Meet New Support Coordinator Sarah Lobstein

Sarah LobsteinSarah Lobstein is the new qualified intellectual disabilities professional (QIDP)/support coordinator working with children on Unit 1 at St. Mary’s Home.

Sarah hails from Flagstaff, Ariz. She attended Augusta State University in Augusta, Ga., where she played collegiate volleyball, earned a degree in psychology with a minor in social work and met her husband, Brian.

After college, the newlyweds headed to Europe, since Brian is active-duty Navy. They spent three years in Belgium and got to travel the world. They moved back to the United States and ended up in Hampton Roads. Sarah started working for the City of Virginia Beach as a direct support professional and then a behavior specialist at SkillQuest Services Day program for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. After a few years, Sarah moved to the West Neck intermediate care facility, where she continued to work with adults as a QIDP/support coordinator.

Sarah is excited to get to know every one at St. Mary’s Home and to help enrich the lives of the children and young adults. “My goal is to be the best QIDP I can possibly be for all of the children,” she said.

 

For Auxiliary President, “It’s All About the Children”

Adrian, left, and Sierra, right, with Auxiliary President Ann Gimbert.

Adrian, left, and Sierra, right, with Auxiliary President Ann Gimbert.

Ann Gimbert was controller for Roof Engineering when she had the opportunity to choose a charity for the company to support. She selected St. Mary’s Home, which she knew about from living in the area. “I was very impressed with all I heard about the Home,” she said.

That was about five years ago. Roof Engineering has continued to support the children and young adults and has been a sponsor of the Auxiliary Board of St. Mary’s annual Gala and Auction.

Ann since has retired and, looking for an opportunity to give back to the community, she joined the Auxiliary Board about two years ago. In 2016, she was elected president.

“I believe very much in the Board’s commitment to St. Mary’s,” Ann said. “The Board’s mission is to support the children. It’s all about the children, and I don’t think you can have a better mission or a better goal than that.”

Ann worked in construction accounting for 40 years and served as president of the Tidewater chapter of the National Association of Women in Construction. Originally from Brooklyn, N.Y., Ann and her husband of six years, Cliff, now call Virginia Beach home. She has two sons and two granddaughters. Ann, who is of Italian descent, travels to Italy almost every year to visit a friend who lives in Rome.

Ann said she especially enjoys the camaraderie of the Auxiliary Board. As president, she’s looking to bring in some new members and to make the Board’s Gala even more successful.

Save the date: Please join us on April 1, 2017, at 6 p.m. for the Auxiliary Board’s Gala and Auction, at the Peter G. Decker Jr. Half Moone Center, 1 Waterside Drive, Norfolk. For more information about the Gala or about the Auxiliary Board, contact: Mary Helen Hilton, (757) 446-6793 or mhilton@smhdc.org.


Eds note: A version of this article originally appeared in the Winter 2016-2017 issue of our Journeys newsletter. You can read that issue and others on our website here

Steve Kraly Baseball Card Donated to The Albero House

martha-stewart-bob-and-ty-kraly

Bob Kraly, right, with his son, Ty, and Martha Price Stewart, St. Mary’s former director of development. Ty is holding memorabilia including a signed photo of his grandfather, former Yankees pitcher Steve Kraly.

Ty Kraly holds the baseball card of his grandfather, former Yankees pitcher Steve Kraly.

Ty Kraly holds the baseball card of his grandfather, former Yankees pitcher Steve Kraly.

Carl M. Albero, who recently retired from St. Mary’s Board of Directors and joined our Honorary Board, is a huge Yankees fan. He gave St. Mary’s a treasure trove of Yankees memorabilia to go on display at The Albero House, our home for adults with disabilities; Carl and his wife, Carol Anne, were the home’s main benefactors.

Bob Kraly, a partner with Image Business Interiors, one of St. Mary’s staunchest corporate supporters, recently dropped by with his son to add something personal to the collection: the baseball card of his father, Steve, who pitched for the Yankees in 1953. His father passed away in 2016 at the age of 86.

“St. Mary’s is truly a special place!” Bob’s 12-year-old son, Ty, wrote in a thank-you card after he and his father visited.

Thank you to the Kraly family for your generosity!


