Print Friendly, PDF & Email

In This Issue:

January was Human Trafficking Awareness Month | Four Legged-Friends Provide Therapy | Recovery Month in the State of Georgia | Outside Spectrum | Spectrum Girls’ Detention Program Wins Statewide Decorating Contest | 17 Spectrum Employees Are Inducted into the President’s Club This Quarter | Spectrum Receives $10,000 grant | You May Want to Check OutMA Department of Correction Hosts Female Treatment Thought Leader Meeting | MADOC Expands Spectrum’s Contract

January was Human Trafficking Awareness Month

As we all know, many victims of human trafficking have substance use disorders. The International Office of Human Trafficking defines Human Trafficking as “the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or purchase of persons for the sole purpose of exploitation.” Every thirty seconds, someone becomes a victim. Approximately 2.5 million people fall prey to traffickers each year. The Department of Homeland Security notes:

"Victims of human trafficking can be any age, gender, race, or immigration status; they live in cities, suburbs, and rural areas. Human traffickers relentlessly canvass ways to take advantage of people who find themselves in circumstances of extreme adversity or violence, experience discrimination, economic vulnerability, or dependence. Communities that experience some of these hardships may be particularly vulnerable to human trafficking.

This summer the Blue Campaign introduced a new phase of its national campaign to raise awareness of the full reach of this crime and promote new and innovative web-based educational resources to reach all communities across the U.S."

Included is a sample of their poster campaign which began in the summer.

Back to Top

Four Legged-Friends Provide Therapy Augmentation to Spectrum’s Residential Clients

Overdose Awareness

Paws for People (PFP) is a non-profit organization in New England which is affiliated with the Tufts Veterinary Program and supported by the Center for Animals and Public Policy. The current program has its roots in a small animal visiting program that began in 1998. The program as it is known today launched in 2004; today, PFP has 100 animal/handler teams who visit various programs and facilities with regularity to provide therapeutic benefits to people in a number of settings, including, but not limited to: elder care facilities, hospice centers, mental health facilities, hospitals, public schools, libraries and substance use treatment disorder programs, among others.

The New England Recovery Center began PFP visits in November of 2018. It will come as no surprise to animal lovers, that interacting with animals promotes the release of serotonin, prolactin, and oxytocin – all of which contribute to an elevated mood. The physical and mental health benefits of interacting with fuzzy friends are many, and include:

• Lowered blood pressure and improved cardiovascular health
• Reduced anxiety
• Pain diminishment and often, increased motivation
• Reduced loneliness
• Greater happiness and relaxation
• Non-threatening way to engage/interact
• Increased mental stimulation

The program has been embraced by one and all, but the clients, in particular, love receiving weekly and sometimes biweekly visits from two wonderful dogs – one, a Newfoundland named Harbor Grace who is a mellow 8-year old, and the other, a pit-bull mix named Felicia. Right now, they are being used in group sessions, but the success of this program may encourage further expansion to other areas at the Faris Center. Thanks to Cheryl Bedard, Regional Business Development Liaison, who has been advocating for this program for some time.

Back to Top

Recovery Month in the State of Georgia – September 2018

Each September, the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) sponsors Recovery Month, with the goal of increasing national awareness of mental health and substance use disorders while simultaneously celebrating people who are actively in recovery. The agency manages a calendar of events and provides a platform to individuals and agencies to share their personal stories. The SAMHSA site also posts public service announcements.

Our programs were, as always, very active throughout the month. Each year staff and clients alike find new and different ways to educate and celebrate. Sabrina Hudnall, the State Director for Georgia’s Correctional Programs is incredibly proud of the work of her staff and their clients in this regard. She sent us a sampling of pictures to share across Spectrum.

In Georgia, Spectrum operates 14 RSATs. Pictured below are several programs participating in a range of celebrations.

Recovery Balloon Release at the Bainbridge
Probation Substance Abuse Treatment Center

Display Board at Northwest Residential Substance
Abuse Treatment program at Walker State Prison

Art Contest at Pulaski State Prison

Lee Arrendale State Prison Dorm Banners

Our Georgia-based programs also put on skits, hosted guest recovery speakers, held poetry and poster contests, wore ribbons, designed and wore recovery t-shirts, watched recovery documentaries, and held a walk around the unit yard as well as an iron man challenge (field event). They made affirmations, undertook role plays and held a cake decorating contest. Thanks to Georgia for going all out. No surprises there!

Back to Top


On the Fly with Mark Brown, Executive Director of Adolescent Services and Peer Recovery Centers

What does Mark Brown, share with 38 million other Americans? We know he coaches youth sports, and we’ve seen him on that pontoon boat. Maybe we’ve even been four wheeling with him.

Here is a hint. Neurobiologists say it is good for you. Many claim it is relaxing. Okay – here is the dead giveaway - it is done mostly on cold-water rivers, streams, lakes, and ponds which are West of the Mississippi River. You’ve guessed it – fly fishing!

Mark Brown sat down with us to answer questions about the nearly life-long hobby.

How did you start fly-fishing, Mark?
I started fly-fishing with encouragement from my buddy, Tom, almost twenty-five years ago. We were bass fishing on his boat with spin rods and he challenged me to try a river with him. I can never resist a challenge, and so it began!

What is your go-to fly rod?
I favor Orvis over all other equipment. You don’t have to get new equipment, though. You can pick great stuff up at yard sales and flea markets. A typical fly rod is about 9.5 feet.

When is the best time to fly fish?
While fish are hungry at sunrise, the best to time to fish is during a hatch.

It is easy to do?
Quite the contrary. It involves a lot of skill and it is helpful if you have someone show you the ropes. This is not stuff you can really learn by reading a book or a manual. It takes a lot of time and lot of practice. And, surprisingly, it is not really about catching the fish:

It’s not, although I do, of course. It is really more about getting away from it all and surrounding yourself with nature. I tend to fish for several days at a time about twelve times a year. It’s a solitary sport, but I always bring buddies or family – we just fish far apart and meet up for meals. We’ve seen moose, black bear, and fisher and bob cats. If we catch something – great – we have trout for dinner!

What is the dumbest thing you’ve ever done on a river?
My brother and I were fishing on the First Connecticut River some time ago. Up ahead, I spotted what I thought was the ideal fishing hole. I forged on ahead, not realizing how deep the river was. Suffice it to say, I needed help getting out of the river!

What are the favorite rivers you’ve fished?
Hands down – The First Connecticut River in New Hampshire at the Canadian border. I also like the Pulaski River in Saratoga, NY.

And what River is on your bucket list?

I want to get to Alaska!

Back to Top

Spectrum Girls’ Detention Program Wins Statewide Decorating Contest

Each year the Massachusetts Department of Youth Services holds a Holiday Decorating Contest throughout its programs across the Commonwealth. This year, Nadine Adams, the Spectrum Girls’ Program Director in Westborough is pleased to report that her program won (for the second time) – hands down! Now we all get a chance to see why. All staff and program participated to bring their Dr. Seuss Whoville theme to fruition. As the program has strong connections to the community, staff were able to obtain many of the materials through visits to area stores. The program will be honored with a luncheon and a trophy later this month for their creativity.

Back to Top

17 Spectrum Employees Are Inducted into the President’s Club This Quarter

Spectrum President & CEO Kurt Isaacson sends a very special congratulations to the new members of Spectrum’s President’s Club. The President’s Club recognizes exceptional contributions by individuals across the company who exemplify Spectrum’s mission and values. Individuals are nominated year-round by other employees; nominations are reviewed and accepted annually.


  • Juanita Burgos

Mass DOC

  • Sarah Larsen
  • Bernice Richard

Home Office

  • Nathan Howe
  • Theresa Caron
  • Lorie Rosen
  • David Booth


  • Betty Tran
  • Jennifer Ljungquist
  • Sanjay Grant
  • Laurie Marcheterre
  • Michelle Graham
  • Paola Medrano-Bueno


  • Jasmine Barnwell

Out-of-State DOC

  • Sherdal Lewis
  • Sabrina Hundall
  • Tricia White

Back to Top

Spectrum Receives $10,000 grant from the Reliant Foundation to start Transitional Housing Fund for Clients Leaving our Long-Term Residential Programs

As we all know, residential treatment involves an incredible level of commitment from our clients. They must devote every waking minute to their recovery. Clients participate in groups and do hours of individual therapeutic work. They are in a secure environment which does not allow for them to work and they are with us, often for 60 to 90 days. And, then, suddenly they return to the community – often without the financial resources to get started in securing housing and employment.

Sober housing stability is critical to maintaining sobriety in the early days of recovery work, when people are at the most risk for overdose. “We’ve aligned ourselves with lots of great certified residences which are willing to work with our clients upon discharge,” said Sharon Ploss, the Program Director at the Charles J. Faris Center. The barrier is that many of our clients do not have the money for the upfront costs of a first month’s rent and security deposit. “We are so grateful that the Reliant Foundation was able to step in and give our clients the best possible chance of success,” said Ani Rengifo, Director of Clinical Services.”

This project is well underway. Once a client applies for and is approved for the first month’s sober housing rent (and/or security deposit), Spectrum pays the sober house directly with money from the Reliant Foundation grant.

Back to Top


The Surgeon General’s Spotlight on Opioids (September 2018)

This report provides us with the latest data on the prevalence of substance use, opioid misuse, opioid use disorders, opioid overdoses and related harms. It was jointly developed by the Surgeon General’s Office and the U.S. Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration. It also contains a nice primer on medication-assisted treatment, recognizing its role in the ranks of evidence-based treatment.

Back to Top




Rent this on Netflix: Heroin(e)

Directed by Elaine McMillion Sheldon, this 2017 Oscar-nominated film follows three women on the frontlines of the heroin epidemic in Huntington, West Virginia. See what a judge, a missionary, and a firefighter are doing in the opiate capitol of our nation.

Back to Top

MA Department of Correction Hosts Female Treatment Thought Leader Meeting

The Massachusetts Department of Correction (MADOC) hosted a Thought Leader Meeting on November 26, 2018 to bring together research and practice experts in the field of Women’s Behavioral Health Treatment. The purpose of the meeting was to examine the latest research in the field of Trauma-Informed care and assess MADOC’s practices in delivering treatment to the female offender population. Dr. Roger Peters from the University of Southern Florida, and expert in Co-Occurring Disorders and Dr. Nena Messena from UCLA, a leading researcher on women’s behavioral health treatment, presented the latest research in their respective fields. The take-away from both researchers is that MADOC is well ahead of the field in providing gender-responsive and trauma-informed care to female offenders in Massachusetts.

