Archive | March 2016

Hillcrest Educational Centers and the City of Pittsfield’s Park Square to Participate in Autism Speaks Light it Up Blue Campaign

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                    

Hillcrest Educational Foundation, Inc.                                                          
788 South Street
Pittsfield, MA 01201

Hillcrest Educational Centers and the City of Pittsfield’s Park Square to Participate in Autism Speaks Light it Up Blue Campaign

Buildings and Landmarks will Light Up Blue as Part of a Global Initiative to Raise Awareness of Autism

PITTSFIELD, Mass. Mar. 25, 2016 – Hillcrest Educational Centers’ Administrative Offices on South Street, Hillcrest’s Housatonic Academy, and the City of Pittsfield’s Park Square will illuminate 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 will remain lit through the entire month of April in support of Autism Awareness. We thank Limelight Productions, Inc. for providing the lighting in Park Square.

Hillcrest Educational Centers is home to a residential Autism Program as well as a Therapeutic Day Program, Housatonic Academy, who also caters to a variety of populations, including students with Autism.

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 are partnering 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 a lighting ceremony in Park Square at 7:30 p.m.

Hillcrest and Park Square join a list of more than 10,000 iconic landmarks, businesses, communities and homes in 136 countries on all seven continents that will shine a bright light on autism. The Empire State Building in NYC, Niagara Falls in Canada, the Sydney Opera House in Australia, the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy, and even the International Space Station have all joined Autism Speaks along with Hillcrest’s Administrative Offices and Park Square in support of the millions of families affected by autism.

Throughout the month of April, Pittsfield residents can support their neighbors and friends by participating in Light It Up Blue. Visit www.autismspeaks.org/LIUB for fun and creative ways to shine a bright light on Autism.

 

DATE:            Friday, April 1, 2016
TIME: 7:30 p.m.
PLACE: Illuminated Landmarks include:
City of Pittsfield
Park Square
Pittsfield, MA 01201

 

Additional Buildings include:
Hillcrest Educational Centers
788 South Street
Pittsfield, MA 01201

Hillcrest’s Housatonic Academy
1450 West Housatonic Street
Pittsfield, MA 01201

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About Hillcrest Educational Foundation

A top area employer, Hillcrest Educational Foundation is a private not-for-profit agency, serving students from across the country. Hillcrest was started as an organization that provided residential programs for students with complex psychiatric, behavioral and/or developmental disorders, including autism, and a variety of high-risk behaviors. While the agency still provides these residential services, today Hillcrest also offers nonresidential day programs and services for emotionally/behaviorally disturbed students at their Housatonic Academy, general family dentistry at Hillcrest Dental Care and outpatient mental health services for children, adolescents and adults through Hillcrest Community Support Services. Hillcrest’s Administrative Offices are located at 788 South Street, Pittsfield, MA 01201. More information is available at www.hillcrestec.org.

About Downtown Pittsfield, Inc.

Downtown Pittsfield, Inc. fosters the on-going growth and vitality of downtown through vision, leadership and advocacy and to position downtown as the creative and business hub of the Berkshires for the benefit of all. Visit us at http://www.downtownpittsfield.com.

About Limelight Productions, Inc.

Limelight® has served the production and technical needs of the entertainment industry for well over 40 years. They have served national clients such as ABC News, HBO, Discover Channel, E Center, Sony Films, DreamWorks, Magic School Bus Tour and Pilobolus Dance Theatre. Our client list also includes the Williamstown Theatre Festival, Tanglewood, Berkshire Choral Festival, Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, among many other well-known organizations.

About College Internship Program

The College Internship Program (CIP), is a national postsecondary transition program for teens and young adults with autism and other learning differences, offering year-round and summer programs at six locations nationwide. For more information about CIP and their comprehensive services, visit www.cipworldwide.org.

About UCP of Berkshire County

United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) Association of Berkshire County — an affiliate of United Cerebral Palsy Association — was established in 1961. UCP of Berkshire County offers support and advocacy for any individual, regardless of disability, to pursue a fulfilling, self-determined, high-quality community life — a life without limits.  The UCP mission is to advance the independence, productivity and full citizenship of people with disabilities. 

