Hillcrest Community Support Services

Serving the Community

Hillcrest Community Support Services (HCSS) provides a range of services to meet the needs of children, adolescents, families, school districts, and community organizations in the Berkshires, including behavioral therapy, counseling, psychological testing, and training to public schools and community organizations.

After serving as a leader in the field working with children, parents, and families for over two decades through their residential and day school settings, Hillcrest launched the Community Support Services division in 2009 to provide these critical services to members of their home community in the Berkshires.  

Since that time, HCSS has served hundreds of families in the region. Using evidenced based approaches to help individuals and families, HCSS assists individuals in meeting their goals by providing services that have been proven to work and are delivered with skill, respect, and compassion.

Services Included:

Behavioral Therapy & Counseling for children, teens, and adults
Offered in individual, family, or group settings
Psychological Evaluations for children, teens, and adults
Refer when an individual is experiencing distress in any area of functioning
Neuropsychological Evaluations for children, teens, and adults
Refer for developmental challenges, illness, injury, memory loss, or personality changes Trainings/Professional Development services

For public/private schools and community organizations

Hillcrest Dental Care

Enhancing the Patient Experience

Computer_IndiaOver the last few months Hillcrest Dental Care piloted and launched SolutionReach, a platform that improves communications and enhances the overall patient experience.

This software maintains communication via text, email, and phone so our patients can stay connected to us. As long as we have a patient email or cell phone number, we are able to:

  • Send patients a reminder to add the appointment to their calendar as soon as the appointment is scheduled
  • Send an attendance confirmation request one week before their appointment
  • Send a general reminder 3 days before their appointment
  • Let them know we look forward to seeing them 4 hours before their appointment

If we don’t have an email or cell phone number, we will give the patient a call to their land-line phone 3 days in advance to confirm their appointment.

An added bonus to this new technology is that it allows us to send our patients birthday wishes, post-appointment surveys, and messages/reminders as needed. Our goal is to maintain open communications and make our patients feel like they are part of the Hillcrest Dental family. After all, our tagline is Beautiful Smiles for the Entire Family.

Oral Health Education Outreach Program

Throughout February and March Hillcrest Dental Care gave presentations at 8 local schools and day care centers to educate children on the importance of oral health care and the role it plays in a person’s overall health. Thanks to Greylock Federal Credit Union, Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation’s Central Berkshire Fund, the MDS foundation, and Hillcrest Hospital for granting/donating funds to help us expand the program this year – they made it possible for us to reach 479 students during this time. We look forward to continuing the program next year!

Employee Spotlight

Michael Bushy

Michael Bushy

The inaugural BCC 40 Under 40 event honored an impressive group of young individuals in the Berkshire community who are making a positive impact. Included in this group was Hillcrest’s art teacher, Michael Bushy.

Aside from serving on Pittsfield’s Cultural Development Board, Berkshire Art Association as VP, and the Berkshire Museum’s New Roots Committee, Michael brings his teaching out of the classroom with printmaking/bookbinding workshops through IS183, the Clark, Miss Hall’s School, and demonstrations at the Berkshire Museum. He also offers development workshops to the Pittsfield Public Schools and at 3rd Thursdays, where he guides children, teens and adults in creating art. Kudos to Michael for donating his art and his time to our community and advocating for the importance of the arts in the lives of our youth.

A Successful Robert “Bees” Prendergast Reception

2016 St. PatsWith incredible support from the Berkshire community, Hillcrest raised $60,000 from the annual St. Patrick’s gala held on March 18th at the Country Club of Pittsfield. Over 240 businesses and individuals supported the event through their attendance, sponsorships, and donated auction items.

President of the Massachusetts State Senate, Senator Stanley Rosenberg, was presented with the “Irish Person of the Year” award. The Pittsfield UNICO was honored with the “Judge John A. Barry Award” for Community Service.

To highlight the event, attendees had the opportunity to hear directly from a 15 year old Hillcrest student, Mister Shaw, who shared his journey of losing his family in a fire and experienced numerous failed placements. His foster parent also shared an amazing story of resilience and how his son has overcome so many obstacles.

Coming from foster care himself, Senator Rosenberg is working on the Kids’ First initiative, and believes that Hillcrest is part of the continuum by helping kids to live the best lives they can. He shared a sentiment describing the feeling of helping children in their time of need, “if you lose but one child, it is as though you lost the whole word, but if you save one child it’s like you saved the whole world”.

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Berkshire County Kids’ Place – Raymond James Monopoly Tournament

BCKP Raymond JamesOn Thursday, February 25, Berkshire County Kids’ Place joined forces with Raymond James for the Raymond James Monopoly Tournament at Berkshire Hills Country Club.

Approximately 120 players gathered together in a fast-paced version of the classic game, and fun was had by all. The event brought in just over $12,000 to support the services provided at Kids’ Place to child abuse victims.

Upcoming Events

May 2016
5/21 Touch A Truck

June 2016
6/2 Berkshire County Law Enforcement Golf Tournament

July 2016
7/9 Cars for Kids Car Show
7/30 21st Annual Jimmy’s Ride Motorcycle Run

Hillcrest Goes Blue for Autism


Hillcrest Educational Centers’ Administrative Offices on South Street, Hillcrest’s Housatonic Academy, and the City of Pittsfield’s Park Square illuminated with special blue lights on the evening of Friday, April 1 in support of Autism Speaks’ global annual Light It Up Blue (LIUB) campaign to celebrate World Autism Awareness Day and Autism Awareness Month.

The lights remained lit through the entire month of April in support of Autism Awareness. We thank Limelight Productions, Inc. for providing the lighting in Park Square.

This year we are excited to announce that Downtown Pittsfield Inc., College Internship Program, UCP of Berkshire County, and Community Resources for People with Autism partnered with us to host an Autism Resource Fair and Art Show during the First Friday Arts Walk at the Downtown Pittsfield, Inc. offices from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Friday, April 1 followed by the lighting ceremony in Park Square at 7:30 p.m.

Our Co-Sponsors for the event:

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Next year’s event promises to be even larger and draw more awareness to the cause.

Enjoy this video of the College Internship Program students showcasing their musical talents at the Autism Resource Fair!

Campus Spotlight: Housatonic Academy Day Program

Allison Billard

Allison Billard -Program Director

Hillcrest Educational Centers’ Housatonic Academy is a therapeutic day school where the belief that all children can learn and do well is the foundation of our programming.

The Housatonic Academy program is a 12-month program, which includes a 7-week summer program. We operate on a rolling admission basis, so the students are admitted throughout the academic school year as well as during the summer months.

The academy provides individualized educational and therapeutic services that identify and build on the strengths of children and their families in a safe environment, allowing each student to reach their highest potential.

To support our children’s therapy and help them build skills for the future, Hillcrest offers multiple hands-on programs during the course of student treatment. For example, vocational programming that teaches skills to maintain rain gardens in downtown Pittsfield, certifying students in food safety and maintaining on-site greenhouses producing fresh vegetables for retail. All of these skills help students develop self-esteem and encourage them to continue their treatment in ways that can help them live independently in the future.

HA student in pool

The Housatonic Academy is licensed to serve students ages 6 through 22. Our students come to us from Berkshire County and the surrounding areas (New York, Southern Vermont). While all of our students have unique needs, the commonality is that all of our students have social-emotional or behavioral difficulties that cannot be met within the public school setting.

At the Housatonic Academy, there are classrooms that are specifically devoted to educating children on the Autism Spectrum. These classrooms utilize an Applied Behavior Analysis approach to education and behavior management.