The meeting was attended by ADC Erin Gaffney, Superintendent Alison Hallett, Deputy Superintendent Kyle Pelletier, Director Program Services Jaileen Hopkins, Senior Vice President Correctional Services Christopher Petrozzi, State Director Earl Warren, Regional Director Jennifer Zachary, and several practitioners from MADOC’s behavioral health division. Subsequent Thought Leader Meetings will focus on program and treatment delivery enhancements to continuously improve service to female offenders.

Back to Top

MADOC Expands Spectrum’s Contract

Starting in January 2019, MADOC is expanding offender treatment in response to Criminal Justice Reform legislation signed earlier this year. Spectrum will operate three Secure Adjustment Units at MCI Cedar Junction, MCI Norfolk, and Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center. These units will provide up to 90 days of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) treatment designed to provide behavioral management and coping skills to those offenders releasing from restrictive housing prior to returning to general population. Additionally, Spectrum will be providing CBT treatment programs to offenders who are in restrictive housing for more than 60 days at five institutions around the state. The programming will be delivered using tablets that will be issued to each offender. Staff will monitor offender progress in the program and provide support to the offenders.

The expansion provides and additional $1.33M and 24 additional full-time staff.

Back to Top

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

In This Issue:

Letter from the President

Michael Earielo is the Heart of the Pleasant Street Peer Recovery Center | The Bright Futures Team Rallies at a Critical Moment | Damaris Diaz Has Multiple Talents | Spectrum Virginia Calls Out Shannon Smith, An Outstanding Role Model

Rhode Island Spectrum is a Program Innovator | Emily Blevins Embodies the Spectrum Way | Heidi DiRoberto Goes the Extra Mile for People in Need of Lifesaving Interventions

Recent Promotions | Staff Newly Certified in Trauma Informed Care | The Year-of-the-Employee by Erica Schulman | SEI Is in Full Swing

Project Turnabout Recognized by the Association for Behavioral Health | Georgia RSATs Receive Full Honors From the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities

Spectrum Celebrates Milestone Anniversaries | Erica Schulman Sits Down With Wendell Price 

Millbury Clinic Celebrates Its Launch


Letter from the President

A belated Happy New Year to all of you; may it be full of hope and promise for you and those you love. As I enter my fifth year with Spectrum, I’m mindful of why I am so excited to lead this remarkable organization. As spring approaches, however slowly, I wanted to take a minute to reflect on why all of us can be proud of working here:

  • Our People and Community;
  • Our Clinical Expertise & Innovation;
  • Our Professional Development and Investment;
  • Our High-Quality Services;
  • Our Commitment & Longevity; and
  • We are a Good Neighbor.

These are words and phrases which we all use when we talk about Spectrum to our neighbors, our friends, our clients, and our purchasers, and, in part, make up what we refer to as the “Spectrum Way.” Watch how they play out in the stories below. Thank you for all that you do for each and every person we serve, every day of the year.


Kurt Isaacson, President & CEO
Spectrum Health Systems


Back to Top



Michael Earielo is the Heart of the Pleasant Street Peer Recovery Center

Micheal Earielo

Spectrum has a community of amazing people who go above and beyond simply providing treatment, education support, and referrals and linkages. We recruit and attract people who want to give back to others and to their communities on an on-going basis.

Michael Earielo is a perfect example of people who understand and embrace The Spectrum Way. Today, he directs Everyday Miracles in Worcester, one of three Peer Recovery Centers operated by Spectrum and funded by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Everyday Miracles is a recovery-oriented sanctuary anchored in the heart of downtown Worcester. The center opened in October 2008 and welcomed its relocation to a storefront at 25 Pleasant Street, Worcester in November 2009. The Recovery Center provides peer-to-peer recovery support using its volunteer/member force to deliver services. The Center’s hours are Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 8:30 am to 8:30 pm and Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, 8:30 am to 5:00 pm. Approximately 100 members are served daily.

Michael has created a welcoming environment on Pleasant St. where people in recovery feel safe sharing and receiving support from those who are on the same path. He ensures that the Center’s schedule is member-driven. Current offerings include but are not limited to workshops and training on recovery, process groups, meetings and social events like book groups, arts and crafts, and movie and game nights. Members at Everyday Miracles routinely volunteer in the community as part of their recovery program; they are giving back to the community where once they may have caused trouble.

Michael joined Everyday Miracles as a member and then as a Counselor, finding his way out of a decades long stint as a gang member, drug dealer, person with a substance use disorder, and inmate. Michael credits Spectrum’s peer staff with helping him to learn that he was not his addiction – that he could set goals, go back to school, and move forth on a positive path. He also was and continues to be inspired by Chuck Faris, Spectrum’s former President and CEO. After hearing Chuck speak about his own journey, Michael became convinced that there was a better way to live. Michael believes wholeheartedly in the peer model. “I’m a walking billboard for recovery; this gives the people who come here hope and that is what every person with a substance use disorder wants and needs.”


Back to Top


The Bright Futures Team Rallies at a Critical Moment

Bright Futures is Spectrum’s long-term residential treatment program for court-involved youth. In operation for several years under Spectrum, Director of Youth Services, Mark Brown is extremely proud of the team he has built in this Methuen, Massachusetts program. This team is challenged every day to meet the needs of young men with often severe behavioral problems – the goal is to give each participant the tools he needs for achieving and maintaining sobriety and stability.

Late last year the team undertook an unusual challenge – even for this program! During lunch, one of the residents began to choke violently on a piece of steak. With the Health and Wellness Teacher from the Collaborative for Educational Services taking the lead in administering the Heimlich maneuver, the rest of the team rallied to provide support until it was clear the resident had fully recovered.

Both Spectrum and the Collaborative were commended for their teamwork with a ceremony at Bright Futures. Peter Forbes, the commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Youth Services attended, as did then-mayor of Methuen, Stephen Zanni, who presented the awards, depicted below.

Mark Brown Mark Brown


Back to Top


Damaris Diaz Has Multiple Talents

Damaris Diaz

We often learn about how wonderful our employees are from the clients themselves. This letter, written to Damaris Diaz, Spectrum’s Credentialing Manager who also teaches Driver Alcohol Education Services at the Lincoln St. outpatient clinic is illustrative. The client writes:

Dear Damaris:

On rare occasions, people have the opportunity to come into contact with someone who has a pure heart and soul. So few of these people exist, but you are definitely one of them. You are an inspiration to all those you come into contact with, and proof humanity still has a chance. Thank you for the work you do to help people who are down on their luck, struggling with their life, or making bad decisions. You are truly appreciated. Thank you.

We are lucky to have Damaris on staff! One of her greatest contributions is her ability to motivate and energize everyone around her. Thank you, Damaris, for sharing your gift with all of us.


Back to Top


Spectrum Virginia Calls Out Shannon Smith, An Outstanding Role Model

Shannon Smith began her employment with Spectrum Health Systems in Virginia as a Counselor and was soon promoted to Transition Specialist. This is such a critical position, said her supervisor, Brittany Vickers, as people leaving Departments of Correction are most vulnerable in the early days following their release. Shannon genuinely cares about bearing witness to and being part of her clients’ success as they make the transition to the community.

“Her work ethic is incredible,” said Vickers. She is consistently developing new resources in the community for Spectrum’s clients. Ms. Smith is working toward her CSAC and is fast becoming an expert in the Therapeutic Community model. Thank you, Shannon, for your hard work!


Back to Top



Rhode Island Spectrum is a Program Innovator

Spectrum provides programming that other providers simply don’t offer, says Rhode Island Program Director, Virginia Tiernan. In 2016, Dr. Romas Buivydas, Spectrum’s Vice President of Clinical Development and Spectrum’s former Chief Clinical Officer, Peter Paolantonio, developed two 90-day cognitive-behavioral programs, individual and group-based curricula to assist offenders in Supermax- and Maximum-Security facilities step down to less restrictive settings within Departments of Correction. Rhode Island DOC has been very pleased with the result.

AVATAR is designed for inmates who are doing long-term punitive segregation, who have a history of resistance to traditional treatment programs and have demonstrated an inability to function at this level without intervention. The program targets inmates’ needs for relatedness and respect, teaching them how to meet those needs by doing what is realistic, responsible and right. These simple concepts represent the most basic levels of successful interaction. Improved behavior and social interaction of High Security Center can help inmates who are doing long-term punitive segregation time reintegrate into less restrictive housing.

During the first 30 days, individual sessions focus on the inmate learning about himself and his readiness to make changes. He is introduced to the initial stages of change necessary to respond differently to both external events and internal stimuli (i.e., a process of cognitive restructuring). Different patterns of reaction and thinking will result in a better understanding of consequences (consequential thinking) and more positive behaviors. With clinical gains, each man graduates to small group work, not to exceed four men for the remaining 60 days.

Spectrum’s “Think First” curriculum provides AVATAR graduates as well as other inmate participants with more intensive and advanced programming. The three-month curriculum is designed to help the inmate discover and dispute his irrational thoughts and beliefs. In addition, inmates learn and practice pro-social skills and how to “out-think” violent behaviors. Group sessions of 6-8 men require the inmate to think about the consequences of his actions. Topic areas include respect, responsibility, behavior modification and right-thinking skills.

With two clinicians at the helm, Virginia Tiernan and Luddy Figueroa, the program is very successful and much appreciated by the DOC. For example, the Rhode Island Department of Corrections Planning & Research Unit conducted an evaluation of Spectrum’s Think First Program using the Correctional Program Checklist (CPC) in July 2017. The program was rated as “highly effective.” Research by Edward Latessa, Ph.D. and the University of Cincinnati found that only 7 percent of programs nationally score as highly effective. The evaluators noted: “Think First may be a valuable resource to other facilities at RIDOC, particularly in facilities where assaultive incidences are high.”

The program maintains an extensive waiting list. Right now, the clinicians can offer up to three cycles of each group per year. They are hopeful to increase this to four, pending room availability at the RI DOC.


Back to Top


Emily Blevins Embodies the Spectrum Way

Spectrum Presentation

Similarly, Tennessee’s Spectrum employees are well respected by their Department of Correction. According to Tennessee’s State Director, Ryan McMahon, “our Tennessee Regional Supervisor, Emily Blevins, was recently asked by DOC officials to take part in a presentation for those on probation and parole in the Nashville area.”

Denver-based non-profit UpRise sponsored the event, furthering its mission of providing training/educational stipends, and one-on-one career mentorship to high-risk, underserved populations with an eye toward living wages, upward mobility, and advancement opportunities for participating adults. Ms. Blevins presented on the topics of job search advice for those with a criminal record or poor work history, and then discussed how to address conflict in the workplace with a focus on cross-cultural communication.

