Lexington Receives CQL Accreditation with Distinction!

CQL w Distinction ACCRED LOGO for pro print.jpg

In late September, the Council on Quality and Leadership (CQL) announced that after a week of intensely hard work, not only was it renewing Lexington’s accreditation, it was awarding them Accreditation with Distinction. Lexington is the first agency of its kind in New York State to earn this honor and one of only ten in the world.

This four-year honor recognizes Lexington’s excellence in its operations and plans for the future. According to Shaloni Winston, Lexington’s executive director, the agency owes its excellent scores in the accreditation process to the constant dedicated efforts of its 1,700 employees, who work hard every day to help the people they support lead happy, healthy, fulfilling lives.

“I am honored to see Lexington among the ranks of the other agencies with this distinction, but the credit goes to each and every person on Lexington’s team,” she said. “Lexington’s employees are defined by their big hearts and open arms, and we are so happy that CQL has recognized their excellence with this accreditation. I thank CQL for the honor and our employees for the roles they play every day to make this happen.”

Lexington first received a four-year CQL Person-Centered Excellence Accreditation in 2013, and this year’s upgraded accreditation represents measurable growth and progress in the agency’s continuing mission to be the best possible provider to children and adults with disabilities and their families, as well as to be the best possible employer for its staff and contribute positively to the community.

This honor came after a week of top-to-bottom review, conducted September 25-29. The detailed, rigorous process ensured that the services Lexington provides meet the high standards expected of such an agency.

Accreditation with Distinction is not the end of the road, though it is the highest accreditation an organization can receive. It is an ongoing process of self-improvement for Lexington, and when the CQL team returns in four years, they will be examining the agency’s progress between now and then for further improvement and innovation.

LEXINGTON’S NIGRA ARTS CENTER RECEIVES AWARD OF EXCELLENCE

The Paul Nigra Center for Creative Arts in Gloversville, New York is being honored with a 2017 Award of Excellence by CQL | The Council on Quality and Leadership. This award acknowledges their creation of an inclusive environment where artistic expression and diverse creativity can flourish for all aspiring and established artists, both with and without disability. The community-based facility offers classes, exhibits, productions, concerts, camps, workshops, and other enrichment experiences where all participants are respected as artists, actors, dancers, musicians, and aspiring chefs.

Angela Rapp Kennedy, Vice President, CQL; Mary Kay Rizzolo, CEO, CQL; Shaloni Winston, Executive Director, Lexington; and Daniel Richardson, Deputy Executive Director, Lexington

Angela Rapp Kennedy, Vice President, CQL; Mary Kay Rizzolo, CEO, CQL; Shaloni Winston, Executive Director, Lexington; and Daniel Richardson, Deputy Executive Director, Lexington

“The Nigra Arts Center has a genuine attentiveness to each person as an artist. Instead of focusing on disability as being the context for their creation, each artist’s work stands on its own, just as it should. It’s a refreshing approach,” says Mary Kay Rizzolo, President and CEO of CQL | The Council on Quality and Leadership. CQL is presenting five recipients with the 2017 CQL Award of Excellence at the 2017 CQL Conference, themed ‘Blueprint for Person-Centered Practices,’ in recognition of best practices in human services.

The Lexington Foundation, of Lexington, a chapter of the Arc of New York, owns and operates the Paul Nigra Center for Creative Arts. Following numerous Personal Outcome Measures® interviews, Lexington discovered that many people had interest in the creative arts and wanted more opportunities to enjoy and express themselves. This center is unique in that community members take part in program activities, right along with those receiving more formal supports. The Paul Nigra Center for Creative Arts also does not differentiate artists based on diagnosis during juried exhibitions, as there is no reference at all to an artist’s disability. 

“We are most proud to see people with disabilities recognized for their individual talents and abilities by everyone who comes to the arts center.  Every day they are learning and sharing experiences with others who have common goals and aspirations. This has helped them feel respected and to be true members of the community,” said Shaloni Winston, Executive Director of Lexington and the Paul Nigra Center for Creative Arts. “We are grateful to CQL for this honor and recognition.”

The mission of the Paul Nigra Center for Creative Arts is to provide a creative educational resource for people of all ages and abilities while celebrating the arts through classes, entertainment, exhibitions, and special events. Additionally, they are committed to offering accessible art programs for adults and children with developmental and physical differences.

Victor Colon Elected to SANYS Board

Lexington's own Victor Colon was recently elected by the self-advocates at the 2015 SANYS Capital District Regional Conference to be their new board member. Victor will represent the Capital Region and attend 4 board meetings throughout the year with the Self-Advocacy Association of NYS’ Statewide Board. Victor will serve on the board for a 3 year term during which time he will assist with the overall operations of SANYS. He will also be afforded many exciting advocacy opportunities such as participating in Legislative Day, meeting with the Commissioner of OPWDD and providing input on concerns or issues that affect individuals with disabilities in the State of New York.

