inspiring hope and healthy living
by providing behavioral health and wellness services one person at a time.

Meet TrueNorth

 

Susan Hoke
Human Resources, Payroll Administrator

I joined the TrueNorth team this past November as the Human Resources/Payroll Admin. Prior to coming here, I worked for 15 years at the Hanover BonTon , the last 7-8 years of which I was the Human Resource Manager. And, most recently, I served as Human Resources Clerical for the Target in Hanover.

There are many aspects to my role at TrueNorth, but the task I perform that I feel staff would think is most important is assisting in making sure everyone is paid correctly. 

My favorite part in joining the team is how welcoming everyone has been! Coming from a retail background, I have found it very interesting learning about the health care field. I also love hearing the train go past at Elm Ave (seriously I do!).

In my spare time outside work, I enjoy reading and hiking.

 

Jim Wissler
TrueNorth Board Treasurer

It is my pleasure to participate in the Wellness Wire newsletter Meet the Board Member Feature.
 

As background information, I grew up in Lancaster County on a farm built by my family in 1754. It is no longer in my family but remains an active farm. I am a graduate of Ephrata High school and attended college in Boston where I received my undergraduate and graduate degrees.

My entire career has been in health care management.
Starting my management career in Boston as Director of Cardiopulmonary Services and advancing through various management positions to CEO. I‘ve worked in hospitals in Boston, Vermont, New York and Pennsylvania, and retired as President/CEO of Hanover Hospital. 

My interests on the TrueNorth Wellness Board are financial management, strategic development and governance and I recently took on the role of Board Treasurer. My career has given me insight into those areas and hopefully I will be able to provide valuable input as together, board and management address the challenging healthcare environment.

I have learned much about TrueNorth programs and the
commitment and enthusiasm of our staff through the program presentations at Board meetings. These presentations are informative and provide insight regarding the function and increasing demand for each service and we are better informed about the challenges and opportunities each program faces. This background information is invaluable in helping the board make informed decisions. 

In my spare time I enjoy traveling bicycling, gardening, golfing, exercising and volunteering. The joy of retirement is being able to give back to our community. I look forward to providing input that helps TrueNorth remain a strong and vibrant and growing organization. 



Door Decorating Contest!

 

THANK YOU to everyone who decorated and submitted their door for the 2019 Door Decorating Contest! We had a lot of really creative entries and it was very hard to choose winners.

GREAT JOB EVERYONE!!

Winners will receive a special trophy 
(pics of winners with trophies will be posted soon!)

BEST OVERALL DESIGN                 
Liz Bowen, Heather Jones & Nikki Miller
Hanover Supportive Living 2 & 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AGENCY SPIRIT                 
Korina Furr
FFT Authorization Specialist

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MOST FESTIVE                 
Kimberly McGhee
Outpatient Art Therapist

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEST TEAM EFFORT                 
Family Based Team

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

* Honorable Mention *
FUNNIEST/MOST CLEVER              

Lynn Woodward & Carrie Stern
Harrisburg Admin Staff

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

* Honorable Mention *
BEST FREESTANDING DESIGN

Jo Messenger
D&A Therapist, York

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

* Honorable Mention *
AGENCY SPIRIT

Rosemary Otto & Stephanie Hann-Snyder
Amazing Kids Club, Hanover

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TrueNorth in the Community: January 2020

Amazing Kids Club Family Liaison Supervisor, Stephanie Hann-Snyder, and her daughters decorated the annual Amazing Kids Club Christmas Tree at the Warehime-Myers Mansion on behalf of the AKC clients and families.  The clients made all the ornaments and decorations themselves. All AKC families and staff were given a free admission certificate to tour the facility and see our tree.







 

 



Chambersburg Supported Living clients and staff recently took a trip to Medieval Times restaurant at the Arundel Mills Mall. A good time was had by all!







 

 

 

 

The Drug & Alcohol Prevention Program staff represented TrueNorth at the Please Live! Mental Health Fair in Spring Grove. They had the opportunity to talk with attendees about TrueNorth Services, as well as connect with other vendors.