Says McMahon, “This presentation was the perfect example of Spectrum’s commitment to the client as he or she returns to the community. It also served as an opportunity to provide direct guidance based on the experience we have gained delivering services to every district across the entire state.”


Back to Top


Heidi DiRoberto Goes the Extra Mile for People in Need of Lifesaving Interventions

Heidi DiRoberto, LMHC is the Lincoln Street outpatient treatment center's Program Director in the heart of Worcester. She started her work with Spectrum as a clinical supervisor at Lincoln St, which currently provides medication-assisted treatment to more than 1,500 individuals each day. Heidi had come to Spectrum from another addiction treatment provider in 2014 and, once on board, was charged with establishing an Overdose Prevention Committee (among other things!). Ms. DiRoberto holds a master’s degree in Counseling Psychology in addition to a baccalaureate in Psychology and has expertise in substance use disorders, mental health, grief and loss, and Dialectical Behavioral and Cognitive Behavioral Therapies. She chairs a number of additional Spectrum Committees, including Grief and Loss and Psychiatry Multidisciplinary. She is incredibly committed to Spectrum’s clients and is always looking for new ideas to help them achieve and maintain sobriety.

One of her first and most successful interventions was to partner with local pharmacies to have Narcan, a drug with a powerful ability to reverse opioid overdoses, delivered to Lincoln Street by local pharmacies on behalf of the program’s active participants. This has meant that clients can access Narcan via prescription without the stigma of requesting it at their local pharmacies. Once Spectrum receives the medication, it is kept under lock and key until it is dispensed to the client by a professional team member. DiRoberto is trained to teach Narcan administration and has well-established policies and procedures to safeguard staff, participants and other clients as well.

DiRoberto estimates that since the program was instituted three years ago, close to 400 prescriptions have been filled and countless lives saved. This innovative program, in addition, has been replicated at all of Spectrum’s other outpatient sites. Narcan is covered by most private and public insurance carriers, but copays are often expensive. She and her staff have been looking at ways to help the clients at Lincoln Street manage these costs. They are hopeful to find support from a community foundation.


Back to Top



Recent Promotions

Because good outcomes for clients are dependent upon clinical expertise, innovation and enduring relationships, Spectrum consistently makes investments in its workforce. Operations leadership looks to promote from within, wherever possible. This strategy is illustrative of our pride in our people and our wish to celebrate their accomplishments. Recent promotions include:

Lisa Blanchard to Vice President of Clinical Operations
Tracy Desruisseaux to Director of Outpatient Services
Heidi DiRoberto to Program Director at Lincoln Street
Colleen Ferrera Program Director in Leominster
Sarah Moore to Clinical Supervisor in Leominster
Kathryn Branca to Clinical Supervisor at ATS Westborough

Massachusetts Youth Programs
Greg Chaille Program Director at Bright Futures
Angel Heredia Assistant Program Director at Bright Futures
Jennifer Paschal to Clinical Supervisor at the Young Adult Program in Westborough
Emily Hescock to Program Director at Westborough ATS
Donna Roose to Program Director at Weymouth ATS/CSS
Steven Cahill to Program Manager at Project Turnabout in Weymouth

Jamie LeCount, LPC to Program Director at Coast RSAT
Rowan Altice, CADC-II, to Clinical Supervisor at Coastal RSAT
Mikita Milner, CADC-II, to Clinical Supervisor at Valdosta RSAT

We’re equally proud of our newly certified staff who invest in themselves:

Sarah Padgett, LPC at Coastal RSAT
Lisa Monath, CADC-II Counselor at Northwest RSAT
April Lewis, CADC-II Counselor at Turner RSAT
Krystal Smith, CADC-II Counselor at Turner RSAT
LaTrenda Hill, CCS, Clinical Supervisor at Turner RSAT
Edward Armstrong, CADC-II, counselor at Bainbridge RSAT
Canzada Twyman, CCS, Clinical Supervisor at Paulding RSAT


Back to Top


Staff Newly Certified in Trauma Informed Care

Spectrum offers Trauma Informed Care Certification at no cost to the employee. In 2017, the following individuals undertook three program modules to become certified and earn Continuing Education Credits. The three modules are Healing Trauma with Mindfulness Practices, Teaching Grounding to Clients, and Trauma Informed Supervision. Congratulations, all!

Alfida Siceron-Reyna
Alyssa Taddeo
Ani Rengifo-Looney
Bernice Richard
Betty Tran
Christina Brown
Hillary Dumas
Jennifer Zachary
Jill Carton
Joseph Tobin
Julie Gilardi
Lauren Boudreau
Leah Donohoe
Leslie Reed
Lindsey Cronk
Margaret McLaughlin
Maria Contes-Vasquez
Rachel Carroll
Robert Grenier
Stacy Desnoyers
Terri Kennan


Back to Top


The Year-of-the-Employee by Erica Schulman

The employees at Spectrum make a significant difference in the lives of our clients and for Spectrum on a daily basis. In an effort to recognize these contributions, Spectrum has designated 2018 as the “Year-of-the-Employee” (YOE). We have established a committee to develop and implement ways to recognize those contributions that will be meaningful to employees both personally and professionally throughout their career with Spectrum.

The Committee has been focusing on the overall improvement of the employee experience at Spectrum. We have also been examining various aspects of the company, from recruitment to onboarding and training, to staff recognition. The primary goals are to increase employee engagement and improve retention. The team is doing this through a wide variety of methods. Some of these efforts have involved building on existing practices that work well, while other efforts will be brand new.

To date, the committee has rolled out the following:

  • Dayforce System – which provides numerous benefits to staff such as electronic timekeeping, the ability to change personal information in real-time, and electronic benefits enrollment.
  • “Tips” Sheets to Managers which focus on best-practices in areas of Onboarding, Recruitment and Recognition.
  • Increase of Employee Referral Bonuses to $150 for Part-Time Referrals/$300 for Full-Time Referrals
  • Employee Perks & Discount Programs (Tickets at Work, BJ’s Wholesale, Verizon Wireless, etc.)
  • “Employee-of-the-Quarter” Company-Wide Recognition Program for direct care-level staff

And there’s more to come! The Committee looks forward to sharing the other exciting programs – that will kick off in the new fiscal year – very soon!

The YOE Committee members are: Erica Schulman, Stacy Flanagan, Tracy Desruisseaux, Peter Collins, Kaitlin Wright, Samantha McCann, and Sarah Larsen.


Back to Top


SEI Is in Full Swing

Just a quick reminder to visit the SEI trainings calendar and sign up for one of the many offerings this year. All training occurs at Clark University, 333 Turnpike Road, Southborough, Massachusetts. Each training takes place from 9:30 am -12:30 pm.

February 22, 2018 - Co-Occurring Disorders
March 22, 2018 - Culturally Responsive Addiction Treatment with the LGBTQ Community
April 26, 2018 - Antisocial Personality and other Personality Disorders
May 24, 2018 - Gang Unit Training September 27, 2018 - Utilizing DBT Skills in Safety Planning
October 25, 2018 - Current Trends in Medication Assisted Treatment
November 8, 2018 - Stress Management

Due to vacation schedules, SEI does not offer training in June, July, August or December!


Back to Top



Project Turnabout Recognized by the Association for Behavioral Health

On Friday, October 20th, the Spectrum Health Systems team travelled to Boston for an exciting event – the annual Association for Behavioral Health (ABH) Salute to Excellence ceremony. This year, one of Spectrum’s residential treatment programs, Project Turnabout, won the “Excellence in Best Practices” award. As a long-time provider of addiction treatment dedicated to providing the highest quality of care, it was an honor for our staff to be recognized for their outstanding accomplishments by the leading behavioral healthcare advocacy organization in Massachusetts. Project Turnabout is a long-term residential program for young men who are overcoming not only substance use disorder, but also contending with previous bouts of homelessness, incarceration or gang affiliations.


Back to Top


Georgia RSATs Receive Full Honors From the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities

Georgia’s prison-based Residential Substance Abuse Treatment (RSAT) programs are still celebrating the results of their CARF survey which took place in September of 2017, having achieved the best survey results in the past twenty years (seven distinct surveys). As we all know, The Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) is an international group which accredits more than 50,000 programs and services at 25,000 locations. More than 10 million persons of all ages are served annually across-the-globe. Surveyors gave Spectrum many high marks. Among them were:

  • Organization and preparation for the survey;
  • Standardization across programs;
  • Ongoing training of staff and the amount of training provided;
  • Curriculum, phase structure, manuals and materials used for clinical service delivery;
  • How well the Therapeutic Community programs are run;
  • Use of data, data collection, and comprehensive reporting; and
  • Management/leadership style.

Sabrina Hudnall was thrilled with the results, saying in a recent interview that “it is such an honor for our RSAT programs to be acknowledged for providing a high level of quality treatment and effective leadership. This prestigious recognition would not be possible without the hard work, dedication, and compassion of all the staff members who believe in the mission of our organization. We are truly humbled by this accolade and we thank the Georgia Department of Corrections for more than twenty years of continued partnership.”


Back to Top



The Human Services field is one which has always experienced high turnover. It is notoriously hard to measure due to the many different types of human service organizations which have different goals for their programs and different population needs. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration observed that in 2012, “the turnover rates in the addiction services workforce ranged from 18.5% to more than 50%.” While we know that turnover is very expensive for organizations, costing between one and two times the departing employee’s salary, it also has a negative impact on morale and it compromises institutional memory. We also know that turnover in addiction services can mean less favorable outcomes for clients. The therapeutic alliance between counselor and client prevents attrition and increases the level of participation by the client. Here are some of the anniversaries we’d like to celebrate. Everyone here knows that working at Spectrum is the toughest job they’ll ever love.

