Tuesday, August 31, 2010

End of Summer Vacation

Students at Latham are kept very busy. This week they are enjoying a “vacation” between the ending of the Summertide Program and the beginning of the new school year on Wednesday September 8th.

Since vacation weeks are a change in our regular schedule, it is important to have interesting outings and thoughtful activities to keep the kids engaged. This week the students will have the opportunity to go to the Southwick Zoo, attend the “High School Musical” at the Orleans Playhouse, climb Scargo Tower and enjoy Scargo Beach and finish the week with the annual End of Summer barbeque at Skaket Beach in Orleans. (This barbeque is traditionally planned for Thursday, but we had to bump it up to Friday because of the threat of Hurricane Earl.)

Students have had a wonderful summer and are going to be well rested and focused for the upcoming school year.

"No man needs a vacation so much as the person who has just had one." 
~Elbert Hubbard

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Thursday, August 26, 2010

First Annual Golf Classic at Ocean Edge to Benefit Latham Centers, Inc.

Latham Centers  is hosting its first annual Golf Classic on October 18, 2010.  Ocean Edge Resort and Golf club has graciously opened its newly renovated course for this day of great golfing, great eating and opportunity to help Latham.  Ocean Edge’s course is the only Nicklaus design course on Cape Cod.   The 8.5 million dollar layout provides a challenge for all levels of play.  There will be a lunch followed by a shotgun start at noon.  The day will finish with a cocktail reception and dinner at Ocean Edge as well as a spectacular raffle featuring sports packages and other great gifts. If you do not golf, do not despair; come for drinks, dinner and the raffle.   Sponsorships and player registration is still available but going fast.    

For Further Information Contact:  Anne McManus, 508-896-5776 X211 or Carol Sullivan 508-896-5776X213 or visit lathamcenters.org

"Golf combines two favorite American pastimes:  
taking long walks and hitting things with a stick."  
~P.J. O'Rourke

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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Hello from the Science Lab!

Over the summer,  Latham Science consisted of a series of eight field trips, one each week of Summertide.  Preparation for these trips started in May with our classroom studies of ecosystems, habitats and food chains.  Each of our summer field trips explored a different kind of habitat on Cape Cod.  We are SO lucky to be located in the middle of this beautiful place!

At each location we had a series of experiments and observations to perform and data to record.  We examined soils (structure, porosity, pH, temperature);  waters (pH, dissolved oxygen, temperature, salinity, etc); plants (What grows here? What’s in bloom?  Who pollinates the blooms? Who eats the fruit?) and;  animals (Who do we see? Hear? See tracks of? Feel biting us?).  We recorded this information in science logs. 

Here is the schedule of trips we went on:

Week 1:  Wellfleet Bay Audubon Sanctuary.  With a guide we explored the differences in salt and fresh water ponds.

Week 2: Upper Mill Pond in the Punkhorn Parklands of Brewster.  We hiked and performed our studies on the beautiful woods and fresh water environment.

Week 3:  Pah Wah Point in Orleans Conservation Land.  A short hike leads to a small beach on Pleasant Bay and a great salt water environment.  Many vacated horseshoe crab shells!

Week 4: White Cedar Swamp, National Seashore in Wellfleet.  A beautiful hike through the woods leads to a boardwalk through the swamp which is truly a unique environment.

Week 5:  Mud Flat Mania at Cape Cod Museum of Natural History, Brewster.  With a guide we explored the mud flats at low tide and discovered much life in tidal pools.

Week 6: Art’s Dune Tours, Provincetown.  We rode in Suburbans out to the back beach (on the Atlantic) and then up into the sand dunes.  The sand temperature was 110o F on the surface and 80o F four inches below!

Week 7: Ocean Quest Discovery Cruise, Woods Hole.  We drove to Falmouth, took a trolley to Woods Hole, spent an hour and half on a boat learning about the biological, physical and chemical characteristics of the marine environment.  A big adventure!!

Week 8:  A beautiful private garden in Wellfleet.  We picnic, visit domestic animals (chickens, goats, donkey) and test the soil of a human altered environment . A relaxing end to a busy summer.

WE HAD A GREAT SUMMER LEARNING ABOUT BEAUTIFUL CAPE COD!!!  Please enjoy the pictures which are only a tiny few from the more than 1000 we took!

"Always walk through life as if you have something new to learn and you will." 
~Vernon Howard

Monday, August 16, 2010

Congratulations Donkey Training Graduates!

The first class of students in the  donkey training program have completed their studies under Jackie Durette, our Asinotherapy (donkey therapy) coordinator.  The class learned the basics of donkey care and grooming.  They learned to understand donkey behavior and how to keep the paddock and barn area safe and clean.  It was clear that Moonbeam and Angus loved the attention and the first class was enthusiastic about working closely with our two furry friends.  Congratulations!

