Sunday, April 29, 2012

Latham Advances Mission through Recent Development Efforts

This spring has been full of exciting news on Latham's development front.  Just last month, Latham hired Gail Myers Lavin as a part-time Development Associate. Gail resides in Orleans and has decades of experience in education and local non-profits. Her primary responsibilities will be in grant research and submissions reporting to Gerry Desautels, Director of Development.

And speaking of grants.....

In recent months, several restricted grants have been awarded to Latham to help finance projects our operating budget cannot cover. The grants awarded include the John W. Alden Trust for campus kitchen improvements, the Yawkey Foundation II for campus playground equipment arriving this May, the Commonwealth of Massachuetts for TCI master training Water Safety for the Adult program, and MAAPS training, and the Roy T. Morgan Foundation for Summertide, Campus Accessibility Improvements, Special Olympics and other special projects.  We are very lucky and grateful for this extra support!

On the horizon, Latham has received 10 runner fundraising spots for the Falmouth Road Race on Sunday, August 12, 2012. Runners receive entry numbers from Latham; and the Race is requesting a $1,000 minimum fundraising threshold. More details will follow, but if you have an interest in running or know of someone who would on behalf of Latham, please contact:

Gerry Desautels
774-353-9296 or

2012 marks the 40th Anniversary of the New Balance Falmouth Road Race ―a scenic 7-mile course from Woods Hole to Falmouth that now attracts some 11,000 official race entrants.

Submitted by Gerry Desautels, CFRE

P.S. Save the date for the Third Annual Latham Charity Golf Classic, October 22 at Ocean Edge Resort and Golf Club.  The event committee is now working on sponsors and has already confirmed that Latham parent Bob Bernstein of Foremost Footwear and affiliate companies, will return as our Presenting Sponsor.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Latham Students Partcicpate in Spring Concert

We all had a great time at Latham’s Spring Concert. Under the direction of Performing Arts Teacher Suzanne Johnson, students from every classroom participated in an impressive performance of ringing handbells to songs such as “Ode to Joy”.  AG and VH worked together to present a keyboard and guitar rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner”. LH not only played a solo on her recorder, but also sang “Angel of Mine” a capella! The event also included multiple numbers by the Latham Chorus, including “Imagine”, by John Lennon.  Special thanks to our volunteer, Laird Boles, for accompanying the chorus on the keyboard.

Latham students worked very hard (and so did Suzanne!) to make the concert such a success. It was wonderful to see them laughing and dancing to “Rockin’ Robin” between each of the performances. It was heartening to watch students help each other out with encouraging words if one of their peers was nervous to perform.  Every single participant succeeded in working together to put on an astounding display of talent.

Submitted by:
Pam Nolan
Director of Education

“Ah, Music. A magic beyond all we do here!”
~J.K. Rowling

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

PQI at Latham Centers

Performance Quality Improvement is alive and well at Latham Centers. We continue to review data on how our programs and services are doing and are looking at adding new indicators for the next fiscal year.  Are you interested in joining your colleagues on the PQI committee?  Our goal is to meet quarterly and your participation is welcomed.  Three new members would fill the seats of those whose service to the committee is at an end.  

Our thanks to Ward Ellsasser, Barbara Crossen and Lucy Foran who helped us get the  PQI committee up and running. Send your letter of interest and/or questions about the PQI committee to: We look forward to hearing from you.

Submitted by:
Chris Gallant

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Upperdeck and Hazelmoor Go to the Aquarium

Recently, all of the kids from the Upperdeck and Hazelmoor took a trip to the Boston Aquarium.  They were able to see the big sea turtles being fed and ask the staff questions about the animals in the aquarium.  The highlight of the day was touching the sharks and manta-rays in the large open tank at the end.  They each had an opportunity to touch the animals, and all (even staff agreed) that the sharks were the softest and most curious.  Another great adventure for our groups!

Submitted by:
Frannie Quirk

"Be curious always!  For knowledge will not acquire you; you must acquire it." 
~Sudie Back

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

April, 2012

I am looking out my window on a most beautiful spring day thinking how lucky I am to live in a community that I love and work at a job that is meaningful. I didn’t win the Mega Millions. I don’t wear a size 6. I can’t figure out all of the apps on my iphone, but all in all, I have been fortunate. 

Sometimes we need to take a deep breath and just be “present” in the moment.  I am happy to see kids playing outside. Do they have some serious issues confronting them? Sure, but this afternoon they are playing and laughing and having fun. I plan to enjoy watching and listening to that for a few minutes. I can and probably will worry later about the big stuff.  But right now, Latham is filled with the joyful sounds of kids and dogs and, boy oh boy, do I love my job.

