COMPASS Program for Children with a Hearing Loss
Steered by LENA
Presented by Theresa Dodd, CCC-SLP, LSLS Cert. AVT, Kayley Cassidy, M.A.T., TOD
Click Here for the Presentation: LENA PowerPoint Presentation
Click Here for the Audio Presentation: http://www.lenafoundation.org/Research/Conference/Default.aspx
The Lake Drive Sound Start Program is the Only Early Childhood Education Program for Children with Hearing Loss in New Jersey Using the LENA System.
Only 20 Programs for Children with Hearing Loss are using LENA worldwide.
COMPASS: Creating Outcomes to Maximize Practical Application of Skills & Strategies
The Sound Start Speech and Language Pathologist and Auditory Oral Teacher of the Deaf utilize the LENA System to teach parents effective strategies to increase listening and spoken language on a daily basis in the home. They presented the results of their pilot program at the International LENA Conference in April.
Parents were trained to use selected strategies to increase daily speech and language that could be easily implemented by families with children birth to three years of age:
- Expansion & Extension: build & take to the next level
- Auditory Bombardment: increase frequency
- Self-Talk: narrate daily routines
- Following the Child’s Lead: follow child-directed play
Pilot Program Participants
- Six families of children with hearing loss (mild to profound)
- Assistive listening technology: baha, hearing aids, cochlear implants
- 12 to 23 months of age at beginning of the pilot
- Home and center-based services
- Frequency and intensity varies based on
- Individual Family Service Plan (1x/month, 2x/month, 1x/week, etc.)
- Hearing Aid, Baha, & Cochlear Implant Users
- Various cultures, SES, language, family make-up
The majority of participants showed positive changes:
- 66% increased adult word count
- 50% increased child vocalizations
- 66% increased conversational turns
Parents also realized the importance of managing the auditory environment and learned to turn the TV off!
“Children with hearing loss require three times the exposure to learn new words and concepts due to a reduced acoustic bandwidth”
- Pittman, 2008
What is the LENA System?
LENA stands for Language ENvironment Analysis. It’s a revolutionary system designed to capture the amount of talk in a child’s environment.
Using a state-of-the-art Digital Language Processor (DLP) and Language Environment Software, LENA quantiﬁes and analyzes conversations between a parent or caregiver and
child, helping to ensure that the child is experiencing the type of rich language environment that leads to an advanced learning trajectory.
In short, LENA promotes listening and spoken language, — talk that every child needs to succeed in life.
The Research Behind LENA
How much talk and conversation is needed to ensure your baby’s optimal growth?
Researchers Betty Hart, Ph.D., and Todd R. Risley, Ph.D., conducted nearly 10 years of research to learn why some children perform better than others in school; they published their findings in the book Meaningful Differences. According to the book, the answer is words.
The quantity of talk and interactions that parents had with their child, explained Hart and Risley, predicted a child’s IQ and vocabulary size more so than any other variable, including parents’ education or socioeconomic status.
After the first four years, however, it is virtually impossible to close the gap between children whose parents have provided this advantage and children of parents who have not.
Average word counts heard by children per day – and correlated with IQ at age 3, based on study by Drs. Hart and Risley (1995).
7,430 Words a Day-79 IQ
12,810 Words a Day-107 IQ
21,105 words a Day-117+ IQ
Using strategies taught by the Sound Start specialists, parents of typically developing children can also make a significant impact on their own child’s development.
Lake Drive Foundation Trustee, Dr. Laura McKirdy
Honored at The 2013 Morris County Non-Profit Excellence Awards and
NJBiz Healthcare Heroes Awards
Dr. Laura McKirdy, co-founder of The Lake Drive Programs for Children Who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing in Mountain Lakes and trustee of The Lake Drive Foundation has been recognized for her impact on the lives of infants and toddlers with hearing loss from throughout northern New Jersey in the Lake Drive Sound Start Program.
On April 18th, Dr. McKirdy was honored with the 2013 Morris County Non-Profit Excellence Award for Volunteerism at the 10th Annual Morris County Non-Profit Conference at the Meadow Wood Manor in Randolph. The award recognizes an exemplary volunteer whose efforts have made a significant impact on the nonprofit organization and/or a successful non-profit partnership initiative.
