Tay Fisher Inspires Kington High School Students

The Benedictine Health Foundation provided funding for Tay Fisher, Harlem Globetrotters star, Firefly, and Kingston High School alumni to conduct three motivational presentations to Kingston High School (KHS) students on Friday, October 6..

1200 students in grades 9 through 12 participated in the assemblies. “This program is designed to help students to prepare for their high school and college experience. I communicate what helped me become successful so they can learn and establish their own path to success. I share my personal story from on and off the court as not all of the kids can relate to me athletically; I want each student to leave empowered for a bright future.  There is nothing better than having the opportunity to talk with students and being able to relate to them in numerous ways. It’s all about the connection for them to fully understand my message,” stated Tay Fisher.

“Tay Fisher’s message is one of persistence, resilience, self-worth and hard work. More than a motivational speaker, he is a real life example to Kingston kids of their own personal potential. We are so grateful to the Benedictine Health Foundation for giving our kids the opportunity to hear his story, reflect on their intentions and goals and be inspired to plan for their futures,” stated Amy Kapes, LMSW, KHS Social Worker.

Proceeds from the Benedictine Health Foundation’s Kick for Mental Health Kickball Tournament held in June were used to sponsor the assemblies. The Foundation is supporting additional programs throughout the school year at KHS and with the HealthAlliance Adolescent Partial Hospitalization Program that provide opportunities for students to build critical social-emotional and coping skills and participate in pro-social activities that build self-esteem and confidence.

For further information, contact Barbara Klassen, Executive Director, at (845) 481-1303 or bklassen@bhfoundation.org.


Photo (L to R): Tay Fisher with KHS Student Dominique Rivers Lyons.

The Benedictine Health Foundation provided funding to Kingston High School to support a new Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) initiative.

PBIS is a proactive systems approach to encouraging students to care for themselves and one another, and is designed to create a school culture where all students can achieve social, emotional, and academic success. The PBIS framework identifies desired target behaviors, defines them in specific school settings, and provides a process for staff to teach, model, recognize, and reinforce those behaviors.  KHS will focus on teamwork, integrity, grace, empathy, respect and safety (TIGERS).  The strategy has already been piloted in several KCSD elementary schools, and began at KHS this September.

Close to 200 faculty and staff members from Kingston High School gathered on the front steps of KHS on the first day wearing “KHS-PBIS” t-shirts.  The visual impact of having hundreds of teachers carrying the same positive message on their shirt served to raise awareness amongst staff and students about this important effort.

For the past two years, Benedictine Health Foundation’s Kick for Mental Health Kickball Tournament held in June has helped raise funds needed to support adolescent mental health services, raising approximately $23,000 this year.

Amy Kapes, a KHS social worker, knows these efforts will have a lasting impact on students. “The Benedictine Health Foundation has helped us provide opportunities for students to build critical social-emotional and coping skills and participate in pro-social activities that build self-esteem and confidence.  KHS is grateful for their ongoing support of PBIS and programs for teens in our community.”

For further information about the Benedictine Health Foundation, visit www.benedictinehealthfoundation or call, Barbara Klassen, Executive Director, at (845) 481-1303.

Photo: KHS Faculty & Staff wear “KHS- PBIS” Shirts

The Benedictine Health Foundation received a generous grant from Ulster Savings Bank to fund a Health and Technology Camp at HealthAlliance Hospital, Member of the Westchester Medical Center Health Network, to be held July 25 – 29.

“We’re very pleased to provide funding in support of the 2016 HealthAlliance Health & Technology Camp,” said Jeffrey Wood, Ulster Savings Bank Vice President and Chair of the Ulster Savings Bank Donations Committee.  “The Camp provides an excellent educational opportunity for these students, as well as offering them insights into the clinical and complementary services provided to patients throughout the HealthAlliance health care system.”

The innovative, week-long summer program will provide 10 – 12 year old children with the opportunity to observe many different aspects of healthcare.  Campers will be grouped in teams and attend classes on CPR and summer safety.  They will shadow medical professionals and visit clinical areas including nursing, emergency medicine, maternity, and mental health, as well as non-clinical including engineering, security and information technology.  

“Due to the generous support of Ulster Savings Bank, the Benedictine Health Foundation is honored to fund the Health and Technology Camp.  This is a memorable experience for the campers and the hospital staff, and exemplifies our Foundation’s tradition of supporting compassionate care for the people in our community,” said Robert J. Ryan, Jr., President of the Benedictine Health Foundation Board.

A graduation and awards ceremony will be held at the end of the week where campers will present PowerPoint presentations on their team’s favorite area of healthcare.

For more information, please contact Barbara Klassen, Benedictine Health Foundation Executive Director, at  (845) 481-1303 or bklassen@bhfoundation.org.

(L to R): 2015 Campers with HealthAlliance Medical Staff

Optimus Architecture located in Rhinebeck recently presented a $2,500 check to the Benedictine Health Foundation to purchase new furnishings for the Mental Health Services Unit at HealthAlliance Hospital: Mary’s Avenue Campus, Member of the Westchester Medical Center Health Network.

“Mental Health Services at HAHV is extremely grateful for the very generous donation from Optimus Architecture to be used towards new furnishings for the Clinical care areas throughout the department. Enhancements to these areas will provide spaces to promote wellness and recovery for our clients,” stated Arnell Tuttle RN-BC, BS, Administrative Director.

The Mental Health Inpatient units are comprised of a dedicated group of professionals including a Medical Director, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, activity therapists, social workers and mental health technicians. The inpatient unit operates in a team-focused, patient-centered environment where a forward looking approach to behavioral health is combined with compassionate and expert care. The 21-bed inpatient Acute Care Unit provides intensive psychiatric inpatient care and treatment, along with individual, group therapy, life skills, arts, and activities to patients in need of these services. The 19-bed Progressive Care Unit provides psychiatric inpatient care and treatment to patients who require a more open environment and anticipated discharge.

“We are thrilled to give back to our community keeping in tradition with so many multi-generation families in Kingston.  It is important that we use our resources wisely to offer our community members the best education, employment and healthcare opportunities so they can grow their careers and families and continue this tradition,” stated David A. Souers, AIA, ACHA, ASHE, Principal Architect at Optimus.

Photo, L to R: Linda and David Souers, Optimus Architecture; Arnell Tuttle, HealthAlliance Mental Health Services; Robert J. Ryan, Jr. and Barbara Klassen, Benedictine Health Foundation

On May 18, at its annual Fashion Show, In The Pink, the Benedictine Auxiliary presented a check for $20,000 to the Benedictine Health Foundation in support of cancer services at the Mary’s Avenue Campus of HealthAlliance. Dr. Camilo Torres, Radiation Oncologist, and Dr. Zoe Weinstein, Cancer Liaison Physician and Surgeon, accepted the check on behalf of HealthAlliance.

Over 150 guests enjoyed the event at Wiltwyck Golf Club featuring guest Master of Ceremonies, Rich Mathews, and music by Michael Dell.

The Benedictine Auxiliary has contributed over $1 million to improve health care technology and enhance the care of patients at the hospital. “We are very pleased to continue our support of HealthAlliance and the exceptional cancer services they provide for our community,” stated Loretta Landsman, Auxiliary President.

Photo, L to R: Dr. Camilo Torres, Dr. Zoe Weinstein, and Loretta Landsman, Benedictine Auxiliary President

Supporting the Benedictine Spirit of Compassionate Care