Authors Posts by Sharon Militello

Sharon Militello

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As communications director, Sharon Militello is responsible for the design, development, and maintenance of the association website and social media pages; editing and preparation of communications; preparing and running webcasts; cultivating media relations; and maintaining relationships with technology support vendors.

Lesley Corey, who brings with her a 29-year career in behavioral healthcare and developmental disabilities, will become the Executive Vice President/COO of Step By Step, Inc. effective January 4, 2021.

She recently served as Vice President of Operations for a nationwide provider and was responsible for the oversight of six different states and a multitude of treatment programs including substance abuse, applied behavioral analysis, outpatient therapy, case management, home health services, and treatment foster care.

She succeeds Michael Bernatovich who relocated to Texas after 40 years with the agency.

Mike Bernatovich, Emeritus Executive Vice President/COO stated, “Upon learning of Leslie’s background and experience, I was excited to learn she was joining the Step By Step team. With the many challenges and opportunities that lie ahead, Step By Step is fortunate to have Leslie’s talents to both strengthen our reputation as a quality human service provider and to continue our mission to Opening Doors to Independence and Opportunity to those individuals we support.”

Eric Lindey, President/Chief Executive Officer shared: “We are delighted to welcome Lesley to Step By Step. Her qualifications are impressive but, even more so, her character, demeanor, and attitude are exactly what our consumers, employees, and stakeholders expect and deserve. I want to thank Mike Bernatovich for his exemplary leadership and I look forward to working with him and Lesley as we transition her into this extremely important role with our organization.”

Corey is also an adjunct professor, teaching courses in the disciplines of Psychology, Education, Sociology, Human Services, and Behavioral Health. Corey recently worked with the Chair of the Department of History and Social Sciences at Luzerne County Community College to develop a new diploma degree program, Behavioral Technician. This program was inspired by her years of treating, developing, and implementing therapeutic programs for children, adolescents, and adults in human services delivery systems.

Corey possesses a Doctor of Education Leadership Degree, a Certification in Elementary Education, a Master’s Degree in Healthcare Administration, a certification in Attachment Based Family Therapy, and a certification in Applied Behavior Analysis.

Step By Step, Inc., is a private, non-profit corporation devoted to the provision of community support services to individuals with intellectual disabilities, behavioral health difficulties, autism spectrum disorders, and physical disabilities.

Established in 1977, the agency today provides services to over 2,000 individuals in four regions across more than a dozen Pennsylvania counties.

Tablet on a desk - Newsletter

Over the last several years, RCPA had produced a monthly newsletter – gathering articles and information for members on a more global basis. This was in addition to the daily (alerts, infos) and weekly information provided. Our statistics show that this newsletter was, in fact, read (or at least opened!) by membership on a fairly routine basis.

With the appearance of COVID, however, everything seemed to become “immediate.” The notion of a monthly newsletter seemed to become antiquated and out of touch with the needs of our members and what was happening to the minute of each day during an ongoing crisis.

As we look back at the last year, as a staff we discussed what perhaps had been missed by not providing this communication. We did not want to simply revisit producing the monthly newsletter, just because that’s the way business had always been; those times have passed.

But admittedly, there are some things that are falling through the cracks during this “everything is now” culture. So after discussion, we are moving to the creation of a Quarterly Newsletter – but not one that simply rehashes all that we have already sent out to membership. You have this information already, and by the time of our newsletter publication it may be “stale” or even outdated.

Rather, this publication will focus on topics such as the following:

  • Articles from provider members and businesses on a range of topics;
  • Programs / best practices / technology highlights;
  • Introduction of new members;
  • Content from our national association partners that has not been covered elsewhere;
  • Updates from our growing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee;
  • Updates from other projects (e.g., Media Campaign) and committees;
  • Member updates (e.g., honoring staff, awards given);
  • Legislative tracking updates; and
  • Conference and educational updates and opportunities.

Please join us in the creation of this newsletter and in assisting with the content of this new publication. We hope you will enjoy this addition to the RCPA member communication. We envision this new endeavor beginning in March 2021.

Photo by Dario Valenzuela on Unsplash

National Family Caregivers Month – a time to celebrate the contributions of caregivers, provide them with tools that they need, and continue to advocate for individuals with mental illness.

There are over 53 million Americans who are unpaid caregivers to family, friends, and neighbors. Twenty-seven percent or nearly a third of adult caregivers are helping someone with a mental illness. Caregiving can often have a significant impact on the life of the caregiver in more ways than one. It can make maintaining your physical and mental health more difficult and may put a strain on work and social life.

[View Mental Health America web page for information, resources, and toolkits]