Message From The CEO:
You may already know that on August 1st, 2015 Chicago Bag Ban went into effect. Retailers will have to offer reusable bags or paper ones, either for free or at a cost to shoppers. Some plan to offer thicker plastic bags for free that still comply with the new law. Jordan Parker, founder of grassroots organization Bring Your Bag Chicago, explains that, “There are good ways and there are bad ways to use plastic. Using disposable plastic when unnecessary is a bad way to use plastic.”
I never really thought about it THAT way.
Paper bags are not completely green either. It takes a lot of (and often more) energy and water to produce a paper bag rather than plastic, in addition to emitting higher amounts of air pollution. The process to recycle paper uses more fuel than it would take to actually make a new bag. The EPA has also found that paper and plastic take about the same amount of time to degrade in a landfill. From our newspapers to our paper wrappings, paper is still everywhere and most of them are ending up in our landfills creating a staggering amount of paper waste. There was a time when paper was a rare and precious commodity. Now it fills our planet. It was initially invented as a tool for communication, but today, paper is used more for packaging.
We are so used to seeing products in their completed form that we seldom think of how they are made and what happens after we dispose of them.
- As we speak, more than 199 tons of paper has already been produced.
- 324 liters of water is used to make 1 kilogram of paper.
- 93% of paper comes from trees.
- To print a Sunday edition of the New York Times requires 75,000 trees!
- Recycling 1 ton of paper saves around 682.5 gallons of oil, 26,500 liters of water and 17 trees.
- Packaging makes up 1/3 or more of our trash.
- U.S offices use 12.1 trillion sheets of paper a year.
What can you do from your end to reduce paper and plastic pollution and waste?
- In the office, reuse paper. If you’ve only used one side for example, collect them instead of throwing them away. This small effort reduces paper waste by 50%.
- If you already have a scanned copy of a file, don’t print it anymore unless it’s really needed.
- Reduce the use of paper cups and disposable paper plates by keeping reusable items in the office break room.
- Take advantage of the latest technologies like tablets, computers and smart phones to keep your files and notes.
So my point to all of this is that I thought that I was being very “green” by using recyclable products but I was not making enough of an effort to use reusable products instead! I would like for us at NSPT to become more conscientious of using reusable products whenever possible. Several ideas were already mentioned above.
Some of you are already great at this!
- Use coffee mugs and reusable water bottles instead of paper cups. I have my coffee mug at work but I am guilty of buying cases of bottled water at home. My children have actually scolded me for this so I bought a Brita filter this weekend!
- Bring in reusable plates or utensils from home instead of using paper plates and plastic utensils for lunch
- Have leftovers from restaurants wrapped in foil instead of Styrofoam containers whenever possible. My next door neighbor actually brings a Tupperware container with him when he goes out to eat. Now that’s pretty extreme but I’m starting to understand and can respect that!
Are there items we recycle which could be replaced by reusable items?
We have sinks in all of our clinics and dishwashers in all but two clinics. Just some ideas.
You probably have many more of your own ideas that you practice at home and at NSPT that I would love to hear about! Please Yammer your suggestions!
Have a Green Day!
What I Learned About Social Skills in Medical School—The Hard Way
I was always a good student and worked hard to achieve high grades. The first two years of medical school were no exception. However, during the remaining two years of clinical rotations, a new reality set in. We were not scored by objective tests, but rather by subjective grading by the residents. A case in point would be my rotation in family medicine. I worked hard, knew the material, and treated the patients well. There was more downtime during the family medicine rotation than during any of my other rotations. For most students, that meant more time to socialize. The students would hang out in the lounge with the residents and chat about their weekend adventures and whatever came to mind. I, however, chose to spend my downtime in the hospital library learning medicine. That seemed like the admirable thing to do. Over the next couple of weeks, the socially inclined medical students became more familiar with the residents, and the “smartest” of them all even declared that they wanted to go into family medicine. I thought of that as “kissing up” and refused to participate. When it came time to receive our grades in family medicine, I received practically the worst marks you could get. I could not believe my eyes. I asked to meet with the chief resident to go over his assessment of me. I went line by line and asked specifically how he could justify the marks he gave me for each one. As I sat with him, I was beginning to wonder who was more nervous about the meeting. Finally, he said he would revise his assessment, which he did for a more favorable report. It was like going from a “D” to a “C.” Still not something to brag out, nor could he justify.
