Congratulations to the Walden Wraparound Program at The Learning Center for the Deaf for receiving the MetroWest Health Foundation’s 2014 Deborah Blumer Community Health Leadership Award.
The award recognizes an individual or organization that has demonstrated outstanding leadership in improving health and/or health care in the MetroWest area by advancing the health health of the community in three key ways: 1) mobilizing individuals, resources, and organizations to confront important community health issues; 2) developing new services and supports to improve the health of vulnerable populations; and 3) raising the level of awareness of an important health issue in the MetroWest area.
Judy Vreeland, president and executive director of The Learning Center for the Deaf and Ashley O'Niell an Intensive Care Coordinator in the Walden Wraparound Program attended the presentation to receive the award.
The Walden Wraparound Program at The Learning Center for the Deaf works tirelessly to help families with deaf members receive the support and services they need to create healthy, successful home environments. An often overlooked, misunderstood, and underserved population, especially in mental health treatment, the Deaf Community has responded tremendously to the services provided by the Walden Wraparound Program because all of the services are fully accessible in American Sign Language, often by Deaf staff. Providing services in the language used in the home and by staff who understand and are respectful of Deaf Culture allows the Walden Wraparound Program team to meet vital needs of the MetroWest Community.
Serving families who have youth with significant emotional or behavioral issues and who have at least one deaf member, The Walden Wraparound Program is providing the support and intervention families need to improve their communication, to create healthy and stable homes, and to keep families intact.
The Walden Wraparound Program at The Learning Center for the Deaf is a Community Service Agency (CSA) established under the Massachusetts’ Child Behavioral Health Initiative in 2009. The Walden Wraparound Program was selected as one of only three specialty CSAs. Chosen to serve families with deaf members, it was selected as a linguistic minority CSA. (The other two specialty CSA’s focus on African-American and Hispanic populations.)
Prior to the Walden Wraparound Program’s selection as a specialty CSA, Wraparound services were only available to deaf people who were also receiving services from the Department of Children and Families. The Walden Wraparound Program began in 2009, with two full-time and one half-time staff, serving ten families in the MetroWest area -- providing Intensive Care Coordination (ICC) and Family Stabilization and Training (FS&T). Since 2009, it has grown to 8 fulltime employees and two part-time employees in MetroWest, and recently opened a satellite office in Springfield with two additional staff. All staff are fluent in ASL and over 50% of the staff are deaf. The program now serves approximately 40 families, and is still growing. In addition to providing ICC and FS&T services, the program now offers Therapeutic Mentoring (TM) to youth.
Program staff have worked very closely with state officials as well as other collateral agencies to raise awareness about Wraparound services and deaf families who have been underserved to date. In addition, Program Director Andrea Wohl has worked collaboratively with Advocates Psychiatric Emergency Services Director and The Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) to propose a Care Navigator Service (CNS) to improve statewide access to culturally sensitive and competent physical and behavioral health care services to the Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing community. If approved, this Care Navigator will provide accurate information, appropriate referrals, advocacy, and recommendations in order to provide accessible and culturally sensitive care to families with deaf members.
The work done by the exceptional clinicians and staff of the Walden Wraparound Program has resulted in families being able to stay together in their homes.
For more information on the MetroWest Health Foundation, visit their website at http://www.mwhealth.org
For more information on the Walden Wraparound Program, visit their website at: http://www.tlcdeaf.org/wraparound
Founded in 1970 and headquartered on a 14 acre campus in Framingham, Massachusetts, The Learning Center for the Deaf is the largest provider of services to deaf and hard-of-hearing children in New England and provides education and support services to over 1,500 children and adults annually from more than 94 communities in Massachusetts and from 14 other states. The Learning Center for the Deaf is the largest employer of the deaf in New England.
For more information on The Learning Center for the Deaf, visit www.tlcdeaf.org.