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Staff members recognized for years at Bethesda

The Daily Item
As published Sunday, December 25, 2005

   Bethesda Day Treatment Center, Inc. recently recognized 39 staff members for their length of service. 

   More than 120 people attended the annual holiday event, including board members, advisory committee members, and staff from 11 locations throughout Pennsylvania.  This year the agency recognized over 25 percent of their staff for being employed for 5 years or more.

   Recognized for five years of service were: Michael Boughton, Dean of Students at the Montoursville Center; John Dunne, Program Manager at the Milton Center; Sally Edler, Secretary at the Montoursville Center; David Falbo, Program Manager at the Scranton Center; Jennifer Napp, Regional Manager; Deb Nelson, D&A Counselor at the Montoursville Center; Jaquie Ross, Teacher at the Scranton Center; Shanyn Shanley, Day Treatment Supervisor at the Scranton Center; and Barb Weibley, Community Monitor at the Sciota Center.

   Recognized for six years of service were: Nicole Bingaman, Teacher’s Aide at the Milton Center; Erica Frey, Program Manager at the Middleburg Group Home; Tiffany Hessek, Dean of Students at the Milton Center; Stacey Kifolo, Corporate Business Manager at the Administrative Office; Yvonne Mudlock, Foster Care Coordinator at the Sciota Center; Steve Rizzo, Program Manager at the Honesdale Center; and Gary Shipman, Day Treatment Supervisor at the Montoursville Center.

   Recognized for seven years of service were: Debbie Fisher, Secretary at the Scranton Center; Jeff Hontz, Community Monitor at the Sciota Center; Gary O’Neal, Dean of Students at the Bloomsburg Center; Dave Rose, Head Community Monitor at the Honesdale Center; Lisa Vandermark, Program Manager at the Bloomsburg Center; Bob Vanderwall, Program Manager at the 

Montoursville Center; and Esther Zeager, Accountant at the Administrative Office.

   Recognized for eight years of 

service were: Lisa Alfieri, Program Manager at the Sciota Center; Chris Baines, Program Manager at the Lehighton Center; Collette Benner, HR Executive Assistant at the Administrative Office; Scott Constantini, Regional Manager; Lance Evina, Dean of Students at the Lehighton Center; Gene McCarty, Accountant at the Administrative Office; John O’Brien, D&A Counselor at the Bloomsburg Center; and Stephanie Rice, Foster Care Coordinator at the Milton and Montoursville Centers.

   Recognized for nine years of service were: Steve Gaito, Regional Manager; and Dietrich Kattermann, Community Monitor at the Sciota Center.

   Recognized for ten years of service were: Michelle Finck, Administrative Assistant at the Administrative Office; and Doug Luisi, D&A Counselor at the Sciota Center.

   Recognized for twelve years of service were: Michele Nixon, Regional Manager at Milton; and Janice Stock, Dean of Students at Sciota.

   Honored for sixteen years of service was Dwight Evans, Family Systems Specialist at the Sciota and Lehighton Centers.  Each employee was given a certificate for their Length of Service and a gift.

   The longest reigning employee has been with Bethesda for 20 years this month. The Administrative Management Team honored President Jerilyn Keen with a plaque, which read “Believe and Succeed - Courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying I will try again tomorrow.”   

   Max Bingaman was honored for 17 years of service.  Chairman of the board of directors Joe Pugliese recognized Mr. Bingaman on behalf of the Board.  Mr. Bingaman is retiring as a director on the Bethesda Day Treatment Center Board, in which he has served since 1988.



Bethesda receives grant from The Baltimore Life Companies

December  2005

The Bethesda Day Treatment Center Montoursville Center was selected by The Baltimore Life Insurance Company to receive a $500 grant from the company's community grants program.  Bethesda was one of five recipients selected by Baltimore Life.  

The grant program was established to serve the communities where Baltimore Life employees live and work.  

Representatives from each of the organizations selected as grant recipients took part in a celebration on December 7, 2005 at The Skyline Restaurant in Montoursville.  Recipients were able to meet several local Baltimore Life employees.

Robert Vanderwall, Bethesda Program Manager, accepted the $500 grant check on behalf of the Montoursville Center and shared with all attendants how the funds will be put to use in the community.



A newsletter of the Pennsylvania Juvenile Court Judges' Commission

As published in the August 2005 Newsletter, Volume 13, Number 8

Youth challenged by innovative Bethesda outdoor program 

The Bethesda Outdoor Weekend Program, "Be Challenged," was developed out of the need in central Pennsylvania to provide a modified version of Bethesda Day Treatment Center’s highly successful intensive community-based day treatment services. The DPW-licensed program was originally designed as an accountability option for court referred juveniles from the Lycoming County Juvenile Probation Office.  Soon after its inception, and after hearing of the program’s impact on youth, Northumberland County Juvenile Probation Office also began using "Be Challenged." The program’s home base is the Bethesda Montoursville Center located in Lycoming County.


