Monday, July 30, 2018

Brian Slusarz - Imagine! Case Management Unsung Hero

Congrats to Brian Slusarz, selected as an Imagine! Case Management Unsung Hero.

Brian has definitely been a positive asset to the Case Management team. He is level headed and pleasant to work with. He always offers support with helping others with paperwork and is quick to assist with any situation that is asked of him. He is one of the first people in the office every day and one of the last to leave. It is evident that he enjoys his work as a case manager and puts 100% into whatever he does. He advocates for his clients, is a hard worker and is an all-around good person.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Therapeutic Recreation

The Summer Camp program in Imagine!'s Out & About department comes to an end this week. The kiddos explored the Front Range, Boulder, and Denver communities with a therapeutic approach. Here is a snapshot of Summer Camp 2018!

National Sports Center for the Disabled (NSCD) hosted the kids for a morning at Bear Creek Lake in Lakewood to practice archery. Staff members from NSCD opened up with a training about safety, finer points of target archery, and how to use re-curve and compound bows. With five participants at a time shooting arrows, NSCD facilitated fun water games for the rest of us to keep cool! 

For the second year in a row, Evan Dittig from Skate.Now in New York traveled to Colorado and taught a skateboard clinic at the Lafayette Skate Park. Evan believes that everyone can skate and supported the kids with hand over hand assistance while cruising down the ramps and performing skate tricks!

Horses are always a big hit with the kids as the program spent several mornings at two different ranches in Boulder County. The kids learned a variety of skills in getting to know the horses from feeding, leading, grooming, and riding!

Friday, July 27, 2018

Andorra Turner - Innovations Super Hero of the Month

Every month, Imagine!’s Innovations department presents the “Super Hero of the Month” award to the employee or provider who has best demonstrated excellence in one or more of our Innovations Quality Standards:

  • Health, Safety, and Wellbeing 
  • Effective and Efficient 
  • Respect and Dignity 
  • Opportunities 
  • Integrity 
  • Care 
This month, the award was presented to Andorra Turner.

Andorra is an amazing Primary Counselor. She continuously strives to improve the lives of individuals at Santa Fe and she is an amazing advocate. Recently, Andorra took it upon herself to help one of the individuals at Santa Fe rearrange their room. She worked with the person to ensure that their room was rearranged the way that they wanted, while making the room less cluttered and more organized. She also made it easier for the individual to find all of their preferred items and helped construct a mini “everything in its place” (EIP) for all of the individual’s small items that get easily lost. This has made a positive impact on the person’s room and their lives.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

The Tyler Family

Photo courtesy of Ashley Burke Photography
Jessica and Jeff Tyler are strong supporters of Imagine!. They live in Broomfield, CO with their two sons Will and Ben, and contribute a monthly donation. The Tyler family met Imagine! in early 2017 under trying circumstances, but since then, the relationship has blossomed.

Shortly after Ben was born, he and his father tripped down the stairs and ended up in the emergency room. Jeff dislocated his shoulder, while Ben suffered a brain bleed and began treatment in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Children’s Hospital.

“Picture this teeny tiny baby, covered in gauze, electrical pads and wires, and in a coma,” said Jessica. “We were devastated.”

Jessica and Jeff very quickly asked for support through social media, and received a plethora of heartwarming and sympathetic messages. “There were literally thousands of people around the world praying for this kid,” said Jessica. “We couldn’t keep up with all the inquiries and notes of support.” In addition, one of Jessica’s former workplaces launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for Ben’s hospital bills, and nearby friends and family dropped off meals that lasted for six weeks.

About a week into the NICU treatment, doctors weened Ben off sedating medication and he started to move his eyes around and looked at his parents, recognizing people in front of him. “That’s when we knew we had a good shot at recovery,” said Jessica.

Two weeks after the incident, Ben was released from Children’s Hospital and the Tyler family could be at home again as a family. Upon leaving the hospital, the nurses hosted a brief education session to prepare them for life after the hospital. In this same meeting, they mentioned Imagine!.

“I called Imagine! right away,” said Jessica. She was directed to the Early Intervention department. “I didn’t even know where to start and Erika Skewes (Imagine! Service Coordination Supervisor) knew exactly who to connect me with.” Erika advocated for Ben to receive as many services as possible to give him the best care right away. At three months old, Ben began physical, occupational, and vision therapies.

Fast forward to 15 months later, you’ll see a happy and healthy boy running around, using one syllable words.

“We had doctors tell us that they didn’t know if he was going to walk or talk. And now you see that he’s doing both those things and more,” said Jessica. “It’s truly been miraculous.”

Not only does Ben run around, he runs under, over, and through everything in sight. His spirit for adventure is very rich as he continues to develop his motor and speech skills.

“See that lamp over there?” asks Jessica with a laugh. “That’s courtesy of Ben, throwing it on the floor last week.” She also points to a scar next to his eye, explaining how he head butted a bed frame during a game of chase.

Jessica laughs as she impersonates her son, “whatever mom, I’m gonna do whatever I want. I almost died, fool!” She continues, “We think on some level he knows what happened and he’s like ‘bring it!’"

The Tyler family feels strongly that without Ben’s therapy team from Imagine!, and without Erika pushing to get him that head start, his life could be much more challenging. “It’s not lost on us how different his story could have been,” said Jessica.

