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Vinfen Member and Staff Honored at ACE Awards

Vinfen is happy to announce that one of Atlantic Clubhouse’s members, Jean, received this year’s Massachusetts Department of Mental Health (DMH) Southeast Area Academic, Civic Engagement, and Employment (ACE) Award for his dedication to employment. Atlantic Clubhouse Program Director Janette Tibets also received a certificate of recognition for her outstanding accomplishment in promoting and demonstrating a culture of employment at the Club.

Sponsored by the DMH, the ACE Award ceremony took place at White’s of Westport in Westport, MA. This was the third year DMH has sponsored such a lovely event to celebrate such notable achievements. DMH Commissioner Joan Mikula welcomed attendees with opening remarks followed by special acknowledgments made by DMH Southeast Area Director of Rehabilitation and Recovery Matthew Cianci, and closing remarks from DMH Southeast Area Director Howard Baker-Smith.

Janette could not be more excited for Jean. “It was exciting to be able to introduce Jean as the recipient of the ACE Award and to share his employment success story,” she explained. Jean expressed sincere gratitude for all the support he has received both from DMH and Vinfen’s Atlantic Clubhouse over the years. He was awarded with a certificate and a monetary stipend to celebrate his accomplishments. ‘’It was an honor to be given this award.  I am so grateful to all those who supported me during challenging times in my life including Atlantic Clubhouse, DMH, and Father Bill’s & MainSpring. Without their support, encouragement, and belief in me, I would not be where I am today,” Jean voiced.

Janette has been an extraordinary example of her devotion to employment at Atlantic Clubhouse. Her biggest motivator was the statewide goal set by DMH to encourage 25% of Clubhouse members to be employed across Massachusetts. Previously, Atlantic Clubhouse only had 11.4% of members that were employed. Nevertheless, this did not stop Janette from moving forward. Janette and her team were able to identify the obstacles faced at the Club regarding employment, and took action with a new Think Employment Campaign. “Emails were generated to staff daily to remind them that employment is everyone’s business. We changed the referral process and we educated people through monthly meetings and presentations on the referral sources. We also focused on targeting rapid job development. We implemented community job development, we held people (staff and members) accountable, we structured the work ordered day, and we celebrated and recognized employment successes,” Janette explained.

As a result, at the end of June Atlantic Clubhouse had over 30 % of their members employed within the competitive work force! Janette couldn’t be happier with these results and commends all the staff and members for their hard work to achieve this goal. “It was exciting and a great honor to receive recognition for an outstanding accomplishment in promoting and demonstrating a culture of employment. The greatest joy and reward from all our efforts is seeing the transformation in the members that are now working, many of whom have entered the workforce for the very first time,” Janette commented.

Vinfen wishes both Jean and Janette a huge congratulations for all your efforts on employment! Together we are transforming lives each and every day thanks to our outstanding people we serve and staff.