Network’s annual Veterans Day Appreciation Breakfast—in honor of all the veterans who have defended our country, our values and our liberty.

 

“We wouldn’t be here without our veterans”, said Alan Weinstock, CEO of WellLife Network, as he awarded each veteran with an honorary pin in recognition of their service, “so it’s fitting that we not just recognize and honor our veterans today, but each and every day.”

 

 

WellLife Network is proud to live out that mission through the implementation of Operation Vets, a nationally recognized program that now employs more than 30 Guardsmen, Reservists, transitioning Service members and Veterans across New York City and Long Island. Thanks to their ongoing service and sacrifice, they remain on the front line of social change here in our community as they help WellLife Network deliver essential services to more than 25,000 New Yorkers each year.

 

WellLife Network is also proud to serve veterans directly who are faced with mental health challenges and addiction recovery challenges.  Whether it’s through providing counseling, housing or mental health support, we consider it one of our greatest privileges to take care of the veterans, and their families, who have sacrificed so much.

 

We recognize the value and skills that veterans continue to bring to WellLife Network and to our surrounding community. This Veterans Day, we salute them for their service. 

 

 

 

Please join us in welcoming Ann Marie Barbarotta, WellLife Network’s new Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. Ms. Barbarotta will provide senior executive leadership and oversight across WellLife Network’s robust portfolio of over $110 million health and human service operations, focusing on the areas of Behavioral Health, Developmental Disabilities, Residential, Family & Youth and Addiction Recovery Services. She will help to define and advance the organization’s strategic initiatives for innovation and programming in a changing and challenging health care environment. “One of the goals I have set forward is to help WellLife Network compete more effectively and with sustainability in the health and human services arena,” said Ms. Barbarotta. 

An Avid Supporter of Our Values 

“I avidly support the values of WellLife Network – compassion, caring and person-centered services that promote quality, efficiency and accountability,” said Ann Marie. “Our participants come first - they are our reason for being in business. I also have the deepest respect for our staff whose spirit of innovation and culture of caring promotes the success and independence of each individual and family we serve. I am inspired by their dedication.” “We are thrilled to have someone with Ann Marie’s credentials and experience,” said Alan Weinstock, CEO, WellLife Network, “She brings to us a solid background in the health and human services sector, with a specialty in performance improvement; data and financial analysis; and innovation development."

A Lifetime Commitment to Health & Human Services

Ann Marie comes to us from Creedmoor Psychiatric Center, where she served for more than 36 years in varying capacities. Most recently, she was the Executive Director responsible for a 322 bed psychiatric center and all community-based programs. She provided administrative leadership and direction of all facility operations, programs, policies in one of the largest New York State Office of Mental Health facilities. She also served as Deputy Director of Operations at Manhattan Psychiatric Center and gained experience in Quality Improvement at Creedmoor Psychiatric Center. Ann Marie earned a Master’s Degree in Social Work and Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Stony Brook University School of Social Welfare.

Balancing Family and Work

Ann Marie believes in balancing work and family responsibilities. She is an avid beach goer, enjoying an ocean swim and walking on Long Beach’s magnificently renovated boardwalk. Sundays are special at Ann Marie’s home as family gathers for savory Italian meals, celebrating their heritage and creating new traditions. Ann Marie Barbarotta will be located at our Executive Offices in Flushing and can be reached at 718.559.0569.

 

In the aftermath of a crisis, whether it's a hurricane or mass shooting, survivors are faced with severe emotional trauma and loss. In the midst of a crisis though, finding access to mental health professionals and starting the journey toward recovery can be overwhelming and expensive.

 

At WellLife Network, we believe survivors and first-responders shouldn't have to wait to get access to the counseling and mental health support they need — when they need it most.

 

That's why we are proud to announce our partnership with The American Red Cross.

 

Together, we are sending WellLife Network mental health professionals to the front-lines of local and national crises so that vulnerable children, families and first-responders can get the mental health support they need to recover.

 

When it comes to ensuring the wellness of our city and nation, we all have a role to play. 

 

As one of the region's largest nonprofits dedicated to the wellness of individuals faced with mental health challenges, we're uniquely equipped to mobilize and send emergency response teams at a moment's notice, but we need your help.

 

You can ensure our teams have the resources they need to respond by clicking here and making a donation today.

 

100% of your contribution will go directly toward our crisis response efforts. 

 

Together, we can help bring hope to those who need it most.

 

“When walking around the executive offices, one can see and feel the energy and enthusiasm the 27 SYEP individuals have added,” said WellLife Network President Sherry Tucker. “In addition to their contributions in getting time-sensitive, important projects completed, they have reinforced the value of the positive impact initiatives like this can have on the office culture. We look forward to speaking with the participants about their experiences, sharing opportunities in healthcare and encouraging them to ultimately join the WellLife Network family as full-time employees.

 

The Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) provides New York City youth with paid summer employment for up to six weeks in July and August. As an approved partner of the Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD), WellLife Network is proud to provide eight unique work sites for SYEP youth across New York City. The internship experience encourages participants to enhance their communication skills, develop leadership qualities and improve awareness of career paths through practical, hands-on experiences in the health and human services field.

 

The youth provide clerical assistance and office support in various WellLife Network administrative and operational departments, including: Human Resources,  Entitlements and Eligibility Services, Quality Assurance, Information Technology, Accounts Payable, Medical Records and Care Coordination. Pythagore, who entered demographic information in our system, commented, “I'm learning the workings of WellLife Network and of general office work. This has been a great experience.”

 

WellLife Network also partnered with the Henry Street Settlement and the Police Athletic League to develop appropriate and nurturing placements for the youth. SYEP is funded by the Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD). 

 

For more information about the SYEP program go to: http://www1.nyc.gov/site/dycd/services/jobs-internships/summer-youth-employment-program-syep.page

At WellLife Network’s recent Inaugural Annual Dinner, guests were introduced to three outstanding program participants who were recipients of the first WellLife Network "Be Well for Life" Inspiration Award. Their poignant stories were highlights of the evening. Rafael R. is a truly amazing individual, whose life story reflects a lifelong struggle with mental illness, substance abuse, and incarceration.

 

Rafael’s parents were addicted to drugs. His father passed away when he was 20 years old from HIV. His mother was an alcoholic and diagnosed with bi-polar disorder. He began experimenting with drugs at an early age and was besieged by the ravages of drug addiction. He lost his job and housing simultaneously and lived in his car until it was repossessed on a cold winter night. He was eventually forced to enter the shelter system, an alternative fraught with danger and conflict.

 

One day Rafael received news of an apartment vacancy that would be his own. Rafael rejoiced, “God heard my cries and my prayers – WellLife Network was giving me an apartment which I now call home”. Despite the difficulties of his earlier life, he exhibits a determination and a commitment to overcome the past and create a new future. “I thank God for my blessings and to WellLife Network for giving me a new start,” said Rafael.

 

For more information, call WellLife Network’s Residential Intake:  917-563-3348

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