With support from our Board of Directors, Executive Director, and Training Department, Thom Child and Family Services awarded scholarships to Thom employees for the fifth consecutive year through the Phyllis A. Fazzio Scholarship Program. This year, nine Thom employees will be able to partake in exciting training opportunities that will enhance their clinical practice, services to young children and families, and add valuable expertise to their early intervention programs.
Thom’s Boston Metro Early Intervention Program (EIP) will gain two certified lactation counselors through Fazzio Scholarship funding. Mirah Sand is an occupational therapist who is particularly interested in providing families with wrap around support in the area of feeding. Similarly, Katrina Veidins is an assistant team leader and a developmental specialist at Thom Boston Metro EIP, and she looks forward to supporting the infant/mother relationship as early as possible in her role as a certified lactation counselor.
Also at Thom Boston Metro EIP, Brady Tulp is a bilingual speech-language pathologist who will expand her skills in the area of feeding through the SOS Approach to Feeding course. This treatment approach focuses on increasing a child’s comfort level by exploring and learning about the different properties of food in a playful, non-stressful way.
Amy Deacon and Heather Riggenbach will also be attending the SOS Approach to Feeding course and plan to work together at their program, Thom Springfield Infant Toddler Services, to create a more comprehensive feeding group and consultation process to benefit families in the Springfield area.
Colleen Ciccarello is a family therapist at Thom Marlboro EIP. Colleen is a graduate of the UMass Parent Infant Mental Health Post Graduate Fellowship and looks forward to taking the Neuro Sequential Model of Therapeutics training to become endorsed as a level 4 Infant Mental Health Specialist.
The Newborn Behavioral Observations System (NBO) is a clinical relationship-building tool, designed for early intervention providers and other health professionals to help parents understand their baby’s language. Tayla Sliney, a developmental specialist at Thom Mystic Valley EIP, will use her scholarship to participate in this training to learn how to further support parents and their infants during the early phases of bonding and attachment.
Heather Brankman is a social worker and clinical team supervisor at Thom Pentucket EIP. Over the last several years, she has become involved with the Pentucket Perinatal Mental Health Coalition and has learned about the need for recognizing and supporting the mental health needs of postpartum mothers. She plans to take a training through Postpartum Support International that will enhance her ability to support mom’s during this vulnerable time.
Patty Kuzmeski, Program Director at Thom Westfield Infant Toddler Services, will be taking the Intermediate level training of Education with Insight through the Fitzgerald Institute. This training will support her in her leadership role as she focuses on developing relationships through positive communication and considers how personality and environment impact individuals and systems.