The Communicator – June 2017

Our Graduates Through The Years

Leonard Kirtz School celebrated its forty-ninth annual commencement ceremony on June 5th at A La Cart Catering in Canfield. The event featured keynote speaker Jeff Novak and a video presentation of “Our Graduates Through The Years” Congratulations Class of 2017!


Chelsea Maiese: Hard worker, pleasant, fun, lovable.

India Sheely: Resilient, persevering, outdoor person.

Alexander Hunt: Happy, handsome, hard worker, comical.

Andrew Mook : Mischievous, music lover, athletic.

Kyrie Sparks: Social, artistic, friendly, great smile.

Alexander Penn: Flirtatious, rascally, photogenic.

Rob’s Story

by Bob Hewitt

Rob Hewitt is a fairly well adjusted 44 year old male with Down Syndrome.  He works as a client aide at the Bev MASCO Workshop.  As an aide he assists other individuals with activities as assigned as well as some other regularly scheduled duties, including lunch set ups and helping push wheelchairs. He is very proud and protective of “his” peers and their schedules. He knows and can anticipate people’s nonverbal communications.  He has a strong desire to please people.

When he is not working, he enjoys eating out, wrestling, theme parks with roller coasters and interacting with peers at the dances at Meshel.  He likes NASCAR and participates in ARC activities such as the reading club and Library Night. He is also involved in Special Olympics, participating in volleyball and bowling. His path to today started with the Early Intervention and home visits through Kirtz School and many years of speech therapy. After several years at Kirtz, he spent several years in the Youngstown Public Schools and Choffin, where he worked on skills such as cleaning, washer and dryer operation and acquiring a knockout Texas Sheet cake recipe.  Then back to Kirtz for more school and graduation. He currently shares a duplex with three other roommates. Rob is who he is today thanks to many programs and opportunities offered by the MCBDD.

LKS Summer Camp

by Jeff Novak

The 2017 summer camp at Leonard Kirtz is appropriately named Camp Kirtz.  The 100 students from the local schools started June 26 and will be exposed to weekly themes straight out of Lake Chiti-wak-i.  While the counselors will make sure to hit the basics of reading and writing, they will also make sure to load up on the fun. Campers will enjoy days full of camp safety, crafts and activities.  So load up your backpack with your tents, fishing poles and hiking equipment.  You can leave the food at home because the dining hall will have you covered. The five week camp kicks off at 9:00 A.M. with getting to know your “bunk mates”, taking you through some of the camp basics and ending up with a traditional camp out night and all in time to load up the busses at 3:00 P.M. Campers should wear plenty of sunscreen, clothes that will tolerate some water and/or paint and most importantly be ready to have fun and meet new friends at Camp Kirtz 2017!

Superintendent’s Message

by Bill Whitacre

2017 marks the 50th anniversary of County Boards of Developmental Disabilities. In July 1967, members of the Ohio state legislature approved amended Senate Bill 169 which approved the creation of boards of DD across the state of Ohio. The bill went into effect 90 days after its passage and in October of 1967 boards officially became part of the Ohio Revised Code. Our system has seen many changes during that 50 year time period. With the most significant change still ahead of us as a result of the CMS mandates.

MCBDD has paid tribute to this 50 year legacy by offering stories about our history in the Communicator. On a larger scale the Ohio Association of County Boards (OACB) has been running a public relations campaign about stories across the entire state of Ohio. I would invite you to take a look at the website dedicated to the history of county boards and how we have arrived at who we are today. You can visit the website at As part of this campaign, OACB has asked every county board of DD to conduct a week of service for their local communities during the week of July 17-21, 2017. This is a good way for county boards of DD and the individuals and families they serve to give back to communities that have given so much to them.

We have an incredible support system here in Mahoning County and that would not be possible without the caring citizens that provide us the ability to assist nearly 1500 people and their families. To give back to our community MCBDD is planning a food drive the week of July 17-21. We will have collection stations at all of our facilities and are also planning a “fill the bus” campaign where we will reach out into local communities to help support our efforts. Please check our website for more information regarding the food drive. You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook for more information. Any help you are able to give during this food drive would be greatly appreciated.

Adult Services Professional Day – June 16, 2017

by Anne Louise White

Money Talks! As part of the Adult Services Professional Day Friday, June 16, we tapped our own secretary at Bev and jack of all trades Janaire Croom, a certified financial literacy coordinator, to assist us with some financial literacy in this session called Money Talks.

Personal development topics are always requested and it certainly never hurts to pick up some new financial tips and tricks. Lucinda Blanch, a BITS trainer who works with BITS creator Steve Molchan, led the BITS lecture portion this year, while our current BITS trainers handled the physical piece. Thank you trainers Ashley Carocci, Jackie Casalini, Matt Chizmar, Katie Dunn, George Gabriel, J.C. Huffman, John Mathews, Pam Palermo and Keri Saxon for your leadership.