Perhaps that is why I am so passionate about performing “secret service” using tools like FORD (Family, Occupation, Recreation, Dreams). Tools like this help me to develop an interest in the people I interact with in every aspect of my life; from community, to work, to friends. I did not intuitively know that people actually want you to take an interest in getting to know them on a personal level. I thought that was only for family and close friends. Thankfully, it is now obvious to me, and it is one of the things I enjoy doing most. It was something I had to learn, even the hard way, but the success and satisfaction it brings is beyond measure.
Fast forward 5 years, I was practicing OB/GYN as an attending and had developed my social skills to the point of naturally taking interest in all people, especially my patients. I quickly became the busiest partner in our group of ten, and worked out of six different offices each week! Many employees of the hospital told me that they wanted to follow me if I ever went private. One actually did, and that is Maria Orjuela, who maintains the cleaning of two of our locations today. More would have followed, but pediatric therapy isn’t exactly the same skill set as OB/GYN. The “book-smart” made me good, but the genuine emotional connection I nurtured with my staff and my patients made me great. Had I known that in medical school, I could have graduated with straight A’s!
Customer Service Revolution in Action:
This lovely Greek family started services in Lincolnwood last week for speech. They struggle with English so Krista
Nichols went the extra mile by translating an explanation of why they were receiving a Visa Referral card using GOOGLE translation! She also hand wrote a note and envelope for them as well!
This made me smile instantly! I am sure this family will experience the WOW factor as well!
Culture Video: Filming on 8/6 and 8/18 completed. Thank you to all who participated! Look for the video in the coming months. Special thumbs up to Julie Hrdlicka for organizing this so well and so quickly!
Lake Bluff: Move in date scheduled for 9/25-9/27, and we are opening for clients on 9/28! The project is moving along and we are already starting to market the new clinic and talk to current clients about transferring if they live close by.
Marketing Efforts: Quarter 3 marketing efforts are under way for Evanston, Des Plaines, Lincolnwood and Dr. Cynthia Kane. Check out ManageHub for more details.
Executive Functioning Webinar: Scheduled for 9/15/15 with Dr. Greg Stasi and Monal Patel. We already have over 500 people signed up! Be sure to share the link with friends, colleagues, and school contacts. http://info.nspt4kids.com/webinar-executive-functioning-skills-for-school-success
As a kid, I was always a big fan of Nickelodeon. I especially loved the game shows and used to dream of being a contestant on one of them. When I was ten I took a trip to Universal Studios with my family and thought I might get my chance. They were doing a throw-back series of Double Dare while we were there, which was a game show that had stopped airing a couple years prior. It was no Global GUTS but I knew this one well!, When the host asked for volunteers at the start of the show, I froze. Luckily my brother was there to help me raise my hand because I was picked to be slimed at the end of the show! I got to go back stage, change into official Nickelodeon gear, and see how they made their slime (it was just applesauce with food coloring at the time). Everything that happened after that was a total blur. They told me ahead of time what questions the host would ask me as well as the answers I was supposed to give. I don’t think I even heard the questions, I just recited my lines each time the host paused. Best 15 minutes of fame I could have asked for!
This Month’s Birthdays:
- 09/04- Brown, Jennifer
- 09/07- Walovitch, Danielle
- 09/08- Ebeling, Tiffany
- 09/11- Suchy, Chloe
- 09/12- Bierman, Victoria
- 09/14- Michael, David S
- 09/16- Reid, Kimberly
- 09/18- Glende, Brittney
- 09/19- Nichols, Amanda
- 09/19- Nichols, Krista
- 09/21- Daybook, Stacy
NSPT History Tidbit:
Members of our Glenview team, including Zoe Sundstrum, put together an amazing guide for challenged kids for the Kohl’s Children’s Museum that is still in use until today.
