Power to Achieve!

Congratulations to the First Class!

Project Transition is excited to announce the first offering of the Power to Achieve Program to its staff. As a “Learning Organization,” problem solving, change and development opportunities are approached from a foundation of strengths and knowledge derived from an entire organization. It is a concept that is grounded in personal and professional development, knowledge sharing and a clear vision for the future. Over the past few months, we have reviewed several options to support the development of key staff in different roles throughout Project Transition. Our goal is to provide exceptional individuals the opportunity to identify their individual and collective strengths, and empower each of them to use them in a way that results both personal and professional growth.

As the pilot program now has come to a close, these six individuals will now serve as Power to Achieve Alumni and assume roles as Project Champions and serve as mentors for future participants. Below are project summaries from the first group of participants. Here are our first Project Champions!

Crysten Campbell

Developing Member Empathy

Program Director at Project TransitionThe Power to Achieve Project has been an opportunity to grow personally and professionally as it directly relates to developing empathy in a professional setting. It also fosters a personal responsibility to advocate for Mental Health Awareness. As a Berks County provider, PT- Berks was invited to participate in the Train the Trainer course for Pat Deegan’s “Hearing Voices” training.  Deegan developed this training to increase empathy for professionals working with individuals who hear distressing voices. The training consists of undergoing a series of simulations to create a deeper understanding of what individuals who hear distressing voices can endure on a daily basis. After completing several webinars, experiencing the simulations first-hand and completing homework assignments, the final step of my project is within reach. The next step of this project is to facilitate the training to Project Transition Program Teams beginning with Audubon and Berks followed by the remaining programs through the beginning of 2015. The end goal of the project is to develop an expanded perspective in order to align our approach to support members with this level of empathy. The long-term goal of this project goes beyond the Power to Achieve Project and includes reaching other agencies in our surrounding communities by completing trainings with our PT families, local colleges, emergency responders, among other local agencies. I look forward to partnering with all of PT staff in the near future as we launch this training.

Gina Mancuso

Growing the Gratitude Attitude

Gina Mancusso                  At first I started my project on a personal level with a gratitude journal.  Having had a positive experience and wanting to expand my project into PT, my staff and I began having a time where we would each express our gratitude.   After settling on making it a part of our DBT consultation team meeting, we began bringing it into the community.  With encouragement from my project advisor, I was able to tap back into my teaching background and come up with ideas of how to best help our community to adopt this gratitude attitude.  I decided that I would come up with a multitude of ways to bring this to my community through each of the areas of the multiple intelligences; allowing all different learners an opportunity to embrace this practice.   Thus far it has been adopted into our community, our groups, and practiced daily.  As I wrap up my project, I am confident in what I have done, but need to develop  how this practice can be measured effectively.  I will continue to work on this piece as I know the value it has had for me personally and our community through observation and adoption by the members.

Sorina Prian

Member Self-Advocacy Group Curriculum

Sorina PrianMy project was an organic manual for Member Self-Advocacy Group that can be added to on ongoing basis, and the group would be co-facilitated by members and staff.  The group would be 6 months long, with the first 3 months focused on the introduction of the pillars and the latter 3 months with a review or more thorough discussions/examples of how to develop/use the pillars to develop self-advocacy skills.

The three key pillars that I identified as being the focus of the group are Knowledge, Self and Support(s). I am working on providing different ideas for topics and resources that can be used throughout the 6 months and every 4th week of each module (pillar discussion), I would like it to include role playing to summarize/practice what was discussed during that module with real life examples or case studies. The group would also provide the opportunity for programs that have not already done so, to take advantage of using elements from Pat Deegan’s Recovery Library.

I also plan to provide members with a Self-Assessment Tool developed by Mental Health Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania (MHASP), through online The Freedom Self-Advocacy Curriculum. To help members learn more about themselves and skills that they may be able to support others in and other that may be most useful for them to learn.

Also, I plan for the groups to be implemented in all of the programs in the Fall of 2014 and I hope that members are able to learn new skills and way of interacting with one another and with professionals that would make them better and more effective self-advocates. I have created a Self-Advocacy questionnaire that each of the members and PRC’s of the members will complete at the beginning of the 6 months group and again at the end to see if indeed there is an improvement in the way members feel, behave and problem solve.  Tracking the attendance of members in this group will provide us with the opportunity to track the outcomes for members that do not attend the group at all or that attend sporadically as opposed to those that attend the majority of the sessions.


