News Letter April 2020

Volume 2 – April 2020
CNYHHN, Inc. News & Updates
Congratulations to the following celebrating anniversaries at CNYHHN (January to April)
5 Years
Danielle Falzarine
3 Years
Julie Burgenstock
Jessica Patterman
2 Years
Megan Emery
1 Year
Elvisa Alikadic
Mildred Lozada
Danielle Mulvey
Kelvin Paulino
Welcome to CNYHHN
Tammy Colvin – Utica Care Manager
Gabby Russo – Utica Care Manager
Jenni Barlow – Watertown Consultant
Lisa Longeretta – Utica AVP, Strategic Planning and
Court Initiatives
Melisa Duric – Utica Care Manager
Ariel Foti – Utica Care Manager
Donna Hartman – Utica Care Manager
Jessica Hampe – Utica Care Manager
Congratulations to Amy VanDusen on her promotion to
Program Manager of Referrals
McPike and York Street Clinic embedded sites are available now. If interested, please see your direct supervisor
Community Response Team
As agencies, schools, and businesses shut down, Connected Community Schools (CCS) continues to head up its boots-on-the-ground Community Response Team. With the news of schools closing hitting the public on March 13th, wheels started turning immediately to get a plan in place to face the challenges and ensure continued support for the students and families in our counties.
To address food insecurity in Rome, the word was put out that CCS would be hosting two food pantries, with a possibility for a third location, right in the elementary schools, and would operate Monday, Wednesday, and Friday 10:00-2:00, while schools were out. Beginning that Wednesday, families would be able to go every other week, in addition to getting daily grab-and-go hot lunches and breakfasts from the school district’s Food Service Program, which was set to begin Thursday.
The CCS crew, joined by the countless school and community members, worked tirelessly Monday and Tuesday coordinating the move set up of the pantry from Bellamy to Staley, and preparing the food bundles for families in both Staley and Gansevoort. Precautionary measures were in place to ensure the safety of both the team and the community – food packages would be placed one at a time outside the door where the family would then approach to pick it up and the process would repeat.
Wednesday came, and before 11:00, the Staley site was out of food and team members were running back and forth to Gansevoort to replenish their supply. By the end of the day, after only 4 hours, over 1000 families were served, amounting to over 12,000 pounds of food, completely wiping out both pantries. To give some perspective, our holiday initiative handed out a comparable amount of food after a full week of serving families.
In response, a new plan for food distribution was enacted: Gansevoort would be the sole pantry location. Friday ran at Gansevoort as originally shared, from 10:00-2:00 or until the food was gone, and new hours were posted for the following week as Tuesday and Thursday 12:00-2:00. When the news came on Friday the 20th that all staff was to work remotely with no exceptions, the team took it hard. After having been in the thick of it and seeing the need first hand, sitting at home just felt wrong. But thankfully, we recruited 30+ volunteers, and calls continue to come in with people asking how they can help or where they can send donations, and with their help, we are still operating as planned.
In Waterville, Dolgeville, and Town of Webb, similar plans have been orchestrated to get students breakfast and lunch – creative solutions have been devised including utilizing local fire departments and district bus routes to deliver food, and they, too, have been lucky enough to have a team of volunteers to assist as needed.
CCS utilizes LINK, a district referral system to identify students and families that are struggling, and we put our community expertise to work in connecting them with the services they need. Even with all 4 connected districts closed (Rome, Waterville, Dolgeville, and Town of Webb), LINK is still closely monitored.
With these closures, District phone lines are limited in Rome, as is probably the case for the other three districts. What we have done is provided a number for families to contact if they are in need of assistance, and we continue to encourage them to reach out on our Facebook page as well. LINK will remain up and running and we will continue to triage and address needs as they come in. It will run in a similar fashion with our phones, and in both cases, families will be assessed for needs with an acuity system: 1- General need, such as simple asks for information 2- Food insecurity or resources 3- Family situation, such as homelessness or other similar crises.
With the Rome Alliance for Education now closed, all donations are being directed to Gansevoort Elementary, where they can be dropped off Tuesdays and Thursdays between 10:00 and 1:00. Questions regarding donations can be directed to 315-292-3250.
Currently, we have food but have put out an ask for more – specifically those easy to make/prepare items like mac & cheese, pasta, cereals, etc. We are also in search of hygiene items – obviously toilet paper, but we also anticipate diapers being a big need as well as any of those other typical daily hygiene items.
We’re also accepting monetary donations – checks can be made out to Rome Alliance for Education and mailed to 509 N. James St. Rome, NY 13440, or donations can be made through Venmo- username is @connectedcommunityschools – and a little goes a long way! We can typically purchase food items for pennies on the dollar from our CNY Food Bank.
Member Success Story
A member expressed to me that he felt extremely unsafe in his apartment and was not comfortable living there. He is actively working with his therapist to make changes in his life that will help him in the future. For example, he is conscious of who he spends his time with and wants to create a healthy environment for himself.
Recently, I coordinated a connection to Access VR services with him and attended the intake appointment. He has been inspired by this, it seems, and wants to pursue school further so that he can change his lifestyle and live more independently. With this inspiration, he was really focused on moving. Together, we contacted Genesee Towers and attended an application/apartment viewing with the building manager. He really liked the apartment and wanted to move forward with the application process. The building manager was able to coordinate with his current landlord to get all of the necessary qualifying information, which was helpful. On my end, I sent over the application that we completed together and have been coordinating further to make sure we are following up with everything they need.
As of February 7th, 2020, a member was moved into his new apartment.
~ Sarah Phillips, Care Manager ~
Ribbon Cutting for Waterville School District became part of the Connected Community Schools Initiative, now known as the Brothertown Connected Community Schools! CNYHHN will continue to partner with Rome Alliance for Education and Safe School Mohawk Valley as we expand into 3 new districts!
Anne Lansing (Safe Schools MV Executive Director), Melissa Roys (Rome Alliance for Education Executive Director), Jane Vail (CNYHHN Executive Director), Chuck Chaffee (Waterville Superintendent), Tracey Leone (Director at Waterville) and (Site Coordinator) Olivia Trumbo.
Coordinator Santina Peters on a trip to BJ’s to obtain food to restock the Gansevort Elementary School MarketPlace Foodbank. A HUGE SHOUT OUT to Miranda Majewicz, Santina Peters and Katie Rockwell (Site Coordinator for Dolgeville School) who went above and beyond to assist the school during the crisis of school transitioning remote and ensuring that the students and families continued to obtain food and support. In Rome, they served over 12,000 lbs. of food/ 100+ families, on the first day of the food bank is open to the Rome School District Community!
CNYHHN’s Admin Team” pilots working remote but still working as a team….this has been an adjustment for all! Luckily we can still remain connected hosting team meetings together via video conferencing.
Just a glimpse of how much Gatorade was donated by Compassion Coalition to the Food Bank in Rome!
Working from Home
Working from home can be a hard transition for some. Below are some helpful links:

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