Italian Home for Children’s Yota Gikas Receives Association for Behavioral Healthcare Award

Yota Gikas, the Assistant Vice President of Community Based Programs for Italian Home for Children, recently received the Association for Behavioral Healthcare's (ABH) award for Excellence in Leadership and Empowerment Award. ABH is statewide organization representing over 80 community-based behavioral healthcare provider organizations, recognized its 2020 award recipients at its annual Salute to Excellence event on October 16th, hosted virtually this year. Each year, ABH recognizes individuals and groups that have made impressive contributions to the field of mental health and addiction treatment

"On behalf of ABH, we want to thank all award recipients for the important work that they do every day, and particularly for their dedication to providing vital behavioral health services during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic," said Lydia Conley, President and CEO of ABH. “Your perseverance, creativity, and dedication have shown more than ever this year and we salute you for your unwavering commitment to individuals and families living with mental health and substance use disorders across the Commonwealth. ”

Gikas oversees the Italian Home’s outpatient mental health clinic, school-based contracts, in-home Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) program, as well as three CBHI programs. Gikas’ efforts to recruit an extremely diverse staff – ethnicity, race, LGBTQ - with linguistic capacity for ten languages is allowing IHC to open access to many more clients in the next couple of months and is reaching those that are marginalized by language barriers.

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Italian Home For Children in Jamaica Plain Receive Free Pizzas from Papa Gino’s

Papa Gino’s Pizzeria delivered free meals to the staff at Italian Home for Children in Jamaica Plain on May 27. The free meals were part of D’Angelo and Papa Gino’s Everyday Heroes program benefitting individuals fighting the outbreak of COVID-19 in New England communities. The donations usually go to facilities such as hospitals or assisted living homes, but Papa Gino’s decided to expand the program to the staff at Italian Home for Children, which runs programs to help children and families with emotional, behavioral, and educational challenges thrive in their communities. The staff received 16 extra large cheese pizzas, and the donations were carried out using proper social distancing practices, no-contact delivery, and in coordination with each facility’s designated representatives. “We all know that our healthcare workers on the frontlines of combatting this pandemic are the heroes of this situation,” said New England Authentic Eats CEO Tom Sterrett.

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New Computer Lab Donated to Italian Home for Children by City Kids

City Kids, a youth education nonprofit program developed by City Realty,  recently donated a full computer lab to the Italian Home for Children in Jamaica Plain. The Italian Home for Children provides an integrated network of powerful and effective programs to help children and families with emotional, behavioral and educational challenges thrive in their communities. The kids will use the new computer lab to aid in school work and research. City Realty Managing Partner Steve Whalen discovered the need for new computer equipment during a recent visit to the facility. Whalen worked with City Realty’s Chief Technology Officer Jerry Wycoco to select the desktops, design the space and install the entire telecommunications infrastructure.

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Boston Bruin Zdeno Chara Visits Italian Home for Children; All Kids Receive Free New Balance Sneakers

Not only did 120 Italian Home for Children students meet Boston Bruin Zdeno Chara, but they also received a new pair of New Balance sneakers. Chara and Bruins mascot Blades visited the Home on Nov. 28. After greeting the students, he answered questions at the Home's Pallotta Educational Center. Along with the free New Balance sneakers, all of the children of the Italian Home's residential and educational programs received a Boston Bruins Winter Classic hat.

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