In addition to receiving the Morris County award, Dr. McKirdy is one six volunteers statewide selected as a finalists for NJBiz Health Care Heroes Education Hero, an award that recognizes volunteers who have made a significant impact on the quality of healthcare in New Jersey. Healthcare Heroes Award winners will be announced on June 18 at the Palace at Somerset Park in Somerset, NJ.
The award program, produced by NJBIZ, New Jersey’s premiere business news publication, is sponsored by Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, Hackensack University Medical Center, Comcast Business Class, New Jersey Hospital Association and WithumSmith+Brown, PC.
Finalists and winners were chosen by an independent panel of judges including: Dean Paranicas, Healthcare Institute of New Jersey; Pat Barnett, RN, JD, New Jersey State Nurses Association, and The Institute for Nursing; Wardell Sanders, New Jersey Association of Health Plans; Sonia Delgado, Princeton Public Affairs Agency; and Claudine M. Leone, Esq., Government Affairs Consultant.
In 2011, The Lake Drive Programs received the NJBiz Health Care Heroes Education Hero Award in the category of organization.
Dr. McKirdy has been an advocate for children with hearing loss for over four decades. The speech and language pathologist was the co-founder and principal of the Lake Drive Programs for children with hearing loss. But when it came time to retire, Laura did not sit back and pass the torch for others to carry on the mission. Instead she lighted the way for our youngest children, “the babies”.
Laura was recognized for her decade of dedication as a volunteer on the board of The Lake Drive Foundation. The Foundation raises critical funding for Lake Drive’s Sound Start Early Intervention Program, ensuring Morris County babies with hearing loss and their families, receive the dramatically life-changing support, education and therapies needed to fulfill their potential. State funding, including family cost shares covers barely one third of Sound Start’s proven life-changing services. Services these families could never afford.
Dr. McKirdy goes above and beyond the role of a foundation trustee. In addition to fundraising, McKirdy provides valuable program consultation based on her previous experience as the program administrator for The Sound Start Program. Laura works closely with the talented leaders and team members who provide the services to the babies and their families. Together they problem solve to balance the comprehensive needs of the babies and their families with the limits of a bare bones budget and complex schedules. Because more than half of children have associated multiple disabilities, a multidisciplinary team comprised of the most knowledgeable and compassionate specialists in their field is essential. Sound Start’s team includes teachers of the deaf, a speech and language therapist, physical and occupational therapists, a pediatric audiologist, dysphagia specialist, social worker and psychologist. Their coordinated services are provided in 50 families’ homes throughout northern New Jersey as well as center-based at the Lake Drive School.
For babies with hearing loss, time is precious. McKirdy continually seeks innovative ways to optimize every minute of development. When she learned too many babies who did not pass their newborn hearing tests in New Jersey were falling through the cracks, McKirdy and her colleagues developed a pilot program in partnership with a regional medical center where more than 3,800 babies are born each year. In the “Preciousyears” Program, funded by The Lake Drive Foundation, a specially trained coordinator visited with new mothers bedside to assist with education, referrals, even transportation to ensure the infants who did not pass their screenings received timely follow up within three months. “Preciousyears” increased the follow up by 50%.
The team’s problems solving efforts also led to the development of Sound Start’s Ivy Nursery, an innovative full day program combining toddlers with hearing loss and typically developing toddlers. They realized that more intensive exposure to speech and language would improve student outcomes. McKirdy helped develop the model with its focus on auditory learning, social, emotional and cognitive development. At age 3, “graduating students” inclusive of those with multiple disabilities, who receive early identification, amplification and the comprehensive services of Sound Start are well on their way to achieving age appropriate communication skills and success in school.
Ivy Nursery was honored April 25 as the New Jersey Speech-Hearing-Language Association’s Program of the Year. The Sound Start Program also won the NJSHA Program of the Year Award in 2008.
“In spite of the proven success of the program, Sound Start services are not adequately covered by state funding and families can not afford the comprehensive therapies,” Lake Drive Foundation president, Stephanie Deyo shares. “Since 1997, the Lake Drive Foundation’s exceptional volunteers such as Laura, have been committed to raising the necessary funding for the program and ensuring optimal outcomes for the Sound Start babies. Because of these efforts Sound Start has made a permanent, life changing difference for more than 1,000 infants and toddlers with hearing loss from throughout northern and central New Jersey.”
