"Let’s stop ‘tolerating’ or ‘accepting’ difference. Instead, let’s celebrate difference, because in this world it takes a lot of guts to be different." – Kate Bornstein
The ReFocus Mission Statement stands strong in this Agency, and remains the North Star for every decision made by our Executive Director, Christine Kavanagh, RSM. Christine, known as Chris throughout the entire ReFocus family, is the back-bone, heart, and soul of ReFocus, Inc. and has been for the past 45 years. June 18, 2018 marked Chris’ 45th Anniversary, and naturally it was not missed by the Agency! But, how does the woman who lives and breathes ReFocus celebrate this monumental occasion? Simple. By giving back to the dedicated staff and wonderful folks that we support!
Chris’ celebration was comprised of four parts: a donation campaign to raise money for the dreams of the folks; a raffle drawing benefitting our folks and staff with gift cards for the folks and vacation time for the staff; a celebration for the internal ReFocus family; and lastly, this special edition newsletter for our external ReFocus family to memorialize such a significant accomplishment!
On Monday June 18th, Chris was celebrated at Rhodes on-the-Pawtuxet by the clients and staff of ReFocus, Inc. The celebration was marked by long-time friend and North Providence City Councilman, Nicholas Narducci, officially proclaiming June 18, 2018 as Founder’s Day. Following the proclamation, fellow ReFocus Administrators spoke of Chris’ history and fulfillment of the three key principles of ReFocus: Love, Trust, & Challenge. A buffet luncheon, dancing, raffles, and a few heart-felt surprises made this an Anniversary that Chris will never forget.
November 1, 2016 - In Memory of Patricia Farley, RSM
Choral presentation: Students from St. Mary Academy - Bay View directed by Christine D. Kavanagh & Diane Gualtieri; Welcome & Introductions from Christine Kavanagh, RSM - Executive Director; Invocation by Jacqueline Marie Kieslich, RSM, President, Sisters of Mercy Northeast; Testimonials from Stephanie Shelhamer, Mary Beth Plante, Dixie Burden, Heather Bent; Greetings fromNicholas J. Narducci Jr., Councilman, followed by christening of Sister Pat’s Place; Remarks & Blessing by Monsignor Gerard O. Sabourin;Ribbon Cutting by Jeff Gurskey & David LaPlante.
All of us at ReFocus would like to thank Joyce and Anthony Traini for providing us with such a stunning Christmas Tree this year! It is beautifully displayed in our Welcome Center.
Nicole Brown – DSP Of The Year 2015
The RCC is proud to have Nicole Brown as the ReFocus Direct Support Professional of the Year for 2015. Nicole is the epitome of the FISH Philosophy. Although she has only been here a short time, Nicole has made a great impact on the RCC and the folks who attend. When fellow staff and supervisors were asked to describe Nicole and her work habits, there was no shortage of positive feedback. Her fellow staff describe her as positive, energetic, optimistic, creative, happy, a great role model and courageous.
Nicole is always willing to welcome a challenge when working with the folks, and she values the concept of Dignity of Risk. Nicole has taken several folks into the community to learn how to use the bus. This is a task that Nicole volunteered for, organized and implemented with a positive attitude and lots of energy. Several of the folks in the Bus Training Group had never been on a city bus. Nicole’s positive attitude and ability to see the potential in all people created many memorable experiences for the participants.
Nicole is an excellent role model for both the folks and her fellow staff. Nicole is able to put a positive spin on any situation that arises. If there is no van to go to the gym, Nicole breaks out the hand weights and has the folks exercise throughout the building. If a lesson ends early, rather than just sit around until the end of session, Nicole is able to think on her feet and come up with some sort of activity or discussion to continue to keep the folks engaged and productive. Whenever things go awry, Nicole can always be counted on to put a positive spin on just about anything.
Without even trying, Nicole raises the bar. Nicole genuinely cares about the folks and encourages them to succeed in all of their endeavors. She sees the best in everyone and tries to cultivate any little spark she notices in both folks and staff. A conversation among staff was recently overheard:
New staff: “How do I know what to do (in a certain situation)?”
Current staff: “Just watch Nicole, she always does the right thing.”
We are thrilled to announce that the ReFocus Auction & Gala website is up and running!
Take a peek at what we will be showcasing on our silent tables this year. You can place your bid early AND keep an eye on it all the way up until the night of the auction!
Come and have an exquisite meal, food and wine with Gracie's Restaurant and Blackbird Farm! A night you'll never forget!!!! All proceeds benefit ReFocus, Inc.
" Changing the Face of Beauty - Rhode Island based non-profit ReFocus is joining a national movement to encourage the use of models with disabilities in advertisements.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and participants in today's photo shoot for prove that sentiment holds true.
The initiative is meant to include models of differing abilities with traditional models, to show that beauty comes in many different forms."
We had such a great time participating in the Smith Hill St. Patty's Day Parade! A huge thank you to everyone that helped build the float and to everyone that came out to support us!!