"Be Challenged" serves as a 42-hour intensive reality-based camping experience for troubled youth. On a bi-weekly basis, an average of 8-12 youth meet on Friday afternoon under the supervision of three highly trained Bethesda staff. They report to a predetermined trail head in Tiagdaghton State Forest, Lycoming County, to begin hiking and set up camp.  The youth are given tasks and responsibilities designed to challenge them and result in an increase of confidence and self esteem. They learn how to achieve healthy relationships through team building, hiking, physical training exercises, and affect groups. Youth are expected to accept responsibility for their offenses and to develop a sense of belonging to their community.


Bethesda has a partnership with the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’s Bureau of Forestry to ensure the projects completed are of benefit to them and the environment, as well as to the youths. Projects include trail blazing, trail maintenance, trash pick up, and camp site maintenance.


"Be Challenged" is designed to provide the best experience-based intervention possible by incorporating Bethesda’s successful behavior management system and the relational healing methods known as Bethesda’s Family Systems. The program uses positive peer influence and structure to encourage the youth in accomplishing individual and team goals.  Each youth is responsible for him- or herself and accountable to her/his peers in meeting goals and successfully completing the challenges.


This program allows the youth to be removed from their familiar and negative environmental influences. Being taken out of their normal environment provides the youth with the best opportunity for change. A wilderness atmosphere is definitely less comfortable than that to which they are accustomed.  One year into the program, more than 250 youths have had the opportunity to gain a sense of community and ownership.




RadioShack gives community grant

The Daily Item
As published Sunday, June 26,  2005
FORT WORTH, Texas – As part of its continuing effort to improve the quality of life for America’s families, RadioShack Corp. (NYSE:RSH) has awarded Bethesda Day Treatment Center Inc.  a StreetSentz Community Grant.

Bethesda Day Treatment Center Inc. is one of 166 agencies to receive grant money in the latest quarterly cycle of RadioShack’s StreetSentz Community Grants program.

The program funds worthy causes that help families protect children from abduction, violence and abuse.

“We believe our contributions to agencies like Bethesda Day Treatment Center Inc. will positively impact families across the nation, reinforcing RadioShack’s commitment to the safety and security of the American family,” said Laura Moore, RadioShack’s senior vice president and chief communications officer.

The grants are accepted year-round and are evaluated quarterly by local review councils coordinated through adioShack district offices.  Grants are awarded quarterly in February, May, August, and November.

 To be considered for a StreetSenz Community Grants, an organization must be a tax exempt nonprofit designated as a 501 (c) (3) by the Internal Revenue Service, offer solutions to help prevent family violence/abuse and/or child abduction, and directly impact or benefit through programs or services, a RadioShack community.  Grant requests should be limited to $500 or less.




Camp held for 100 youths

The Daily Item
As published Saturday, June 25, 2005

MILLVILLE – Bethesda Day Treatment Center Inc. sponsored a summer camp for approximately 100 youths and 42 staff members from the Bethesda Day Treatment programs of Pennsylvania.

The camp was held at Camp Victory in Millville, June 15-17.  The youngsters participated in a variety of activities, including various sports, fishing, paddle boats, low ropes courses, archery, and a campfire each night.

Daily messages were given to encourage the youth to make positive changes in their lives.

Donations and sponsorship for the camping event were received from local people and businesses.

Bethesda serves more than 500 youths daily and contracts with 23 counties and more than 70 school districts throughout Pennsylvania, with day treatment centers in Bloomsburg, Honesdale, Lehighton, Lewistown, Milton, Montoursville, Sciota, Scranton, and South Montrose.  In addition, the company has a group home in Middleburg.

The Bethesda program specializes in dealing with troubled youths and families through the provision of an after-school counseling program, treatment foster care, drug and alcohol counseling, residential care, and alternative education.



Writer's Nook 

Student Author of the Week

Williamsport Sun-Gazette
As published Monday, March 14, 2005

Changing faces in my mirror

 On Nov 3, Caleb Repaci won a statewide award during the Juvenile Court Judges Commission Pennsylvania Conference on Juvenile Justice.  The annual conference brings together juvenile probation professionals, treatment providers, judges and state administration staff for three days of information sharing, discussion and training.

 During the conference, youths in the juvenile system are recognized for demonstrating outstanding artistic and creative expression abilities or who have completed an outstanding accomplishment.  The theme of this year’s youth program was “The changing faces in my mirror.”  Caleb Repaci of Muncy, who is involved in the Bethesda Day Treatment program in Milton, was an award winner in the creative expression category.