Donna Sorkin, Executive Director of the new American Cochlear Implant Alliance visited The Lake Drive School to learn about The Sound Start Program’s full day inclusive Ivy Nursery and visit with the young students. After visiting the two Ivy Nursery classrooms and enjoying circle time and science with the toddlers, she spent time with preschoolers who had previously attended Ivy Nursery. The four year olds were surprised to learn Donna also had a cochlear implant. For children who had never seen an adult with cochlear implants, it was an “aha!” moment that made a meaningful impact.
Donna has had hearing loss since childhood. Her unrivaled commitment is inspired by her personal experience of the extraordinary power of the evolving technology.
Donna has served as Executive Director of two of the premier hearing health associations, Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and the Hearing Loss Association of America.
She has worked with patients, families, health professionals, educators, federal, state and local officials; researchers and others to address key hearing loss issues impacting both children and adults.
As the Vice President, Consumer Affairs for Cochlear Americas, Ms. Sorkin developed legislative and advocacy programs to expand reimbursement of cochlear implantation. She also created HOPE, the online educational program providing knowledge and support to professionals who work with children with cochlear implants.
As the Executive Director of the new American Cochlear Implant Alliance, a non-profit focused on eliminating barriers to cochlear implantation, Sorkin will be advancing their mission through research, advocacy and awareness for people of all ages throughout the U.S.
For her contributions on behalf of children with hearing loss, Donna Sorkin was honored by The Lake Drive Foundation at the annual “For the Babies Gala” on May 16.
“Brown bear, brown bear what do you see?” Sitting criss, cross, applesauce on brightly colored circles at story time, an animated group of toddlers shout out the answer. “Green frog!” they yell excitedly. At first glance, a visitor would never know that half of the little ones in the Ivy Nursery Program are deaf or hard of hearing. In fact, if it weren’t for their hearing aids and cochlear implants, it would be difficult to tell which of these toddlers has a hearing loss.
The unique program is New Jersey’s only full day intensive, inclusive early education experience for toddlers ages 18-36 months with and without hearing loss and this year’s New Jersey Speech and Hearing Association Program of the Year.
Five years ago The Sound Start Early Intervention Program of the Lake Drive School for Children who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing received this award. In 2010, funding from the Lake Drive Foundation enabled Sound Start to expand its early intervention program with the full day Ivy Nursery.
The program was inspired in part by studies that found there is a critical window of brain development between birth and age three during which intensive early intervention for children with hearing loss can result in significant long term benefits. Research by Betty Hart and Todd R. Risley who published a book, “Meaningful Differences in the Everyday Experience of Young American Children” also influenced the model. Hart and Risley found that the quantity of talk and interactions that parents and caregivers provide predicts a child’s IQ more than any other variable including the parent’s education or socioeconomic status.
Ivy Nursery is especially beneficial for working parents’ children with hearing loss. It offers an alternative to a general daycare setting where the group size and acoustic environment are not optimal for developing listening, speech, and language. Ivy Nursery is staffed by a team of specialists who are versed in both early childhood development and education of infants and toddlers with hearing loss. The team of early intervention professionals includes two teachers of the deaf, a pediatric audiologist, a speech and language pathologist, paraprofessionals, a psychologist, physical and occupational therapists.
There are two Ivy Nursery classrooms with up to 8 children in each classroom. One classroom uses total communication, a combination of signed and spoken language, and the second offers an auditory/oral approach. The children are taught by a teacher of the deaf who is assisted by a paraprofessional. The children receive push-in and pull-out services based on their individual needs.
Qualitative and quantitative assessments show exceptional changes across all domains for Ivy Nursery participants. Many attain skills comparable to their hearing peers. At age three even those children who have been identified as having multiple disabilities increased their receptive and expressive language skills to 80-100% of expectation for their chronological and/or cognitive age and their gross motor, fine motor and self help skills are also at 80-100% of age expectation.
As you might expect the families of the children served at the Ivy Nursery are more than appreciative of what the program does for their children.
