April 24, 2013
Atty. Harry Mazadoorian, Chair of the Board of the American Savings Foundation;
David Davison, President, American Savings Foundation;
Steven A. Girelli, Ph.D., President/CEO, Klingberg Family Centers;
David Lawrence-Hawley, LCSW, Senior Director, Outpatient Clinical Services
March 28, 2013
Although the cheerleading season at New Britain High School ended in early March, one member of the team will be known for that never-give-up attitude, her dedication and smile. “She brings a spark to everything she does,” NBHS Principal Michael Foran said of 19-year-old senior Kaysha Alicea. “She’s a very positive force in the whole school.” Alicea, who wanted to be a cheerleader for as long as she can remember, has spinal muscular atrophy, which affects voluntary muscles. Alicea, who is confined to a wheelchair, helped with the cheers and enthusiasm during football and basketball games this school year. She was also a member of the cheerleading squad for two games with the powder puff football team — which is girls flag football. While some of her fellow cheerleaders have known Alicea for years and others just for this school year, they all seem to come away with the same observation: the 20-member cheerleading squad is where she belongs. Click to enlarge “She brings a special energy,” said fellow cheerleader Jayshalee Torres, a 17-year-old senior who met Alicea two years ago when they both worked at the local Human Resources Agency during the summer. “She never gives up. She will go for it and get it.” Violet Sims, the assistant cheerleading coach, said Alicea — who is believed to be the first woman in a wheelchair to be on the squad in its history — has “a bubbly personality and a positive outlook. She was always there (for practice and games) no matter what. She knows the cheers. She does arm motions.” While Alicea cannot prepare for most parts of the competitions because of her disability, “she is there for moral support,” Sims said. Alicea, who lives in a residential family at Klingberg, said it was important to “prove to myself that I could be successful, even though I was in a wheelchair and even though I have a disability.” Alicea, who said she enjoys “the togetherness” of being a member of the squad, said being a cheerleader “taught me to not doubt myself. I learned that I can pursue anything I want.” As a way of giving back to society, Alicea said she wants to be a juvenile probation officer after college. “I was a troubled teen way back when,” she said. “I feel people need someone like me to liven up their lives and to realize that life is not always perfect. You make mistakes, but you can always fix them.”
March 3, 2013
Dr. Girelli speaks about Mental Health Issues Relating to Sandy Hook
NACBH’s very own Board member, Steve Girelli, President and CEO, Klingberg Family Centers New Britain, Connecticut, was an invited panelist in last week’s half-day Federal Response to Gun Violence Conference with Vice President Joe Biden at Western Connecticut State University, just 12 miles from the Sandy Hook Elementary School. The event was sponsored by U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty (D-CT). Steve spoke at the request of friend and colleague Nelba Marquez-Greene, Coordinator of Klingberg’s Family Therapy Institute, whose precious 6-year old daughter, Ana, was killed at Sandy Hook.
December 19, 2012
Our hearts and our prayers are with her family during this time of profound grief.
A funeral service for Ana Grace Márquez-Greene, 6, one of the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, and daughter of Nelba Márquez-Greene, program coordinator for the Family Therapy Institute at Klingberg Family Centers, will be held on Saturday, Dec. 22 in Bloomfield, Conn. A Homegoing Celebration will begin at noon at The First Cathedral, 1151 Blue Hills Ave., Bloomfield, Conn. The visitation will be from 10 a.m. to noon prior to the service at the church. Burial will be private. ( These events are for friends and family only).
Ana is survived by her father, Jimmy Greene, a jazz saxophonist and an assistant professor of music at Western Connecticut State University; her mother, Nelba Márquez-Greene, program coordinator for the Family Therapy Institute at Klingberg Family Centers and Central Connecticut State University adjunct faculty; and her brother Isaiah, a happy, intelligent and musical boy who loves hockey and very much misses his sister. She will be missed dearly by her grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and scores of friends.
