Spring 2020
Xmas tree

Thanks to those who sponsored our Holiday Party on December 5. We greatly appreciate your support!

Response to COVID-19

In light of the current public health crisis, PLACES has updated its emergency action plan to include pandemics and initiated an internal educational campaign for staff, clients, residents and tenants. We are assessing the situation daily and making changes as needed to protect the people we serve and our staff. – Roy Craig, Executive Director

Dates to Commemorate Mental Health

Self-Injury Awareness Month – March

World Bipolar Day – March 30

National Minority Health Month – April 

Mental Health Month – May 

World Schizophrenia Awareness Day – May 24

PTSD Awareness Day – June 27

We ♥ Effort & Achievement

February is the time when PLACES recognizes its clients, tenants and residents who have worked hard to achieve their goals in education, vocational training, community service and recovery over the past year. Here are honorees who received awards at the Client Recognition event on February 21.

Adult Care Facilities Residents of the Year

Gascho Gardens: Lona B.
Marty’s House: Davone H. Randolph House: Lisa J. Trotwood: James F.

Housing First Tenants of the Year

Belvo: Scott H.
Cobblegate: Pat M.
Imperial Court: Arlanda S.
Tangy Court: Don W.

Supportive Living Client of the Year

Cedric M.

Supportive Living Program Graduates

Jarod E., Matthew H., Anthony L., Terry M., Michael R. Educational Achievement Awards Richard C., Samuel C., Diona D., Faith E., Jarod E., Frank G., Renee G., Tarnisha G., Eloise H., John H., Loretta H., Alexander J., Lloyd K., Gilbert M., Robert M., Arnold S., Mercedes T.

Community Service Award

Cynthia C., Don W., James G., Renee G., Eloise H., Richard H., Rhonda G., Stephen M., Jennifer R., Kristy S., Mercedes T.

Former ADAMHS Executive Joins PLACES Board
Marions Team

Marion L. Jackson, former director of operations for Montgomery County’s Alcohol, Drug Addiction & Mental Health Services (ADAMHS) Board, joined the PLACES Board of Trustees this past September. Jackson, who retired from ADAMHS after 29 years, had been responsible for MIS, finance, personnel, claims and enrollment for the board.

A graduate of Columbia University with a master’s degree in finance, Jackson earned his bachelor’s degree in accounting from Central State University. He spent a number of years working in the private sector and in public accounting before joining ADAMHS.

Jackson has been an active volunteer in the Dayton area for a decade. Today he serves as ex-officio president of the Dayton Legends Softball Club (top row, second from left), which supports about 10 senior softball teams in the area. He is also First VP of the Dayton Amateur Softball Commission, regularly plays in senior soft-ball tournaments, and worked to bring the Wounded Warrior Amputee Team to play the Dayton Legends at Wright State University.

Thanking Our Sponsors

PLACES couldn’t provide the special events that make life more enjoyable for our residents, clients and tenants without the help of our generous sponsors. We’d like to recognize those people and organizations who provided their support in 2019.

Diamond Sponsors
Dr. Elizabeth Hardy & Rick Omlo

Platinum Sponsors
Gayle Rominger & Tom Henigha

Gold Sponsors
Tim Albro Brian & Barbara Degnan (Degnan Fund)

Silver Sponsors
Horenstein, Nicholson & Blumenthal

PS&E /Andy Storar, Mike Bl

KeyBank Corp.

McGohan Brabender/Gene Rau 

Barbara Miller

Montgomery County Planning Commission

Dr. & Mrs. Steven Mueller

Rankin & Houser

Bill & Anne Schuerman

Bronze Sponsors

David’s United Church of Christ 

Col. Kevin Degnan & Anne Degnan

Sam & Vicky Tuten/Kathy Bogenschutz

General Support

Roy & Meg Begley, Mark & Sue Degnan, Mike & Jackie Degnan, Barbara Friedly, Geoff & Kathy Garrison, Kay Kelbley, Doug Keown, Rosella P. Mastandrea, Marcia Moore, Laurie Quill, Ty Payne

Social Workers: Activists for Change

March is National Social Work Month, a time to recognize the important contributions that social workers make to the betterment of our communities.

By Brian Wlodarczyk, LISW-S., Director of Clinical Services

Social workers today, like millions of Americans, are concerned by the rising costs and glaring flaws in our healthcare delivery system. Yet we begin 2020 with great hope for a genuine reexamination of our health priorities and a shift in emphasis to preven-tion and integrated health and wellness services. If this is achieved, social workers will be on the cutting edge of this trend.

Many of us began our careers during times of prosperity and peace, when resources were plentiful, families were intact, and patients’ needs were at a minimum. Today we are working in the midst of crisis.

“Social workers are risk-takers. We are doers, advocates, people who make things happen. When there are gaps in service, we build bridges.”

