Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Andy Palacio

Andy is getting recognition for his years of good music:


His new album Watina produced by Duran's Stonetree label is his best work yet by far. It's nice seeing Andy going back to his roots. After all, the Prince of Punta is maturing and his music shows.


Great Read

If you want a well documented account about how war can ruin lives - read "Wounded - Vietnam to Iraq" - by Ronald J. Glasser, M.D. It is also a good insight to the struggles of soldiers surviving with lost limbs and traumatic brain injuries.

Sunday, June 10, 2007


Initially operating with only 1 staff member overseeing the entire program, the number of days opened was limited to 3 so that during the 2 other workweek days, executive operations and program development could be conducted. A second part-time staff was hired through grant money in the spring 2001. Furthermore, it was only when a reciprocal relationship between the University of New Hampshire’s Occupational Therapy department was established that a workforce was created to fully meet members’ needs. In October 2000, SteppingStones began with six members, two caregivers, six student interns, two UNH faculty members, and one paid staff.

Since then, SteppingStones has experienced exponential growth. Membership has increased 2,666%, membership participation hours have increased 967% and in-kind volunteer hours have increased 750%.
Today SteppingStones is a sophisticated and maturing program with 160 members, 40 caregivers, 100+ community volunteers, 100+ student interns and eight faculty members from UNH and other higher educations institutions, and six paid staff.

Created by members and for members, members actively participate in the entire infrastructure of SteppingStones. Member focus groups create the four season programming schedule: Spring and Fall Academic Program seasons are dedicated to our reciprocal relationship with student interns and faculty in allied health professions from the University of New Hampshire (UNH) and other higher education institutions, while the Summer and Winter Enrichment Program seasons are devoted to our partnership with community volunteers in the arts, culture, travel, and holistic health.
Through SteppingStones’ holistic health and wellness, empowerment and community partnership model, members choose to participate in individual sessions and/or 30-40 weekly, skill training, thematic-based, workshops: creative, cognitive, functional, emotional, physical, recreational, social, and vocational.
Functional Integration Sessions or individually scheduled appointments with members are designed to mentor and coach members in occupation and/or specific skill exploration and acquisition to further improve quality of life, increase independence, and community integration.

Reciprocal relationships: A hallmark of SteppingStones.
• Community partnerships have enriched SteppingStones through a collaboration of thoughts and ideas for many aspects of programming. As a collective community, we embody an infusion of creative ideas that continuously energizes SteppingStones through the process of dynamic innovation. The dollar value conversion of in-kind service hours for each year of 2004 and 2005 was greater than the program’s yearly operating budget.

o Community Volunteers: 100 volunteers, artists, musicians, poets, writers, dancers, martial art experts, holistic health practitioners, lectures, etc., including 2 part time “Artists in Residence”.
o Educational Institutions:
University of New Hampshire
Boston University
Tufts University
North Hampton School

As people living with brain injury are quickly discharged from hospitals and rehabilitation services, they often go home to a compromised life with lives and families shattered, fragmented roles, jobs and incomes lost, family and friends not well prepared to assist their loved ones. Furthermore, insurance dollars have been exhausted and little or no services are available as systems of care do not exist for their long-term needs.
By creating a community within their community, SteppingStones recognizes and normalizes these traumas and addresses them.
Whereas the Grants & Resources Program often serves as a lifeline providing cash awards and support to persons living with brain injury and their families residing in New Hampshire.

Awards ranging from $50 to $5,000 (the lifetime maximum) have been given to those individuals who have been struggling to make adjustments to life after severe traumatic brain injury, brain tumor, or stroke. Since its 1995 inception to 2005, Grants & Resources has made 651 awards totaling $1,009,328.

Due to new opportunities with a state funding mechanism for individuals with brain injury, The Krempels Brain Injury Foundation Grants & Resources Program has revised its focus and process. In an effort to address the unmet emotional needs of family members who provide care for individuals living with brain injury, the Krempels Brain Injury Foundation has developed a Family Caregiver Support Group.

This group provides an opportunity for family caregivers of members of Steppingstones, grant recipients and patients at Portsmouth Day Rehab to develop and nurture their own base of support. The format for these groups is informal – group members come when they can; the agenda varies from facilitated discussions to guest speakers regarding legal, financial and medical issues, and guided emotional healing experiences.
The Krempels Brain Injury Foundation, directly meeting the long-term, post-rehabilitation needs of people living with brain injury who are at the far end of the continuum of care, and successfully integrating members into their community.

KBIF Volunteer Hours