Who says training doesn’t come in handy?

by Anne Louise White

CPR/FA training was put into action this past weekend as SSA Linda Reigelman went for what she thought would be a routine trip to the Dollar Store. As she walked in, a man collapsed. Reigelman immediately sprang into action. She checked to make sure the scene was safe and started shouting commands to bystanders, pointing just like the man in the video . . . “You, call 911. You, get a first aid kit.” CPR was not necessary, as the man had a pacemaker which shocked him to consciousness. But because he was injured and bleeding from his fall, Linda grabbed the gloves from the first aid kit and applied pressure, calmly talking to the man until the paramedics arrived.

Reigelman came looking for Tim Gabrelcik and me to thank us, her CPR trainers for that particular session. Reigelman stated, “Having that training just within the last two months kept things so fresh in my mind I knew exactly what to do.” The real hero is Linda — thank you! You made your CPR instructors look good. After this experience, it seems as if periodic refreshers for everyone would be a great idea to keep comfortable with the techniques.

Reigelman is not the only staff member with a CPR story, as HR Executive Assistant Brenda Holt had a similar experience after her training. While driving home one afternoon, she saw a driver on the other side of the road lose consciousness and drive his truck off the road into a ditch. She, as well as others, stopped to assist, and Holt opened the truck door yelling and hitting his shoulders, “Are you OK?!! Are you OK?!!” Just like she was trained, Holt dialed 911 and provided information to the dispatcher until the paramedics quickly arrived.

Torch Run Supports Special Olympics

from the Law Enforcement Torch Run Website

The “Flame of Hope” has been carried proudly by tens of thousands of officers in the last 30 years. This year we continue the long-standing tradition of raising funds and awareness for Special Olympics Ohio.

The Ohio Law Enforcement Torch Run was held June 15 to June 23 across the state. Law enforcement officers ran or biked the torch from different starting points across Ohio to the Opening Ceremonies of the State Summer Games at Ohio State University while raising funds and public awareness of Special Olympics Ohio. The Mahoning Valley leg was organized by Lt. Les Brode and started at Javit Court and proceeded up Mahoning Avenue to a reception at YSU with University President Jim Tressel.


MCBDD Wellness Challenge

by Tim Gabrelcik

MCBDD staff were challenged to walk 50,000 steps from May 26th through June 1st.  14 people took on the wellness challenge while their names were put into a raffle for a Cleveland Indians Franciso Lindor Jersey. Most of the participants exceeded their 50,000 step goal. Staff were noticed walking inside and outside of the buildings during lunch and breaks as they racked up their steps. The winner was Gail Froomkin of the Fiscal Department at the Board.  Many staff continue to work on their wellness goals related to physical activity, preventative wellness visits and educational activities. Those achieving the required points by November receive a $100 gift card. “Health is your greatest wealth. Invest wisely.”

Welcome new hires / seasonal staff

by Anne Louise White

Congratulations to the following staff, some joining us just for the summer and some year-round:


Shane Kuberry SSA

Stephine Robinson SSA


William Dallas – Sub Driver

Editha Dultra – Sub Adult Program Specialist

Anthony Gillins – Sub Driver

Cindy Habuda – Sub Adult Program Specialist

John Helsel – Sub Adult Program Specialist

David Phillips – Sub Driver Dave

Willison – Sub Driver

We’re glad you’ve joined the MCBDD team!

Back for the summer:

Richard Dunn – Sub Driver

Ryan Dunn – Sub Driver

Tina Fabry – Sub Adult Program Specialist

Jim Gahagan – Sub Driver

Ron Leone – Sub Driver

Beth Liszka – Sub Adult Program Specialist

Donnita Valerio – Sub Adult Program Specialist

Summer Sun First Aid

Adapted from

Sunburn can happen within 15 minutes of being in the sun, but the redness and discomfort may not be noticed for a few hours. Repeated sunburns can lead to skin cancer. Unprotected sun exposure is even more dangerous for people who have many moles or freckles, very fair skin and hair, or a family history of skin cancer.

Signs and Symptoms:

Mild Burn: Skin redness and warmth, pain, itchiness.

Severe Burn: Skin redness, blistering, pain, tingling, swelling, headache, nausea, fever and chills and dizziness.

What to Do:

Remove the person from the sun right away. Place in a cool (not cold) shower or bath — or apply cool compresses as often as needed.

Give extra fluids for the next 2 to 3 days.

Give the person ibuprofen or acetaminophen as directed, if needed, to relieve pain.

