Employee Awards and Accolades

Employees honored for live-saving efforts

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Five Stairways Behavioral Health staff members from two different clinical programs were honored as May Employees of the Month for performing heroic acts on clients in life-threatening situations.

Drug and Alcohol clinic staff Andrea Zieber, Edna Stickell, Lianna Koser and Carly Miller all responded quickly to an unresponsive client in late April. Immediately after observing that the client was not breathing, staff began chest compressions and administered Narcan spray until emergency personnel arrived.

Zieber, Stickell and Koser, counselors at the D&A clinic, and Miller, a medical assistant, each played a vital role in the emergency by communicating and working together as a team as well as providing every intervention available at their disposal.

Kyle McQueeney, a blended case manager, also faced a potential fatal emergency and likewise responded in exemplary fashion.

McQueeney encountered a situation in which one of the clients he works with expressed suicidal thoughts and tried to take his life by consuming a bottle of pills. Kyle was quick to respond and contact 911, state police and crisis services. Without McQueeney’s intervention, his client would have likely died.

Stairways’ skilled employees regularly demonstrate the composure necessary in responding to emergency situations.

Each Employee of the Month was nominated by their supervisor.

Nurses honored as employees of the month

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Stairways employees Ed Cunningham, Sue Ferraro and Carrie Lydic recently earned recognition for their excellence on the job by being named Employees of the Month.

All licensed practical nurses in the Mobile Medication Monitoring program, Cunningham, Ferraro and Lydic garnered the distinction for the month of June. Cunningham was also recognized for performing a life-saving act in May.

After receiving cryptic text messages one evening from a client he was scheduled to meet with the next day, Cunningham called him, and while talking, deduced that he was despondent and had taken a bottle of pills. Cunningham remained calm and had the individual unlock their apartment door and stay awake while he used another phone to dispatch paramedics. All the while, he stayed on the phone with the client until the ambulance arrived.

Following a stay on the Intensive Care unit, the client was transferred to another hospital floor to receive further treatment.

As a group, Cunningham, Ferraro and Lydic were honored for consistently meeting and exceeding their responsibilities. They not only assist clients with their concerns but also help educate the staff on issues clients might be facing.

The nurses have taken on additional responsibilities in addition to their nursing duties and are often willing to work late or come in on weekends. Cunningham, Ferraro and Lydic have had a great impact on the Mobile Medication Monitoring program by ensuring that the program’s productivity remains high thanks to their commitment and work ethic.

Mobile Medication Monitoring supervisor Julie Belton nominated the nurses for the accolade.

Gage House staff members recognized for life-saving act

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Phillip Livingston, Joshua Stepp and Kayla Birk were named March Employees of the Month for performing a life-saving act on an unresponsive client.

On a March evening, a client at Gage House had a seizure, lost consciousness and stopped breathing when Stepp, Birk and Livingston (pictured below, left to right) intervened to assist the individual.

Birk alerted police of an emergency by pressing the panic buttons and helped to keep other clients calm while Stepp called 911. Livingston assessed the client and provided her with a clear airway that restored breathing. The client was then transported by ambulance to the hospital.

Following the event, Livingston informed other Gage residents of the occurrence. Despite the emotional difficulty of the incident, Livingston Birk and Stepp’s focus was always on the clients at Gage House.

Thanks to quick thinking and emergency preparedness, the client survived their attack and was stabilized.

Gage House is a structured program that provides rehabilitation and habilitation services to individuals who are in need of treatment to address co-occuring substance abuse and mental health issues.

Livingston is a clinical care specialist at Gage House. Stepp and Birk are part-time aides at the residential facility.

Jennifer LaRoche and Bernadette Valentinetti

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Jennifer LaRoche and Bernadette Valentinetti were recognized as the respective Employees of the Months for September and October during a Stairways Behavioral Health’s fall Board of Directors meeting in late November.

LaRoche was also credited for performing a life-saving act, as she sought out and attended to a client she suspected of exhibiting suicidal behavior.

LaRoche, a therapist at Stairways’ Residential Treatment Facility for Adults (RTFA), engaged a client who displayed slurred speech and confusion. Using probing questions, LaRoche ascertained that the client had overdosed and contacted EMS, which arrived to transport the client to the hospital. The client was eventually stabilized while in intensive care.

RTFA Director Melanie Hake and assistant supervisor Keri Walker nominated LaRoche for the accolade.

Valentinetti, a mental health professional/substance abuse specialist for Stairways’ Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) team was recently acknowledged for having shown the greatest growth during a recent audit. Valentinetti was commended for her comfort and awareness in developing appropriate approaches with clients.

Valentinetti also developed electronic MAR (Medication Assessment Record) for the ACT team, which has resulted in a reduced workload and more organized record-keeping. She was nominated by ACT team leader Rochelle Youkers.

Stairways is fortunate to have such capable and passionate staff as part of its team.


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