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Written By: Eric Adelman

 

Awards51Recently, we celebrated my favorite night of the year: Kadima’s Community Awards Night. As the start of a new year for Kadima, it is opportunity to reflect on how far we’ve come and what we have planned ahead. It is an evening that inspires me, long after the celebration.

Perhaps most importantly, the evening is a chance to celebrate the efforts of Board members, Kadima leadership and staff, our clients and volunteers who all are making a difference in chipping away at the stigma surrounding mental health.

Kadima’s Community Partner of the Year, the National Council of Jewish Women, enriches the lives of our clients and the community with the program Project Friendship. NCJW has hosted and organized Sunday community activities – from cultural outings and movies to luncheons and outdoor events – for years.

Our Volunteer of the Year, Karl Lipson, and our Client Volunteer of the Year, Sharon Glazer, demonstrate on a regular basis how raising your hand and working together helps everyone move forward. And our Employee of the Year Arieal Williams inspires supervisors, colleagues and families alike with her dedication to serving our clients with respect and dignity every day.

We will be forever thankful for the leadership shown by Evan Leibhan, our outgoing board president. Because of his partnership and advice throughout the three years of his tenure, stability is now our hallmark and growth on our horizon. Our incoming Board President, Jonathan Modiano, will be a key voice in that growth, and we welcome his dedication, talents and skillful solutions.

As many of our supporters know, Kadima is a Hebrew word that means “moving forward.” And every day, for everyone who touches this organization, we work with that inspiration in mind. From the basics that are at the heart of what we do, providing residential, therapeutic and social services to all people with mental health needs and providing education and outreach to the broader community to ensure positive mental health outcomes for all. But as I said in my remarks during Awards Night, Kadima is about more than just the basics and positive developments from last year continue and grow in the year ahead.

Our Creative Expressions program, which was just an idea last year, now shows results in recovery, therapy and healing, by way of engaging in real artistic avenues within the community and integrated into our clients’ individual support plans.

The Integrated Care Program – in which medical and psychological care works hand-in-hand through nurses and therapists to holistically improve the health of our clients – continues to grow in partnerships with hospitals and medical and nursing schools. Not only are our clients benefiting from better overall health, we are positioning the next generation of health professionals to better serve everyone in our community with dignity and respect.

And, we launched the Kadima Legacy Society. The needs of people with mental illness will outlive each of us. As much as our community needs Kadima now, it also needs Kadima tomorrow and every day after that. The Kadima Legacy Society puts in place an opportunity for planned gifts to support our organization well into the future.

With the daily efforts of all who support Kadima and the education we provide to the community, we’re encouraged to report a reduction in stigma and an increase in those seeking care. But we know our work is not done yet. Changes and challenges are always on the horizon and can be, at times, overwhelming. With the help and support of our community, we remain optimistic and dedicated to moving forward, welcoming the opportunities that also will surely come our way this year. So, on behalf of everyone at Kadima, thank you for all you have done and all you will do with us in the days and months ahead.