 

 

 

Chambersburg and McConnellsburg took time to celebrate Client Appreciation Days! 

In Chambersburg, staff made a point of letting residents know how much we appreciate them with a week of daily surprises that included personalized cards on Monday, a token of appreciation on Tuesday ( Hand soup that carried the message: Hands down, you are the best), Community Meeting on Wednesday and Thursday was treat day, giving each client a goodie back with their favorite treats.

McConnellsburg staff wanted to show their clients how much they appreciate them for choosing TrueNorth for their services, so they set up a hot chocolate bar in the waiting room. Chambersburg staff and residents were happy to serve them.



 

Qmmunity, our LGBTQ+ safe space group in partnership with Hanover YWCA, had a holiday get together just before Christmas. They wrapped gifts and made cookies that they gave to the YWCA staff for all of their help and support. 





 

 

Program Feature: Peer Support Program

Quick Overview
The Peer Support Program helps individuals living with or experiencing psychiatric illness through a recovery process. The Certified Peer Specialists have lived experiences of their own, so they use their own recovery to help clients succeed in their mental health journey. The Certified Peer Specialists are able to build a personal relationship with the clients they see and open up on a level that other programs do not always get the chance to do.

The Peer Support Department is a vital service. Certified Peer Specialists are able to give clients one-on-one personal attention. They are able to be vulnerable and share experiences with clients that make the clients truly feel that someone else understands the struggles they too have faced. Clients really are receptive to being in the program and talking to someone who also has a mental health diagnosis of their own and is able to openly share about their lives.

Recent Accomplishments
We have some exciting news! For the first time ever, the Peer Support Program was able to make a Certified Peer Specialist position full-time. As of the beginning of the New Year, Anthony Keller will be working toward building himself a full case load as the first ever full-time Peer Specialist!

Current Challenges
The biggest challenges have to be time and availability. Time is always a factor in everything we do. My staff have to be able to find availability in their schedules to see new clients and juggle the current ones and sometimes that can be hard! I have such resilient staff, though, and they just go with the flow and get things done! I have always felt really lucky to work for this agency and am constantly grateful to have the same staff as when I started this position over two years ago! The Peer Support Program is only growing and I cannot wait to see where this Program heads in the future, so stay tuned!

What We’re Working On
The Peer Support Department was recently contracted by the County and are able to take County Liability for our services,  so we are currently working on building those relationships. Taking another payer besides Medical Assistance was a huge triumph for the Peers. The Program is also working on seeing clients 14 years of age and up, which is a new age range where previously the client age had to be 18 years of age to be seen. The Peer Support Department has grown so much and we are really excelling at expanding quicker than we ever imagined and we could not be more excited with that growth!

Upcoming Goals
Goals for the department in the upcoming year include being able to take larger caseloads. The Department is working on new structuring and new ideas to see more clients, but still give the same level of care that TrueNorth Wellness Services strives for!


By Kelsey Hawbaker, Manager of Peer Support Services – York/Adams & Franklin/Fulton Counties

Building a Solid Foundation for a Successful Year

At the start of every year, the air is abuzz with ambitious goals of self-improvement. Sadly, achievement often flutters away within a few weeks and many well-intentioned folks are left feeling discouraged and like a failure for not living up to their lofty new outlook. 
 
The desire for change and improvement is a good one! It is hard, though, to reach the new view if there isn’t a solid foundation to stand on. Without your feet strongly planted, the wind will inevitably blow good intentions away. 
 
So, if making grand resolutions often leaves us falling short, how do we make effective change in our lives? What does building a strong foundation entail? 
 
There are two main keys to success: Taking small, realistically do-able steps.  And, not waiting until the stars have aligned and all is perfect before you start. In fact – you don’t even need to wait for a new year to begin… You can set the wheels of change in motion at any time. 
 
With the two keys in place, it’s time to gather supplies for a well-made foundation. 
 
Organize: When we are surrounded by clutter and disorganization, it makes our goals harder to achieve.  Organization allows us to have clear and focused thinking… which is necessary for self-improvement.  Take some time to tidy up your environment as well as clearing clutter on your calendar and in your head.     
 
