President & CEO, Ability Partners, Inc. – CP Rochester, Happiness House and Rochester Rehabilitation
Years in current role: 20
What was your biggest success in 2021?
In 2021 Ability Partners, Inc. agencies recognized the importance and necessity of maintaining in-person learning and services. The ability to socialize and develop positive relationships with others is a key impetus for social determinants of health.
I am extremely proud of the 700 employees of Happiness House, CP Rochester and Rochester Rehabilitation who safely provided in-person educational, clinical, residential, and behavioral health services to thousands of individuals with and without disabilities and their families and who have ensured good health and overall wellness for all. Despite the pandemic, the agencies launched innovative and affordable housing opportunities serving 37 people.
What is your biggest takeaway from dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic?
We have been challenged with the effects of COVID-19 for more than 700 days. I have learned that life is unpredictable and we are more courageous and resilient than we thought we were. Also, we must trust in our abilities, instincts and remain optimistic despite the challenges we are faced with. Each new challenge has brought about opportunities to reassess how we go about accomplishing our mission.
If time were no issue, what would you do to help the community that you aren’t already doing?
If time were unlimited, I would advocate for violence prevention. The unprecedented violence in Rochester/Monroe County is affecting the lives of many individuals and their families every day. I would dedicate my time and efforts to helping people feel safe in their communities by establishing effective prevention strategies that would reduce the violence in our towns and cities so that parents and their children can live and thrive in strong, safe, vibrant communities.