Use moisturizing creams or aloe gel to provide comfort. When going outside, all sunburned areas should be fully covered to protect the skin from the sun until healed.

Seek Emergency Medical Care if:

A sunburn forms blisters or is extremely painful The person has facial swelling from a sunburn The sunburn covers a large area The person has fever or chills after getting sunburned The person has a headache, confusion, or a feeling of faintness.

You see signs of dehydration (increased thirst or dry eyes and mouth)

Think Prevention!

Minimize summer sun exposure between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Wear protective clothing, sunglasses, and a hat.

Apply sunscreen that provides UVB and UVA protection with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15.

Apply sunscreen 15 to 30 minutes before sun exposure and 30 minutes after exposure begins, then reapply after the person has been swimming or sweating.

Although the best way to protect babies 6 months of age or younger is to keep them shaded, you can use minimal amounts of sunscreen (with an SPF of at least 15) on small exposed areas, like the face.

Reviewed by: Rupal Christine Gupta, MD

The Centre Embraces Change

by Ashley Carocci

The theme at the Centre @ Javit over the past several months has been positive change. Physical moves with individuals within the building, along with alterations to groups has been put in place to increase supervision, increase the number of community outings, and improve active treatment.

We have added additional staff participating in bus duty in the morning and afternoon. This allows for more supervision, and provides more assistance in bringing the individuals into their areas. Finally, we are adding to the size of our family at the Centre @ Javit. Approximately 15 individuals and three staff from our Boardman sites will be transferring to the Centre as of July 10, 2017. This brings our census to approximately 86 individuals. We want to welcome them to our family. As you can see we are on the move with more positive changes to come.

Special Recognition

John West  is a man with few words but will let you know what his needs and desires are. He enjoys swimming at the pools, music, movies, and never says no to lunch. He helps pack his own lunch possibly to ensure that his favorites are included. We are honored to acknowledge John for being his own person and his sense of adventure when new activities and settings are introduced.



Jason Guy has struggled with some medical issues in the past few months, which have not been quick or easy recoveries, however, Jason continues to strive and grow while he is at the Centre. He is a tough, determined person who brightens everyone’s day with his smile. 






Bev MASCO Production Team: Janice B. Daynen B. Dana B. Patrice C. Ben F. Paul H. Faith H. Pamela P. Rodney W. Kevin W. Gabriella A. Walter B. Heather B. Michelle B. Marie C. Christopher C. Cathy D. Curtis J. Scott J. Jermaine J. Ashley K. Steve K. Duayne L. Michael V. Debbie B. Richard B. Cornell C. Ramer C. Frank F. Michael G. Robert H. William M. Shawnta O. Abraham P. John R. Ciara S. Matthew T. Steven C. Charles E. Ron K. John L. James M. John M. Carl R. Heather. S. David T. Gertrude W. Staff Theresa, Kathy, Dotsy, Nancy and Jerry.



The 2017 Graduating Class of Leonard Kirtz School:

Alexander Hunt, Chelsea Maiese, Andrew Mook, India Sheely, Kyrie Sparks and Alexander Penn.


Amber Crago has done a wonderful job adjusting to several changes in habilitation room two. For various reasons there have been numerous workshop specialist in that area that have come and gone. Amber overall has done a terrific job despite the upheaval and changes in her work environment. We are proud of her accomplishments.






Randy Smith is a pleasant and polite young man who generously gives of himself to others and is also, as been said, a “gentleman’s gentleman. ” He is cooperative and at the same time knows how to stand his ground. As far as work is concerned, he is conscientious and works an hour for an hour’s work. He has the capability of socializing without being interfered with or interfering with others. Randy has an inviting personality and a welcoming posture that one “just feels comfortable” when with him.





Congratulations to the Mahoning County DD Special Olympics Volleyball Team and Coach Dr. Jack Gruber for capturing their first State Volleyball Championship in the traditional division.

Team members:

Paul A., Bryan D., Nick F., Michael G., Neil G., Rob H., James M., Samantha M., Lakeith R., David S., Mike T., and Shawn T.,defeated SOHC Quaker City Aces and Westerville en route to the Championship.

Coach Gruber noted “We showed resilience and played well as a team.”


Staff Recognitions

Jane Applegarth – 20 years

Mark Schneider – 20 years

Dotsy Arquilla – 15 years

Phillip Campbell – 15 years

Nancy Chizmar – 10 years

Frank Lisi – 10 years

Ashley Barnett – 5 years

For more information on MCBDD programs or activities, please visit us at:

If you have any questions or would like further information on the activities listed, Please contact Paul Iden at 330-797-3051.

July 2017 Calendar of Activities

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