"It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves." 
~Edmund Hillary

Thursday, August 12, 2010

A Note from the HR Director

I’m never happy to say goodbye to a staff person, particularly one who contributed so much to the kids at Latham Centers, but during an exit interview yesterday I was very pleased to hear what this person had to say about her time here.  She said that she had never learned so much about herself and what she is capable of doing in any other job before.  She has a renewed self-confidence and ability to handle stressful situations in her life because of the training she received at Latham.  She is taking that with her as she moves to a new State and starts a new life.

It is very gratifying to hear a story like this and to know that staff can receive this kind of fulfillment in their job.

"Great is the art of beginning, but greater is the art of ending." 
~Lazurus Long

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A “Dedicated” Day!

What do the Boston Red Sox and Latham Centers have in common?  Well, if you are part of Red Sox Nation (as we here at Latham certainly are) you know that the 2004 and 2007 World Champions had some of the greatest team players ever to play the game of baseball. 

On August 6, 2010, Latham Centers honored its own MVP’s, former members of the Board of Directors, Dr Russell Boles, Jr., MD and Harry MacDonald. At the dedication ceremony Board President Keith Bradley eloquently spoke of the impact these two men had on the extraordinary growth in care and services that we are able to provide. In dedicating the clinical building as the Dr Russell Boles, Jr., MD Clinical Building and our transitional cottage as the Harry MacDonald Cottage, we honor their years of service to Latham Centers as champions for children and adults.

We have all benefited from their experience, generosity, knowledge, kindness, empathy and wit.  Through the tireless efforts of Dr Boles and Mr. MacDonald, Latham Centers has grown into a program of excellence for children and adults with Prader-Willi Syndrome and as a program for children and adults with developmental challenges.  It has been an honor to work along side these remarkable gentlemen and we wish them well as they pursue their next adventure.

"I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder." 
~G.K. Chesterton

Monday, August 9, 2010

Nursing News

As of August 30th, 2010 Latham will have RN coverage on campus Monday to Friday 7:00 A.M. until 9:00PM Monday through Friday. These include all the hours the students are awake. Saturday and Sunday we have nursing coverage from 11am to 4pm but hope to expand that further in the near future.   The nurses dispense medications; monitor and arrange for medical visits; provide assessment and treatment of the children’s medical needs; and do health teaching.

"Nurses dispense comfort, compassion, and caring 
without even a prescription." 
~Val Saintsbury

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Request For Ideas

Over the past year, the readership of this blog has grown considerably. We have spent much of our time updating you on the events at Latham and providing insight into our community. Much of our communication has been one sided.

Our intention with this coming year is to create more of a dialogue with you. If you have questions, comments or concerns please let us know. If you have an idea for a post let us know and we will do our best to add our two cents. Please send us your ideas in the comment section below the post or by emailing tvaughan@lathamcenters.org.

"I love writing.  I love the swirl and swing of words 
as they tangle with human emotions."  
~James Michener

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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Pittsburgh, PWS and Latham

Sometimes our impressions of places we haven’t actually seen are formed by images from our childhood.  I had a vision of Pittsburgh that was far from complimentary; and I couldn’t have been more wrong!  Last week I had the good fortune to visit the city of three rivers and meet with staff at the Children’s Institute in Pittsburgh.  I found a committed team of professionals doing great work with their patients with Prader Willi Syndrome.  I look forward to a return visit to the Institute and extend an invitation to them to visit Latham Centers on Cape Cod.

Dr Janice Forster, our consultant on PWS, was kind enough to give me an insider’s tour of the city.  The weather was beautiful, neighborhoods, universities and downtown were thriving; the Phipps Conservatory was a wonder of orchids and gargoyles. This city, known for football and steel, is worth a visit for so much more.  Sitting at a restaurant on the north side with a dramatic view of this city surrounded on all sides by the rivers was breathtaking.  No wonder the people of Pittsburgh are so proud of their city. 

"I have an affection for a great city.  
I feel safe in the neighbourhood of man, 
and enjoy the sweet security of the streets."  
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Moving Forward With Our Performance and Quality Improvement (PQI) Plan

Although we have been involved in this process informally for some time, Latham Centers now has a PQI plan which we are implementing. This is an important step in our process of obtaining accreditation through COA (Council on Accreditation).

 Performance and Quality Improvement’s purpose as defined by the COA:

“an organization-wide Performance and Quality Improvement (PQI) program advances efficient, effective service delivery and the achievement of strategic and program goals.”

Latham Centers is committed to a standard of excellence in our service to the individuals we support.  We are an organization which believes that the involvement of all layers of the LCI community, including external and internal stakeholders is necessary in order to meet this goal. LCI considers the challenge of evaluating, monitoring and improving our functions and outcomes to be of paramount importance.  The leadership of the Agency, from the CEO and Board of Directors to the direct care worker on the front line promotes a culture that values service quality and understands the importance of continuous improvement as well as their participation in the achievement of it.  We look forward demonstrating and reporting our progress as we measure and evaluate our performance in reaching our goals. 

"Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after another."
~Walter Elliott