Spectrum Celebrates Milestone Anniversaries

As of the end of December, the following individuals celebrated milestone anniversaries and were presented with Spectrum pins:

40 years
Peter Paolantonio

20 years
Tracey Batten
Mark Brown
Dan Weldon

15 years
Cindy Buraczynski
Juanita Burgos
Stacy Flanagan
Kristy Lavine

10 years
Nadine Adams
Angela Assad
Deborah Bayrouty-Mejaour
Brooke Earl
Linda Eurenius
Megan Gajewski
Laura Montoya
Gloria Moreland
Mark Moriarty
Claudia Samalis
Jenifer Shade
Helene Westmoreland
Lusine Zakarian

5 years
Lisa Anderson-Akine
Terry Bailey
Paula Baker
Jennifer Barnaby
Jessica Basile
Kimberly Canane
Greg Chaille
Jessica Colson
Amanda Cronin
Barbara DaSilva
Erin Doherty
Yulonda Driver
Julie Gilardi
Thomas Gould
Wendy Hodges
Norma Hollenbach
Sabrina Hudnall
Richard Kataza
Debra Kemp
Demarr Langford
Dennis Maloney
Joana Mantey
Sharon McGill
Ryan McMahon
Shamara Moody
Christopher Petrozzi
Rebecca Polastri
Nicole Rendon
Randy Rodriguez
Itsa Rosado
Erica Schulman
Betty Tran
Katherine Waterhouse
Ryan Wells
Evelyn Wilson
Peter Zoppo


Back to Top


Erica Schulman Sits Down With Wendell Price

Wendell Price

We are lucky at Spectrum to have many staff members who have truly made a career of their work here. They are in various roles across many divisions and programs. I had the pleasure of sitting down with one of our longest-tenured staff members, Wendell Price, whose passion for helping others and respect for his coworkers was quickly apparent.

ES: You started with Spectrum almost 24 years ago. Can you give me a brief walk-through of the positions you’ve held in that time?

WP: Wow, sure. I started in detox as a unit coordinator (now called a “Recovery Specialist”). Then I became a shift manager, a customer care coordinator, a residential instructor, and then I moved to admissions. I worked as an admissions rep and also handled the on-call services for after-hours admissions. I was in a role doing a DPH study for 3 years where I would track where our customers went after treatment and continue to follow up with them. I then became a facility coordinator and was responsible for the maintenance here at the campus and I was a case manager for a while, before my current role as a driver for the Clinical Stabilization Services program.

ES: Addition treatment can be a difficult field to work in. What keeps you coming back every day?

WP: Working with the people we serve. Having an understanding that we deal with sick individuals and not personalizing the difficult behavior or comments that sometimes happen. You know, I would not still be here if I didn’t like serving our customers. We are part of the solution in our community. We do a lot of good.

ES: What is something that is unique about either your role or the program you work in compared to other Spectrum programming?

WP: The people. I can’t emphasize the team spirit enough. I do transportation, but I can sit down with a clinician, nurse, even the program director, and be treated with respect. They listen, everyone matters.

ES: You’ve worked with hundreds, possibly thousands of clients in your career here and changed countless lives; do you have any that stand out to you as a particularly successful story?

WP: Not one person in particular, but I get to see people – lots of people – out in the community, and witness people that are in such a better place now than I may have seen them in last. People will come up to me everywhere, even at the beach and say “Hey Wendell! You were my case manager” or “you drove me here and there.” That’s special.

ES: I noticed you refer to the people we serve as “customers” rather than “clients.” This is intentional, right?

WP: Yes, they are customers. It helps me to keep things in perspective. You know, they are paying for a service and I know how I want to be treated when I’m paying for a service. It doesn’t matter what the service is. You hope that when someone leaves, even if they are not able to move on to the next step in their recovery and find themselves needing to seek treatment again, that they want to come to Spectrum because they had a good experience.

ES: When you’re not working, what can you be found doing?

WP: I’m very active in my church – I’m a Deacon. I do a lot of community outreach. At one time I had three structured sober houses in the community. I have one currently.

ES: Wow. So you never really leave then do you?

WP: (laughs) Well, no I do, I do. I have a family, and dogs. I enjoy working on cars, and fishing. I like to go surf casting in the Hamptons or on the Cape. But I’m really passionate about helping others.

ES: Anything else you’d like to add?

WP: I have been very fortunate. Whatever department I went to [during my career at Spectrum] it was a team experience. It’s been pretty amazing.


Back to Top



Millbury Clinic Celebrates Its Launch

Spectrum has long made a point of participating in and contributing to the neighborhoods in which it does business. This can be seen in its extensive pre-siting work with planning boards, neighborhood associations, police and politicians, and with the general citizenry. A recent example of this approach to community integration was written up in the Worcester Telegram and Gazette in late 2017. In Millbury, a small, quiet mill town suburb of Worcester, Spectrum encountered a great deal of resistance from area residents and even a lawsuit (which failed) to locating a much-needed outpatient clinic. The clinic has been a great neighbor, according to Chief of Police, Donald P. Desorcy. He and his team have not received the anticipated complaints since the clinic opened in July 2016; In fact, the Spectrum-installed security cameras were able to assist a neighboring business in making an arrest for theft. What people in Millbury have not realized until now, said Kristin Nolan, VP of inpatient and outpatient services, is that this clinic is serving Millbury residents and other small abutting towns. “So many people in this community were traveling to Worcester for medication-assisted treatment.” Instead they can receive medication and counseling in their own neighborhood. The program welcomes regular visits from the police and from neighboring business who are interested in touring. What a difference a year makes!


Back to Top

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

In This Issue:

Season’s Greetings | VIPs Visit Spectrum in Tennessee | Millbury Outpatient Services - Coming Soon! | Virginia | Mass DOC Recognizes 15 Spectrum Staff | A New Day at Everyday Miracles | Indian Creek Celebrates Milestone | Community Awareness Fair | Recovery Month | Spectrum Annual Meeting | Golf Fundraiser | Shout-Outs 

Centralized Outpatient Intake Moves to Millbury

Spectrum’s centralized Intake Department, which fields referrals for all of our outpatient services, moved from its crowded location on Lincoln Street in Worcester to new digs in Millbury at the start of May. The new area features a new phone system and 50% more workspace giving this key department room to grow alongside our bustling outpatient treatment services.

Outpatient Operations Manager Lori Canane and Intake Manager Claribel Capeles were instrumental in maintaining service levels throughout the transition. The move was also made easier thanks to hands-on support from several Spectrum IT staff -- Pat Southard, Patrick Morin and Debra Buckley – who set up the new phone system and new workstations.

The new phone system is important because it decreases the amount of noise in the department by directing incoming calls to the next available staff person rather than having each station ring simultaneously. It is also important for helping Spectrum track and report on the volume of calls made and received on an as-needed basis. The Intake Department currently receives more than 100 phone calls each day.

Left to right: Leen Abolebadeh, Lynne Lapointe, Radhaisi Bisono, Delilah Villanueva, Maryanne Hernandez, and Johanna Santo. Not pictured: Intake Coordinator Itza Rosado and Intake Manager Claribel Capeles.


Back to Top


Bright Futures Responds to Gas Leak

A gas leak at any Spectrum program could be a disaster never mind at a staff secure residential facility. But when carbon monoxide alarms sounded at Bright Futures in Methuen on the afternoon of April 18th, staff responded quickly and effectively to address immediate concerns. They evacuated clients from the facility rapidly, meeting at the established rally point. They escalated problems with clients who were not willing to evacuate or who were fearful of the situation to help support all 10 adolescent clients residing in the program at the time. They called 9-1-1 and stayed on the phone with emergency services until help arrived.

Mark Brown, Spectrum’s Director of Adolescent and Peer Recovery Support Services happened to be onsite at the time. “I’m so proud of the way Bright Futures staff handled themselves. They were 100% professional. They stood outside in the rain with clients for more than an hour and, in some cases, stayed late to process with clients once the building was cleared by the Fire Department and we were allowed back in.”

“We do a ton of training in the Adolescent Division to prepare staff for all kinds of situations, but ultimately it’s the staff that need to draw on this training when the time comes. These folks rose to the occasion. They did exactly what they were trained for and much, much more.”


Back to Top


Spectrum Joins Up with

In March, Spectrum launched a new partnership with Amazon Smile, a service provided by that allows all shoppers to direct 0.5% of their purchases toward enhancing and expanding Spectrum services for people in need. It’s free and easy to use. Here’s how:

  1. Go to
  2. Enter your regular Amazon log in and password.
  3. Under “Pick Your Own Charitable Organization,” type in “Spectrum Health Systems, Inc.”
  4. Hit Select next to Spectrum Health Systems.

While Amazon Smile is not yet available through the Amazon App (I have it on good authority that it’s in the pipeline!) it does include any purchases made using Amazon Prime!

So shop away and just remember to use for all future purchases! Even after you’ve designated Spectrum as your Smile recipient, we only receive donations if you log in through Smile.



Back to Top


Project Peer Connection at Work by Renee Castelli

The first time I was supposed to meet William* he missed our appointment, so I was immediately worried about if he was going to engage with the program. When I finally got in touch with him he was extremely apologetic and immediately wanted to reschedule. This time he showed up. He seemed like a shy, older gentleman that had spent many years of his life incarcerated. He was just acclimating to being in contact with his family again and had not really thought about any long-term goals. Over the following two sessions we worked together on developing his treatment plan goals around medical care, cognitive behavioral treatment, and substance abuse programming and building a strong rapport. This rapport allowed me to see William was actually a chipper, extremely positive individual who needed help prioritizing and organizing to avoid feeling overwhelmed.

After extensive outreach, we were able to find, train and finally introduce an appropriate peer mentor to William. Soon after his release, William began to have severe side effects from his Vivitrol treatment in combination with other health concerns, which caused him to stop Vivitrol treatment. While this may have deterred some individuals, William worked the process with his mentor and stayed committed to his recovery.

Through the next two sessions, William developed new goals for his health care, recovery and anger management concerns. He was able to get his financial debts in order and successfully enroll in Medicare, State Cash Assistance and other available programs with a great deal of consistent effort. William was achieving every goal he set so quickly that we discussed even bigger goals, such as going back to school, part-time volunteerships or other work he could do with his medical conditions, and, eventually, living on his own.

To date, William continues to feel proud of his accomplishments and empowered to make positive, healthy choices. He successfully completed the PPC program after six months of positive gains in the community and maintains regular contact with his PPC Mentor.

*Name changed to ensure client confidentiality.



Back to Top


Georiga RSAT Hosts Sweetheart Dance

In one of our favorite staff organized events to date, Spectrum’s Residential Substance Abuse Treatment (RSAT) program in Bainbridge, Georgia hosted a Family Day Sweetheart Dance on February 10th. Program participants enjoyed time with their families and a special father/daughter dance as well. Spectrum staff came in on their day off to help with the festivities; all the artwork was made by the men in the Bainbridge program.

The Bainbridge program is a nine-month residential program for probationers. Probationers are court-mandated to this program and have a history of substance abuse. The event was a collaboration between Spectrum and the Georgia Department of Corrections and Bainbridge Superintendent Moses James was highly instrumental in the planning, implementation and success of this event.

On a side note, we wish to thank State Director Sabrina Hudnell and her team who asked participants to sign consents so that we can bring you these endearing pics of the day.