Victor is very much looking forward to joining the board and participating in their important advocacy efforts. "I can help the people Lexington supports speak up for themselves," said Victor. "If they have any problems or concerns, they can see me. I'm always here for them. I'm so grateful they voted for me and I believe that I'll do a good job representing the Capital Region. I'm so glad to be a part of SANYS. I can't wait to work with them for three years."

Cynthia Gilchrist, the Capital/Upper Hudson Valley Regional Coordinator of Sanys said, "We are very excited to have Victor represent the self-advocates in our Capital Region."

Congratulations on this awesome accomplishment, Victor!

October is National Down Syndrome Awareness Month!

October is Down Syndrome Awareness month, a chance for us to celebrate people with Down syndrome and let people know about their abilities and accomplishments! Because it’s always about what someone can do, never about what they can’t. 

Ross Carangelo works on a painting at the Northville Art Center.

There are many extraordinary individuals with Down syndrome in the Lexington family. For example, Ross Carangelo is an accomplished artist in the Creative Expressions program. His paintings are both beautiful and in high demand – sometimes they sell before he even exhibits them at the many art shows he has taken part in. In 2013 he won the Curators Award at the “Through My Eyes” exhibit at Saratoga Bridges and in December 2014 one of his paintings was accepted into the Arkell Museum at Canajoharie’s Annual Juried Art Show, one of 37 chosen from artists of all kinds across New York State.

Shawn Lehr performs with Flame.

Shawn Lehr is a member of Flame. His dancing and comedy acts are valuable additions to the band’s charming stage appeal. As part of Flame, Shawn has toured all over the United States and performed overseas, spreading a message of inspiration and awareness to an international audience. 

Lexington Celebrates Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month

March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month and to celebrate, Lexington sent daily emails to the entire agency that celebrated the ABILITIES of several individuals that we support. There are many fantastic stories - we hope you enjoy reading them as much as we have!


Kim has been an awesome member of our Lexington family since 1995. Kim is a hardworking and dedicated team member of “The Crew” Cleaning and Janitorial Services. She has successfully progressed through the enclave employment readiness program and acquired the requisite skills required for competitive community employment through Employment Resources. Kim will be pursuing a position in the Food Service or Retail Industries.

 

Vanessa is an endless source of creative energy. Her artistic ability explodes on paper. She sees beauty everywhere and captures it in her artwork as well as through digital imagery. She has sold $925.00 in artwork to date. She was the recipient of the Spirit Award at VOICE 2013. Vanessa’s painting titled “Zebra” was selected as the Call for Artist brochure for VOICE and also took third place at the 2013 NYSACRA Exhibition at the Sagamore Hotel in Bolton Landing, Lake George, NY. Vanessa truly SHINES!

 

David reached the peak of Vroman’s Nose in Fulton, NY with Pathfinders Day Hab last summer. David doubted himself at first; he said he could never climb that high. He then successfully climbed to the summit, a 700 feet elevation! Congratulations on your accomplishment!

 

Shireen has been employed at Encore Kids since May 2014. She is definitely manager Ann Nicolella’s “girl Friday” as she can do all the computer work, book work, register work, and close everything out at the end of her shift. The best part is that all those things are her favorite things to do. She is an outstanding employee and an absolute joy to work with. She is great with the customers and always has a smile on her face. She is everything that a retail manager hopes for in an employee. Shireen is a valuable asset to the Encore Kids team. 

 

During the Family Services Summer Bash, Athena became very interested in joining the Twin City Twisters after watching the group and her peers perform. Athena began attending practices with the special needs group. This became a great motivator for Athena. Athena is now not only a part of the special needs group, but the tumbling group and competitive teams as well. She has even gotten her whole family to join her!  Athena is very proud of accomplishments. She has performed at halftime shows for local high school sporting events as well as the Schenectady Legends, a professional basketball team. Great Job Athena and keep up the good work!

 

Carmen has been working on gaining more independence. Recently, she has been able to purchase her own food and prepare her own meals. She really enjoys being able to pick out the food that she would like to eat and preparing her food the way she used to. Carmen loves making the house smell delicious with her creations.

 

Olivia was recently selected by the Student Affairs Committee at Schenectady County Community College to be part of this year’s Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges. This honor is bestowed upon students from 2,842 institutions in all fifty states and the District of Columbia. Selection for this distinguished award is based on cumulative GPA as well as involvement in campus and/or community activities. Congratulations on receiving this honor, Olivia!

