Message From the President & CEO
WCI has ventured into a new type of service. As the Department of Developmental Services has begun its promotion of Shared Living across the State, WCI began exploring possible options internally. This was a place to start. With the motivation & assistance of Paula Dunn-Meadows, Social Supports Division Head, several possibilities arose. We identified family members of staff who work at WCI within our service network. As a result, WCI applied for & received a 6-month $50,000 Shared Living Incentive Grant written by Joe Donati, Vice President of Operations. The grant allows us to hire a Shared Living Coordinator devoted to the promotion of these services & to manage the program. We also will be developing promotional materials in order to seek & match additional Shared Living Providers to Individuals identified that would choose this alternative service model. In addition, Shared Living Providers receive a Stipend.
Shared Living is a model that has been used in Massachusetts for decades as an alternative to 24 Hour Supports, primarily in other parts of the State. Individuals create a life – long bond with a family in their home or with another single person in an apartment, as housemates. It’s for people who truly care. WCI will begin seeking additional Shared Living Providers throughout the coming year & into the future.
If you or someone you know are interested in learning more about this model, please contact Paula Dunn Meadows at firstname.lastname@example.org, Joe Donati at email@example.com or myself at firstname.lastname@example.org. Stay tuned as more information will be available as we roll out the grant. We also want to thank DDS for giving us this opportunity.
WCI Visits Mystic Valley Charter School!
WCI stands for Work, Community, Independence as the majority of our readers are aware. I count myself to be one of the lucky ones that gets to see the work people do, the community connections that get created and the independence that people gain through skill building on a daily basis. In this article; however, I get to talk more specifically about how an Individual in WCI’s Deaf Supports Division was able to enrich the community by giving a lesson in American Sign Language to a 6th grade class at the Mystic Valley Charter School in Malden.
Aida Costa went out to the Mystic Valley Charter School on May 26, 2016 and met with an eager group of 6th graders and their teacher, Trevor Wrankmore. Through the year, Mr. Wrankmore had been working with his students to learn some of the basics of American Sign Language. Then, the opportunity to have a native ASL user give a lesson presented itself and he and WCI were nothing but excited to make that happen. Aida met with this group and did some basic phrases and helped to teach signs that were meaningful to them. Overall, it was a great success and you could see how eager and engaged the students were. When Aida ended the lesson, we let them know that we could always connect via Skype in the future if they wanted Aida to teach any additional signs. Aida did a great job of making the experience interesting and meaningful for all, including Mr. Wrankmore. On our way out Aida wanted to know his sign name for future reference and when she discovered he did not have one. She thought briefly about it and decided his sign name would be a “T” sign from below the neck down to the belt (similar to the sign for tie). This made his day and WCI looks forward to being available for any future lessons. Thank you Mystic Valley Charter School for the opportunity and thank you Mr. Wrankmore and your class for inviting us into your classroom. I would also like to thank Julian Cadavid for being there to assist Aida in teaching the lesson and Miko Kajen for interpreting the lesson.
Business Office Updates!
Please join us in Congratulating Elena Barbaiani for her promotion and Alena Moskalenko for her new position in the business office.
Elena Barbaiani will be taking over as Senior Accounts Receivable Specialist! Elena has been with WCI
from November 2014, her main responsibilities in her new role will include; State billing, Charges for care, Mass health billing, Employment billing, Housing authority payments, Receiving all Cash & Checks and Bank deposits among other duties. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Finance from University of Moldova and she is also fluent in ASL. Elena will also be supervising the Accounts Payable Coordinator Position which she previously performed diligently.
Alena Moskalenko has accepted a position as Accounts Payable Coordinator! Alena’s responsibilities will include; Processing Accounts payable weekly checks (Mileage, Vendors & Check requests), Stipends reconciliation, Utilities management (RCN, Comcast, Nstar, & Verizon), Wheels events tracking & reports, among other duties. Alena recently graduated from Massbay Community College, she was Majoring in Accounting. She also has a Master of Science degree in Industrial Economics from Moscow State University.
Congratulations to Elena and Alena!
WCI Office Space Expansion & Renovations
Construction is complete and we are finishing up moving all offices back to their final homes.
The Front Office has now been reconstructed so that we can provide everyone with more assistance and security. All staff who have an office within the Main Office will be using a Key Card system to access the office. All staff who do not have an office within the Main Office will be buzzed in through the Receptionist. This will be the case for the Front and Back Door (Accessible Entrance) of the office.
At the front door, all staff will walk in and be greeted by Reception who will assist in getting you the person you need to speak with, have a meeting with or informing you of where your scheduled meeting is taking place.
We are asking that all staff (who do not need an accessible entrance) enter through the front door. However, if you do come to the back door, you will now be ringing a door bell which will alert reception to your arrival. She will then be able to communicate with you and buzz you in.
We are excited to have hired Melissa Stuchins as the WCI Receptionist to welcome, assist, troubleshoot and grant entry to all visitors and staff to the Main Office. Melissa comes to us with a wide variety of reception experience and is set to begin on June 7th. With this new position, Reception will now be available to provide you with more support, such as copies, mail, faxes, scheduling meetings, appointments with staff within the office, etc.
We are asking that all staff who would like to meet with anyone at the Main Office try to schedule appointments in advance so that they can be sure to be available for you.
The new system with the Key Cards will begin on Wednesday, June 1st. Amaka or myself will be at the Receptionist desk until Melissa begins.
If you have any concerns or issues, please contact your Supervisor!
We are looking forward to you checking out the new set up in the front office and welcoming Melissa to WCI!
On Tuesday, May 24th, WCI celebrated the employment of long-time member of the Life Skills team, George! George was employed by WCI for many years in the main office, and had many positive experiences with his friends and colleagues. Nowhere was this more evident than during his retirement party, where dozens of Individuals and Staff attended to wish George well. George is enjoying his next step, meeting new friends in his new assisted living facility in Watertown. Congratulations, George!
Also remember to check out the all new wearewci.org and our Social Media feeds! Please like, share, and subscribe to our feeds to keep up to date on WCI and community events, interesting articles and videos, and updates on political happenings that affect the lives of our Individuals and their families!