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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!

Hillcrest Dental Care Oral Health Education Outreach Program Expansion

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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.

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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

 

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.

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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.

Hillcrest Educational Centers to Hold 15th Annual St. Patrick’s Celebration

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Hillcrest Educational Centers, Inc.
788 South Street
Pittsfield, MA 01201

Hillcrest Educational Centers to Hold 15th Annual St. Patrick’s Celebration

PITTSFIELD, Mass. Feb. 16, 2016—Hillcrest Educational Centers’ 15th Annual Robert ‘Bees’ Prendergast St. Patrick’s Celebration will take place Friday, March 18, 2016, at the Country Club of Pittsfield from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Tickets for the celebration are $50 each. Proceeds will benefit the educational programs at Hillcrest Educational Centers. The lead sponsor for the event is Greylock Federal Credit Union with additional support from Berkshire Bank and Rowley Fuel.

In keeping with the event’s Celtic traditions, Hillcrest will honor President of the Massachusetts State Senate, Senator Stanley C. Rosenberg as their Irish Person of the Year.

Senator Stanley C. Rosenberg was elected 93rd President of the Massachusetts Senate by his colleagues in January, 2015. Throughout his career in public service, he has remained steadfastly committed to Massachusetts values – like supporting working families, protecting our environment, increasing government transparency, and ensuring all students have the opportunity to succeed. Stan’s attention seldom strays far from fighting for working families and growing our economy from the bottom up. As Chair of the Senate Committee on Ways & Means, he passed a long-overdue wage hike for the Commonwealth’s lowest-paid human service workers. His tireless work to increase funding for education from early childhood to college has driven the creation of an innovation economy which keeps Massachusetts competitive. In 1998 he secured passage of the first Massachusetts Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) with a state match of 15% of the federal credit. In 2015, he spearheaded the first EITC increase since its inception, helping over 400,000 working families by increasing it to 23% of the federal level.

Additionally, Hillcrest will present the Judge John A. Barry Community Service Award to UNICO of Pittsfield. The group is very active and lives by the National motto “Service Above Self”. They have provided assistance to the sick and needy and grant educational scholarships to local high school seniors as well as continuing education students.

Hillcrest President and CEO, Gerard Burke, said, “This annual event honors Robert ‘Bees’ Prendergast, a founding board member of Hillcrest Educational Centers. Bees was a modest, optimistic and generous man who was a strong advocate of children and education. Hillcrest’s legacy of treating and educating children and helping those in need is firmly rooted in his beliefs and commitments. In the spirit of Bees and to honor those who today encapsulate these same traits, we carry on his love of hosting Irish celebrations”.

The reception features, heavy hors d’oeuvres, buffet selections, door prizes, a silent auction, and Irish entertainment provided by The Brodie Mountain Boys.

To purchase tickets, you can go online at 15thannualstpats.eventbrite.com or contact Tim Gallagher, Hillcrest’s Director of Development and Community Relations, at 413-499-7924 ext. 133 or email tgallagher@hillcrestec.org to be sent an electronic invitation.

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

Interning at Hillcrest – By: Delaney Moran

IMG_1648 01I’ve got the dialogue down after four months of rehearsal.

“What are you doing this summer?” it goes.

I say, “I’m interning at Hillcrest Educational Centers in the administrative office.”

“Ah, an office internship.” *Usually accompanied by a pitying nod and ironic smile implying poor compensation and menial labor.

*Insert explanation about how my experience at Hillcrest could not be farther from that description.

I am a rising sophomore neuroscience major struggling to produce a satisfactory answer to: “What Do You Want To Do After You Graduate?” the second-most-requested dialogue in my repertoire after “What Are You Doing This Summer?” Since I have no idea, I usually improv here. Thus, I came into this summer desiring little more than some real-world experience and hoping that, good or bad, I might be able to narrow down the type of career path I am interested in.

Prior to filling out the application, I had given little thought to residential treatment facilities for psychologically traumatized youth. However, what I found here was honestly inspiring. Every day I am impressed by the staff, a group of extremely hardworking, dedicated, personable, and compassionate people. Highlights include witnessing staff console, instruct, and play basketball with students with the same seemingly-inexhaustible energy supply and cheerful enthusiasm. I spent most of my time at the administrative office and not on the campuses, however, but was met with the same dedication and enthusiasm there. This was probably due to the fact that almost all members of senior management were youth development counselors, themselves, at one point or another. Furthermore, an impressively large percentage of staff members have told me word-for-word that the Hillcrest team “is a family” (and this was not a recited line, but an honest sentiment on their part). I feel the same way.

My day-to-day experience interning was dynamic as well as meaningful, (not at all warranting the sympathetic nod often elicited by the words “summer internship”). I split my time between the Human Resources department, and a special outcome study project. The study was particularly gratifying because of the independence it granted me. I was charged with the responsibility of designing and implementing every step. This also meant that while I spent some days in the office assisting the HR staff with their projects, I also spent a lot of time on the campuses, explaining the study, interviewing clinicians, sitting in on meetings, collecting data from student portfolios, etc. Another significant portion of my time was filled speaking to discharged students, parents, and caseworkers on the phone, listening to their success stories since leaving Hillcrest.

My summer culminated in a 30 page report and a presentation to the senior management and board of directors. I definitely felt that my time and work were appreciated, and my opinions valued and considered. Overall, I had an incredible experience, and though I am still unsure what I want to do as a career, my experience at Hillcrest put organizations serving kids with psychiatric and behavioral disorders on the map of possibilities.

Interning at Hillcrest – By: Cameron Parrino

CParrinoFrom the time I was young I had assumed my career decision would be an easy one, signing into either the NFL or the NBA. It was around middle school when I realized that this was probably not going to be the case. I began exploring new careers that would still be fast paced and eventually fell into the business field, specifically human resources.

Still unsure if this would be the right fit, I was presented the opportunity to intern with Hillcrest Educational Centers as a part of the human resources team in the administrative office for the summer. I gladly accepted the offer and was ready to see if human resources would be right for me. From day one of orientation I could tell that Hillcrest was a well-run organization. The workforce learning department has truly put a lot of work into the structure of orientation and it shows. The two days I attended orientation were packed full of new insight from various viewpoints of Hillcrest. Meeting with the administrative team, direct care staff, and students themselves really gives a comprehensive look at what Hillcrest is all about.

When I first met with Tim, Diane, Colleen and the other members of the administration I knew Hillcrest would be an enjoyable place to work. Everyone was so hospitable and ready to help in whatever way they could. As the summer continued, my list of daily tasks grew progressively larger and eventually would include projects. It seemed as though each week I learned a new skill or a new function within Hillcrest. Hillcrest staff was always around and willing to help in whatever way they could. I was given a variety of projects that were more than just fetching coffee as you see interns doing on TV. These projects were real human resources activities that allowed me to really get inside what my career may entail.

Now that we are verging on the end of summer, I can see that the lessons and skills I have learned are invaluable. After my internship I am now fixed on going into human resources post-graduation. I want to thank everyone at Hillcrest for being so welcoming and for giving me the opportunity to work with such an exceptional organization.