Upon looking in my mirror I see myself

As I was, as I am, and as I will be.


Upon looking in my mirror I see myself as I was.

A child so innocent and pure,

A face full of beauty and love,

No worries, no troubles, no concerns, only life as it is,

A face of an infant so new to this world,

Oh, those changing faces in my mirror.


Upon looking in the mirror I see myself as I am,

A teenager so lost and confused

A face full of sorry and hate,

Loneliness, emptiness and anger all inside,

A face of a young adult trying

To find his place in this world,

Oh, those changing faces in my mirror.


Upon looking in the mirror I see myself as I will be,

A man so old and wise,

A face full of glory and power,

Friendship, loyalty, happiness

And all the riches of life,

A face of a man who had discovered

His town true propose,

Oh, those changing faces in my mirror.


Upon looking in my mirror I see only myself,

Myself as I was,

Myself as I am,

Myself as I will be.



Dropout to Soldier

By Brenda Hartman, Press Enterprise Writer

The Press Enterprise
As published February 10, 2005
Millville GI tells trouble kids of turnaround in Army

BLOOMSBURG - A 20-year-old Millville soldier told students in a troubled youth program Wednesday how joining the Army straightened him out and could do the same for some of them.  

Private First Class Jason Albertson said he was a high school dropout headed nowhere when a talk with his grandfather, a veteran, and the events of Sept. 11, 2001, convinced him to sign up.

"I dropped out of school, which I regret," Albertson told a couple of dozen students here at the Bethesda Day Treatment Center.  "I didn't have any plan for my life.  I was just going from job to job.  I couldn't keep a job."

Now "I actually have a plan," he said.  "I'm more confident.  Basically, it straightened me out."

Albertson, a chemical weapons specialist home on leave from Germany, expect to be shipped to Iraq within the next six months to serve a year's tour.  He visited Bethesda on the invitation of his brother, Jeremy, who attends the school and counseling program for students ages 11 - 18.

Dressed in fatigues and his black military boots, Albertson told the students how the Army had turned his life around.  He's now taking college courses at the military's expense and hoping to become a helicopter pilot.

He wants to be a career soldier.

"Right now, I could see every one of you joining and making it," he said.

'What kind of life is that?'

Albertson, the son of John and Mary Albertson, Millville, joined the Army in 2003, beginning basic training at For Leonardwood, Mo., in August that year.

He's been on active duty in Hanau, Germany, for the past six months.  His week-long visit home was the last chance for him to see family before he goes to Iraq.

"Basically, what the Army is about is trying to make you all you can be," he told the students.

'You're held to a higher standard...'

Before becoming a soldier, he said he had no direction.  

His only prospects were working at a fast-food restaurant or a factory.  At best, he might be earning $200 to $300 a week, he said.

"What kind of life is that?" he asked.

As a soldier, Albertson says he earns $1,400 a month.  And the Army pays for his housing, food and most other needs.

Albertson said he was lucky.  The Army accepted him with a GED - A high school equivalency diploma - but that's since changed, he said. 

“Right now, they aren’t accepting people with GED’s.” he said.

 Besides the economic advantages, he joined because he was moved by the Sept. 11 attacks.

 “What happened on Sept. 11 really got me thinking,” He said.  “Do I want to sit back and do nothing and let this happen on American soil?”

German bases to close

Albertson answered dozens of questions from the students for about two hours.  They queried him about basic training, military weapons and even military court, discipline and discharges.

 “In military court, the penalties are much stiffer than in civilian court,” Albertson explained.   “You’re held to a higher standard because you’re setting an example.”

 He talked about his daily work schedule, his tree time, spiders in Iraq, and life in Germany.  One student was curious about the drinking age in Germany, all were shocked when Albertson told them I was only 15.

 He was quick to add that drinking is not an issue in Germany, which has one of the lowest drunk driving accident rates, he said.  Teens can drive mopeds at 16, but they can’t get behind the wheel of a car until they are 18.

 “The only ones getting drunk driving accidents [there] are Americans,” he said.

 Albertson said the government plans to close the majority of the U.S. bases in Germany over the next several years.  His base is due to close in 2007, when he expects to be in Iraq.  There are about 20,000 soldiers stationed in Germany now and 50,000 serving in Iraq, he said.

 Albertson said he isn’t afraid to go to war, believing the Army has trained him well.  In fact, he enjoys the military life, which he compares to being in one big family.

 “Out here, you’re basically on your own,” he said.  “In the military, anything you want they will get it for you.”

 He is the grandson of Bob and Stella Albertson, Millville.

 Bethesda Day Treatment Center is located on Old Berwick Road.

 Reporter Brenda Hartman can be reached at 387-1234 ext. 1323 or by e-mail at Brenda.h@pressenterprise.net


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