News from the Noteworthy: Celebrate Fall in Many Ways

News from the Noteworthy

Celebrate Fall in Many Ways

The beauty of fall—as it ushers us from the heat and activity of summer to the chill and serenity of winter—is celebratory and full of hope. Fall does not meekly transition; it sings out with color as it triumphantly faces winter. With our magnificent landscape’s celebration on full display, I have recently thought about how much our community has to celebrate.

On Friday, October 14, Dr. Alberto J.F. Cardelle will be inaugurated as SUNY Oneonta’s ninth president. The theme of his inauguration is “Community Connections.” Our connections will define this community’s future—our ability to work together to address the very real challenges we face. I applaud Dr. Cardelle’s efforts to prove out this theme. With Springbrook, he has cultivated our partnership by showing his genuine commitment to learning about the people we support, our employees, and our organizational goals (even guest lecturing at our “Management Institute,” a six-week course offered to new and aspiring Springbrook managers). With this kind of commitment already provided, I find that Dr. Cardelle’s inauguration is definitely worth celebrating.

And only a week later, on Saturday, October 22, Hartwick College will celebrate the inauguration of its eleventh president, Darren Reisberg. As with SUNY Oneonta, Springbrook has a long history of collaboration with Hartwick College, including annually hosting nursing interns (among students of other disciplines) for over a decade. I am excited by President Reisberg’s interest in bridging the rural/urban divide through education. I have every reason to believe that our collaboration with Hartwick College will only strengthen under his leadership!

I am particularly inspired by the opportunities brought by these inaugurations because of the ties each college has to Springbrook’s very own fall celebration—the tenth anniversary of the opening of our Tom Golisano Center for Autism on October 27. Springbrook opened The Tom Golisano Center for Autism (or Golisano Center) in September 2012. The Golisano Center was conceptualized after Springbrook recognized a growing need that was largely unmet in New York State—specialized educational options for children with severe autism.

Many young people have graduated from the Golisano Center in the last 10 years. They have achieved countless goals, like finding a communication method that enables them to express their ideas, wants and needs to the world. Or facing challenges with new skills and experiences, like volunteering at the SPCA to overcome anxiety around animals. Behind every achievement are the highly trained, specialized, and dedicated education, therapeutic, clinical, and residential employees who work in partnership with each student to help them achieve their goals.

Staffing these highly specialized fields in our remote region is difficult. Springbrook, SUNY Oneonta and Hartwick College have come together to meet the challenge. Our partnership with SUNY Oneonta offers employees the opportunity to earn their Master’s degree in Special Education, fully paid for by Springbrook. Seven teachers at the Golisano Center have earned their degrees this way. And our clinical team shares their expertise while being informed on the latest practices and techniques when working with Hartwick nursing interns. The success of Springbrook’s Golisano Center for Autism is a perfect example of what can be accomplished when our community connects.

There is much to celebrate this fall—so many new opportunities. There is also much our community must overcome, like workforce and housing challenges. As fall turns boldly toward winter, I am certain we will turn boldly toward our challenges—together.

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