One parent wrote,
“How do you thank the individuals who gave your child a voice….when you weren’t sure you would ever hear it? How do you say thank you for building the confidence of an entire family and encourage faith that the future holds wonderful things? We have all this and more, thanks to your program.”
A parent of a typically hearing child in the program shared,
“We are having a wonderful experience at the Lake Drive Ivy Nursery School. The teachers are caring, dedicated, talented and compassionate. The program is individualized and geared to the development of each child. We could not be happier with the school for providing our son with an extremely positive first step in his learning adventure.”
It is because of sentiments like these that NJSHA recognized the Ivy Nursery Program as the 2013 Program of the Year.
Contribution from TD Charitable Foundation Gives Babies
with Hearing Loss a Sound Start
When TD Bank representatives, Tara K. Jean and Ruth Wilson arrived at the Sound Start early intervention class for parents and infants, the room was literally crawling with babies. Jean, Assistant Vice President and Store Manager of the TD Store in Denville and Wilson, Vice President Retail Market Manager, Morris County, simply took off their shoes and joined the children on the floor to make a rather unconventional, but very welcome check presentation.
On behalf of the TD Charitable Foundation, Jean and Wilson presented $5,000 to The Lake Drive Foundation to support the comprehensive early intervention services provided by The Sound Start Program for babies who are deaf and hard of hearing. On that particular day, families were meeting with Sound Start specialists in a classroom at The Lake Drive School for Children with hearing loss in Mountain Lakes to better understand their child’s needs and learn how to facilitate their child’s achievement.
The group meets weekly for support and education provided by a teacher of the deaf, occupational therapist, speech and language therapist and pediatric audiologist. Additionally, Sound Start professionals provide individual therapies in the families’ homes throughout northern and central New Jersey. At 18 months, toddlers in Sound Start can attend a full day intensive, inclusive nursery program also held at Lake Drive School. Learning side by side with hearing peers, at age three they graduate ready for preschool at Lake Drive or in their home communities.
“Ideally, babies identified with hearing loss should receive amplification and start early intervention by no later than six months old,” explains Dr. Jennifer Steinruck, the program’s audiologist. “We know the first three years are critical for brain development. But hearing aids and cochlear implants are not a miracle cure. It takes intensive therapies and committed parent involvement for children to learn to listen, speak, and attain communication skills comparable to their hearing peers. But we know it can be done.”
Handing out green TD Santa hats, Jean told the families “On behalf of TD Bank and the TD Charitable Foundation we’re proud to support The Sound Start Program. Ruth and I are here today because people in this community are more than customers to us. And as a parent of a toddler myself, I truly appreciate how important The Sound Start Program must be to your families.” Since its inception in 2002, the TD Charitable Foundation has contributed over $88 million in grant funding to non profit organizations in TD communities.
Founded in 1969, Sound Start has helped more than 1,000 infants and toddlers who are deaf and hearing impaired from throughout northern and central New Jersey develop the communication skills to achieve in school and fulfill their potential.
Despite the proven results, state funding covers less than one third of The Sound Start Program’s life changing services.
The Lake Drive Foundation for Children Who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to ensuring babies with hearing loss get the quality early intervention services they need, regardless of their families’ ability to pay. Through grants from organizations such as TD Charitable Foundation, individual donations, and events, The Lake Drive Foundation raises the funds necessary to maintain the dramatically life changing program.
Sound Start operates under the auspices of The Lake Drive Programs in Mountain Lakes which offers New Jersey’s most comprehensive continuum of educational opportunities for children with hearing loss from birth through high school graduation.
For more information about The Sound Start Program, newborn hearing screening, signs of hearing loss, or to make a donation visit www.lakedrivefoundation.org.
Calling all graduates – email your stories and photos to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Daniel DiDonna Graduated from The Lake Drive Programs and Mountain Lakes High School in 2007.
Daniel was diagnosed with hearing loss when he was 18 months old and wore hearing aids until he got a cochlear implant at 9 years old. An impressive student and athlete, Daniel graduated from Gallaudet University this year. He swam in the Deaflympics in Taiwan and volunteered with Global Reach Out empowering Deaf persons in Guatemala. Here, Daniel DiDonna shares his unforgettable experience teaching ASL to Deaf Students, Special Education Teachers, Parents, and Hospital Staff in the Marshall Islands.
