Dear Fellow Staff—

Congratulations! We did it—almost. For a brief time this week (about three hours), we had no outbreak houses! Our last house came off, but a short time later a staff member at another house tested positive and that house had to be quarantined. Fortunately, all of the individuals had their vaccination shots and the other staff were also fine—so we are getting really close!

We had two more “second-shot” clinics at our Career Development Center this week, and another 60 individuals and staff are completely vaccinated. That takes our total to over 300, and many others have gone to other city and county locations. Receiving the vaccinations are really helping to drive the numbers down and we are having another clinic on March 24, 2021 and I encourage all staff to seriously consider getting the vaccine. Thanks again to our H/R Department for their extra efforts in organizing these clinics.

This past Friday was Employee Appreciation Day. Behind the scenes and around the clock, our NCIA staff work hard to keep people safe, supported, and informed. This year more than ever we are grateful for your time and your talents, and your commitment to our mission. We simply could not do this without each of you. Thank you and Happy Employee Appreciation Day! We cannot wait for the day when we can (safely) celebrate in person!

Our Adult Residential Services team is on a roll! A number of staff changes and promotions continue to make the program stronger. Tia Riche moved from our Lead Case Manager to our Assistant Residential Director. This is a very advantageous move for our program as she is providing Rochelle Matthews, our Residential Director, with significant assistance to audit program records and manage household documentation. Nushia Brockman, who worked under Tia for the past three years was promoted to Tia’s position and has done an excellent job keeping the case management department on track. In addition, the job duties of our Case Manager Mark Johnson, an NCIA employee since 1998, were modified to focus on his forensic expertise. In his expanded role, Mark will assist all CBAI programs with matters related to our participants who are, or become, forensically involved. One of our growth goals is to “strengthen our bench” and we continue to do that. Congratulations to all!

In addition to our ARS staff changes, our Behavioral Support Services home is continuing its success in working with individuals in times of crisis. We have successfully transitioned three individuals to residential programs and we have a fourth resident, who has been hospitalized since October, scheduled to arrive this week.

Our Youth In Transition School re-opened on a trial basis last week, with a limited number of students, teachers, academic coaches, social workers and administrative staff. From staff reports, everyone was happy to see each other! We will continue to evaluate this process and hope we can gradually expand the number of students returning to live instruction.

The teamwork between and among our programs continues to amaze me. Chef Christa Bruno, a culinary instructor in our Baltimore Vocational Training Center, is now also preparing the breakfasts and lunches for our YIT school students and staff (and getting amazing reviews). Dr. Angela Chambers, the principal of our school, is working with the leadership of our Career Development Center to develop the curriculum for our meaningful day program. Collaboration such as this makes our team at NCIA that much stronger. One of the legendary NBA coaches said it best:

“The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team.”

So thank each of you for being part of our NCIA team, and keep up the great work.