Cayuga Strategic Solutions Executive Director visits Cayuga Centers
Aug 09, 2016
Tracy Verrier, Executive Director of Cayuga Strategic Solutions, the joint venture of Cayuga County Chamber of Commerce and the Cayuga Economic Development Agency, visited the Cayuga Centers campus August 2, 2016 to learn about agency programs.
Diane (Dee Dee) Schenck, Vice President of Community Partnerships, gave an overview of the agency’s program areas: Residential Treatment, Treatment Family Foster Care, Community-Based Interventions, Services for People with Developmental Disabilities, and Transitional Foster Care for Unaccompanied Children. She described the agency’s recent growth which includes the expansion of foster care to Delaware and Florida and noted the agency’s decision to maintain Auburn as the agency’s headquarters.
Mike Slomski, Cowen Cottage Unit Manager, spoke of the individualized care given to each youth, and led a tour through a residential cottage and the on-grounds school. Teens are actively engaged in Individual and Group Therapy to help heal from trauma and manage mental health issues.
Christine Moulton, Vice President of Strategic Growth, described the agency as a major economic driver, employing more than 335 employees in the upstate New York region. Verrier discussed economic and workforce development as they apply to non-profits such as Cayuga Centers, promising to renew efforts to work together.
Cindi Pagan, Vice President of Community-Based Interventions, explained the agency’s home and community-based interventions that work to prevent out-of-home placements or which can work effectively with youth and families before, during and after discharge from a facility to ease the transition back home.
Lexie Shutter, Director Support Services for the SPwDD Department described the respite programs which provide a break for caregivers while engaging consumers with developmental disabilities in social activities. During a tour of the respite space, she described how the program can be the deciding factor in enabling a family to keep their loved one safely at home, or enabling a caregiver to maintain employment knowing the consumer has a safe place to be after school hours.
The group also visited the gymnasium and rec center, and the agency’s health department.