“I believe the Deaf students there deserve so much more…”
“Iakwe! (Hello!) This summer I was stationed in Marshall Islands, located between Australia and Hawaii. I resided there for nearly 3 months working with Deaf students, parents, special education teachers, organizational members, and the hospital staff. My purpose in going was to become an American Sign Language instructor, providing workshops for all who wanted to learn how to communicate with Deaf children and adults.
“Ever since I became a student at Gallaudet, one of my goals was to experience a global internship. I am interested in international and comparative education, especially among the deaf communities in other countries. Exposing them to the importance of American Sign Language and Deaf identity; other Deaf youngsters can aspire to dream and succeed!
“I had to expose the community in the Marshalls that Deaf people can do anything but hear as well as the importance of having an early stage of language foundation, especially through the use of sign language. Not only that, I was there to promote awareness about needs that Deaf children require in the educational system and serve as a role model as a Deaf adult. I also went with another intern named Mela Langinbelang, a Gallaudet student who moved to Hawaii from the Marshalls at a young age after she became Deaf from a bad fever. I was extremely lucky to go there with an actual resident of the Marshall Islands because I got to meet her entire family, delve into a completely different cultural experience and exposing my soul to the unknown.
“I don’t know if I mentioned this before, but I’ve been sleeping on a palm mat on the floor since I’ve been here in the Marshall Islands. Jelina had provided me a small bed when I first arrived here, but as I learned that the Marshallese custom was sleeping on the floor on a mat, I wanted to try it out! At the beginning, my first few nights were pretty uncomfortable as the hard floor smacked against my bony hips and shoulders. However, after a few days I became used to the floor and found myself drifting off to sleep soundly.” From Daniel’s Blog
“We taught at the Rairok Elementary School in Majuro. The sight of Deaf education in the Marshall Islands was difficult for me to comprehend at first. As an American, I was provided with plenty of resources boosting my education on a completely new level. I barely struggled through my school years because I had interpreters and supportive parents who cared about my knowledge and abilities as a human being. Here, it is a whole different story. The Deaf children are neglected, not necessarily neglected, but deprived of their education because many adults simply do not know how to communicate with their hands. With this, many young students just sit in class and stare into space without understanding what is going on in the classroom when the regular teacher is teaching.
“There, all the schools lacked a centralized education for the Deaf and the resources used to teach was very limited. Working with few materials, I had to search for other ways to approach the students in getting them to understand what I was about to teach them. Unfortunately, the reading and education levels among the students were quite low. I worked with a couple of teenagers who did not know how to spell their own name, how old they were and so forth. However, the Deaf students have their own dialect sign language but isn’t sufficient enough to truly express how they think and feel. Going there as an American Sign Language instructor and role model, I was able to bring a new form of communication for the students—a language of self-expression.
“This week was filled with quite a lot of over-expressed and huge signs.. I reviewed the concept of birthday; month, day, and year. I mainly focused on self identity this week where the students learned how to express their birthday in a clear manner.” From Daniel’s Blog
“I found myself wondering how we interns would be able to teach almost 30 students each day for four hours if they had varying levels of knowledge. More and more questions began to swarm through my mind–and it did not help that the work ethic and pace of time is totally a 360 degree turn from what I am used to in America. Used to stress and typing a million term papers throughout my semesters, being on the go constantly and consistently getting every task done on time. Here, everyone is like “meeting time at 2:00” and then I find myself waiting in a chair in front of an empty table for at least an hour or two. This was one of the cultural frustrations I faced during the beginning of my internship, adjusting to Pacific Time. I thought I could chill to the max, but I was completely wrong.
“I found myself remembering that I was not in America anymore. I am just an intern who came here to help; I cannot change everything overnight despite my frustrations. I used the best of my knowledge and tools that would further support the community here and just keep in mind that I am an intern who is here to plant a seed. By planting the seed, I can only hope for the Marshallese to take in what Mela and I have taught them so far and build from there. As each day passes by, I am becoming more emotionally attached to the Pacific Islands.
