Clara Martin Center Hosts Annual Meeting and Awards Ceremony
Clara Martin Center (CMC) celebrated its Annual Meeting and Awards Ceremony on Wednesday November 3, 2021. At the event, CMC leadership, board members and staff joined together to celebrate the agency’s 55th year, review successes over the past year and honor those who have gone above and beyond to live its mission of providing acute and long-term behavioral health care services to the communities it serves. The annual event has traditionally been held at Vermont Technical Center as a group celebration however the past two years have brought us together virtually to maintain social distancing and the safety for all participants.
Melanie Gidney, Executive Director, opened the 2nd annual virtual/zoom meeting with the recognition of the Board of Trustees for their dedication and commitment to the agency as valued members, for their volunteer efforts, and for their efforts in supporting and giving back to staff whenever possible. Arny Spahn, Board President, was recognized for his 45 years of dedicated service to the agency Board of Trustees. Vice President of the Board, Dennis Brown was also honored & recognized for his 20 years of service. The serve alongside fellow board members, Rachel Westbrook,
Priscilla Spahn, Chief Loretta Stahlnaker, John Durkee, Dr. Page Spiess, and Carl Demrow. CMC also recognized the retirement of two long serving board members this past year, Ronald Schoolcraft and Marie Robbins who served 16 and 11 years respectively.
The Agency’s Vocational Service Award, the Arnold Spahn Community Service Award, and the Dr. Brewster Martin Excellence Award are given annually to honor the extraordinary work of individuals who best exemplify the agency philosophy of “People Helping People” through their actions during the past year and nominations are received from staff members.
The 2021 Vocational Service Award was presented to Leah Stewart, Owner of Hope Home Care, Inc., Bethel, Vermont. Just as compassion for others is at the heart of Clara Martin Center’s work in the field of mental health, it is a core trait of an area business, Hope Home Care, based in Bethel. Hope Home Care strives to help elderly and disabled individuals remain in their own homes by providing companionship, respite, meal preparation, light housekeeping, personal care, and shopping. Over time, four individuals from Clara Martin Center’s vocational programs have been hired by Hope
Home Care. This employer has carefully matched Care-Givers with its clientele and has been sensitive to the scheduling and flexibility needs of its workforce. Not only have the job experiences through Hope Home Care been a source of income, but vocational clients have cited how rewarding it is to contribute to the quality of life for others.
The 2021 Arnold Spahn Community Service Award was presented to Kym Anderson, Orange County Restorative Justice Center and COSA. Kym joined CMC’s Intensive Domestic Abuse Program (IDAP) supervision team. Through that work,
she was integral in supporting both probation officers and agency staff in facilitating groups for men with domestic violence convictions who were at high risk to re-offend. Kym’s work in this field demanded advocacy and supervision skills, compassion for those we served and a vision for hope, safety and justice for abused women. Kym works tirelessly, and with great compassion and skill to help individuals re-entering our community after incarceration. While Kym’s work focuses on helping individuals navigate the criminal legal system, Kym’s work demands a strong understanding of mental health and substance use needs and services as well. The bulk of Kym’s work involves organizing and participating in Circles of Support and Accountability (COSA) teams for our most high risk individuals. Additionally, Kym facilitates the Safe Driver program and most recently, she was an integral part of securing a new transitional housing grant for people coming out of prison into Orange County
The 2021 Dr. Brewster Martin Excellence Award is given annually to a Clara Martin Center staff member in honor of a caring country doctor whose support of this agency, and more importantly the citizens of the greater Orange County area, was strong and will always be remembered. This year, the award was presented to Aida Busconi, Practice Manager with Clara Martin Center at Central Vermont Substance Use Services.
“Aida is often described as the heart of Central Vermont Substance Use Services. She is always willing to take someone under her wing and teach them anything she can. Aida stretches outside her own job to help everyone in the office. She greets every client with a smile and such compassion. Aida has been with CVSAS for years and has helped hundreds of clients and staff to stand on their own!”
2021 Staff Longevity Awards:
- 30 years: Jena Trombly
- 20 years: Thomas Breslin, Melinda Farnham
- 15 years: Demetra Hazatones, Bridgette Herbst, Cori Luppino, Andrew Nuss, Paula Riviezzo
- 10 years: Shannon Brennan, Elliot Montrone
- 5 years: Samantha Diehl, Crystal Irish, Kate Lohutko, Courtney Ness, Jim Siegel, Melanie Williams, David Wrong