March 2018 Newsletter


Poised to Better Address
Social Determinants of Health
by Briand Doyle, CEO
With 2018 well underway, Family Services and Hudson Valley Mental Health are moving along with the implementation of the robust Strategic Plan that was developed by both Boards and Leadership Staff in 2017.
A huge part of that work in 2018 will be to move toward the consolidation of Family Services and Hudson Valley Mental Health.   For years, the two agencies have been closely affiliated, sharing many administrative services and with both Boards working together on areas such as finance, governance and auditing.
This merger is based on our commitment to providing the highest quality of services to the people served by Family Services and Hudson Valley Mental Health and a recognition that this one strengthened organization will best serve those for whom we provide services, as well as to the surrounding community.
As noted in the past, the unified organization will include a Behavioral Services Division and a Program Services Division with Kevin Hazucha as President of Hudson Valley Behavioral Services and Joan Crawford as President of Hudson Valley Program Services.
The full consolidation of the two organizations is expected to take place by the end of 2018.
One important outcome of the merger is that we’ll be able to focus and further magnify the extent to which health in general and behavioral health, in particular, is greatly influenced by social determinants such as domestic violence, street crime, family difficulties and poverty, just to name a few. These are areas in which Family Services has, for years, been working and so the merged organization is expected to be in a stronger position to address those factors that significantly influence behavioral health and behavioral health needs in a more holistic, person centered manner.
We are very fortunate that this consolidation is moving along with the help of various supporters and stakeholders such as the Counties of Dutchess and Ulster, The New York State Office of Mental Health and others.   We are particularly privileged that the Dyson Foundation is providing resources to allow us to enlist the help of the New York Council of Nonprofits (NYCON) and others who have an expertise in such restructuring.
There are many complexities to this consolidation and as we tackle the various legal, licensing and fiscal issues we will also be closely examining the importance of messaging to the surrounding community of what will now be a unified and, we believe, stronger organization.
So please stay tuned for more and should you have, any questions do not hesitate to contact me, Kevin Hazucha, or Joan Crawford.
Kevin Hazucha

Recent Events

Public Gun Violence Forum Brings Community Together 
with Sights Set on Change
On Saturday March 3, the community gathered at the Family Partnership Center to attend a public forum on gun violence organized by Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney.  Approximately 250 people, including numerous students from local school districts, shared their feedback, their experiences and their recommended solutions with Congressman Maloney and those in attendance.


Family Services’ “Youth Services Corner”

TRAC Youth Receive Active Shooter Preparedness Information
Thank you to City of Poughkeepsie Police Sergeant Joe Ciardi for speaking with our Teen Resource Activity Center (TRAC) youth about what to do when faced with an active shooter situation.


February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness month
The 2018 Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month theme was to remind each and every youth that they are good enough, they deserve to spend their time and energy as they wish, and they are ALWAYS worthy of a love that builds them up – especially love from themselves. Having youth remind themselves that they are worthy of positive love can help reduce the number of roughly 1.5 million high school students in the United States that are physically abused by dating partners every year.
TRAC youth created positive affirmations that help focus on the things they love about themselves.
Marist Social Work students helped the youth create their affirmations to be displayed during the month of February.

By the Numbers
27 Officers Trained in 2017

In 2017, 27 law enforcement officers received Lethality Assessment Program (LAP) training.
An additional 131 officers that had previously been trained received refresher training.
The Lethality Assessment Program is an evidence-based program that originated out of Maryland’s Network Against Domestic Violence in 2005.¬†¬†Utilizing research from Dr. Jacquelyn Campbell, the program involves training law enforcement to recognize the red flags of victims who are at a greater likelihood to be murdered by their intimate partner.¬†¬†Once identified as high risk for lethality, research shows that connecting victims to advocacy services like those offered through the Center for Victim Safety and Support, on the scene of an incident, can significantly decrease a victim’s risk for homicide.
So far in 2018, 16 officers in 2 departments have received training.¬† By the end of March, the final 2 departments will be trained, resulting in 100% participation from Dutchess County Law Enforcement in the Lethality Assessment Program¬†within 4 years¬†of the program’s start date.


Leah Feldman, Director of Family Services 
Center for Victim Safety and Support will be a panelist at upcoming panel discussion at Vassar College
Leah Feldman, MPA, has been working in the field of interpersonal violence since 2005 and began her work in Dutchess County at Family Services in 2009.  Currently, she is the Director of the Center for Victim Safety and Support at Family Services, overseeing non-residential rape crisis, crime victim, and domestic violence services.  In this role, she has been instrumental in partnering with the community to implement and manage evidence-based systems enhancement projects with multi-disciplinary teams.  She was vital to the development of American Association of University Women (AAUW) Court Watch and is a member of AAUW.  She participates in numerous local and statewide committees and boards and has a certificate in Leadership Coaching through the Leadership Practices Inventory.  Her areas of interest include leadership coaching and development for women and young professionals.  Leah is a certified fitness coach and Girls on Guard self-defense instructor. Leah holds a BA in Psychology from Siena College and a MPA in Public Administration from Marist College.
Thursday, March 8, 2018
7 pm to 8:30pm
The Aula (Ely Hall) at Vassar College


Chris Pels, HR/Risk Management Director to Speak in D.C. at Non Profit Talent and Culture Summit Conference
Our own Director of Human Resources and Risk Management, Christopher Pels, Ed.D. has been invited to speak at this national conference. His topic will be “Harnessing the Power of Coaching and 360 Degree Feedback for Leadership Development”. Chris will talk about his experience in leading Family Services and Hudson Valley Mental Health Leadership staff through the Leadership Development initiative, involving 360 Degree Assessments, followed by effective coaching. Using the Kouzes and Posner’s Leadership Practice Inventory, Chris and other leaders within the agency spent several years utilizing this tool to enhance the leadership competencies of the managers within Family Services and Hudson Valley Mental Health. The presentation is intended to extend understanding of the role of Human Resources in facilitating and managing such a development program and to teach the basics of coaching and 360 degree feedback, all within a modest budget.
This presentation will engage participants and teach how to measure outcomes and evolve such a program as needs change within other organizations.
NonProfit Talent & Culture Summit
April 18-20, 2018
Washington Marriott Metro Center


Upcoming Events




Leadership Partner

Family Services’ 2017
Leadership Partner

Leadership Team

Brian Doyle
Chief Executive Officer

Joan Crawford
Deputy Executive Director

Natalie Borquist
Chief Financial Officer

Leah Feldman
Director of Center for Victim Safety and Support

Christopher Pels
Director of Human Resources and Risk Management

Whitney Humphrey
Director of Development

Martina Kardol
Director of Forensic Programs

Amy Cole
Director of Family Support Services

Kevin Hazucha
President of Hudson Valley Mental Health
Mark Sasvary
Director of Clinical Services for Hudson Valley Mental Health
Dr. Yugandhar Munnangi
Medical Director for Hudson Valley Mental Health
Casey Hons
Director of Operations for Hudson Valley Mental Health

Our Partners at the Family Partnership Center

Community Voices Heard

Dutchess County Behavioral & Community Health

Dutchess Community College

Dutchess County Healthy Families

Dutchess Outreach

Flores Chiropractic Group NY

Hudson River Community Health Care

Hudson River Housing

Hudson Valley Mental Health

John Flowers Community Events

Mental Health America-Mel’s Place

Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson

Planned Parenthood

Prime Health Choice

R.E.A.L. Skills Network, Inc.

Rebuilding Our Children and Community

Sadie Peterson Delaney African Roots Library
845-452-6088 ext. 3343

Recent Posts