Saturday, November 10, 2012

Sinergia Jumps into Action After Hurricane Sandy

The recent tumultuous arrival of Superstorm Sandy did more than just cause destruction and disruption to the lives of thousands of people throughout the Tri-State area. The storm also provided Sinergia with an opportunity to witness the depth of commitment that our staff possesses. While the Residential administrative team, Deputy Executive Director Michael Mitchell, Director of Residential Services Rebecca Maitin, Lead Residential Manager Rolando Aquino, Residential Manager Johanna Echeverria and On-Site Manager David Bryant kept the lines of communication open and reviewed the situation almost on an hour by hour basis with the Executive Director, the true “Everyday Heroes” were the Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) and their team leaders, who rose to the occasion and took on extended shifts and responsibilities without hesitation. Many of these folks worked round the clock to ensure the safety and well-being of the people with disabilities that we serve in the residential department.

The DSPs came to work on the Saturday and Sunday before Sandy struck knowing full well that it might be nearly impossible to get home that night or the next day with the impending shutdown of all New York City mass transit services. These DSPs, some of whom live in Queens and Brooklyn, left their homes not knowing when they might be able to return or what they would be returning to. Despite that gnawing concern, they also understood that the fragile population that we serve needed their help. Upon arriving at their assignments, these staff members realized they were in for the long haul. We are proud to say that they all performed magnificently under such very difficult circumstances and they did not allow Sandy to stand in the way of delivering quality services. Sinergia would like to recognize and thank the following staff members for their courageous and selfless commitment to the people that we serve:
            On site Residential Manager David Bryant
            Team Leader Argenis P
            Team Leader Ralph Espinal
            Team Leader Gwen Baez
            Team Leader Dawn Dixon
            Team Leader Mellissa Baez
            Direct Support Professionals:
            Paul Mandeg                                  
            Korey St Hill
            Lovelie Pierre
            Delouris Snell
            Iluminada Hilario
           Fabienne Perides
           Marilyn Quinones
           Vanessa Green
           Barbara Johnson
           Frank Curbelo

We also want to express our gratitude to those DSPs who left their homes and found what could only be described as “imaginative” ways to get their sites and relieve their colleagues who had been on call in some cases for 36 hours.
A very similar sense of commitment could be seen at the Sinergia main office on Lexington Avenue in the days following Sandy’s arrival. While many not-for-profits and other businesses throughout the City of New York remained closed for the entire week following the storm, many of the Sinergia staff who work in the main office found a way to get in and we were open for business on the Wednesday following the storm.  Some drove, some car-pooled, some paid for cabs, some even walked blocks upon blocks, but they got in, and by noon on Wednesday the office was humming with activity.

The service interruptions caused by Hurricane Sandy were a great source of anxiety for many of the people with disabilities that we serve. However, many of these folks discovered that when they called our main office or stopped by, the MSCs, Case Managers, Coordinators, Fiscal and Administrative staff  were here and able to assist them with their issues. Likewise, the adults who attend the Day Habilitation program at the main office also arrived to find that many of their staff had found ways to get in from Brooklyn, Queens and other parts of the storm ravaged city.

We also need to recognize our housekeeping and maintenance staff who managed to find a way through the flooded streets and blocked avenues to come in and support the work being done at the main office, in the Day Habilitation program, the Residential program and on the administrative level.  Sinergia is very proud of the efforts of its entire staff and wants to be sure that they and their commitment to the people we serve is appreciated and recognized.                                                                           (Photo)

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