Eds note: A version of this article originally appeared in the Winter 2016-2017 issue of our Journeys newsletter. You can read that issue and others on our website here

St. Mary’s CFO Wayne Jones to Become CEO

2016-10-12-wayne-jones-headshotNORFOLK, Va. (Oct. 17, 2016) — Wayne Jones, chief financial officer of St. Mary’s Home, has been selected by the Board of Directors to become CEO of the nonprofit residence serving children and and adults who have severe disabilities.

Jones will succeed William C. Giermak, who will retire Oct. 28 after 12 years as CEO.

“Mr. Jones has worked closely with Mr. Giermak,” said Board President Nancy Wilcox. “He is well prepared to take over the day-to-day operations at the Home and create with the Board a strategic plan for St. Mary’s future.”

Jones, 60, has been CFO of St. Mary’s since June 2005. He has devoted his career to health care finance and administration, including more than 20 years at Bon Secours Maryview Medical Center in Portsmouth, Va.

“I am very proud to work at St. Mary’s, an organization with an incredible mission,” Jones said. “I am really looking forward to this new position. Mr. Giermak has done a wonderful job as CEO, and he has set a high bar.”

Jones holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the College of William & Mary and a master’s degree in health care administration from the Medical College of Virginia/Virginia Commonwealth University.

Jones grew up in Smithfield, Va., where he lives with his wife, Fran, a retired teacher. They have two sons and a grandson.

Giermak, who turned 65 in April, said he was pleased that the Board selected Jones as the new CEO.

“This allows for some measure of continuity,” Giermak said. “More important than continuity is a new voice in leadership to help St. Mary’s staff accomplish even more to give the children and adults here a good life.”

About St. Mary’s Home: St. Mary’s Home, formerly St. Mary’s Home for Disabled Children, in Norfolk provides around-the-clock, specialized residential care for 88 children and 12 adults from throughout Virginia who have multiple, severe disabilities. For more information, visit www.SaintMarysHome.org.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Sonja Barisic, APR
Director of Marketing Communications
St. Mary’s Home
(757) 352-2700 | cell (757) 412-7071
sbarisic@smhdc.org

Download a PDF of the news release.

Fall Celebration Raises $27,000 to Support Individuals with Disabilities

2016-09-23-ifya-brandon-with-julie-clyburn

Brandon, who lives at St. Mary’s Home, and Julie Clyburn, a member of St. Mary’s recreational therapy department, were among close to 400 people who enjoyed the “It’s Fall, Y’all” fundraiser and celebration on Sept. 23. (photo courtesy of Hampton Roads Photography)

It's Fall, Y'allNORFOLK, Va. (Oct. 14, 2016) — About 400 people jammed to bluegrass and enjoyed BBQ, oysters and craft beer at the first “It’s Fall, Y’all” celebration at St. Mary’s Home, which raised nearly $27,000 to support children and adults with disabilities.

PRA Group, Inc., a longtime supporter of the nonprofit, donated $25,000 and was the presenting sponsor of the event, which took place Sept. 23 on the grounds of St. Mary’s.

“It was wonderful to see so many of the children and young adults who live at St. Mary’s have fun in their own front yard and connect with our friends and supporters in the community during this great event,” said William C. Giermak, St. Mary’s CEO.

Tradition Brewing Co., a new craft brewery in Newport News, partnered with St. Mary’s to provide adult beverages. Guests also enjoyed BBQ from Malbon Bros., salty seaside oysters from Welton’s Seafood, vegetarian food truck fare, cornhole and other family friendly activities, a tour of St. Mary’s and live bluegrass music by More Perfect Jones.

In addition, Kid2Kid, St. Mary’s youth volunteer group had desserts for sale and a silent auction table, and volunteers from Junior League of Norfolk-Virginia Beach, Inc., were on hand to feature their cookbook and assist with pouring wine.

To the delight of guests of all ages, Spiderman, Captain America and Iron Man also appeared during the event, courtesy of the Hampton Roads Superhero Squad, a group dedicated to children with special needs.

Additional sponsors of It’s Fall, Y’all were The Norfolk Sertoma Club; Peter Decker Children’s Charity,  Coastal Prosthetics and Orthotics; The Norfolk Stationery Co., Inc.; National Seating & Mobility; Strayseed Landscaping & Design; MRI-CT Diagnostics and Birsch. Media partners were 92.9 FM The Wave and 97.3 The Eagle.