Now that Ben is recovering well and healthy, the Tyler family decided to show their gratitude by donating to both Imagine! and Children’s Hospital on a monthly basis. “We’ve been able to receive everything we could have ever wanted for Ben, it’s the least we can do to just give back a little bit,” said Jessica.

After the accident, the Tylers sold their house in Lafayette as a way to “move” on from the accident and start fresh in a new home. While deciding where to move, it was on their minds to stay in Imagine!’s service area. “We wanted to make sure to keep the band together,” said Jessica. “We thought about moving back to Portland near family, but want to keep Ben with his therapists until he’s grown up.”

Imagine! is honored to work with such a loving family as the Tylers, and would like to thank them for sharing their story.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Imagine! Case Management Unsung Hero - Andy Wagner

Congrats to Andy Wagner, selected as an Imagine! Case Management Unsung Hero. Here’s what a co-worker had to say about Andy:

“Andy is an awesome Case Manager and a supportive member of the Supported Living Services team. Andy does not hesitate to stop what he is doing and help a Case Manager if they need support with learning a new task or need advice about a situation with a client. Not only does Andy help Case Managers with job tasks, but he also checks in on the team regularly and asks how everyone is doing. When Case Managers feel stressed or panicked, Andy helps the team remain calm and figure out what needs to be done. Andy is good at handling tough situations but also manages to have a great sense of humor that keeps everyone laughing throughout the week.” 

Way to go, Andy!

Friday, July 20, 2018

Mandy To Present At Longmont Startup Week

Author, poet, artist, presenter, self-advocate, and good friend of Imagine! Mandy Kretsch will be a member of a presentation panel Thursday, July 26, during Longmont Startup Week. Mandy will be part of a discussion entitled “The Inclusive Aspects of Multi-Generational Entrepreneurship.”

Techstars Startup Week is more than a conference, it’s a celebration. Startup Week brings entrepreneurs, local leaders, and friends together over five days to build momentum and opportunity around our community’s unique entrepreneurial identity.

The theme for Longmont Startup Week 2018 is “Smarter. Together.” Events and content throughout the week will focus on creators, commerce, capital, and community and will highlight Longmont as an entrepreneurial ecosystem for civic innovation. They are also focusing on diversity and have worked hard to include people with a wide range of abilities and disabilities.

All events are FREE to attend and provide outstanding learning and networking opportunities, so you are encouraged to attend and support Mandy.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Imagine!'s Early Intervention Rockstar: Daniel Reizenstein

Imagine!’s Early Intervention (EI) program has a terrific team working to create a world of opportunity for all abilities. To show their appreciation, this team chooses a “Rockstar” each month within their program. Team members submit nominations describing what the nominee has contributed, going above and beyond to support those we serve.

We would like to recognize Daniel Reizenstein as this month’s Rockstar.

Daniel is a great asset to the Early Intervention department. He is passionate about working with families and is willing to go the extra mile to support them in any way possible. Daniel has been extremely helpful in supporting new service coordinators. He brings a positive vibe to the team and is always willing to lend a helping hand when needed.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Make Your Voice Heard

Looking for ways to make your voice heard? Below are a couple of opportunities.

The Office of Community Access and Independence within the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) is currently recruiting members to serve on the Colorado Advisory Council for Persons with Disabilities. They are looking for members from all areas of the state with a diverse background, but all applicants are encouraged to apply. The Council is comprised of seven voting members and three nonvoting members who are appointed by the Governor and the Executive Director of CDHS. Three voting members must be either a person with a disability or a family member of a person with a disability. The three nonvoting members must represent three separate types of organizations that provide services to the disability community. More info: 

And ...

The Boulder County Local Coordinating Council (BCLCC) is looking for a caregiver of a child with a disability to serve on an Inclusive Planning Steering Committee. The committee meets four times at various locations over the course of August-December and their input will go into a five-year Boulder County transportation plan. The BCLCC will pay for transportation and offer food at the meetings. Contact for more details or if interested in participating, or learn more here:

Friday, July 6, 2018

Imagine! CORE/Labor Source Longmont Employee Spotlight – Marrisca and Dani

Simply stated, CORE/Labor Source (CLS) Longmont would not function without Marrisca Juvan and Dani Smelcer. For the majority of the week, these two are the first to come to work and the last to leave. Not only do they do their specific job roles with diligence and perfection (liaison and communication between CLS and Host Home Providers, scheduling of staff and clients, transportation schedule, new staff training, documentation, community outreach), but they then go above and beyond to make sure our staff feel supported and comfortable in their roles. Each day Marrisca and Dani schedule themselves in classes, provide transportation, and/or assist with lunch and bathrooms. They model relaxed, strong, and confident staff members and in times of crisis clients look to them for support and are immediately safer because of their presence. Thank you to both for being the epitome of a good team-member and compassionate CLS employee.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Tina Fisbeck - July Imagine! Excellence Customer Service Award Recipient

Congratulations are in order for Tina Fisbeck, part of our Human Resources team, who was selected as the July 2018 recipient of the Imagine! Excellence in Customer Service Award.

Tina has an extremely demanding job - often without a great deal of reward. She supports every level of the organization in meeting their staffing needs even through challenges in the applicant pools or other variables out of her control. She represents the organization phenomenally, both internally and out in the community. She is always looking for additional opportunities to continue to make Imagine! an employer of choice. We are fortunate to have Tina out there working hard on Imagine!'s behalf to find us even more great employees always, but especially now, when the job market is so competitive.