Create a Routine:  Having daily routines in place raises our baseline level of productivity, which, in turn, makes us feel successful.  Wake up at the same time each day. Make your bed. Get plenty of sleep. Create a meal plan and take a couple hours to make some meals ahead.  Whatever helps you create simplicity and a steady routine.  
 
Focus: Achieving any goal requires physical and mental energy. Our bodies and minds are our fuel tank – the better shape we are in, the more fuel we will have to achieve our goals. Be mindful about what you need to refuel… Give yourself a break with activities you enjoy and scheduling some down time.  Work transitions into your day… Allow 15 or 30 minutes between work and home so you can decompress from your busy day and mentally prepare for an evening with family. 
 
When you feel your foundation is solid, you can start implementing bigger goals. 

  • Create smaller, more realistic goals that work toward one main goal.
  • Work only on one or two goals at a time and break them down into achievable chunks
  • Keep a journal or weekly log of progress so you can monitor and rework goals as needed for success
  • Be prepared for set backs by writing down barriers you may encounter and create a contingency plan in case it just isn’t working.
  • Be accountable! Review your goals and progress with family, friends or a therapist who can support you
  • Celebrate your accomplishments along the way… even the small successes! 

As you’re moving forward, be sure to keep an eye on the foundation. If you find any cracks or feel unsettled, be sure to do repairs before continuing work on the bigger goals. 
 
Self improvement is an important part of life… don’t shy away from it! With a solid foundation in place, you’re ready for bigger and better things.   
 
If you feel like you’re having a difficult time laying your foundation on your own, it’s ok to call in some help!  Find an objective friend or family member to bounce thoughts, ideas and concerns off of. And, TrueNorth is always here to help as well. 


By: Nikki Miller, CHIPP Hanover Supportive Living 2/3 Residential Manager


 
 
 
 
 
 
    

TrueNorth In the Community: December 2019

Garrett Trout {our CEO}, Carol Connor {Director of PR & Development} and Piggy Bank {official TrueNorth coin holder} staffed our booth at the Adams County Community Foundation’s Annual Giving Spree Fundraiser. They talked with community members about the services TrueNorth provides and supporters came out to donate to the work we do as an organization.

 

 

 

 




The McConnellsburg team  recently participated in the Fulton County Mental Health Association’s Walk the Walk. 

Darleen Shaw, TrueNorth Outpatient Therapist, was also a featured presenter for the event, speaking on “Wellness Throughout the Lifespan.”

 

 

 







Staff and clients from the Partial Rehabilitation Program recently took an outing to the Hanover Fire Company.  They learned what a day in the life of a local firefighters looks like and saw all the equipment close up!


 

 

 







Partial staff {left to right: Courtney Farley, Jessica Conrad, Ken Coble} celebrated World Kindness Day and Mr Rogers “Cardigan Day” on November 13th!





 

 

 





D&A Prevention Specialist, Angel Nace, represented TrueNorth at the Conewago Enterprises Employee Wellness Fair and had the opportunity to talk with their staff about mental wellness and the services TrueNorth provides.

 









 

Meet TrueNorth

Meet Our Staff
Markell Kunzelman – Prevention Specialist

I’m a Prevention Specialist and have a Bachelors of Arts in Human Development and Family Science from Messiah College. I am also a Certified Family Life Educator (provisional) or CFLE-P. In addition to that certification, I have been taking classes to be able to apply to be a Certified Family Recovery Specialist (CFRS) in PA. My role is to run groups in York County public schools (primarily elementary and middle) to teach children about healthy choices and to give them the skills to be resilient as they grow and face life’s challenges. In order to do all of that we have to network with school counselors and social workers in order to make connections with various schools in the area. We have to prepare lots of activities and lessons before groups begin and therefore aren’t often in the office. 