 

Levi had a special day at Adaptive Skiing at Windam Mountain. His entire family took the day off to join him on the slopes. Having his family alongside of him meant a lot.

 

Andrew is a fun, energetic guy who loves to help and be involved with everything! He loves to read and is super helpful. Every morning Andrew helps out by taking lunches out of the fridge, reading the names on the bag and putting them in the right lunch box.

 

Michael began attending the Fonda Reformed Church in the beginning of 2014. He has handed out church bulletins and has hosted coffee hour as a service to the church. He is pictured here with his friend Joan who always makes sure to greet Michael every Sunday. Recently, a member of the congregation approached Michael to see if he would like to become a member of the church. Michael responded “yes,” and the congregant approached the pastor to inquired on Michael’s behalf about him becoming a member. Michael will be meeting the requirements to be a member of the Fonda Reformed Church next month, he will meet with the elders on April 26, and he will become an official member on May 3. It has been an amazing experience to see Michael become a valued member of his community. He has a true community family with the members of his church.

 

Adrienne is best known as a member of Flame, but, as impressive as that is, this young woman has many other accomplishments under her belt. She went to a Blind and Visually Impaired School in NYC and then moved to upstate NY when she was a teenager. She received a certificate from Vo-Tech Cooking College in Culinary Foundations of Foods. She dreams of being an astronaut, and is looking into taking Astro Physics courses. She skis, roller blades, ice skates, and likes to be physically active. She plays guitar, for which she took lessons, but taught herself piano and the Tonette, a type of recorder. 

 

Linda mentioned that she had a nice poem book to share during spiritual/religious learning activities at Kaleidoscope. She brought in the book and unbeknownst to anyone it was her own personal collection. Linda has been writing poetry for over 40 years! Kaleidoscope is currently helping her with looking into having some copies bound and maybe even published.


St. Mary's Foundation Honors Lexington

Dr. Peter F. Diamond, co-founder of Amsterdam Family Practice, along with provider of disability services Lexington, and highly-regarded Associates from St. Mary’s Healthcare were honored at the 19th annual Celebration of Healthcare Excellence, on Monday, February 23 at the Holiday Inn, Johnstown.

The event, hosted by the Foundation of St. Mary’s Healthcare, was established in 1996 as “a community expression of appreciation for bringing healthcare of compassion and excellence to the people of Fulton and Montgomery counties.”

This year's honorees included medical professional Dr. Peter F. Diamond, Lexington and several St. Mary's Associates.

Normal 
 0 
 
 
 
 
 false 
 false 
 false 
 
 EN-US 
 X-NONE 
 X-NONE 
 
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
 
 MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 
 
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
    
  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  
   
 
 /* Style Definitions */
 table.MsoNormalTable
	{mso-style-name:"Table Normal";
	mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0;
	mso-tstyle-colband-size:0;
	mso-style-noshow:yes;
	mso-style-priority:99;
	mso-style-parent:"";
	mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;
	mso-para-margin:0in;
	mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt;
	mso-pagination:widow-orphan;
	font-size:10.0pt;
	font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";}
 
 Scott Bruce, St. Mary’s COO, introduces Lexington

Scott Bruce, St. Mary’s COO, introduces Lexington

Lexington was honored not only because our services touch people from every age and with a wide range of needs, but because the essence of Lexington is highlighted by creativity and compassion for all we serve, and our strong presence in the community thanks to our rock band, Flame; the Paul Nigra Center for Creative Arts and Transitions; and our many unique programs and partnerships with agencies and companies around the region.

Normal 
 0 
 
 
 
 
 false 
 false 
 false 
 
 EN-US 
 X-NONE 
 X-NONE 
 
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
 
 MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 
 
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
    
  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  
   
 
 /* Style Definitions */
 table.MsoNormalTable
	{mso-style-name:"Table Normal";
	mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0;
	mso-tstyle-colband-size:0;
	mso-style-noshow:yes;
	mso-style-priority:99;
	mso-style-parent:"";
	mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;
	mso-para-margin:0in;
	mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt;
	mso-pagination:widow-orphan;
	font-size:10.0pt;
	font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";}
 
 St. Mary’s President & CEO Vic Giulianelli, Lexington Executive Director Shaloni Winston and Vice President of Development and Planning Al Turo

St. Mary’s President & CEO Vic Giulianelli, Lexington Executive Director Shaloni Winston and Vice President of Development and Planning Al Turo