About Community Resources for People with Autism

Community Resources for People with Autism provides support, information, educational advocacy and practical help for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders and their families living in western Massachusetts.

We help families build on their strengths, work together to create a positive vision and reality for the future, and help children grow and be welcomed as fully included members of their community. For more information about Community Resources for People with Autism, please contact our Easthampton office at 413.529.2428, our Pittsfield office at 413.443.4780 x 19, or link to our website: http://www.theassociationinc.org.

 About Autism

Autism is a general term used to describe a group of complex developmental brain disorders – autism spectrum disorders – caused by a combination of genes and environmental influences. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by communication difficulties, social and behavioral challenges, and repetitive behaviors. An estimated 1 in 68 children in the U.S. is on the autism spectrum.

About Autism Speaks

Autism Speaks is the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization. It is dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism; increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders; and advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. Autism Speaks was founded in February 2005 by Suzanne and Bob Wright, the grandparents of a child with autism. Mr. Wright is the former vice chairman of General Electric and chief executive officer of NBC and NBC Universal. Since its inception, Autism Speaks has committed more than $525 million to its mission, the majority in science and medical research. Each year Walk Now for Autism Speaks events are held in more than 100 cities across

North America. On the global front, Autism Speaks has established partnerships in more than 60 countries on five continents to foster international research, services and awareness. To learn more about Autism Speaks, please visit AutismSpeaks.org.

Media Contact:
Hillcrest Educational Centers, Inc.
Katrina Cardillo
Director of Communications
413-499-7924 ext. 114
kcardillo@hillcrestec.org

 

Berkshire County Kids’ Place Passport to Hope Gala

HopeThe Berkshire County Kids’ Place Passport to Hope Gala was held on Friday, October 16, 2015 at the Crowne Plaza.   This well-attended event brought the community together for an enjoyable evening with international flare.

Honored that evening were Martin & Oliveira with the Community Leader Award for all they do to support Kids’ Place throughout the year for many years running. John Bissell, CEO of Greylock Federal Credit Union, presented the award to John Martin.

BCKPThe 3rd Annual Founders Award was presented to Elaine and William Hale for their years of dedication to the organization with annual financial support and their contribution to “Lanie’s Place”, which is the space for our climbing wall and sensory garden. 

A big thank you to all of our sponsors, especially our presenting sponsor for the evening, Perri and Michelle Petricca and the Petricca Family.

Contact Us:
Berkshire County Kids’ Place
Tel : (413) 499-2800
Email: lbaran@hillcrestec.org
Website: http://www.kidsplaceonline.org

Hillcrest Dental Care Oral Health Education Outreach Program Expansion

HDC_WIDE_Logo_divHEF

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oral Health Education Outreach Program Expansion

In celebration of National Children’s Dental Health Month, Hillcrest Dental Care, Inc. has begun another exciting round of school visits through our Oral Health Education Outreach Program. Thanks to the generosity of the MDS Foundation, Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, Greylock Federal Credit Union, and Hillcrest Hospital, we have raised funds to expand the program this year and aim to teach 1,500 children in 30 different schools and day care centers about the benefits of good oral health care and proper nutrition. The program will provide information and resources to children and parents about dental benefits for children, increase awareness of oral health services offered by many, and, most importantly, increase access to oral health care for children and their families.

toothbrush-clipart-black-and-white-purple-toothbrush-hi

Program Details

Trained HDC staff visit schools and day care centers to introduce students to the basics of good oral health with hands-on, engaging classroom presentations. Each presentation is tailored to the age and cognitive functioning of the group’s presentations. HDC uses Interactive games and props during presentations teach the importance of nutrition and proper oral health care. As a bonus, all children in attendance receive a toothbrush, a timer, toothpaste, floss, school supplies, and a small toy, as well as brochures for parents, including information on how to access MassHealth benefits for dental coverage. These materials provide essential knowledge to parents about the connection between oral health and the total health of the body with the primary focus on the important role of dental clinics as providers of compassionate care and comprehensive services.