I started at TrueNorth as an intern in Prevention during my last semester of college and came on as a part-time Prevention Specialist a few months later. That was two years ago and now I am full-time. My work is important because by involving myself in children’s lives now, even if only for an hour a week, I hope to instill in them skills and knowledge to help them make the right decisions when they are faced with challenges in the future. I have always loved working with children and teaching them things, so this job has been a perfect fit.

I enjoy visiting a variety of schools and meeting different children and teachers. My favorite part about working at TrueNorth is my coworkers. Everyone is unique and interesting, and I think my direct co-workers are a great fit!

For fun, I like to watch TV and movies, color, go to my bible study, and hang out with my friends. I also enjoy hosting game nights and bonfires.

Random background information – I live on a farm in Baltimore County and work at Panera Bread in Shrewsbury.

 

 


Program Feature:  Functional Family Therapy

Quick Overview
FFT is the acronym for Functional Family Therapy.  This is an in-home, evidenced based, family therapy model for youth ages 10-18 and their families.  FFT is designed for youth who display externalizing behaviors such as: substance abuse, violence and aggression, truancy, oppositional and defiance towards authority.  Many of the youth involved with FFT are already in the Juvenile Justice System, but FFT may be used to prevent system involvement.  FFT uses a phase-based, therapeutic model that has a very specific beginning, middle and end to motivate families for change, teach skills, and to generalize these skills to other settings.  Prior to discharge, families will develop relapse prevention and recovery plans to assist when stressors occur that could set the family back to old, negative patterns. FFT in Pennsylvania for FY18/19 had a 73% completion rate with positive outcomes of 93%, which is above the national FFT averages.   

FFT plays an important role within the umbrella of the agency’s mission and vision to inspire hope within families and offer different pathways for improved family functioning. The power of family therapy is underestimated in the behavioral health system.  TrueNorth Wellness is the only provider providing FFT services in the areas we serve.

Recent Accomplishments
In February of 2018, FFT expanded services into the Capital Area. Prior to this, FFT has served the Counties of York and Adams for about 8 years.  The growth in the Capital Area has allowed FFT to serve 5 additional Counties (Lancaster, Lebanon, Cumberland, Perry, and Dauphin).  This expansion project required an additional team of therapists with a new clinical lead. This was a huge accomplishment for everyone involved!

Biggest Challenges
Our current challenge is referrals! Typically, the summer months are slow with referrals and high with cancellations and no-shows.  This year was no different.  Our referral stream is beginning to build again in October and we are desperately working to ensure all therapists have a full caseload.  One of the more consistent challenges with our department is that FFT is one of the best kept secrets in town.  Since we are the only provider offering this service, many people aren’t quite sure what FFT really is.  We are consistently educating families and providers about FFT.  This really isn’t a problem because we are passionate about FFT and we enjoy talking about the good work we are doing.

What We’re Working On
Research shows that positive outcomes are directly related to FFT model adherence. Our program is working hard ensure  the program has high model integrity by offering additional clinical support to therapists and creating program practices that are consistent with model expectations.

Upcoming Goals
The current goal after this recent growth spurt is to ensure both FFT teams are functioning well and providing high quality FFT services to the families we serve while remaining financially sustainable. 


Holidays & Mental Health: How to Cope

By: Samantha Davis, M.S., LPC – School-Based Manager and Shrewsbury Outpatient Manager

According to the well known song by Andy Williams, it’s the most wonderful time of the year, or is it? It’s probably no surprise, when we consider all of the demands and stressors. For many people the Holiday season leads to increased feelings of anxiety, depression and loneliness. If you find yourself or loved ones struggling with these symptoms, there are some healthy strategies for managing in order to enjoy the Holidays.

  1. Plan-Planning will help to set limits and create a stronger sense of control. Decide in advance which events to participate in being sure to take into account what is healthy for you. For example, if going to Aunt Sally’s yearly gift exchange makes you cringe and stress with just the mere thought of attending, then skip it and attend a more enjoyable event instead. It is healthy to set limits and say “No” if that means less stress and improved overall mental health. Planning which events to attend in advance will also make your calendar more manageable.