“ I will be working with them again for the last two weeks of July in preparation for a talent show tobe performed in front of the community. This is a way to boost their self-confidence and express themselves in their Deaf identities, because in the end they can gain the respect from the community to a further extent. Quite exciting!”From Daniel’s Blog
“There was one student that really struck me, only a mere 3rd grader but she had the energy of a rebellious teenager. Mary, a small and tiny girl with the biggest smile and sparkly eyes resonated ever so strongly as Mela and I worked with her. She became “hungry” for knowledge, she wanted to learn more and more. Mela and I opened up her world to a new perspective, just because we gave her the ability to communicate with her hands. From that moment and on, we had a huge impact and changed her life forever. That kind of rewarding experience just brings me goose bumps every time I think about it.
Still today, I find myself wondering, “I actually went there and did all that? No way, it all feels like a big surreal dream that never happened in the first place” but I will always know this for sure, the memories and their people will always be cherished in my heart forever. I plan to go back again this summer for a longer term, I believe the Deaf students deserve so much more and what I did within three months there still doesn’t feel like I did enough. Someday soon, my spirit will find its way back to the Republic of the Marshall Islands!”
“ I still cannot believe I am experiencing this kind of opportunity; this is something that will stay with me forever as well as change my perspective on many things. Not only that, this makes me more appreciative of myself as a person, as a human being, and should be thankful for whatever life has to offer! From Daniel’s Blog
“I actually feel at peace with myself, quite satisfied with what I have achieved and done in the past 8 years. I set many ambitious goals, only to push myself past my limits, to see what I was and could be capable of.” From Daniel’s Blog
Daily Record writer Cara Townsend recently visited The Lake Drive Program's Ivy Nursery, New Jersey's only full day inclusive early intervention for toddlers with hearing loss.
Enjoy this captivating article and photos of Ivy Nursery at:
Enrollment is now open for September, 2012. The inclusive Ivy Nursery program is open to families in Mountain Lakes and teachers in the Mountain Lakes School district who have toddlers with hearing age 18 months to three years old. Children may attend half days or full days.
Call Michele Klimovitch at 973-299-0166 for a tour.
Are you looking for a little way to make a big difference in the future of a child?
New Jersey state funding covers only one third of the cost of The Sound Start Program.
For just $5,000, you can underwrite a scholarship to give a child a sound start for one year and change a life forever.
Make a pledge. You can pay over time. Or support just part of a child’s Scholarship.
We’ll invite you for a tour of Lake Drive School with a special visit to Ivy Nursery. Over the year, we’ll update you on the tremendous impact your gift is making on children in the program. Your generosity will be rewarded when you learn about their first words, favorite stories and wonderful achievements.
For more information and a tour of the Lake Drive School and Sound Start Program, please contact email@example.com or call 973-265-4168.
Lake Drive's Michele Klimovitch and Trish Filiaci Accept the Healthcare Heroes Award
On June 21, 2011 at the Palace in Somerset Park in Somerset, New Jersey, The Lake Drive Programs for Children Who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing in Mountain Lakes, NJ was named winner in the category of Education Hero-Organization, in the 2011 NJBIZ NJ Healthcare Heroes Awards.
The Healthcare Heroes awards program recognizes excellence and innovation and honors individuals and organizations making a significant impact on the quality of healthcare in New Jersey. More than 350 guests attended the annual event to celebrate the finalists and hear the winners announced in each category. Finalists and winners were chosen from more than 100 nominations by an independent panel of judges including: Donald J. Cinotti, MD, Medical Society of NJ; David Knowlton, New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute and D.N. Lombardi, Ph.D., USMC®.
The Education category recognizes individuals and organizations making a difference in health education either in the community or the industry. The Lake Drive Programs for Children Who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing received the top award in the category for the wide-ranging health and educational services the school provides to hearing impaired children and their families. Lake Drive offers New Jersey’s most comprehensive continuum of educational opportunities for children with hearing loss from birth to high school graduation. The team of specialists includes teachers of the deaf, speech and language pathologists, pediatric audiologists, physical and occupational therapists, clinical social workers, psychologists, and dysphagia experts offering the only eating and drinking skills program in a public school setting in New Jersey.