Sophie Toolanen

Documentation Reduction and Monthly Report Outcomes

Sophie Toolanen

As a result of identifying Signature Strengths in several areas including Curiosity and Judgment, I chose to review our current Monthly Outcomes and LASS as part of our outcomes data collection process at Project Transition. I spoke to several individuals, including the creators of these documents and what were the initial outcomes reviewed. Given the changes and expansion of the support we provide to Project Transition members, I looked at where we needed to be more recovery-oriented in our language in these documents and the viability of combining the LASS and Monthly Reports.




Tiffany Oertner

Operation Super PAC – Moving Forward with Outcomes

Tiffany OertnerMy Power to Achieve project was to take on co-supervision of the Program Administration Coordinators (PACs) in collaboration with the Program Directors to both enhance my leadership & management skills and work with the PACs to more effectively collect outcomes data. The main goal of this project was to work together to develop an easier way to get outcomes for the “Program Dashboard.” In working together over the past few months, we have been able to refine some of the processes that were already in place and develop other ways to become more efficient at obtaining outcomes. A more updated “Program Dashboard” was created that looks at not only our completion of documentation but also program/meeting attendance, timely documentation, decreasing incidents & ALS/UDS completion. Being able to track these items will bring better quality to PT and hold our company at a higher standard as an outcomes-driven organization.


The project started off with me meeting with each of the PACs and implementing the processes that I already had in place to obtain program outcomes. We have been having bi-weekly conference calls to discuss the processes implemented as well as anything else that the PACs needed/wanted to discuss. Together we refined the processes to make them more efficient for running reports to obtain the outcomes that the company wanted to look at. As the PACs take on more of the report running, the programs will also realize how these items are measured and the importance of them. The PACs will be able to update the teams so that they can continue to supersede each month’s outcomes. I will continue to manage the data from the outcomes reports that are being run as well as meet with the PACs for supervision on a monthly basis. So far, I have learned a lot about myself and managing others in general. This opportunity to grow my personal strengths as well as tapping into the strengths of others to achieve my initial goal has been very exciting and I cannot wait to see this continue to grow.


Rea Dunlavy

30/60/90 Day Training Process for New Admissions Counselors

Rea Dunlavy            The project chosen was to fully build out the orientation process for new admissions counselors. In conjunction with Signature Strengths, this project represented a comprehensive introduction and training for new members of the Admissions team and parallels our work as an organization around documenting business processes in a manner that can be measured.



"My son has been in many programs and far too many hospitals. Project Transition is different; it is actually helping him to live a better life. The staff and members of PT care for one another... it’s a form of community that is sorely lacking elsewhere."

Wendy P, mother of a PT member

" Project Transition has been a life saver to me. I was mentally Ill and felt like I was in a box that I thought I could never get out of. I lost everything and could not function...but now I have confidence in myself. I needed help in all areas of my life but now have a path and a purpose. Life is worth living."

Angie A

"I know what it is like to sell myself and a brand new pair of sneakers for drugs. I know what its like to walk around the streets with only socks on. But I no longer have to live that way. My family no longer has to worry about me. Project Transition means that I have hope and recovery. It means I have a second chance at life."


"Our daughter has endured mental illness for years… we have worked with many professionals and programs. Without question, Project Transition’s help and support have been the most effective.”

John P, father of a PT member

"PT is helping me on my road to recovery. They offer support to reach my personal goals. Staff help guide me, showing me a new way to live. My life has new meaning today..... I now have goals and projects to work on. I am productive and am becoming a better mother and person."

Jennifer S

"Project Transition means I have a second chance at a new life. PT taught me how to love and believe in myself. It also taught me to forgive people in my past. I thought I would never get better but PT taught me different. They believed in me and made it easier to trust in myself."

Michelle R

"Project Transition has taught me how to be an adult when others told me I was unfixable. PT will always be in my heart. I've been sober for 5 years and recently moved out of the program. Thank you Project Transition."

Victoria S

"PT I couldn't see how good you've been to me. Over the years, throughout the days, you've always been in my corner I must say. Times were bad and times were good, you helped me to lay down my hood. Now I'm shining not conniving, working it out my system what shucking and jiving. So I'm striving to be the best that I can be, for all to see, Thank you, PT..."


"The family support groups and seminars are focused and helpful. We feel understood."

Diane S, sister of a PT member

Implementation Provider: Project Transition works with States and MCO’s to implement Person-Centered Transformation Plans.

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