Normal 
 0 
 
 
 
 
 false 
 false 
 false 
 
 EN-US 
 X-NONE 
 X-NONE 
 
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
 
 MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 
 
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
    
  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  
   
 
 /* Style Definitions */
 table.MsoNormalTable
	{mso-style-name:"Table Normal";
	mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0;
	mso-tstyle-colband-size:0;
	mso-style-noshow:yes;
	mso-style-priority:99;
	mso-style-parent:"";
	mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;
	mso-para-margin:0in;
	mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt;
	mso-pagination:widow-orphan;
	font-size:10.0pt;
	font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";}
 
 Congressman Paul Tonko, Lexington Executive Director Shaloni Winston, St. Mary's VIP Celeste Hughes, Dr. Peter Diamond, St. Mary's VIP John DePalma, St. Mary’s President & CEO Vic Giulianelli, Vice President of Development and Planning Al Turo and St. Mary's Physician and Trustee Dr. Mohammad R. Ghazi

Congressman Paul Tonko, Lexington Executive Director Shaloni Winston, St. Mary's VIP Celeste Hughes, Dr. Peter Diamond, St. Mary's VIP John DePalma, St. Mary’s President & CEO Vic Giulianelli, Vice President of Development and Planning Al Turo and St. Mary's Physician and Trustee Dr. Mohammad R. Ghazi

It was a fantastic night and we were thrilled to be honored.

Michelle King and Rodney Frenyea Honored by NYSARC!

On Friday, October 17, 2014, NYSARC, Inc. honored two extraordinary people from Lexington as part of their Annual Convention. Michelle King was named NYSARC Inc.’s Self-Advocate of the Year and Rodney Frenyea was the Northeast Region’s recipient of NYSARC Inc.’s Thomas A. Maul Direct Support Professional Excellence Award.

Michelle copy.jpg

Michelle King, lead singer and guitarist of Lexington’s band, FLAME, has been receiving services from Lexington since 2003. Since she joined Lexington, she has amassed quite a list of accomplishments. She sang at Eunice Kennedy Shriver’s wake upon personal request from the Shriver family; starred in a documentary about Flame, the director of which was honored with the Loreen Arbus Scholarship at the 2014 College Television Emmy Awards; was profiled on the nationally-syndicated show, Good Morning America; performed in Greece and was recognized by the Greek Ministry of Education; was featured in People magazine’s “Heroes Among Us” profile, and has met with Senator Farley, Congressman Tonko and Mayor Bloomberg to advocate for the rights of persons with developmental disabilities. This all from a woman doctors once said would never talk. Since coming to Lexington and joining Flame, Michelle has used her fame as a platform to advocate for others and has inspired people all over the world with her message that “it’s not about disabilities, it’s about abilities.” At the awards ceremony, Lexington Executive Director Shaloni Winston said, “We’re so fortunate to celebrate Michelle King’s many successes, acknowledge her rightful place as an ambassador for developmental disabilities and to be at her side as she is recognized as NYSARC’s Self-Advocate of the Year.”

Rodney Frenyea has worked at Lexington in various support capacities for the past 20 years. Colleagues describe him as a strong leader who leads by example and a strong advocate for the people he supports. One colleague said, “He is a remarkable person who is adored by those who work with him and those supported by him. Rodney has such a gentle nature and is the calm in any storm. I have known Rodney for many years and he is the most creative and thoughtful person when it comes to helping make someone’s life better.” About his experience working at Lexington, Frenyea stated, “I started working at Lexington during college and I never left. I love my work supporting people and helping them to live the best lives they can.”

Victor Colon, President of Lexington's Self-Advocacy Committee was invited to provide introductory remarks at the dinner. He told his story of growing up and attending school in New York City, moving to Massachusetts and finally settling in Johnstown in April 2010 in order to attend programs at Lexington. He talked about his work in Lexington’s maintenance department, his important role in Lexington's Self-Advocacy Committee, how much he enjoys living independently in a supported apartment and the many friends he has made since he became a part of Lexington.

Congratulations to all on their much deserved recognition!

Lexington Honors Outstanding Staff

Today we honored many of our exemplary employees at our annual Staff Recognition Luncheon. All of the staff members who received awards and much deserved recognition were nominated by their peers and the people they support. Congratulations to all of you and thank you so much for all that you do!!!

Our awesome staff!

Our awesome staff!

Back row: Lexington Deputy Executive Director Dan Richardson, Board President Judy Schelle and Executive Director Shaloni Winston pose with four of our Employees of the Year: Mina Denton, George Spencer, Brenda Dwyer and Val Bradt.

Back row: Lexington Deputy Executive Director Dan Richardson, Board President Judy Schelle and Executive Director Shaloni Winston pose with four of our Employees of the Year: Mina Denton, George Spencer, Brenda Dwyer and Val Bradt.