The award also reflects the emphasis Lake Drive puts on early intervention. Lake Drive’s Sound Start Early Intervention Program is the most intensive in the state, with a full day inclusive program for toddlers 18 months through 3 years old. In Ivy Nursery, toddlers with and without hearing loss learn side by side in a specially created environment to enhance auditory learning. Designed to take full advantage of the developing brain, Ivy Nursery focuses on language, communication and literacy skills, physical health, motor development, social and emotional development, cognitive development, art, music, math, science, family, community and culture. There is a strong family education component to build parenting confidence and provide strategies to reinforce their child’s learning.
Technological advances such as cochlear implants have dramatically changed the way Lake Drive addresses the educational programming for students. “Cochlear implants have revolutionized educational opportunities for children who are deaf, but they are not a miracle cure,” explains Michele Klimovitch, Supervisor of Programs. “It takes intensive therapy, especially in the first three years of life to teach a child how to listen, hear and speak.”
“We provide whatever programming is needed to help prepare our students to lead independent, fulfilling lives,” explains Trish Filiaci, Principal of The Lake Drive Programs.
“Each student has very individualized needs. We tailor our programs to maximize each child’s potential. Over the years we have been able to watch our students develop into adults with meaningful careers and promising futures.”
Graduates have gone into fields including medicine, dentistry, finance, the hi-tech industries, teaching, social work, graphic design. They’ve competed in the World Games, volunteered with Holocaust survivors, and taught sign language in third world countries.
Founded in 1969, Lake Drive has transformed the lives of more than 1,000 students from northern and central New Jersey who are deaf and hard of hearing. While New Jersey’s high school dropout rate is 17%, and the national average for students with hearing loss who do not receive high school diplomas is 50%, Lake Drive’s graduation rate is 100%.
Healthcare Heroes, produced by NJBIZ, New Jersey’s premiere business news publication, is sponsored by Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, Hackensack University Medical Center, New Jersey Hospital Association, NJTopDocs.com and WithumSmith+Brown, PC.
Finalists were selected in eleven categories: Corporate Achievement, Education Hero-Individual, Education Hero-Organization, Hospital of the Year, Innovation Hero-Individual, Innovation Hero-Organization, Nurse of the Year, Nursing Home/Assisted Living Facility of the Year, Physical Therapy Rehabilitation Center of the Year, Physician of the Year and Volunteer of the Year. (See list of finalists and winners below.)
Other finalists in the Education Organization Category included The Armenian American Health Professionals Organization in Far Hills; Liberty Science Center in Jersey City; Lutheran Social Ministries of New Jersey – Lutheran Senior LIFE at Jersey City; and The Meridian Health Pawsitive Action Team in Neptune.
For more information about The Lake Drive Programs call 973-299-0166 or visit www.lakedriveprograms.org.
The 2011 Healthcare Heroes Finalists and Winners
*In alphabetical order by category.
Corporate Achievement Hero
Hackensack University Medical Center – WINNER
Quick Chek Corporation
Linnea A. Brown, BA, RN, OCN
AtlantiCare Cancer Care Institute, A Fox Chase Cancer Center Partner
Gary Del Moro – WINNER
Hackensack University Medical Center
Nancy DiLiegro, PhD, FACHE
Trinitas Regional Medical Center
NJ Sharing Network
Rosanne Tully, RN
Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital
Northern New Jersey Maternal / Child Health Consortium
AAHPO – Armenian American Health Professionals Organization
Liberty Science Center
Lutheran Senior LIFE at Jersey City
The Lake Drive Programs for Children Who Are Deaf and Hard of Hearing – WINNER
Hospital of the Year
Capital Health – WINNER
Jersey City Medical Center
Saint Barnabas Medical Center
South Jersey Healthcare
The Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital
David A. Baran, MD
Newark Beth Israel Medical Center
Jeffrey Brenner, M.D. – WINNER
The Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers and Cooper Hospital
Shabbar F. Danish, MD
UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson
Gerard J. Ferro
Free For All, Inc.
Richard P. Miller
Andrew L. Pecora, M.D., F.A.C.P., C.P.E.