Look Who’s New:
Gali Friedman | Behavior Therapist for Arie Crown
Gali Friedman has been hired as an hourly BT to work at Arie Crown. Gali worked in the school last year and will return again as an ACBT with NSPT. Gali is extremely warm and friendly and is looking forward to continuing to help children in the school setting. We are thrilled she has joined our team and are delighted to welcome her to NSPT.
Monica Zajaczkowski | Occupational Therapist-Evanston
Monica Zajaczkowski has been hired as a full time OT for the Evanston clinic. Her start date is 8/10/15. Monica is a new graduate from Midwestern University. She is very familiar with NSPT because she was a student of Lauren’s in Bucktown!! Monica has wanted to work for us since ever since she stepped foot in the clinic. Lauren described Monica as an amazing student. Ironically, while Monica was interviewing in Bucktown, a parent who didn’t know she was there stopped to ask Lauren how Monica was doing because they liked her so much. J When Monica talks about her experiences in Bucktown, her face lights up. She is completely thrilled and overwhelmed to be our newest team member. She will be working a Tuesday – Saturday schedule. We are delighted to welcome her to NSPT!
Mary Turner | Behavior Therapist-Lincolnwood
Mary Turner has been hired as a behavior therapist for the Lincolnwood clinic. Her start date is 8/10/15. Mary is currently enrolled in a first year master’s program for ABA at the Chicago School of professional Psychology. She has worked as a Qualified Intellectual Disabilities Professional to help individuals with developmental disabilities, and is looking forward to increasing her first- hand experience working directly with children with autism. She is currently working at Camp Fire Fly, which offers a unique summer camp experience to boys and girls, ages 7-18, who have been diagnosed with social disorders OCD, PDD, Asperger’s Syndrome, Non-Verbal Learning Disorder, and High Functioning Autism. As she as she finishes up camp, she will join us. We are delighted to welcome her to NSPT!
Mary Seal| Social Worker-Glenview
Mary Seal has been hired as a full time LCSW for the Glenview clinic. Her official start date is 8/18/15. Mary has over 20 years of experience. Her background is diverse and rich. For the last 4 years, she has worked at Alexian Brothers Hospice providing help to grieving spouses and facilitating care giving, financial and legal needs of families. She spent many years working with early childhood and elementary schools, and worked for a year as an adjunct professor at Concordia to teach a course, Social Work with Children and Adolescents. Mary also worked for many years with a team to facilitate a monthly support group for children who have siblings with autism. Mary lives in Roselle and has been looking to reconnect with families and children individually and to develop long lasting relationships. She has certainly found that opportunity at NSPT! We are delighted to welcome her!
Jennifer Katz | Social Worker-Highland Park
Jennifer has a master’s degree from Loyola in Social Work and Jurisprudence – in which her area of specialty is child and family law. She has been practicing for 10 years, and is joining us from the school setting. Jennifer has worked for UNO charter school providing individual and group therapy to students ages K-8th grade. Prior to this, she worked at Beacon Therapeutic Diagnostic & Treatment Center providing therapy to students in junior high and high school. Jennifer just moved to Highland Park and will be looking forward to a short commute. She will be working a Tuesday – Saturday schedule.
Sara Schankerman | Behavior Therapist-Lincolnwood
Sara wanted to be an OT and moved home to work and take two remaining prerequisite classes for OT graduate programs. Sara is excited to begin her work in ABA as she feels it will be a great opportunity to gain experience working with children with autism and to learn more about pediatric therapies. Sara interviewed with us in May, just before leaving to travel for the summer. She is currently in Florence, Italy and will return just in time to begin working with us this fall. We are delighted to welcome her to NSPT!
Neshama Karsh | Behavior Therapist-Arie Crown
Neshama is a former Arie Crown teacher in the early childhood program and has worked many years as an assistant teacher in other schools in Illinois and New York. Neshama became familiar with NSPT last year when another NSPT behavior therapist began to shadow a student in her own class last year. She thought the therapist did a great job which lead her to pursue the same kind of opportunity for herself. Her official start date is 8/24/15. We are delighted to welcome her to NSPT!