About PRA Group: As a global leader in acquiring and collecting nonperforming loans, PRA Group, Inc. returns capital to banks and other creditors to help expand financial services for consumers in the Americas and Europe. With almost 4,000 employees worldwide, PRA Group companies collaborate with customers to help them resolve their debt and provide a broad range of additional revenue and recovery services to business and government clients. For more information, please visit www.pragroup.com.

About St. Mary’s Home: St. Mary’s Home, formerly St. Mary’s Home for Disabled Children, in Norfolk provides around-the-clock, specialized residential care for 88 children and 12 adults from throughout Virginia who have multiple, severe disabilities. For more information, visit SaintMarysHome.org.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Sonja Barisic, APR
Director of Marketing Communications
St. Mary’s Home
(757) 352-2700 | cell (757) 412-7071
sbarisic@smhdc.org

Download a PDF of the news release.

St. Mary’s Community Liaison Connects Children, Volunteers

2016-09-21-carlton-farmer-headshotNORFOLK, Va. (Oct. 13, 2016) — Carlton Farmer has become the community liaison for St. Mary’s Home, coordinating volunteers who assist in many ways with the children and young adults who live at the nonprofit.

Farmer has been with St. Mary’s in various capacities since 2010. He has worked as a recreational therapy assistant, recreational therapy team leader and a direct support professional, or DSP. Most recently, he worked as a part-time DSP for St. Mary’s while also working as a teaching assistant and lead teacher during the summers at the Home’s school, which operates under a partnership with the REACH (Raising Expectations and Abilities for Children with Complex Health Needs) program of Southeastern Cooperative Educational Programs.

“My days of work do not feel like work at all and are filled with connecting those who live at St Mary’s with people from the community,” Farmer said. For example, volunteers may read to the children, spending one-on-one time with them or help with programs at the Home that include music, art, dance, pottery and more.

Farmer holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Old Dominion University. As community liaison, he succeeds Shirley Justice, who retired earlier this year.

About St. Mary’s Home: St. Mary’s Home, formerly St. Mary’s Home for Disabled Children, in Norfolk provides around-the-clock, specialized residential care for 88 children and 12 adults from throughout Virginia who have multiple, severe disabilities. For more information, visit www.SaintMarysHome.org.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Sonja Barisic, APR
Director of Marketing Communications
St. Mary’s Home
(757) 352-2700 | cell (757) 412-7071
sbarisic@smhdc.org

Download a PDF of the news release.

St. Mary’s Social Worker Promoted to Director of Social Work

christine-parker-headshotNORFOLK, Va. (Oct. 13, 2016) — Christine Parker, MSW, was promoted to director of social work for St. Mary’s Home, which cares for children and adults who have severe disabilities.

Parker has been with St. Mary’s for about 14 years, working as an activity assistant for six years before moving into the role of social worker. As director of social work, she is the main liaison among St. Mary’s, the children and and young adults who live at the nonprofit and their families and legal guardians. She succeeds Melanie Pérez-López, who retired earlier this year.

Parker earned her undergraduate degree in human service counseling from Old Dominion University and her master’s degree in social work from Norfolk State University.

“I enjoy coming to work every day because I know the ultimate goal is to enrich the lives and the families of the young people we serve,” said Parker, whose passion for working with children started at an early age through babysitting and volunteering for others.

About St. Mary’s Home: St. Mary’s Home, formerly St. Mary’s Home for Disabled Children, in Norfolk provides around-the-clock, specialized residential care for 88 children and 12 adults from  throughout Virginia who have multiple, severe disabilities. For more information, visit www.SaintMarysHome.org.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Sonja Barisic, APR
Director of Marketing Communications
St. Mary’s Home
(757) 352-2700 | cell (757) 412-7071
sbarisic@smhdc.org

Download a PDF of the news release.

 

St. Mary’s CEO to Retire After 40-Year Career in Healthcare

St. May's Home children.

Salim, who lives at St. Mary’s Home, checks out the office of CEO William C. Giermak, who plans to retire from the nonprofit in October. (photo by Chris Tyree for St. Mary’s Home)

WilliamGiermakNORFOLK, Va. (Aug. 30, 2016) — William C. Giermak, who led St. Mary’s Home through expansion to care for adults as well as children with severe disabilities, will retire in October after 12 years as the nonprofit’s CEO and a 40-year healthcare career devoted to making a difference in the community.

“I just thought it was the right time for me and my family, and the right time for St. Mary’s to have new leadership and a new voice,” said Giermak, who turned 65 earlier this year.