Back to Top


Girls' Unit Celebrates One Year in Westborough

When the Girls’ Detention Unit operated by Spectrum under contract with the MA Department of Youth Services (DYS) moved to Westborough last year, many were skeptical. The program had been at its previous location in Dorchester, one of the largest and most diverse neighborhoods of Boston, for decades. The facility was easily accessible by public transportation—critical for visiting families and discharging clients. Also, most staff were from the local area and much more familiar with the city landscape than the Westborough suburbs.

But still they moved forward. Some staff moved with the program to the new facility 40 miles to the West. The new building itself, on the grounds of the DYS Central Offices, provides ample space; offers bright, clean surroundings; and is accessible from one of three state highways.

And then they thrived. Last Fall, the program sponsored three children at a facility called Sherry’s House in Worcester, which is a home for children with cancer. Staff purchased items off the children’s wish list for Christmas and clients made the children crocheted blankets, jewelry boxes and cards as a way of giving back. In December, the program won first place in a DYS “Best Decorated Program” contest with a 3-D display based on the infamous movie The Polar Express. And, most recently, the Girls Unit has been busy gardening. This Spring, they planted a huge garden in one of the open courtyards of the new facility. Tomatoes, peppers, flowers and much more have been cultivated by clients and will go on sale to the public shortly at an onsite greenhouse supported by DYS.

Clearly, program staff and clients have settled into their new surroundings. While diversity, transportation and accessibility will always be top of mind, they are balanced with the benefits of being in a new facility with new opportunities.


Back to Top


Program Expansion Underway in Virginia

Spectrum expanded its footprint in Virginia last month with the opening of a new residential treatment program at the Cold Springs Correctional Unit in Greenville. The program will be managed by a new program director, staffed by four counselors and supported by an administrative assistant. Cold Springs houses 150 minimum and medium security offenders at any given time in dormitory-style living areas.

Back to Top


TN Staff Run to Support Big Brothers/Big Sisters

On May 13th, Tennessee State Director Ryan McMahon and Regional Supervisor Emily Blevins participated in the annual Tennessee Department of Correction 5k to benefit Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Tennessee.  The race drew over 500 participants and raised over $10,000 for BBBS.  The event was held at the Tennessee State Prison, a now shuttered prison built in the late 1800s, used to film The Green Mile and The Last Castle.  The race course went through the main yard of the old prison, and participants were invited on guided tours of the facility following the race.  Ryan and Emily finished the race and we are incredibly proud of them!


Back to Top


Four-Day Experiential Training Held for Corrections Staff in MA

The Massachusetts DOC completed a comprehensive four-day experiential training in March to help key staff learn the inner workings of the therapeutic community and its social learning theory. The training included staff from Spectrum’s Correctional Recovery Academy and Medication-Assisted Treatment Reentry Initiative. Spectrum’s Correctional Recovery Academy is a 6-9-month residential program, based on the therapeutic community model, where offenders learn to work together as a community and the staff who attended the training did just that! Special thanks to Jim Piro and Chris Petrozzi who facilitated the extensive training.

Participants pictured here: Cynthia O’Connor, Kaitlin Wright, Kelly Celata, Cassandra Colon, Amanda Bonilla, Taylor MacLellan, Madeline Tkacs, Craig Reid, Sarah Laughlin, Samantha Mallard, Nadia Shallow, Sharon Vincent, Estrella Merlot, Meghan Popham, Abagail Merrick, Melissa St Hillaire, Stacy Eady, Christian Blake, Francesca Bollitier, Ashley Wrona, Nicholas Williams, Jesse Mallette, Pete Collins, Prince Woods, Robert Lombardi and Jeanne Brennan.


Back to Top


Shout Outs

Starting us off is Jodi Tarantino, Program Director of Spectrum’s Charles J. Faris Recovery Center. Jodi sends a shout out to Clinician Lucia Andrade who was recently accepted into a doctoral program and will be starting work on her PhD this fall. Best wishes Lucia! Jodi also recognizes Clinical Director Day Marshall who recently started a Recovery Church with her husband, separate and apart from her work with Spectrum. The Recovery Church is intended as an alternative to AA/NA for people in recovery. It uses biblical teachings for the message delivered during a church service and also for a study time afterwards. They also serve a meal beforehand for those interested. We wish you the best Day! And speaking of Day, she wishes to recognize The Faris Center’s Senior Recovery Specialist Hillary Dumas who is starting her journey to become a Licensed Addiction Drug Counselor (LADC). Best wishes to you!

In other news, Megan Gajewski, Executive Director of Nursing, sends a big Shout Out to the nurses who were recognized as part of the Nurses-of-the-Month program. They are: Melinda Chick, Lori Anderson, Deborah Penney, Rosie Scano, Stacy Stackrow, Rob Gallagher, Lorna Doane, Stephanie Doucimo, Diahann Brooks, Christine Hamel, Ann Marie Chimera and Michelle Pepin. Congratulations to all!

Mark Orris, Regional Program Director for Spectrum’s Merrick Street and Southbridge Outpatient Treatment Centers, sends a special Shout Out to Brookeita Payne who passed her Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) exam and Erin Sutherland who passed her Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) certification. Love it!

In Georgia, Program Director Sam Thomas recognizes staff at the Johnson State Prison RSAT. Barbara Wilbur was recently recognized as Non-Security Counselor of the Quarter at JSP! Ryan Wells is an ordained minister who volunteers his time to assist offenders with their religious needs. He was also recently the keynote speaker for a local school. Larry Pope has become a Certified Clinical Supervisor (CCS) since being employed with Spectrum. Angela Lawson has obtained her Master’s Degree and Master Addiction Counselor certification. Over the next three months, Sam has several team-building exercises and trainings planned as well as a pot-luck luncheon. Congratulations to all the folks at JSP and enjoy!

Program Director Cassaundra Thompson wishes to recognize some outstanding staff members at the Coastal State Prison in Garden City. Sherry Harvath got certified in Anger Management and Joyce Bongang graduated with her Master’s Degree in Counseling from South University in Savannah. Congratulations to both of you! Robin Tarver recently obtained her license as a Marriage and Family Therapist and, in fact, has been elected Treasurer and Secretary of the Coastal Chapter of the Georgia Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (GAMFT), the professional association of and for Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists, Prelicensees and Associates from across Georgia. Congratulations Robin! Evelyn Wilson is currently teaching a course at Unity Church in Savannah. She also opened a sober living facility for women in Savannah in January. And, as if that wasn’t enough, Evelyn also recently celebrated 45 years of sobriety. Way to go Evelyn!

At the Northwest RSAT program in Rock Spring, Program Director Katrina Payne wishes to recognize Michael Felder who received his CCS in early April. Congrats Michael! Also, Dona Davis, the RSAT Program Director at the Arrendale Probation Substance Abuse Treatment Center (PSATC), recognizes January Hudson who volunteers with Carry on Youth, an organization that provides trips, activities, etc. to help children who have lost a parent, and Leighanne Edwards who volunteers with Young Faces of ALS, an organization that brings awareness to the fact that ALS affects younger people.

Shanika Henley, Program Director at Valdosta State Prison Annex, recognizes Starkisha Belle who became a National Certified Addiction Counselor in February and Timothy Riser who received his certification with the National Association of Forensic Counselors as a Certified Chemical Dependence Counselor. Also, Alfred Miler volunteers with Family Connection in Albany where he assists kids and their families with improving their health, educational and economic well-being.

And lastly from Georgia, but never least, Constance Johnson the Program Director at the Bleckley RSAT program wishes to recognize RSAT Counselor Carolyn Hilburn who was recently certified as a Registered Behavioral Technician with the Behavioral Analyst Certification Board. Incidentally, Constance recently became a state Licensed Associate Professional Counselor herself. BIG Congratulations to Constance, Carolyn and the entire Georgia Team!

Also, in the Corrections Division, Regional Director Jennifer Zachary sends a special Shout Out to two staff who were awarded Excellence in Job Performance at the women’s facility in Framingham, Massachusetts for their work with the Pathways Model. They are Program Directors Meredith Malovrh and Kirsten Norby. Congrats Ladies! Regional Director Lisa Bonner also recognizes Francesca Bollitier from the Norfolk facility as the winner of Employee-of-the-Quarter for the Correctional Recovery Academy. Well done!

Lastly, Cindy Buraczynksi, Spectrum’s VP of External Affairs, recognizes Bob Brandner’s recent notoriety as one of Becker Hospital Review’s CIOs to Know. Bob joined Spectrum Health Systems in 2015 as its first Chief Information Officer (CIO). He supports the organization's business operations through the development and implementation of IT services and ensures the system's compliance with healthcare security and privacy regulations. Prior to joining Spectrum, Bob worked at Dell Computers in IT enterprise architecture. To see the full list of CIOs to Know, click here.


Back to Top


The President’s Club

Spectrum President & CEO Kurt Isaacson sends a very special congratulations to the new members of Spectrum’s President’s Club. The President’s Club recognizes exceptional contributions by individuals across the company who exemplify Spectrum’s mission and values. Individuals are nominated year-round by other employees; nominations are reviewed and accepted annually. This year’s inductees are: Ken Umeibe, Christine Hamel, Sarah Moore, Alicea Jordan, Alyssa Taddeo, Alfida Sceron-Reyna, Emily Hescock, Theresa Dineen, Amy Modzeleski, Julie Dileo, Karen Lawrence, Paula Baker, Elizabeth Solomon, Jessica Colson, Kirsten Norby and Tamu Brobbey.


Back to Top


CDCP Releases New Report on Hep C and Opioid Epidemic

New Hepatitis C virus infections in the United States nearly tripled between 2010 and 2015 according to a recent report from the federal Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP). An estimated 3.5 million people in the U.S., mainly baby boomers, have a Hepatitis C infection. Symptoms can include fever, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, joint pain and jaundice.

Report author Dr. John Ward of the CDCP states, "recent CDC research has identified increasing injection drug use is tied to the opioid epidemic in rural and suburban areas across the country.” He said hardest hit areas in terms of new infections are parts of Appalachia and rural areas of the Midwest and New England. Seven states -- Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Tennessee and West Virginia -- have rates at least twice the national average.

Read the full report from the CDCP here.


Back to Top

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

In This Issue:

Season’s Greetings | VIPs Visit Spectrum in Tennessee | Millbury Outpatient Services - Coming Soon! | Virginia | Mass DOC Recognizes 15 Spectrum Staff | A New Day at Everyday Miracles | Indian Creek Celebrates Milestone | Community Awareness Fair | Recovery Month | Spectrum Annual Meeting | Golf Fundraiser | Shout-Outs 

Season’s Greetings

Kurt Isaacson

Dear Spectrum employees, friends & family, 

I would like to extend my warm wishes to you for a bright and joyous holiday season. The company has gained its reputation as the provider of choice because of many dedicated employees like you. It is my pleasure to share with you some of our most recent accomplishments. 

