Pathways 12/2012

Pathways 12/2012

It’s been a busy few months at Portage Path, as we’ve welcomed many new staff members, and said goodbye to others.  New to PPBH are Drs. Marilena Achim and Jylia Lobanova – Psychiatrists, Kyra Pacer – Advanced Practice Nurse in Akron, Amy Nicolazzo – a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in ITS, Crystal Zuchowski – Charge Nurse at PES, Paula Dallatore – Emergency Clinician at PES, Jaime Barbee and Jonathon Robinson – Mental Health Technicians at PES, Zachary Magaw – an Akron Police Officer at PES, and Dawn Dunham – a Customer Service Technician in Akron.

We’ve also had some talented students stay with us after their educational training.  Heather Poma, who had been in the Psychology Practicum Program is now doing a Psychology Residence here, and Erin Armoutliev, also a past Practicum student, is now a Psychology Assistant.  In addition, Kristen Drollinger is now working as a Professional Counselor in Intake after being with us as an Intern.

Unfortunately we’ve also bid farewell to long-time Intensive Treatment Services Coordinator, Joyce Beck.  After working with us for 16 years and building the scope and capacity of the ITS Program, Joyce has decided to retire.  Please join us in wishing her the best.

Taking over as ITS Coordinator is Andrea Reddest.  Andrea is a Licensed Independent Social Worker and six-year employee at PPBH, having previously been a counselor on Akron Team A.

“Andrea Reddest came to PPBH with extensive experience in day treatment/partial hospitalization programs,” says Dr. Tracy Yaeger, VP of Clinical Services. “Although she had worked mainly with children in these settings, she has a wealth of valuable experience to apply in our ITS Program. At interview, Andrea was very interested in reviewing the current program and was extremely motivated to revamp the ITS/partial hospitalization program as needed. She presented many fresh and new ideas, many of which have already been successfully implemented since her promotion.  In addition, Andrea is an outstanding therapist.  She is very client centered, compassionate and directive in her treatment of clients.”

Practicum Program Benefits Students, Community

The term “win-win” may have become trite, but it definitely applies to the Portage Path Psychology Practicum Program.  Students gain invaluable treatment experience, working with the full spectrum of clinical diagnoses, and the Summit County community benefits from having increased service capacity to treat the uninsured in need of mental health counseling.

“The Practicum Program is great for Portage Path because it it allows us to introduce ourselves to, and work with a group of individuals who will soon be practicing psychology in our community,” says Tim Morgan, President of Portage Path.  “We get to show them that Portage Path is an exciting place to work, and that public mental health is a very fulfilling career choice.”

Originally focusing on students from The University of Akron, the Practicum Program has continually expanded to include students from as far away as Fielding University, and Columbia of the Ivy League.

This year’s class includes a few firsts: Robert Clapp and Chivonna Childs, the first students from Cleveland State University; Kristine Barnett, the first from Walden University; and Andrea Lefebvre, the first from Union Institute and University.  All of these universities now recognize the Portage Path program as an official training site.  Of course, our hometown institution, The University of Akron, represents the core of the class, sending Nathan Kerr, Michael Cadaret, and Myriam Kadeba.

Students in the program are fully immersed in all aspects of treatment.  They provide psychotherapy – both individual and group – do assessments, and administer psychological tests.  They will also participate in our partial hospitalization program.

“I applied to Portage path because of the great reputation of the agency,” says Robert Clapp.  “It has a great history of providing service to the community and I knew when I arrived and Dr. Phil took me around that this was a place where people worked together to bring about positive change.”

Adds Chivonna Childs, “I hope to get in-depth experience in the areas of assessment, group therapy,  and individual therapy in order to enhance my clinical and cultural skill set as a psychologist in training.”

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We would also like to recognize the students in the past class who have completed their graduate training at our facility: Kate Benson, Steven Beyer, Elizabeth Teixeira, Coda Pritchard, Betsy Lehman, Ellen Bronder, and Stephanie Judson.  All have been accepted to the next level of education, including one who is doing an internship at the prestigious Baltimore Veterans Administration.

Like many non-profits, Portage Path has been hit hard by the recession, with the “perfect storm” of funding cuts and increased demand forcing us toput all our resources into direct care.  This confluence has left us unable to afford many capital expenses.

If you or your business is thinking about reducing your year-end tax burden, please consider supporting Portage Path.  There are many ways you can help – by donating goods, services, or money.  Your donation will directly help the 9,000 people we serve each year, and is tax-deductible.

Here are some of the things we need:

Goods: Two 32-40” flat screen TV’s or monitors Two 40-46” flat screen TV’s or monitors Two DVD players Large scale backup generator for server A set of walkie-talkies Relaxation CD’s or DVD’s Framed artwork for treatment offices Frames to display client artwork 25 stackable, polypropylene chairs Tablet computers for use by clients in taking surveys and updating information Art  supplies for the Partial Hospitalization Program Eye wash stations Touch free sinks Wall-mounted hand sanitizer dispensers A digital scale Digital blood pressure machines A relatively large snow blower A presentation projector 2 defibrillators

Services Piano tuning Help wiring a stereo system for clients on the Crisis Stabilization Unit

To donate money to Portage Path, just CLICK THIS LINK to be taken to our secure donation page.

To donate goods or services, please contact Jim Crouse at 330-253-3100, ext. 145, or at

It was with great sadness that we learned of the passing of Metro RTA General Manager and PPBH Board member Bob Pfaff in July.  A part of our Board since 1999, Bob served as Board Chair from 2006-2008, and was instrumental in guiding PPBH through some very difficult times.

“ Bob Pfaff exemplified the best in what people look for in a person,” said Tim Morgan, PPBH President. “He was knowledgeable, thoughtful and approachable with a deep sense of concern and compassion for the people we serve. He was a man who knew this community and its people and we will be hard pressed to replace him. I personally will miss his advice and counsel, as well as his quick wit and ready smile.”

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