“It’s a good time because the Home is in good shape,” said Giermak, who previously was president and CEO of Obici Health System. “St. Mary’s is a good place, with the potential to be even better. I’m proud of the people here. The care is wonderful. What they accomplish here to help give the children a good life is really remarkable and impressive, and we can do even more.”

Giermak’s last day will be Oct. 28, almost exactly 12 years after he arrived at St. Mary’s, which then cared for 88 children and young adults who have severe, multiple disabilities. Highlights of Giermak’s tenure include opening the $3 million Albero House in 2013 to care for 12 adults older than 21, creating a recreational therapy program and hiring a respiratory therapist and speech therapists to enhance St. Mary’s services.

St. Mary’s Board of Directors will make a decision shortly about Giermak’s successor.

“We thank Mr. Giermak for his dedicated service to the children and young adults of St. Mary’s Home and The Albero House, and we wish him a happy retirement,” said Nancy Wilcox, president of St. Mary’s Board of Directors.

“St. Mary’s has grown under his strong and caring leadership, and he leaves the Home prepared for future opportunities to help even more families on our campus and beyond,” Wilcox said.

Giermak earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the College of William & Mary and a master’s degree in health administration from the Medical College of Virginia/Virginia Commonwealth University.

With an interest in business related to social service, he began his career as assistant administrator at Lewis-Gale Hospital in Salem, Va., working for Hospital Corporation of America.

After two years, he moved to Crockett General Hospital in rural Lawrenceburg, Tenn., becoming one of HCA’s youngest hospital administrators. He was 27.

Three years later, Giermak assumed leadership of HCA’s Terre Haute Regional Hospital in Indiana. During his seven years there, the hospital started an open-heart surgery program, as well as an in-patient psychiatric unit and an in-patient drug and alcohol treatment program.

Wanting to move back to Virginia, Giermak accepted the position of president and CEO of Obici Health System in Suffolk in 1988. He oversaw the opening of Obici’s $85 million replacement facility, a cutting-edge hospital that became a model for other hospitals built around Virginia.

Giermak is a founding board member of the Faith Inclusion Network, as well as a member of the Rotary Club of Hampton Roads and a board member of the Town Point Club in Norfolk. In retirement, he is looking forward to relaxing with his wife, Betty, their three children and their new grandchild.

About St. Mary’s Home: St. Mary’s Home, formerly St. Mary’s Home for Disabled Children, in Norfolk provides around-the-clock, specialized residential care for 88 children and 12 adults from throughout Virginia who have multiple, severe disabilities. For more information, visit www.SaintMarysHome.org.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Sonja Barisic, APR
Director of Marketing Communications
St. Mary’s Home
(757) 352-2700 | cell (757) 412-7071
sbarisic@smhdc.org

###

Download a PDF of the news release.

PRA Group Donates $25,000 to St. Mary’s Home for “It’s Fall, Y’all”

PRA Group check presentation to SMH

PRA Group presented St. Mary’s Home with a check for $40,000 at the St. Mary’s Auxiliary’s Board Gala and Auction on April 16. The donation included $25,000 to sponsor the “It’s Fall, Y’all” fall event and $15,000 to support the Gala. From left: William C. Giermak, CEO of St. Mary’s Home, and PRA Group’s Latisha Owens, deputy general counsel, and Chris Lagow, senior vice president, general counsel. (photo courtesy of Carl Anderson, Hampton Roads Photography, for St. Mary’s Home)

NORFOLK, Va. (July 12, 2016) — St. Mary’s Home will hold its first “It’s Fall, Y’all” celebration, presented by PRA Group, with food, live music and family friendly activities to mark the change of season.

“It’s Fall, Y’all” will take place Friday, Sept. 23, the day after the start of autumn, from 5-8 p.m. on the grounds of St. Mary’s Home, across from Sentara Leigh Hospital.

PRA Group, a longtime supporter of the nonprofit home for children and young adults with disabilities, has generously donated $25,000 toward the event. Proceeds will help provide quality, specialized care each young person at St. Mary’s can achieve his or her fullest potential.

Coastal Prosthetics & Orthotics and National Seating & Mobility also are sponsoring the event. Tradition Brewing Co., a new craft brewery in Newport News, has partnered with St. Mary’s to provide adult beverages. Guests also will enjoy BBQ from Malbon Bros., salty seaside oysters from Welton’s Seafood, wine, special desserts provided by St. Mary’s Kid2Kid youth volunteer group, cornhole and other activities, tours of St. Mary’s and live bluegrass music by More Perfect Jones.

