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Summer 2009

The Boggs Center Co-Sponsors Community Oriented Primary Care Summer Assistantship Program

Community Oriented Primary Care Students and FacultyThe Boggs Center co-sponsored the Summer 2009 Assistantship in Community Oriented Primary Care with UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Department of Family Medicine. The seven week program provided an opportunity for medical, physician assistant, and graduate social work students to experience the challenges and satisfaction of providing basic services in healthcare and education to underserved communities in central New Jersey. Five students conducted internships at agencies serving people with developmental disabilities, including The Arc of New Jersey. The 2009 COPC Program culminated in a celebration event on July 27, 2009 with a poster session and recognition for community mentors and students.

The Boggs Center Welcomes Shellyann Dacres, MA

Shellyann DacresShellyann Dacres recently joined The Boggs Center as a Training and Consultation Specialist. Shellyann works with the Direct Support Workforce and Self Directed Support projects.  She also provides training in Person Centered Thinking and Essential Lifestyle Planning. Prior to her employment at The Boggs Center, Shellyann worked with a provider agency as a Quality Assurance Specialist and Trainer to help improve the quality of care provided to people with developmental disabilities. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Long Island University, CW Post Campus in Brookville, New York and her Master's degree in Psychology from City College, CUNY in Manhattan.

Two New Resources Available on The Boggs Center's Web site

Writing our Journey: Poems and Essays by Family Caregivers is now available on The Boggs Center’s website.  In July 2008, The Boggs Center started a writer’s group to give family caregivers the opportunity to write about their experiences.  Writing Our Journey is a sampling of some of the powerful, moving, and thought provoking works that were created during this past year. The group is facilitated by Kathy Roberson, Policy and Information Coordinator at The Boggs Center. Kathy has Masters degrees in both Social Work and English/Creative Writing, and is herself a parent of a young adult with developmental disabilities.

The new edition of Dimensions of Faith and Congregational Ministries with Persons with Developmental Disabilities and Their Families is now available. The resource guide for Clergy, Laypersons, Families, and Service Providers is divided into areas of congregational ministry and outreach e.g. worship, outreach, pastoral care, religious education, awareness videos, with sections on respite care, community building, person-centered planning, coping with grief, and more. The 2009 edition is available online as a free PDF download.

Deborah Spitalnik, PhD, Presents in Washington, DC and Oklahoma City, OK

Deborah SpitalnikDeborah Spitalnik, PhD, Executive Director of The Boggs Center and Professor of Pediatrics, presented a keynote, "The Evolution of University Centers for Excellence: Some History and Some Essential Challenges," at the Federal Administration on Developmental Disabilities Technical Assistance Institute held on June 1, in Washington, DC.

On June 25, Dr. Spitalnik gave a lecture on "Supports, Social Capital and People with Developmental Disabilities: Some Antidotes to Deadly Medicine" at The Oklahoma Science Museum in conjunction with the US Holocaust Memorial Museum traveling exhibit, co-sponsored by The Jewish Federation of Greater Oklahoma City and The Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.


Rev. Bill Gaventa Appears on PBS Religion and Ethics Newsweekly

Bill Gaventa

"Creating Room in G-d’s House" recently aired on PBS’ Religion and Ethics Newsweekly. The segment featured Bill Gaventa, MDiv, Associate Professor at The Boggs Center, a mosque and synagogue in New Jersey, and worship program in Pennsylvania called Rejoicing Spirits. Safiyyah Muhammed, a member of The Boggs Center Consumer Advisory Council, is also featured in the segment. The video and transcript of the segment are available on the PBS website.

The segment which aired on PBS is a special feature on the Praying with Lior DVD, a documentary film about Lior Liebling, a young man with Down Syndrome, preparing for, and going through, his Bar Mitzvah. Rev. Bill Gaventa was an advisor on the award winning film. Rev. Gaventa is an internationally recognized expert in spirituality and disability and serves as The Boggs Center’s Director of Community & Congregational Supports. He is Editor of the Journal of Religion Disability, and Health. For more information about The Boggs Center’s efforts in Faith Based Supports, please contact Bill Gaventa.

NJ ADD Partners The Boggs Center Honored with Partners in Advocacy Award

The Boggs Center, along with New Jersey Administration on Developmental Disabilities Network partners (NJADD), the NJ Council on Developmental Disabilities and Disability Rights New Jersey, were honored with "Partners in Advocacy Awards" by The Arc of New Jersey. The Partners in Advocacy Awards to the NJ ADD Network and other honorees were presented at The Arc of New Jersey's 60th Anniversary on June 19, 2009.


Sharon LohrmannSharon Lohrmann, PhD, Receives Dr. Irwin A. Hyman Service to Children Award from the New Jersey Association of School Psychologists

Sharon Lohrmann, PhD, Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Director of Positive Behavior Support in Schools, was honored with the "Dr. Irwin A. Hyman Service to Children Award" by The New Jersey Association of School Psychologists. The award was presented at the The New Jersey Association of School Psychologists' 50th Anniversary on June 6, 2009.

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