As HDC has done in years past, school presentations launched in February to coincide with National Children’s Oral Health Month. To extend the celebration and ensure we can reach as many children as possible, presentations run through March. HDC is very much looking forward to spreading the word about oral health care and encouraging healthy smiles throughout the Berkshires and beyond.

SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT TODAY!

Pittsfield, MA Location
788 South Street
M-F 7:50 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
(413) 445-6680

North Adams, MA Location
77 Hospital Drive, Suite 102
Th,F 7:50 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
(413) 346-4242

 

Hillcrest Community Support Services Serving Local Schools

Child window

EXPRESSED GROWING NEED FOR TRAINING

Dedicated to providing a range of services to meet the needs of children, adolescents, families, and school districts in the Berkshires.

Hillcrest Community Support Services (HCSS) is dedicated to providing a range of services to meet the needs of children, adolescents, families, and school districts in the Berkshires. In addition to providing behavioral therapy and psychological testing services, in the last year, we’ve expanded our services and are now offering trainings to public schools throughout the region to ensure growth of both students and staff in support of every student’s development.

In 2015, HCSS offered 21 trainings in 6 local school districts, and we expect that number to increase in 2016, as there is an expressed growing need. These trainings are provided for a variety of topics, including Strategies for Interacting with Students with Developmental Disabilities, Trauma and Its Impact on Students, Collaborative Techniques in the Classroom, and many others.

Additionally, HCSS staff is always willing to customize trainings for a school district with a specific need. HCSS prides itself on fostering relationships with local school districts and meeting their training needs, because we recognize that partnerships like this will allow the region’s educational facilities to best serve children and families in our community.

2015 TRAINING STATISTICS

In 2015, HCSS offered 21 trainings in 6 local school districts, and we expect that number to increase in 2016, as there is an expressed growing need.

21 TRAININGS
trategies for Interacting with Students with Developmental Disabilities Trauma and Its Impact on Students

Collaborative Techniques in the Classroom…and MORE!

6 LOCAL SCHOOLS
HCSS has held trainings for 6 of the local schools in the Berkshire community

CUSTOMIZED TRAININGS
HCSS staff is always willing to customize trainings for a school district with a specific need

Our Staff

Boyer

David Boyer, PhD

Turner

Will Turner, LICSW

Contact Us:
Tel: (413) 499-2031
Fax: (413) 442-4677
Email: hcss@hillcrestec.org

Hillcrest Dental Care Visits Local Schools for National Children’s Health Month

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Hillcrest Dental Care, Inc.
788 South Street
Pittsfield, MA 01201

Hillcrest Dental Care Visits Local Schools for National Children’s Health Month

PITTSFIELD, Mass. March 1, 2016—In celebration of National Children’s Dental Health Month this February, Hillcrest Dental Care, Inc. (HDC) began another exciting round of school visits through our Oral Health Education Outreach Program, and has extended it through the month of March in order to reach as many school-aged children as possible.

Thanks to the generosity of the MDS Foundation, Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation’s Central Berkshire Fund, Greylock Federal Credit Union, and Hillcrest Hospital, we have raised funds to expand the program this year and aim to teach 1,500 children in 30 different schools and day care centers about the benefits of good oral health care and proper nutrition. The program provides information and resources to children and parents about dental benefits for children, increases awareness of oral health services offered by many, and, most importantly, increases access to oral health care for children and their families.

HDC sends licensed registered Dental Hygienists out to schools and day care centers to introduce students to the basics of good oral health with hands-on, engaging classroom presentations. Each presentation is tailored to the age and cognitive functioning of the group’s presentations. HDC uses interactive games and props during presentations teach the importance of nutrition and proper oral health care.

As a bonus, all children in attendance receive a toothbrush, toothpaste, and school supplies as well as brochures for parents including information on good oral hygiene practices. These materials provide essential knowledge to children and parents about the connection between good oral health and the total health of the body with the primary focus on the important role of dental clinics as providers of compassionate care and comprehensive services.