Tickets can be purchased online at SaintMarysHome.org or in person at St. Mary’s Home,6171 Kempsville Circle, Norfolk. Early bird tickets purchased by Sept. 1 cost $35 per adult, $20 per youth (under age 21) and $100 for a family pack (two adults and up to three children). After Sept. 1, tickets will increase to $45 for adult, $25 for youth and $125 for the family pack.

About PRA Group: As a global leader in acquiring and collecting nonperforming loans, PRA Group (Nasdaq:PRAA) returns capital to banks and other creditors to help expand financial services for consumers in the Americas and Europe. PRA Group companies collaborate with customers to help them resolve their debt and provide a broad range of additional revenue and recovery services to business and government clients.

PRA has been recognized as one of Fortune’s 100 Fastest-Growing Companies for three years, one of Forbes‘ Best Small Companies in America for eight consecutive years and one of Forbes’ Best Midsize Employers in America in 2016. For more information, visit www.pragroup.com.

About St. Mary’s Home: St. Mary’s Home in Norfolk provides around-the-clock, specialized residential care for 88 children and 12 adults from throughout Virginia who have multiple, severe disabilities. With the opening of The Albero House at St. Mary’s in 2013 to provide care for adults 22 and over, St. Mary’s Home has shortened its name from St. Mary’s Home for Disabled Children. For more information, visit www.SaintMarysHome.org.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Sonja Barisic, APR
Director of Marketing Communications
St. Mary’s Home
(757) 352-2700 | cell (757) 412-7071
sbarisic@smhdc.org

###

Download a PDF of the news release.

Oh, the Places They Go! Peer Play Pals Explore the Community

Peer Pals1

Making art at the Children’s Museum of Virginia. St. Mary’s Peer Play Pals program is celebrating its two-year anniversary this June.

The littlest kids at St. Mary’s play a lot, enjoying activities in a colorful classroom designed to stimulate their senses as part of our Infant and Toddler Program.

Fridays, though, are different. That’s when they go on field trips: to the new Slover Library in downtown Norfolk, the Children’s Museum of Virginia in Portsmouth, the Virginia Beach Oceanfront, and even the Busch Gardens amusement park an hour away in Williamsburg, to name just a few places they’ve been.

Fridays are when Iker, Mackenzie, Jeremyiah and Anthony explore their community. Coming along for the fun are their young friends who don’t have disabilities.

All these adventures are part of Peer Play Pals. The program began as a pilot project in June 2014 as a way for kids at St. Mary’s to play with other kids their own age, in places they’d never been, said Nicole Hoskins Jones, our director of recreational therapy.

Nicole’s initial idea to form a playgroup at her son’s school evolved into a group based at St. Mary’s, with several St. Mary’s employees and their children, as well as both of Nicole’s young sons, involved.

“They’re all just being kids. Sometimes they share. Sometimes they don’t. Sometimes there are tears,” Nicole said. “Kids don’t know disabilities. They’re just kids. Everybody learns from this.”

Today, there are two groups of Peer Pals, kids three and under who go on field trips during the day on Fridays, and kids ages four to six who started with the program and are now in school but get together once a month or so.

The trips include activities, snacks and lunches at restaurants. Donors like you make the Peer Pals program possible by giving Visa gift cards that help pay for meals and gift cards to places like Build-a-Bear Workshop.

Sometimes the kids get together at St. Mary’s, for example, holding a “Friendsgiving” dinner around Thanksgiving. The kids shopped for the food and helped prepare a little feast.

Peer Play Pals is about peer modeling, said Erin Vicinski, who runs the Infant and Toddler Program and facilitates Peer Play Pals.

“Kids learn from each other, learn through play,” Erin said. “They can watch me play all day long, but it’s not the same. They see what other kids are doing, how to play appropriately. It’s about social development, to learn what’s acceptable and not acceptable.”

And it’s about being free to be a kid – and to explore.

This article is from the spring 2016  issue of our newsletter, Journeys. Read the entire issue online here. To request a print copy of the newsletter, contact Sonja Barisic, APR, director of marketing communications, at sbarisic@smhdc.org or (757) 352-2700.