Submitted by:
Chris Gallant

"April hath put a spirit of youth in everything." 
~William Shakespeare

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Latham Centers Staff Scheduling: The Substitute

As the schedule coordinator at Latham Centers my job includes multi coordinating many tasks at one time.  This includes: finding coverage for open or vacant shifts as well as shifts for staff on vacation, call out shifts when staff are sick, coverage for medical appointments, vocational sites etc. It is an ongoing process of covering anywhere from 80 to over 100 shifts a week. Having a large pool of substitute staff to work with makes things a bit easier. Substitute staff are able to pick up shifts and hours that fit their availability whether it is 40 hours a week or just a few hours on the weekends. Starting as a substitute gives staff the opportunity to work with all of the individuals at all locations and accumulate knowledge and skills  from the multiple staff they work with. Often, substitute staff will then apply for permanent positions as they become available. 

Submitted by:
Missy Adle
Schedule Coordinator

"Opportunities do not come with their values stamped upon them." 
~Maltbie Babcock

Monday, April 9, 2012

Latham Adult Thrives in Office Environment

Matt  is an affable, polite young man in his 20s.  The Connecticut native has lived on Cape Cod since 2008 at one of Latham’s adult group homes. Matt’s high energy level and acumen at organizing led him to seek work and greater involvement in the community.   He continues to volunteer at Sturgis Library, one of Cape Cod’s oldest buildings in Barnstable Village.  Never one to sit on his laurels, Matt began working at Latham Centers’ Orleans administrative office in August 2011. With the oversight of a job coach, he first started working one day a week and because of his hard work, skills and pleasant manner, was soon promoted to two days a week. 

Matt likes to keep busy and enjoys doing a variety of tasks.  He is conscientious and has a strong work ethic. He is particularly adept in math and has been a tremendous asset to the Finance Department.  He has been extremely helpful with filing projects, shredding documents, copying, organizing and preparing informational materials and doing computer data entry.  Recently, he completed a large mailing project for the Development Department, folding letters, organizing inserts, sealing and posting envelopes.  He does all these tasks with enthusiasm and an eagerness to please.  He is diligent and precise in everything he accomplishes. 

Last year, Matt also participated in the Second Annual Latham Charity Golf Classic at Ocean Edge Resort and Golf Club in Brewster and won a Silver medal in bowling at the Special Olympic Games held in Worcester.  He loves doing crossword and math puzzles and is an avid movie buff.  He has been invited to play in the Third Annual Latham Charity Golf Classic October 22, 2012 to benefit programs and services for all Latham children and adults.

Congratulations Matt for all your exceptional work, with great appreciation from your colleagues in Administration.

Submitted by:
Carol Sullivan,
Latham Centers Executive Assistant

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Latham Hosts Spring Legislative Breakfast

Latham Board Member Becky Smith listens with Mass. State Senator Dan Wolf during an informative and engaging breakfast discussion in the Latham School library.)

Coffee was the first order of the day when the Advocacy Committee of Latham Centers hosted a well-attended Legislative Breakfast in the Latham School Library Friday, March 30th in Brewster.  State Senator Dan Wolf, State Representatives Sarah Peake and Cleon Turner attended the packed breakfast along with aides from Senate Chair Therese Murray’s and State Representative Demetrius Atsalis’ offices.  Ward Ellsasser, Clerk of the Latham Board of Directors and Chair of the Advocacy Committee, welcomed the audience comprised of the Cape legislative delegation, Latham family members, community supporters, Latham staff and fellow board members.

The high-energy morning provided an opportunity for face time with the attending legislators and for Latham to express thanks for continued support of human services funding for children and people with developmental disabilities.

“We value their support and we recognize that they have made the effort to know and understand the work done at Latham,” shared Ellsasser, who also previously worked as a Latham Direct Care staff person. Fellow board member Amy Carroll and Latham parent Rachel Perry both spoke to the expertise and life-changing experiences Latham offers their loved ones in residence and to their extended families.

Despite great advancements made at Latham, the attending legislators expressed caution as they related that more strain is being put on state funds as federal support to certain Massachusetts programs has been reduced in recent years.  Anne McManus, Latham’s Executive Director, added that Latham is doing its part by attaining international accreditation and subsequently attracting more individuals to its programs beyond Massachusetts.  “Our reputation for successfully treating individuals with complex special needs with failed placements elsewhere is ever increasing. As the only accredited residential program for boys and girls with Prader-Willi Syndrome on the East Coast, Latham is good for the Cape economy,” according to McManus.

Latham Centers employs more than 200 employees across Cape Cod in its Children and Adult Service programs.  For more information, visit

Contributed by:
Gerry Desautels (Dez-oh-tel)
Director of Develoment

Monday, April 2, 2012

New Housing Options Explored at Latham

Insuring that we have the right kind of homes in the right kind of places is an ongoing focus for the Board and Staff of Latham Centers, Inc.  We have been working together with community partners to develop a continuum of care for the adults we support.  We have expanded our options from the traditional group home to apartments and shared living and we have been working with our local housing authority to develop a supported apartment complex that would enable more individuals with PWS who have the ability to live more independently the option of having their own apartment. This complex would still have food security and wrap around staffing.  We are also thinking about our aging population and developing housing that is more consistent with the needs of an older population. Making it possible to be there for a life-time of support and care in the least restrictive environment is a challenge but a challenge that we embrace. 

Contributed by:
Anne McManus
Executive Director

“I have always drawn strength from being close to home.”
~Arthur Ashe