Vol 3 • Issue 4 • Sep 2012

September 27, 2012

Message from the CEO

Celebrating Direct Support Professionals Week

Grafton Integrated Health Network is happy to join the United States Congress in celebrating “National Direct Support Professionals (DSP) Week” September 9 through September 15, 2012. DSPs provide the support our clients need to live meaningful and productive lives within our community. During the week of September 9th, advertisements thanking our DSPs for their commitment and dedication in providing exemplary treatment and services appeared in local publications. Click here to access advertisement

As a small token of appreciation all DSPs received t-shirts with taglines that reflect what our DSP’s do every day:

  • Treatment that Works
  • Compassion in Action
  • Saving Lives…Everyday
  • Tomorrow’s Solutions, Delivered Today

DSPs are critical members of our trans-disciplinary team – their work literally gives people their lives back. Grafton is committed helping DSPs take charge of their own professional development with continuing education – it’s a win-win for both of us.

For example, we are working in partnership with Lord Fairfax Community College to create certification and degree programs that will be offered to employees. We see that this is just one way of investing in our most important resources—our employees.

“I enjoy being with the clients and having access to help them grow and change. It is gratifying to be part of an individual’s success. The opportunity for career development at Grafton is amazing! You have real access to administration. I feel like I can approach any of the administrators and that my voice counts.” Direct Support Professional, Grafton Integrated Health Network

Recently, Grafton launched the provision of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) services for children, adolescents, and adults. ABA services are provided by a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA), Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst or a highly trained paraprofessional under the supervision of a BCBA.

“ABA is a set of principles that form the basis for many behavioral treatments. ABA is based on the science of learning and behavior. This science includes general “laws” about how behavior works and how learning takes place. ABA therapy is used to increase language and communication skills. It is also used to improve attention, focus, social skills, memory and academics. ABA can be used to help decrease problem behaviors.” (Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network, 2012)

ABA services are currently being provided in the following Grafton locations: Berryville, Loudoun, Winchester, and Richmond. We are also providing ABA services in our newest location in Bradenton, Florida, and hope to provide services in West Virginia very soon. For more information about ABA services, please contact Jason Craig, Director of ABA Services via email at jason.h.craig01@grafton.org.

Finally, I wanted to share that since 2009, Grafton has been partnering with the Department of Human Resources in Victoria, Australia. The Senior Practitioner read about Grafton’s minimization of restraint and seclusion success in an article published in The Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities. Since then, the Senior Practitioner attended Grafton’s presentation at the Australasian Society for the Study of Intellectual Disability. The Office of the Senior Practitioner sponsored two trips for Grafton leaders to travel to Melbourne and Victoria, Australia to conduct workshops and presentations highlighting our evidence-based best practices. Grafton has begun providing case formulation services remotely through the use of video conferencing for those identified as high risk for violence in Victoria, Australia. We are also licensing our goal mastery product, an initiative implemented to provide a systematic method to help clients achieve positive outcomes. Lastly, Grafton has an affiliate membership with Yooralla, one of Australia’s largest and most proactive organizations working to support individuals with disabilities live meaningful and fulfilling lives.

We are committed to providing our DSPs with opportunities for professional growth through planned and strategic expansion of our services. Thank you for giving people their lives back!


  • Grafton’s Richmond facility launched a new adult day program, “Integrations” on June 18, 2012. Integrations is a structured day activity program for adults with intellectual disabilities with an emphasis on pre-vocational and vocational opportunities such as hospitality, janitorial, clerical, landscaping and others.
  • Kim Sanders, Executive Vice President and Chief Outcomes Officer and Christopher Feltner, Training Support Manager presented “Ukeru: The ‘Least Resistance’ Approach to Crisis Management” at A Special Place on August 10, 2012 in Charles Town, West Virginia.
  • Kim Sanders presented “Preventing Seclusion and Restraint among Children with Developmental Disorders in SAMHSA’s Promoting Alternatives to Seclusion and Restraint in Special Populations webinar series on August 28, 2012.
  • Shamsi Sadeghzadeh, Director of Outreach Services presented information at the Parent Education Center in Mordington, West Virginia on insurance coverage for Applied Behavior Analysis services on September 20, 2012.
  • Grafton served as the golden sponsor at the 11th annual Virginia Central Region CSA Training and Resource Day on September 24, 2012 in Richmond, Virginia.

Upcoming Events

  • Grafton will serve as a bronze sponsor for the Autism Speaks Walk scheduled on September 29, 2012 in Richmond, Virginia.
  • A Special Race for A Special Space sponsored by Grafton will be held on October 6, 2012 in Shenandoah Junction, West Virginia. The 1st annual Special Race for A Special Space 5K Run and Walk benefits children enrolled at A Special Space Centers located in Charles Town, West Virginia. Visit www.aspecialspace.org for more information.
  • Grafton will participate in the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) walk scheduled on October 13, 2012 in Glen Allen, Virginia. NAMI Walk is a family and community event to raise awareness, educate people about mental illness and celebrate hope and wellness.
  • Jim Gaynor, CEO/President and Kim Sanders will present “Safety Seven”, a 2012 Negley award winning initiative at the 29th National Association of Dually Diagnosed conference on October 19, 2012 in Denver, Colorado.