Schools and Day Care facilities visited:
The Tot Spot
Craneville Elementary School
Becket Washington
Kittredge Elementary
Berkshire Christian School
Lee Elementary
Cheshire
Adams Head Start
Monument Square
…and more

Hillcrest Dental Office Manager Tricia Hunt said, “Starting your child off with good dental care can help protect their teeth for decades to come. Children need strong, healthy teeth to chew their food, speak and have a good-looking smile and Hillcrest is dedicated to doing our part to help make this happen”.

About Hillcrest Educational Foundation, Inc.:

A top area employer, Hillcrest Educational Foundation is a local, private not-for-profit parent company of three subsidiaries and one affiliate agency. They include:

  • Hillcrest Educational Centers, Inc. providing therapeutic treatment and special education to children and adolescents with unique psychological and learning needs in Berkshire County, Massachusetts and the Northeast. Their campuses include a day student academy, and autism program, and three residential schools.
  • Hillcrest Community Support Services offers a broad range of psychological services, counseling and evaluations for individuals, families and schools in Berkshire County through Hillcrest Community Support Services.
  • Hillcrest Dental Care, Inc. is a complete general family dentistry practice and the largest provider in Western Massachusetts of oral healthcare services to MassHealth recipients and special needs patients. Hillcrest Dental Care has two locations; one in Pittsfield, MA and one in North Adams, MA
  • Berkshire County Kids’ Place and Violence Prevention Center, Inc., an affiliate of Hillcrest, is a fully accredited Children’s Advocacy Center for child abuse victims and their non-offending family members located at 63 Wendell Avenue, Pittsfield, MA.

Hillcrest’s Administrative Offices are located at 788 South Street, Pittsfield, MA 01201. More information is available at www.hillcrestec.org or by contacting Katrina Cardillo, kcardillo@hillcrestec.org or (413) 499-7924 x114. Hillcrest can also be found on Facebook.

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Media Contact:
Hillcrest Educational Centers, Inc.
Katrina Cardillo
Director of Communications
413-499-7924 ext. 114
kcardillo@hillcrestec.org

 

Department Spotlight: Nursing Department

RNHillcrest Educational Centers allows for an abundance of training opportunities for staff. Some have become certified as Residential Child and Youth Care Professionals (RCYCP),Therapeutic Crisis Intervention (TCI) instructors or Girl’s Circle/ Boy’s Council facilitators.

In the Summer of 2015, under the direction of Nancy Monti, Hillcrest’s Director of Nursing, there were many college students filling internship roles across the agency. Additionally, Hillcrest has recently been involved in the local community training school personnel and parent groups about the strategies needed to deal with challenging behaviors exhibited by children. It was not until recently that Hillcrest expanded opportunities for nursing staff to join the other agency trainers.

McCann

McCann Technical School nursing students received onsite training by the Hillcrest nursing staff at Hillcrest campuses

This summer, for the first time, the nursing department experienced the pleasure of welcoming LPN students from the Charles H. McCann Technical School in North Adams, MA. There were 16 nursing students, months away from completing their training, who came to the Hillcrest campuses to observe and interact with our student population.

It was an opportunity that allowed our skilled, dedicated nurses to impart some of their clinical expertise. This allowed the McCann students to understand the challenging opportunities that may be available to them in residential school/ psychiatric nursing. It seemed to be a short six-hour mentoring session but was enjoyable for both sides and covered much material.

HEC nurses were prepared with guidelines and sample schedules to assist in organizing their time. The LPN students arrived ready and willing to get the most out of their observation. Comments from the McCann students, received after their rotation, allow for a celebration of success. The student nurses confirmed what we already understand. In the words of one student, “They have much to offer and are great examples of first-rate nurses”.

Here are a few additional comments received by the McCann instructor Sue Watson, MSN,RN:

“I enjoyed this rotation. It was a unique environment and I felt welcomed.”
“This setting was great insight into psychiatric nursing. I gained good experience.”
“I had an extremely positive experience here; learned a lot about behavior disorders and autism.”

It will be our goal to continue such success as we maintain and develop an ongoing relationship with the McCann nursing students. It is with great hope that we await another rotation next summer. The McCann LPN students will again arrive on our campuses again in Summer 2016 to be side by side with our nurses learning that what we do here at Hillcrest is truly remarkable.