The Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs announced the winners of the second annual Code of Conduct Recognition Award for 2017. This award honors staff who embody the ethical standards outlined in the Code of Conduct for Custodians of People with Special Needs. Employees who assist people with special needs are required to sign the Code, which ensures that people “live self-directed meaningful lives in their communities, free from abuse and neglect, and protected from harm.”

The awards, issued by the Justice Center’s Advisory Council, “give peers, the people they serve and their families the opportunity to express their gratitude for their dedication and devotion to their work,” Council Chair William T. Gettman said. “Nominees have demonstrated a clear commitment to the ethical standards outlined in the Code of Conduct, and for that, we are giving them the recognition and gratitude they so richly deserve.”

Family members, personal representatives, and provider agencies from across the state submitted the names of candidates to the Justice Center. Of those nominees, the Justice Center’s Advisory Council selected the following four individuals to receive the 2017 Code of Conduct award at a ceremony held September 14 in Albany:

Carisa Kvalvik, Options for Community Living, Smithtown, NY – A dedicated six-year employee, Carisa was instrumental in launching a new program that provided additional support services for people experiencing chronic medical conditions that often interfered with their ability to achieve greater independence and meet their daily needs. With her sunny disposition, she lifts the spirits of colleagues and people receiving services alike, volunteering her personal time to operate the facility’s thrift shop.

Carl Marseille, Rockland Psychiatric Center, Orangeburg, NY – Employed at Rockland Psychiatric Center since 2005, Carl has been providing critically important support to people with severe psychiatric disabilities, particularly people who are homeless or have co-occurring medical diagnoses. Carl works tirelessly to provide the people under his care with the support they need to make a smooth transition out of the hospital and into the community.

Candace Devaney, Broome Developmental Disability State Operations Office, Binghamton, NY – Candace was nominated by the sister of a person she is working with who said: “I am never concerned or worried about (my sister) when Candy is working at the house.” She said Candy has become a “surrogate sister to my sister,” who makes everyone living in the home feel “like a human being with … something to offer.”

Helen Fares, The Guild for Exceptional Children, Brooklyn, NY – A direct support professional, Helen has been employed at the Guild for nearly a decade. In addition to other duties, she currently runs the Guild’s Without Walls day program with a high degree of professionalism and has been commended by community groups in her area. Her co-worker, who nominated her said, “we are blessed to have a calm, mature and patient advocate” at the Guild.

The following individuals were also recognized and given a Code of Conduct Certificate of Recognition for their good work:

  • Philip Needham, Admissions Coordinator, Charles K. Post Addiction Treatment Center, OASAS, West Brentwood, NY
  • Peter Kent, Residence Coordinator, Mary Cariola Childrens Center, Rochester, NY
  • Dana Denhoff, Direct Support Professional, St. Lawrence NYSARC, Canton, NY
  • Kevin Watson, Treatment Team Leader, Broome DDSO/Valley Ridge, OPWDD, Norwich, NY
  • Jay Mooers, Director of Operations, Children’s Home of Kingston, Kingston, NY
  • David Anderson, Assistant Director of Security, Hawthorne Cedar Knolls UFSD, Hawthorne, NY
  • Nathan Rauscher, Director of Continuous Quality Improvement & Compliance, Syracuse Behavioral Healthcare, Liverpool, NY
  • Elizabeth Weinbaum, Exec. Director of QI & Compliance, Concern for Independent Living, Inc., Medford, NY
  • Lauren McNamee, Program Manager, Central Nassau Guidance & Counseling Services, Hicksville, NY
  • Christine Mann, Program Manager, Central Nassau Guidance & Counseling Services, Hicksville, NY
  • Barbara Green, MSW, Addictions Counselor III, Kingsboro Addiction Treatment Center, OASAS, Brooklyn, NY
  • Omar Pena, M.D. Psychiatrist, Queens County Neuropsychiatric Institute & SBH, Jackson Heights, NY
  • Patricia Ryder, Camp Columbus Director, Arc of Seneca/Cayuga, Auburn, NY

About the Code of Conduct

Individuals who are employed by, or volunteer at, state operated, licensed or certified facilities or agencies under the Justice Center’s jurisdiction and who have regular and substantial contact with service recipients are required to sign and adhere to the provisions of the Code of Conduct. Consultants, volunteers or contractors of organizations or companies that contract with facilities and agencies, under the Justice Center’s jurisdiction, are also considered to be custodians if they have regular and substantial contact with a service recipient.

For immediate release: September 15, 2017  Contact Bill Reynolds 518-549-0221