  2. Budget-Spending can be at an all time high during the Holidays whether that’s spending on travel or gifting. Decide in advance how much you are comfortable spending and stick to it. Consider setting spending limits for gift exchanges or get creative and give homemade gifts. This will reduce financial stressors and the unexpected costs associated with the Holiday season.

  3. To Do List– Creating a to do list will help you to prioritize and manage tasks during this busy time of the year. Hopefully, a list would prevent that last minute run to the crowded store that ultimately leads to panic.

  4. Be Flexible– Most people have a preconceived expectation of how the Holidays are “suppose to be” based on previous years or perhaps media portrayals. When that expectation is not met it leads to feelings of disappointment and even loneliness. Be mindful of your expectations by evaluating if they are realistic for current circumstances. This may be a good opportunity to set new, healthier expectations of the Holiday season.

  5. Mindfulness-Although it may be tempting, don’t eat your feelings this Holiday season. Instead, set aside some time to become aware of your feelings surrounding the Holidays. This self awareness will help you to recognize triggers and allow for processing time. Many find themselves thinking of lost loved ones this time of year. This is normal. Allow time to experience those feelings in a healthy manner and celebrate that loved one with a new tradition. Consider volunteer work to increase feelings of connectedness to the community and reduce feelings of loneliness.

  6. Supports-Don’t try to cope alone. Reach out to your natural supports such as friends, family and even co-workers. If needed, consider seeking professional support through a mental health provider.

Don’t let the negative symptoms ruin the Holidays. Learn to recognize triggers and embrace the positive experiences associated with this time of year.

 

 

TrueNorth in the Community: November 2019

 

Angie Dougherty, Laura Bosley, Ruthie Stanley and Krista Hymes – all Residential staff – participated in a ReEntry Simulation coordinated by the York County ReEntry Coalition. The purpose was for providers to gain knowledge on the difficulties and barriers individuals recently released from the prison system sometimes face.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

SAP Therapist, Christine Stoken, recently attended the Mental Health Fair at SouthWestern High School.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Harrisburg office hosted a Fall Potluck for Staff in early October. Lots of good food and fun for all!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Coffee Clash Committee hosted a Fall Tea for their quarterly staff de-stress event.  The committee provided an array of snacks for everyone to enjoy with either their tea or coffee. Virginia Hicks started off with a speech about change and gave everyone a copy of a quote she found. “We change our behavior when the pain of staying the same becomes greater than the pain of changing, consequences give us the pain that motivates us to change,” by Henry Cloud. The Committee then split the room up into pairs and Kaye Brown conducted “Tea Trivia.” Each team had a white board with their “tea team name” on them. Each group answered questions about tea and earned points for each correct answer. Winning teams: Team Oolong and Team Chai, won an extra entry to win the Fall Wreath that Virginia made. After the trivia was over, the Committee opened the room for everyone to participate in taking pictures using the tea inspired props in the photo booth area and for everyone to participate in making potpourri bags to take home.

 

 

 

 

Sandy Bankert, TrueNorth’s Quality Improvement Coordinator, attended a mental health awareness event at Church of the Open Door in West York in October. On of the Church’s goals for community outreach is to have positive impact on eliminating the stigma around mental health.  So, they invited multiple behavioral health providers to both their West and East York campuses to share resources with attendees. The event was very well received and Sandy had the opportunity to interact with people who may not have otherwise been able to have an open conversation about mental wellness.

 

 

 

 

 

TrueNorth in the Community: October 2019

#teamTrueNorth took part in the Hanover Chamber’s Annual Corporate Challenge. Thanks for making an extra effort and taking one for the team! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Social Rehab staff created a fun coffee house experience for clients. Social Perk served up coffee and pastries and allowed clients and staff to relax in a coffee house atmosphere. Everyone loved the transformation!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hanover Supported Living staff and residents celebrated National Rice Krispies Day in September.  All of the clients appreciated receiving this special treat from staff.  [huge shout out to Liz Bowen for providing the treats!]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Over the summer Social Rehab had a walking group. Staff and clients would walk around uptown and visit the local playground. You’re never too old for a merry-go-round!