Ana’s love for singing was evident before she was even able to talk. In a musical family, her gift for melody, pitch and rhythm stood out remarkably. And she never walked anywhere — her mode of transportation was dance. She danced from room to room and place to place. She danced to all the music she heard, whether in the air or in her head. Ana loved her God, loved to read the Bible and loved to sing and dance as acts of worship. We ask that you pray for the legions of people who are left behind to cherish memories of her.
Nelba Márquez-Greene said she hopes the tragedy of the school shooting will bring a greater awareness to mental health issues and to reduce the stigma attached to those with mental illness, perhaps preventing tragedies like the one that took Ana’s life. Information on how those with mental illness can get help can be found at www.aamft.org.
Cards for the Márquez-Greene family may be sent to Klingberg Family Centers at 370 Linwood St., New Britain, CT 06052.
Ana’s parents, Jimmy Greene and Nelba Márquez-Greene, have asked that donations in her memory be made to one’s choice of three funds:
• The Ana Grace Márquez-Greene Family Therapy Fund, care of the Outpatient Clinic/Family Therapy Institute, Klingberg Family Centers, 370 Linwood St, New Britain, CT 06052 or https://npo.networkforgood.org/Donate/Donate.aspx?npoSubscriptionId=1001402&code=klingberg+home+page
• The Artist’s Collective, 1200 Albany Avenue, Hartford, CT 06112
• The Ana Grace Márquez-Greene Music Scholarship Fund, care of Western Connecticut State University, Office of Institutional Advancement, 181 White St., Danbury, CT, 06810 or http://www.wcsu.edu/ia/greene-scholarship.asp;
In addition, friends have set up a fund to support the Marquez-Greene family at http://anagracefund.imageworksllc.com/
December 14, 2012
Our Chaplain Helps Children Heal
Whenever Rev. Jim enters the room the little boy’s face lights up. The six year-old is always eager to greet this man who he has come to trust over the past several months. Recently the first grader found much needed comfort in Rev. Jim’s words after the death of a family member. In terms the child could understand, he tenderly answered his questions and assuaged his fears. Rev. Jim also believes he helps fill a void in the little guy’s life for a male role model.
December 5, 2012
Klingberg /CCSU Family Therapy Institute & Outpatient Clinic moves to main campus
Klingberg Family Centers/CCSU Family Therapy Institute & Outpatient Clinic made its move to the Klingberg campus official Friday with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. In October, FTI, a former incubator company at Central Connecticut State University’s Institute of Technology & Business Development moved to its main campus at the end of Linwood Street. David Tompkins, vice president overseeing programs, said the institute had outgrown its incubator space at ITBD and left the institute in September. David Lawrence-Hawley, senior director for outpatient and clinical services, called the move “a coming of age for the program. Since we started in 2007 at CCSU, university students have had a lot of exposure to the families with mental health needs and children ages 4-to-17.” The wing being occupied was originally used as a boys’ residential program.
February 26, 2012
A Beautiful Setting to Inspire Creativity
Klingberg Family Centers’ Training & Conference Center is a multi-functional, state-of-the-art facility set on a beautiful hilltop with dramatic views of the Connecticut River Valley. The 40 acre campus provides a backdrop for personal refreshment and renewal and inspires creativity. Space can be reserved on a daily basis or can be reserved on a “time share” agreement for ongoing trainings. From food to facility, this is an exceptional value where your resources will be spent wisely.
November 13, 2012
New Book Written by Patricia Wilcox
Author Patricia Wilcox, a Klingberg Family Centers vice president, has written the essential guide to trauma-informed care with at-risk youth. Wilcox provides a foundational understanding of trauma’s impact on the developing brain, and then details its implications for treatment, the promotion of pro-social behaviors, and improving the culture among clients and staff. Incorporating the key concepts of compassionate understanding, validation, skill teaching, and the primacy of trustworthy relationships for healing trauma and rebuilding connections in the child’s brain, Wilcox tackles some of the most difficult challenges in treatment settings with practical approaches grounded in theory and research. This book is an invaluable resource for parents, social workers, childcare staff, therapists, agency administrators, and anyone who cares about how kids are treated when they need skillful, trauma-informed care.