Working together, we opened the third floor of the Faris Recovery Center this year. Spectrum’s newest residential treatment facility in Massachusetts now serves state-funded clients on the second floor and clients with private insurance on the third floor. At the same time, we converted all beds at the Giblin House to medically monitored detoxification services for New England Recovery Center clients.

We also converted 32-beds of Transitional Support Services to Clinical Stabilization Services in Westborough to better bridge the gap between detoxification and continuing care. We also converted half of our Clinical Stabilization beds to Detoxification beds in Weymouth in response to the dramatic need in that area. 

We continue to add Outpatient treatment capacity to help meet the growing demand for opioid treatment. Spectrum now serves over 4,500 clients each day—that’s up 42% in just two years! It’s a tribute to the new leadership of the Behavioral Health Division, including Spectrum’s VP of Inpatient and Outpatient Services Kristin Nolan and new Executive Director of Inpatient and Outpatient Operations Lisa Blanchard. In fact, Lisa was recently recognized by the Association for Behavioral Healthcare as an emerging leader in the field.

We also relocated the Girls' Detention Unit from Dorchester in close collaboration with the Mass. Department of Youth Services. The short-term detention program for adolescent girls is now located in Westborough.

We also launched a new peer mentoring program for DOC clients releasing in Massachusetts, which was already recognized by the U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts for improving outcomes for returning citizens. And, we just had the largest group of DOC employees ever recognized by the Massachusetts DOC for their professionalism and teamwork.

As these changes unfolded, you may have noticed an increasing technology presence in your daily work life. We have undertaken massive new development of our technology infrastructure to help us create efficiencies in a changing field. The proliferation of our electronic health records system, new video conferencing capability and a phone system overhaul are just a few IT priorities being driven by our new Chief Information Officer Bob Brandner.

Lastly, we launched a number of new business development initiatives this year including the debut of the “Airing Addiction” iHeartRadio Show hosted by Vice President of Business Development Donna Pellegrino. Thanks to everyone who has been part of these new endeavors. 

As we move in to the new year, you will see a number of new projects take shape. These projects are designed to improve retention of our many quality employees, move toward an integrated behavioral health system and position Spectrum to be a provider of choice for many years to come. 

Although I am grateful for your service and wish you well all year, I would like to extend a very special wish to you for a happy holiday season. Thank you for all that you do on behalf of the people we serve!

Have a very happy, healthy and safe holiday season.


Kurt Isaacson
President & CEO

Back to Top


VIPs Visit Spectrum in Tennessee

Kurt Isaacson

Spectrum staff at the Jackson Community Supervision (Probation and Parole) Office received a surprise visit from a select group of VIPs in July. From left to right, TDOC's newly appointed Commissioner Tony Parker, State Senator Ed Jackson, State Rep. Johnny Shaw, and State Rep. Jimmy Eldridge visited with Spectrum staff.  TDOC Chief Information Officer Neysa Taylor, Assistant Commissioner of Community Supervision Bobby Straughter, and Regional Administrator David Lane were also in attendance. 

During this visit Spectrum's facilitator Ms. Brenda Scott (pictured front) was asked to speak to the group. She discussed our delivery of Batterers' Intervention, Pro-Social Lifeskills, and Victims Impact classes, and took questions from the legislators who lauded the work she does with our clients on a day-to-day basis. Brenda helped to better inform our state's decision makers of the work that is being done to reduce reincarceration, and at the same time represented Spectrum with the utmost professionalism and courtesy. 

Well done, Brenda! Thank you for a wonderful job. 


Back to Top


Millbury Outpatient Services - Coming Soon!

On November 14, 2016 the Millbury, Massachusetts Planning Board voted unanimously to approve Spectrum’s site plans for the proposed new outpatient treatment center at 50 Howe Avenue in town. The Planning Board voted to approve the site plan under the state Dover Amendment, which protects the educational use of outpatient addiction treatment and counseling programs and prevents such programs from being blocked by local zoning action. 

Spectrum is moving full steam ahead with the buildout of the new center which will include 6 clinical offices, 2 large group rooms and a brand new Intake Office. The Intake Department will move from Spectrum's Lincoln Street Center to Millbury when the new center opens. Spectrum’s Vice President of Inpatient and Outpatient Services Kristin Nolan anticipates the center opening in early spring.

In the meantime, Kristin has assembled an expert team to help lead both the Outpatient and Inpatient Services well into the future. Lisa Blanchard was recently named Spectrum’s new Executive Director of Inpatient and Outpatient Operations, Megan Gajewski is now Spectrum’s Executive Director of Inpatient and Outpatient Nursing and Lynn LeBlanc Marrone has taken on the role of Spectrum’s Executive Director of Inpatient and Outpatient Clinical Services. These individuals have spent years honing their skills in behavioral health and with Spectrum and will work with Kristin to ensure the highest quality of inpatient and outpatient services are available to individuals seeking treatment.

Back to Top



Spectrum treatment staff participated in a Therapeutic Community Experiential Training alongside Virginia Department of Corrections (VA DOC) security staff in mid-September as part of Spectrum’s ongoing collaboration with the Virginia DOC. The training was co-facilitated by Dudley Bush and Jessica Lee of the VA DOC and Jim Piro, Spectrum’s Program Director at the Indian Creek Correctional Facility.

Spectrum first partnered with the VA DOC in 2015 when it was contracted to provide residential substance abuse treatment and reentry services at several state correctional facilities. Today, Spectrum operates one of the largest in-prison therapeutic community programs in the country at the Indian Creek Correctional Center in Chesapeake. Spectrum also provides transitional services for female offenders at the Deerfield Women’s Work Center in Capron on behalf of the VA DOC.

Back to Top


Mass DOC Recognizes 16 Spectrum Staff

The Massachusetts DOC recently recognized 16 Spectrum staff who have excelled in dedication, teamwork and professionalism for the work they do in challenging correctional treatment environments. Here are the Professional Excellence Award citations from the MA DOC in their own words: 

To Melissa St. Hilaire, Eryn Burdett, Mary Geisler, Justin Perino, Paul Harrington, Charles Sexton, Meghan Popham, Bernice Richard, Samantha Gould, Constantinos Bitsikis, Nicole Charette and Paul Youngstrom -- The CRA staff at MCI Shirley Minimum have been dealing with constant changes to policies and procedures and have handled all of them with complete cooperation and follow-through since its inception in 2008. It is the only minimum security correctional facility that operates the CRA in the Department. External stakeholders and national auditors have commented on the dedication and collaboration of Spectrum and DOC security staff. Spectrum staff’s responsiveness to MCI Shirley’s every changing needs make this group worthy of such an award.

To Analisa Bono, Leslie Reed, Shane McMahon and Leann Pruell -- The Spectrum team at MCI Cedar Junction is a professional and committed group that is whole heartedly dedicated to their respective disciplines. They are a highly competent and extremely dependable, responsive group, which has integrated well into the operation of the facility. They have become integral and a needed part of the CJ community. This Spectrum team fully understands how their individual roles work into the greater vision of the treatment/classification divisions at Cedar Junction as well as the Department as a whole. They are invested in the work they do and expect results from themselves and the inmates their work with.

Back to Top


A New Day at Everyday Miracles

Mike Earielo was recently promoted to Program Director of Spectrum’s nationally recognized Everyday Miracles Peer Recovery Support Center. Mike stepped up to fill the big shoes of EDM Founder Athena Haddon, who relocated to Michigan in October to be closer to family.

While Athena will continue to be missed, Mike has certainly hit the ground running. He has helped organize a Thanksgiving feast for nearly 300 community members. He has started working with the local police department to help arrested individuals gain access to available services. He is also supporting members work on a new women’s recovery initiative, which we should hear more about soon. 

The secret to Mike’s success might just be the knowledge gained from coming up through the ranks. In a recent "Two Minutes" segment of Worcester Magazine, Mike talked about volunteering at EDM before being hired as full-time staff. “When I came to EDM they told me the only limitations I have are the ones I put on myself. After that I went back to school, got an education and started believing and setting goals.” We wish you all the best in pursuit of your goals, Mike, and look forward to hearing all about new happenings at EDM!

The full Two Minutes interview with Mike Earlielo is available here.

Back to Top


Indian Creek Celebrates Milestone

Staff at the Indian Creek Correctional Center recently hosted a graduation ceremony for 33 offenders who completed Phase Four of the Therapeutic Community program. Offenders were allowed to have family members attend. It was also well attended by DOC support staff. The event included music and food and was reported to be a truly uplifting event.

Back to Top


Community Awareness Fair


Brittany George, Lauren Cappello and Mark Orris were recently recognized by Harrington Hospital for presenting at the Community Awareness Fair in Southbridge. The Community Awareness Far was an interactive health fair designed specifically to inform the community about substance abuse treatment and recovery support services available in the local area. Pictured here from left to right are Southbridge Police Chief Shane Woodson, Spectrum Southbridge Office Coordinator Brittany George, Spectrum Business Development Liaison Lauren Cappello and Spectrum Regional Program Director Mark Orris.


Back to Top


Recovery Month

Recovery Month was celebrated in style in September with a fun-filled month of recovery-oriented activities that included clients, family/friends, community members and staff. We have selected a few creative ideas from the Outpatient Recovery Month calendar to share below. If you are interested in including any of these activities in your own programs, Lori Canane, Spectrum’s Outpatient Operations Manager, is a great resource. 

Recovery Bracelet Competition – A friendly group competition where clients brainstorm an inspirational recovery slogan to place on a bracelet. The selected group is given a prize in addition to bragging rights!

Success Stories – During the week all clients are given a chance to write their personal success story which is then posted in the lobby to inspire others.

Free HIV/Hep C testing – Free testing is provided onsite by a community partner and gift cards are offered to everyone who participates.

Flu Clinic – Partner pharmacies are onsite to provide flu vaccines to interested individuals. Clients who participate receive a raffle ticket and a priority medication pass. 

Overdose Awareness Day – Community partners provide overdose awareness education and distribute naloxone emergency kits onsite. 

Make Your Own Stress Ball – This is an activity for clients in group that is fun and stress reducing and also promotes healthy recovery. 

Glitter Jars – Along the same lines as the Make Your Own Stress Ball, Glitter Jars require some supplies and are a calming and mindfulness-focused activity that promotes wellness. 