Gabrielle Valdes | Behavior Therapist-Des Plaines
Gabrielle graduated from the University of California State with a degree in Communication Studies. While in California, she worked as a caregiver for a private family where the family and an ABA therapist trained her to aid a five year old child with special need. Gabrielle said this experience taught her the importance of patience, setting realistic expectations, and the power of collaboration. She is now interested in pursuing a master’s to become a BCBA, and is looking forward to working with more children to utilize ABA. We are delighted to welcome her to NSPT!
Julie Behm | SLP-Highland Park
Julie is a new graduate from Western Illinois University. While interviewing, she mentioned that she became eager to be an NSPT speech-language pathologist after an incredible observation experience with Naomi Konikoff in Highland Park back in 2010! What a cool story! She also grew up and attended undergraduate school with a fellow NSPT employee, Anna Schneider. Julie is proficient in Spanish and lives in Highland Park. She will be working a Tuesday – Saturday schedule.
Morgan Anzelone | Physical Therapist-Lake Bluff
I am excited to announce our first official Lake Bluff hire. Morgan Anzelone has been hired as a fulltime PT. Her official start date is 8/17/15. Morgan is a new graduate who lives in Lake Zurich. Rumor has it she knows Paige Platenik and already loves NSPT. J She originally interviewed with Colleen and Deanna who noted she would be great for the new clinic. She is personable, upbeat, excited and eager. Leida conducted a second interview with her and agreed that she would be a great addition to the team. She will be working a Monday-Friday schedule. We are delighted to welcome her to NSPT!
Kimberly Lawless | SLP-Lake Bluff
Kimberly Lawless has been hired as a full time SLP (CCC) for the Lake Bluff clinic. Her official start date is 8/24/15. Kim is from Kentucky and attended the University of KY in Lexington for undergrad and graduate school. She has one year experience working with EI. Kimberly has an interest in feeding and swallowing and recently attended SOS training. She has been very busy traveling with EI and is looking forward to having one landing place to all “home”. We are delighted to welcome her to NSPT!
Blimi Friedman | Behavior Therapist
Blimi Friedman has been hired as a behavior therapist to work with one of our clients in the Bais Yakkov school in Chicago. Her official start date is 8/26/15. Blimi recently returned from a trip to Israel and is excited to be in the school setting. She was a graduate of Bais Yakkov herself and has also worked there as a Hebrew tutor to assist other students. She will be a great fit for the school and we are delighted to welcome her to NSPT!
Alyssa Garen | Behavior Therapist-Arie Crown
Alyssa is a 4th grade teacher at Arie Crown and will work in the mornings as an ACBT to provide additional support to a student. Alyssa received her Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education at the University of Iowa. Alyssa was very excited when another BT position became available, and we were just as excited that she applied. School starts Monday and it’s going to be a GREAT year! We are truly delighted to welcome her to NSPT!
Movin’ on up:
Congratulations to the following people on their new roles!
- Abby Rohlfing | Branch Director of Lake Bluff
- Emily Robin will join the school staff at Montessori Academy of Chicago as a Speech Language Pathologist
Here are the top blogs in terms of views for the month of August. Thanks to all of our awesome bloggers for continuing to write amazing content.
Sensory Strategies for School by Mary Kate Mulry-418 views
Sensory Strategies to Calm the Angry Child by Mary Kate Mulry-368 views
Build Executive Functionin Skills for School Success by Monal Patel-392 views
What Happens When Dyslexia Goes Untreated by Jaclyn Schneider-207 views
Events and Happenings:
- Congratulations to Summar Jonas on her graduation! We are so proud!
- Greg Stasi and Monal Patel will be presenting our next Live Webinar | Executive Functioning Skills for School Success on September 15th from 8-9 pm CST.
- Robyn Ackerman, Maria Hammer and Maureen Evans held our first session of screenings were held at Chicago Montessori Academy. This is a wonderful partnership!
- Note our new Blossom Blast URL: BlossomBlast.news. Visit here for all of our Blossom Blasts!
Congratulations to the following teams for completing their mentorship programs:
- Lee Ann Ferguson and her mentor Kim Reid
- Stephanie Jones and her mentor Jessica Jamicich
- Marcy Stasik and her mentor Colleen McCloskey