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SERV Centers staff honored by NJPRA

Five SERV Centers of New Jersey staff members, ranging from Senior Residential Counselor, Residential Counselor, Residential Program Manager and Coordinator, were among 13 individuals who received Recognition Awards on June 16 from the New Jersey Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association.

The awardees, all nominated by their peers, “have met stringent criteria for their exemplary practice of psychiatric rehabilitation service delivery as practitioners and supervisors.” They were honored during a breakfast held at Forsgate Country Club in Monroe.

SERV staff members honored for their achievements were Ameerah Rasheed, Residential Senior Counselor in Hudson County; Gladys Santiago, Residential Senior Counselor in Passaic County; Christy Hudnett, Residential Program Manager in Middlesex; Don Moraud, Residential Senior Counselor in Union; and Kelly Rufe, Coordinator in Mercer County.

All of the honorees now have a chance to be selected by the NJPRA Board Nominating Committee as the 2016 Practitioner and Supervisor of the Year, who will be named at the NJPRA annual conference in November.

Champions and finalists at 26th Volley For SERV

Congratulations to the champions and finalists at the 26th Annual Volley For SERV Tennis Tournament, which took place June 15 at Cherry Valley Country Club, Bedens Brook Club and Princeton Community Park.

Here are the results:

  • Women’s A: Champions Gwen Guidice and Louise Gengler-Thomas; Finalists Kimberly Vine and Kei Imamishi
  • Women’s B: Champions Michele Kiszely and Dawn Snider; Finalists Ann LoPrinzi and Robin Wolfe
  • Men’s A: Champions Gino Carolsella and David Przystasz; Finalists Will DiPietro and Andrew Lieu.
  • Men’s B: Champions Rich Anderson and Joe Punia; Finalists Tom Caruso and Hai Nguyen.
  • Mixed A: Champions Ginny Mason and Rob Howland; Finalists Kimberly Vine and Dan Khoo.
  • Mixed B: Champions Sena Hill and Barry Szaferman; Finalists Donna and Mark Nagel.

BSS Coordinator promoted to new Director’s position

Vanessa Bethea-Miller, a Coordinator of Behavior Support Services (BSS) for SERV Achievement Centers, recently was promoted to the new position of Director of Behavior Support Services.

“Vanessa brings with her a wealth of knowledge and experience in the field and we are excited about her new role,” said Pauline Simms, COO of SERV Centers of New Jersey, in making the announcement.

In this new position, Ms. Bethea-Miller will develop a BSS Department for both SERV Achievement Centers (intellectual/developmental disabilities) and SERV Centers (mental illness). She will oversee all Behavior Support Services that are provided to residents as well as individuals in the community. These include Functional Behavior Assessments and reviewing all behavior plans.

“I am truly thankful for this opportunity and I look forward to utilizing my skills and education to further SERV’s BSS Department,” she said.

Ms. Bethea-Miller has a master’s degree in Applied Psychology-Applied Behavior Analysis from Rider University, a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Thomas Edison State College and an associate’s degree in business administration from Mercer County Community College. She is pursuing a PhD. degree in Applied Behavior Analysis at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology in Washington, D.C.

Her professional certifications include Board-Certified Behavior Analyst, Behavior Safety Certified Trainer in Safety-Care™ and Protecting Human Research Participants. She holds memberships in the N.J. Association of Behavior Analysis, Inc. and the Association of Professional Behavior Analysts. Bethea-Miller also is a behavior consultant for Brett DiNovi & Associates in Cherry Hill, working with youth with intellectual disabilities.

SERV Centers, Inc. names Director of Southern Region

EWING, NJ -- J. Barrett Hughes, a former Coordinator in the SERV Centers of New Jersey (SCNJ) Central Region, recently was named Director of SCNJ’s Southern Region. In this position, he will oversee residential and partial-care day programs for mental health consumers (clients) in all of Mercer County.

“Barrett brings with him the awareness, skill and knowledge required for this demanding position and we are excited about his new role at the company,” said Pauline Simms, SCNJ’s Chief Operating Officer.

SCNJ provides residential and support services to more than 1,300 adults recovering from serious and persistent mental illness in five counties: Mercer, Middlesex, Hudson, Passaic and Union.

Hughes began his employment with SERV in 2008 as a Residential Program Manager in Middlesex County and in 2011 was promoted to Coordinator.

He is a graduate of Monmouth University with a master’s degree in professional counseling and Loyola College in Baltimore with a bachelor’s degree in psychology/biology. He is a National Certified Counselor with the National Board for Certified Counselors, Inc. and a Licensed Professional Counselor with the Board of Marriage and Family Therapy.

In 2014, Hughes received the New Jersey Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association Award for helping to create a vegetable and herb community garden along with consumers at a group home in Middlesex County. The following year, he expanded the program and helped to create a raised garden bed with consumers at another group home in Middlesex.

Hughes, a resident of Howell, said he is looking forward to working with the Southern Region staff and consumers.

“SERV is not just a job or a career; it has become part of my life,” he said. “Prior to my experience here, the Recovery model (consumer-centered) was an unknown. Now it is something I try to foster on a daily basis with all whom I encounter.

“It is my hope to bring a new excitement for Recovery to the Southern Region,” he added. “I hope to establish relationships with staff and residents alike that are motivating and bring out their best qualities.”