Family Forum – Family members are invited to attend an educational session with staff and current clients. Snacks are provided and participating clients also receive a $5 gift card.

Raffle Tickets – Clients receive raffle tickets throughout the month for participating in recovery activities, clinical sessions, and more. Raffle prizes include priority medication passes, one excused absence from group pass, meditation CDs and gift certificates for coffee and groceries. 

Recovery Quilting – Clients decorate square patches in group sessions in September. Patches are then used to create a recovery quilt for the program.

Eliana Noblet and Kerry Peck from North Adams OTP at the Josh Bressette Commit to Save a Life Rally and Vigil on 9.24.16.

Back to Top


Spectrum Annual Meeting

AG Maura Healy

Spectrum held its Annual Board of Trustees meeting on Thursday, October 13th at the Beechwood Hotel in Worcester, Massachusetts. The purpose of the Annual Board meeting is for staff to report on strategic business development initiatives from the previous year and for Board members to elect or re-elect members to Spectrum’s Board of Trustees for the coming year(s). The event gathers state and local government officials, community partners, employees, consumers and their family members to recognize Spectrum’s important role in helping people in need.

This year, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey was the keynote speaker for the evening event. According to AG Healey, “You help people rebuild, you give them a second chance, and that’s why resources matter now more than ever.”

The event was attended by nearly 100 individuals and included Spectrum staff from Georgia, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Virginia and Washington State. 


Back to Top


Golf Fundraiser

Spectrum raised nearly $70,000 in donations in early October at its 15th Annual Charity Golf Classic. The event attracted more than 120 golfers to the Framingham Country Club for a fun, festive afternoon. A very special thank you to all of our employees who played or volunteered at the fundraising event, our largest of the calendar year. We look forward to seeing you all again next year!



Back to Top



In Georgia, shout-outs go out to Counselor LaCosta Hicks who works at Johnson A RSAT who received her Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC) credential, Counselor Bernadette Smokes who works at Coastal State Prison on receiving her CADC II credential, and Counselor Devondra Nolan who works at Paulding RSAT who became a Licensed Associate Professional Counselor (LAPC). Heartfelt congratulations to all of you! A special shout-out also goes out to staff at the West Central Integrated Treatment Program. West Central is 100% certified/licensed. BIG congrats! Georgia State Director Sabrina Hudnall had a special thank you message for staff, “I just want to simply say 'THANK YOU' for all that you do, seen and unseen. I have the most incredible and competent staff. You all have a great work ethic and dedication to this field that is unparalleled. I hope each of you have a great work week that is overflowing with a peaceful work environment. Remember that happiness is a choice… choose wisely and take care.” Thank YOU Sabrina and thank you to our Spectrum Georgia team! 

A round of shout-outs go out to Spectrum staff in Washington State. There are a number of new staff to recognize: Matthew Matthew, Chemical Dependency Professional Trainee (CDPT) at Washington State Penitentiary; Chrystal Montgomery, CDPT at Tri-Cities Work Release; Viviana Castaneda, CDP at Ahtanum View Work Release; Sherry Watson, Western WA Clinical Supervisor at Tacoma Community Justice Center; Phillip Appling, CDPT at Progress House Work Release; Charles Barnes, CDPT at the Progress House Work Release; Mitchell Lykins, Assessment CDP at the Eleanor Chase House Work Release; Kunbi Olukoya, Program Manager at the Everett Community Justice Center, Karie Kindrew, Administrative Assistant, and Dana Brooks, CDPT, at the Tacoma Community Justice Center; Karli Skjervold, CDPT, and Jamie Womack, CDPT, at the Airway Heights Correction Center; Tammie Holmes, CDPT at Helen B Ratcliff Work Release; William Haggerty, Assessment CDP at Seattle Community Justice Center; Janice Batt, CDP at the Washington Correction Center for Women; Gregory Ramsay and Michelle Merrill, CDPTs at the Larch Correction Center; La’Ticia Wilks, CDP, and Stacy Bidleman, Administrative Technician, at the Coyote Ridge Correction Center; Scott Haugh, Program Manager at the Reynolds Work Release; and, Lola Jett, CDPT at the Everett Community Justice Center. Welcome one and all!

Also in Washington, we would like to congratulate the following trainees who successfully passed the Washington State CDP exam: Steven El-Ayache, Dan James, Tana Siler, Kirk Fowler, Shawna Sunday and Brenna Taylor. Special congrats also go out to Jason Lewis who was promoted to Program Manager at the Tacoma Community Justice Center; Tiffany Traylor who was promoted to Program Manager at Airway Heights Correctional Center; and, Thomas Hamman who was promoted to Program Manager at Washington State Penitentiary.

Dennis Theriault, Executive Director of Quality Improvement and Compliance, also tells us about a key hire in his department. Christian Kelley recently joined Spectrum as the new Quality Improvement Manager. Christian has more than 12 years of experience in the behavioral health field, including extensive experience with adolescent and residential programming. Christian received his Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Marshall University in West Virginia and a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Southern California. Welcome aboard Christian!

In Spectrum Outpatient, Merrick Street Clinician Sarah Moore passed her Licensed Mental Health Clinician (LMHC) exam! Pittsfield Clinician Jess Kiernan also passed her LMHC exam! In Framingham, Senior Clinician Meghan Wood achieved her LMHC and Office Coordinator Trish GreeneDay achieved her Certified Alcohol and Drug Addiction Counselor (CADAC) credential! Way to go peeps! Also, Leominster Clinician Sonya Brock passed her test to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and Case Manager Keith Barnaby graduated with his CADAC credential. Woohoo! Program Director Shanna Large also sends a special Shout-Out to the whole Leominster team for hitting a new milestone – 400 clients served! Way to go Leominster!

In other news, Clinical Program Director Sandra Beatty and her family hosted a memorial golf tournament, which raised $15,000 for Learn to Cope, a non-profit support network that offers education, resources, peer support and hope for parents and family members coping with a loved one addicted to opiates or other drugs. Amazing, Sandra! Thank you!

Also, Mark Orris volunteered his time to speak to the parents at the Head Start program in Southbridge. He spoke to the parents about the types of services Spectrum provides and provided them with referral information. He also took time before his presentation to read “Where the Wild Things Are” to the kiddos. Well done Mark! 

In Pittsfield, Meg Tillinghast completed a Whole30 challenge. Whole30 is a nutritional program designed to help you change eating habits, restore a healthy metabolism, and balance your immune system in 30 days. Nice! Also, Outpatient Regional Director Rebecca Polastri sends a big shout-out to the team in Pittsfield on reaching a census of 600. Way to go Pittsfield! 

Christina Rossi, new Regional Director for Spectrum Outpatient Centers in Haverhill and Saugus, ran her first marathon. Way to go Christina! We also heard that Outpatient Systems Administrator Jenn Cummings ran her first half marathon on a broken foot! Oh boy!

Rounding out our Shout-Outs section is a new Nurses-of-the-Month recognition launched by Executive Director of Nursing Megan Gajewski. Nurses-of-the-Month celebrates nurses in our inpatient and outpatient programs that have gone above and beyond their core responsibilities in terms of communication, teamwork, customer service and much more. BIG congratulations go out to the following Nurses of the Month: Helenda Benoit, Alisha Goulet, Amanda Holthaus, Ryan Flattery, Danielle Kaplan-Dearden, Kenneth Umeibe, Angel Colon, Mary Thomas, Odete Herrmann and Jeffrey Stastny. Ladies and gentlemen thank you for all you do! 

Back to Top

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


Season’s Greetings



How will you spend the holidays? Will it be enjoying the company of friends and family, sharing the warmth of the season at home or abroad, or celebrating the faith that sustains you? What is important to you this holiday season?

The holidays are a time for joy, but for so many, this time of year is filled with difficulty, pain and sorrow. At Spectrum, we pride ourselves on helping those who come to us at the lowest of lows find some sense of joy. Whether it is in reconnecting with their families, earning their one-year pins, mastering new coping skills or simply walking tall, we help thousands of people reclaim their lives.

This is why expanding and enhancing our services is so important. In 2015, we opened three new outpatient treatment centers in Massachusetts, serving nearly 550 new clients daily. We launched a new peer recovery support center in a dramatically underserved area. We added 25 new residential treatment beds in our brand new treatment facility. We also began operating one of the largest in-prison TC programs in the country in Virginia under a new contract with the Virginia Department of Corrections and added an array of post-release services to our system of care in Tennessee.

We can and do make a difference in the lives of so many, especially this time of year, and we greatly appreciate our staff who work tirelessly to best serve those in need.

These are the things I will be reflecting on throughout this holiday season. Thank you again for all of your hard work and tremendous effort on behalf of the people we serve. I wish you a very happy and healthy holiday season and peaceful new year.

Best wishes,

Chuck Faris
President & CEO

Back to Top


Peer Mentoring

In late September, Spectrum was notified by the U.S. Department of Justice of a grant award of $1,000,000 to renew and expand its peer mentoring reentry program for ex-offenders in Massachusetts. The 3-year grant represents a milestone for the organization marking one of its largest grant awards to date and allowing Spectrum to build upon its proven success.

Spectrum’s application for statewide services was based on the success of a 2-year pilot program in Worcester County. The pilot program recorded tremendous progress in connecting participants to needed services such as: 86 needed substance abuse services, 81 received substance abuse services (94%); 30 needed mental health services, 26 received mental health services (86%); 81 need employment assistance, 56 received employment assistance (69%); and, 61 needed housing assistance, 59 received housing assistance (97%). The program’s one-year recidivism rate was 18% as compared to 25% reported for the general population.

Under the new grant, Spectrum will reach out to higher-risk offenders in state custody who have a substance use disorders and are within six months of release to communities statewide. Interested offenders will be matched with a volunteer mentor to begin relationship building pre-release. Upon release, mentors will continue to act as liaisons, coaches, advocates and resources, helping individuals gain access to needed services in their local community. Mentors will generally meet with mentees on a monthly basis, with more frequency around the time of release.

Mentors are recruited from all walks of life. Each candidate is interviewed and reference and background checks are conducted. Potential mentors in the custody of Probation or Parole are screened out. Mentors who are in recovery are required to have at least two years of continuous sobriety. An extensive training program is provided to help mentors function safely and effectively in their role. Formal mentoring agreements solidify roles, expectations and support systems.

Individuals interested in being a mentor should contact Regional Director Dan Weldon at Spectrum’s community-based employees are welcome to participate.