Homelessness is on the rise, our clients lack insurance and prescription coverage, and they wait longer to treat their mental and substance conditions. By the time we see them in our agency, they are desperately in need of treatment, complicated by co-morbidities and social conditions that prevent them from returning to a healing environment. Successful discharges are more complex and more acute than in years past, and our creative solutions are running dry. The challenges we face are real, they are serious, and they are many.

What is so reassuring in the face of these challenges is the enduring spirit of our profession. Social workers pursue what is right for their clients because it’s the right thing to do. There are no short cuts. They don’t settle for less.

We hold each other accountable for excellent customer service, not only to our clients but to our co-workers as well. Our daily interactions must be based on mutual respect and integrity. As we work side by side, we must embody the spirit of service and gratitude.

As a nation, we know the power of teamwork, of finding meaning in something greater than ourselves. At PLACES, we assist our co-workers when our workload is light. We look for chances to pick up an extra case when we see an officemate is struggling. It takes courage to advocate for your clients when no one else will, to smile even at the end of a long, hard day. But it’s part of our job.

We understand that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task. It is the source of our confidence. This is the profession of Social Work.

TIPS for TIC (Trauma-Informed Care)

Our Winter and Summer 2019 issues discussed the impact of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). PLACES will be working in 2020 towards building a trauma-informed workforce to help staff deal with those traumatized by adverse experiences.

Trauma-Informed Care (TIC) begins with an understanding of the impact trauma can have across behavioral healthcare settings, services and populations. The TIC approach recognizes that context plays a significant role in how individuals perceive and process traumatic events, whether acute or chronic.

TIC requires vigilance in anticipating and avoiding institutional processes and individual practices that are likely to re-traumatize individuals. It upholds the importance of consumer participation in the development, delivery and evaluation of services.

PLACES will be developing formal trainings throughout the year, and each issue of our newsletter will highlight a component of trauma- informed care which we will be calling TIC TIPS.

What is trauma?

Individual trauma results from one or more events or a set of circumstances that is experienced by an individual as physically or emotionally harmful or life threatening. Those experiences have lasting adverse effects on the individual’s functioning and mental, physical, social, emotional or spiritual well-being.

The 3 E’s: Events, Experiences & Effects

The American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM–5) requires all conditions classified as “trauma and stressor-related disorders” to include exposure to a traumatic or stressful event as a diagnostic criterion.

The individual’s experience of these events or circumstances helps to determine whether it is a traumatic event. In other words, a particular event may be traumatic for one individual and not for another.

Examples of adverse effects include a person’s inability to cope with the normal stresses and strains of daily living; to trust and benefit from relationships; to manage cognitive processes, such as memory, attention, thinking; to regulate behavior; or to control the expression of emotions.

The 4 R’s: Assumptions of the Trauma-Informed Approach

A program, organization or system that is considered to be “trauma-informed” has these characteristics.

1. It realizes the widespread impact of trauma and understands potential paths for recovery.

2. It recognizes the signs and symptoms of trauma in clients, families, staff and others involved with the system.

3. It responds by fully integrating knowledge about trauma into policies, procedures, and practices.

4. It seeks to actively resist re-traumatization.

New Members of the PLACES Team

Mary Ellen Berens

Mental Health Awareness Month

Mary Ellen Berens joined PLACES as Accounting Manager on September 30. Prior to coming on board, Mary Ellen was employed as the accountant at RG Properties, a position she held for more than six years.

Mary Ellen earned her bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Finance from Wright State University and has worked as an accountant at various companies in the Dayton area. She and her husband have lived in Centerville for many years.

“I’m very excited to be working at PLACES and supporting the company’s mission,” Berens said.

”Mary Ellen’s education and experience make her an excellent fit for PLACES,” said executive director Roy Craig. “We are excited to have her join our team and administrative staff.”


John Bayudan-Stegen 

Mental Health Awareness Month

John Bayudan-Stegen joined PLACES in February as Supportive Living Program Manager. He earned Master’s degrees in social work from Boise State University and in administration with an emphasis on organizational development from the University of the Incarnate Word.

John has worked with Veteran Services in Wyoming and Ohio, both as program manager for the Supportive Services for Veteran Families program and as a social worker for the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, where his primary focus was to eliminate homelessness among vets. 

John is an Air Force veteran who completed 11 years of active duty service. For the past five years he has served as a First Sergeant in the Wyoming Air National Guard.  His professional goal is to provide the highest caliber of mental health services through teamwork, integrity, partnership and support.

Ringing in the New Year

Annual Holiday Event is festive celebration.

Mental Health Awareness Month

Kohler Banquet Center was the place to be on December 5 when more than 100 residents, clients, tenants, staff and board members kicked off the holiday season. In what is quickly becoming an annual tradition, the group gathered in the Lincoln Room for dining and dancing.