John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center
AtlantiCare Special Care Center
LIFE St. Francis
Summit Medical Group
The Chelsea at East Brunswick
The Senior Emergency Department (SrED) at St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center, a member of St. Joseph’s Healthcare System – WINNER
The Valley Hospital’s Peek-A-Boo I.C.U. Webcam Service
Nurse of the Year
Hackensack University Medical Center
Theresa E. Cope
South Jersey Healthcare
The NBN Group/ Newborn Nurses
Rebecca P. Lynn
Lynn Developers LLC & Assisted Living, Inc.
Jenifer McEwan, RN – WINNER
Saint Barnabas Hospice and Palliative Care Center at Monmouth Medical Center
Daughters of Israel
Nursing Home/Assisted Living Facility of the Year
Bridgeway Senior Healthcare
Green Hill, Inc – WINNER
Juniper Village at Williamstown Assisted Living and Wellspring Memory Care
Lincoln Park Care Center
St. Vincent’s Nursing Home, a member of St. Joseph’s Healthcare System
The Allendale Community for Mature Living
Physical Therapy Rehabilitation Center of the Year
Adler Aphasia Center – WINNER
Bacharach Institute for Rehabilitation
Jerry & Dolores Turco Medical Rehab Center
Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Rahway
Physician of the Year
William M. Burke, M.D.
The Valley Hospital
Anthony R. Caputo, M.D.
Clara Maass Medical Center
Frank V. Castello, M.D. – WINNER
Children’s Specialized Hospital
Robert A. Kayal, MD, FAAOS
Kayal Orthopedic Center, PC
Helio F. Pedro, MD
Hackensack University Medical Center
Alexander G. Salerno
Urban Healthcare Initiative Program (UHIP)
Volunteer of the Year
Cavan M. Brunsden, DMD
Gilda’s Club Northern New Jersey
Jessie F. Kukor
Saint Peter’s University Hospital
Community Medical Center/Saint Barnabas Health Care System
Erika S. Rech and Michael V. Ruane
Breast Friends Forever
John A. Schmidt, Jr. M.D. – WINNER
John A. Schmidt, Jr. M.D.
On May 2 at the Trump Plaza Hotel, club member Gail Dunlap Reuben of Convent Station and Dr. Laura McKirdy of Mendham, cofounders of The Lake Drive Programs for Children Who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing in Mountain Lakes were awarded the 2011 New Jersey Women of Achievement Award by the New Jersey State Federation of Women’s Clubs of GFWC. The award celebrates the significant accomplishments of distinguished women in New Jersey who have demonstrated a strong commitment in leadership, humanitarianism, philanthropy, communy service, the arts, and to professional commitment. Distinguished past honorees include former Governor Christine Todd Whitman, Althea Gibson, Millicent Fenwick and Mary Higgins Clark.
On May 3, the cofounders were also honored at Ramapo College with The Russ Berrie Award for Making a Difference which recognizes unsung heroes who have made a significant difference to the well-being of society. Reuben and McKirdy were among eleven finalists selected from more than 200 nominees by The Russell Berrie Foundation’s advisory board of distinguished New Jerseys business leaders and professionals. The Honorable Cory Booker was the event’s keynote speaker, sharing personal stories of how unsung heroes impacted his life enabling him to have the opportunities to become the person he is today. Angelica Berrie presented the awards, founded 15 years ago by her husband. Reuben and McKirdy received $5,000, which they donated to The Lake Drive Foundation for The Sound Start Early Intervention Program.
The Lake Drive Foundation is a 501 (C) 3 nonprofit established by community leaders in 1996 as the fund development arm of The Lake Drive Programs for Children Who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Lake Drive offers New Jersey’s most comprehensive continuum of educational opportunities for children with hearing loss from birth to high school graduation. Lake Drive’s Ivy Nursery and Sound Start Early Intervention Program are the major programs supported by the Foundation.
Ivy Nursery and Sound Start provide therapy and educational services to sixty infants and toddlers who are deaf and hard of hearing from throughout northern and central New Jersey each year. Despite research demonstrating the importance and cost efficiency of early intervention for children with hearing loss, New Jersey state funding covers barely one third of the cost of these life changing programs. For more information about The Lake Drive Foundation visit www.lakedrivefoundation.org.