Back to Top


Facing the Opioid Epidemic

As the opioid epidemic continues to rage across Massachusetts and much of the country, Spectrum has increased treatment options for individuals facing the deadly disease. Spectrum recently opened a new outpatient treatment center in north central Massachusetts. Located at 40 Spruce Street in Leominster, the center offers opioid treatment, medication management, substance abuse counseling, mental health counseling, family counseling, anger management and much more.

With the Leominster Outpatient Treatment Center, Spectrum now has 11 community-based outpatient treatment centers strategically located in high-need areas of the state. Each center offers same-day admissions, which allows clients to complete all requirements and, if appropriate, start receiving medication on the same day. Also important, Spectrum coordinates same day admissions among all of its outpatient treatment centers to ensure same day admission is available 5 days a week.

chartSpectrum has also taken steps to add treatment options for more acute individuals. In September, Spectrum added 16 detoxification beds at its Weymouth residential treatment facility on Boston’s south shore. The detoxification, or acute treatment beds, replace a portion of beds previously used for clinical stabilization, allowing Spectrum to provide all three primary levels of care—acute treatment services, clinical stabilization services and residential treatment—in one location. This is especially important as 60 detoxification beds were eliminated in the local area as a result of a nearby bridge closure.

In addition to the 16 detoxification beds in Weymouth, Spectrum recently added three beds for this purpose at its Westborough treatment campus, bringing the total number of detoxification beds there to 48.

In an opinion piece published in the Boston Globe on October 30, 2015, Spectrum’s President & CEO Chuck Faris concluded, “Opioids claimed more lives in the first half of this year than in the same period last year, and there is no sign of the epidemic fading. No one overcomes addiction alone, and everyone battling addiction deserves support in their efforts to overcome their disease. It is imperative that we look at every avenue where treatment can begin and explore measures that could have a long-term impact.”

Back to Top

IT Corner

bob Spectrum recently hired its first Chief Information Officer (CIO)—Mr. Robert “Bob” Brandner of West Hartford, Connecticut. Bob comes to Spectrum from Dell Computers where he has had a long and distinguished career in infrastructure assessment and strategic planning specific to healthcare and higher education.

Bob’s new role is pivotal to the growth and development of the Spectrum organization. As Kurt Isaacson, Spectrum’s Chief Operating Officer, recently put it, “We are approaching a crossroads in our use of cutting-edge medical records technology. There are a lot of good technology tools out there and Bob will help us decide how best to use them. His guidance will be critical to making appropriate decisions that maximum usage of medical technology while ensuring full safety and security of protected health information.”

As part of his new role, Bob will lead Spectrum’s IT Department. As you may recall, Spectrum brought its IT services “in-house” last year to ensure faster, more responsive service delivery. The IT Department has quickly become a “go to” group within the organization providing support to end users while ensuring strategic project execution and good customer service.

Back to Top

New Leadership for ROSC

Spectrum’s Vice President of Clinical Services Sue Moitozo recently announced new leadership of the Recovery-Oriented Systems of Care (ROSC) Committee. Lisa Blanchard, Executive Director of Outpatient Services, and Amanda Pitts, Director of Inpatient Operations, will now co-chair the committee formed several years ago to assess and support a client-centered behavioral health system and formulate ROSC plans that are compatible with the tenets of state and national health care reform.

Last Fall the ROSC Committee spearheaded terminology changes to address often stigmatizing language used in behavioral health and support the recovery oriented philosophy that is at the heart of Spectrum’s mission. The Committee is once again welcoming suggestions for language shifts to support a recovery-oriented approach to client care. Suggestions can be emailed to the following ROSC representatives: Outpatient Division – Lynn LeBlanc-Marrone; Inpatient Division – Dianne McIsaac; Adolescent Division and Peer Recovery – Mark Brown; and, Corrections Division - Lisa Bonner.

Back to Top

In Case You Missed It

peterSpectrum’s Chief Clinical Officer Peter Paolantonio recently received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association for Behavioral Healthcare (ABH) for his contributions over the course of his 40-year career at Spectrum. ABH is the leading behavioral health advocacy organization in Massachusetts.

In receiving the award, Peter noted, “I’m humbled and honored by the recognition of my colleagues and peers. People will often ask me why I’ve spent my entire career with Spectrum. I believe with my heart and soul in the Spectrum way and try to live it every day. I’m so proud to be a part of the Spectrum family.”

As many of you know, Peter is responsible for leading the planning, implementation and ongoing integration of best practices across Spectrum’s extensive continuum of care, including specialized programs for men, women, adolescents, young adults and criminal offenders. For the past 22 years, he has worked to integrate the therapeutic community model into in-prison treatment programs. Today, more than 90 correctional facilities across the nation benefit from his work.

Back to Top

Shout Outs

Welcome to the new group of employees that have joined us in Washington State: David Allen and Stephanie Trapp, Chemical Dependency Professionals (CDP) at the Marysville Field Office; Elizabeth Myers, Assessment CDP at the Shelton Field Office; Kirk Fowler, Assessment CDP Trainee (CDPT) at the Lacey Campus; Phillip Funderburk, Assessment CDPT, and Sally Dodds, CDPT, at the Seattle Community Justice Center; Tracy Mesecher and Misty Ruhs, CDPTs at the Airway Heights Correction Center; Kerry Trout, CDP, Kristine Gifford, Administrative Technician, Rebecca Hartwell, Program Manager, Tammy Countryman, CDPT, and Stephen Wilson, Therapeutic Community Technician, at the Coyote Ridge Correction Center; Adrian Sanchez, CDPT at the Yakima Community Justice Center; Katherine Pilot, CDP at the Rap/Lincoln Work Release; Christina Pitsnogle and Marla Buob, CDPTs, at the Spokane Community Justice Center; Kenneth Morris, CDPT at the Olympic Correction Center; and, Shawna Sunday, CDPT at the Bishop Lewis Work Release.

Also in Washington, we extend big congratulations to Jennifer Brazer, Brittney Chapman and Mary Fairfield who recently passed their Washington State CDP exam and were subsequently promoted. Well done!

We also send a special Shout Out to Steven El-Ayache, Anthony Bartlett and Susan Terrell who successfully referred new candidates to Spectrum. Thanks for actively contributing to our fast growing team!

In Georgia, special recognition goes out to Shanika Henley who received her Certified Clinical Supervisor (CCS) Credential and Lakesha Edwards and Latrenda Hill who received their Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC) II Credentials. Great job! Meanwhile, at Johnson State Prison, Spectrum’s Larry Pope received his CCS Credential, Tashika Daniels was promoted to Clinical Supervisor and Samuel Thomas was promoted to Program Director. Congratulations! Barbara Wilbur, Benjamin Allen, Tracey Brantley, and Demetrice Burner received incentives for a job well done and going beyond the call of duty. Way to go Johnson SP! At the Pulaski State Prison, Clinical Supervisor Elizabeth Solomon received her CCS. Congratulations! Also at Pulaski, Hannah Davidson was invited by the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Certification Board of Georgia to become a subject matter expert for the Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC) II exam. Hannah also ran her first 5k in October. You’re on a roll Hannah. Kudos! At Lee Arrendale State Prison, RSAT Counselors Yettel Jimenez and Janet Hodges recently obtained licensure as Associate Professional Counselors. Way to go! Also, RSAT Counselor Shelina Smith volunteers her time at the Atlanta Mission serving meals to the homeless and RSAT Counselor January Hudson is a volunteer with Carry on Youth, Inc., an organization providing mentoring and support for children who are grieving. She is especially active in this organization’s memorial tree planting activities, including the annual tree dedication held this year on November 19th. Wonderful news!

In Tennessee, Turney Center Industrial Complex (TCIX) Program Director Patricia Budnick has done an excellent job providing Clinical Supervision for Spectrum programs at the Tennessee Prison for Women as we recruit a new program director. Great job Patricia! Also in Tennessee, State Director Ryan McMahon will compete in the New Orleans and Nashville Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathons in early 2016. Rock ‘n’ Role Marathons infuse live music with traditional fitness to create a fun health and wellness event for runners, families and friends. Ryan has promised pictures and details for our next edition!

In Massachusetts, staff and clients at Project Turnabout in Weymouth are working on a “blanket drive” where they are collecting blanket donations, baking cookies and making hot chocolate and delivering them to homeless people in the area. They are also collecting box tops for local schools. Very nice PT! Congratulations also go out to Tia Gaines who was recently promoted from Assistant Program Director to Program Director at Spectrum’s Acute Treatment Services (detoxification) program in Westborough.

In Outpatient, Lincoln Street Program Director Tracy Desruisseaux recognizes Clinician Lauren Duffy who coordinated the Great American Smoke Out event at the company’s largest outpatient center. All group leaders reviewed material on quitting smoking and the negative health effects of smoking. Clients completed a questionnaire recapping the information and those with high scores were entered into a raffle for a free turkey as a way to motivate clients to “quit cold turkey”. Three clients each received a 15 pound turkey just in time for Thanksgiving. Also at Lincoln Street, on November 19th, they hosted an on-site flu clinic for clients and staff in partnership with Rite Aid Pharmacy. Clients were offered incentives such as going to the front of the dispensing line after receiving the vaccination and staff wore red shirts to help draw attention to the event. Congrats to all the staff who helped organize these great events!

In other Outpatient news, Recovery Support Navigator Kaitlyn Ausmus was promoted to Program Supervisor and Lori Canane was promoted to Outpatient Operations Manager. Congratulations Kaitlyn and Lori!

Regional Director Jen Peluso recognizes Stacy Desnoyers, Recovery Support Navigator who volunteers at the Second Step domestic violence crisis center. Stacy is also training to run a 10k and looking to travel to South East Asia in the near future. Nice Stacy! Jen also recognizes Matt Barry, a Substance Abuse Counselor at Norfolk, who is participating in a 5k for an ALS team, and Terri Keenan, a Recovery Support Navigator, on her recent engagement. Best wishes to both!

Also in Massachusetts, Katherine Waterhouse was welcomed to her new role as Human Resources Coordinator. Katherine has played an integral role in supporting Spectrum’s correctional treatment services in Massachusetts over the last several years and will now support Spectrum employees across the country as a key member of the HR Team. Congratulations Katherine!

Rounding out our Shout Outs this month is a special note of congratulations to Susan Moitozo, our VP of Clinical Services. Sue was recently recognized as a top female executive by the International Women’s Leadership Association (IWLA). Her profile is featured on Big congratulations Sue!

Back to Top

In The News

Spectrum was recently recognized at the Westborough Economic Development Committee’s 2015 Year in Review event with an award for Best Expansion Projection. Read more from The MetroWest Daily News by clicking here:

Back to Top

Print Friendly, PDF & Email