Halloween, Happy Hour, & other fall fun

October is one of the most beautiful months here in Colorado. The British novelist George Eliot once wrote, “Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking successive autumns.” We hope you are finding moments of beauty and joy in the midst of whatever stress and busy-ness may also fill your life.

martini glass on a platterAt Family Voices Colorado, we’re celebrating our recent office move to the Anschutz Medical Campus with a Fall Happy Hour at the Cedar Creek Pub, next Thursday, October 25, 5:00 – 7:00pm. Come meet the “new kids on campus,” and we’ll buy the first round!  RSVP to Chrystal at 303-733-3000, or on our Facebook event page.  Hope to see you there!

National Family Voices is holding a Fall Costume Contest for families of children and youth with special health care needs.  From their website:

Many cultures include children dressing up in costume at some time during the year as part of their tradition, and often these celebrations take place in the fall. This practice can be ceremonial or recreational – it is always exciting and often meaningful for both children and adults.

Family Voices’ costume contest will begin on Monday, October 15 and the last day for submission of entries will be Monday, November 5. Winners will be announced by Friday, November 9. A $100 Target gift card will be awarded to the winner in each of three age categories: 0 – 7 years old, 8 – 14 years old, 15 – 21 years old. To enter go to http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/FVcostumecontest.

Painted wood stump Jack-o-lanternFinally, if your child’s special needs include sensory challenges, you might find these tips on navigating Halloween helpful. Or, if you’re looking for more costume ideas, especially incorporating a wheelchair or other equipment, try this Huffington Post article or these suggestions from the Christopher Reeve Foundation.

Happy Fall!

Family Voices Colorado 4.0: Together on the Journey

Greetings from Tom Rose, new Executive Director

Tom & Ileana at our new office
Tom Rose, Executive Director, and Ileana Perez, Provider Recruitment Coordinator, at our new office.

Excerpted from our Fall NewsletterClick here to join our email list

Dear Partners, Friends, and Supporters,

We have had a summer of change and transition here at Family Voices Colorado. The biggest change, which most of you already know about, is that Christy Blakely retired as Executive Director at the end of May, after 12 years of dedicated service and passionate advocacy on behalf of children with special health care needs. The Board appointed me to be the new Executive Director, effective June 28.

I am deeply committed to the mission of Family Voices, and I believe my background leading health and human services agencies has prepared me well for the particular opportunities and challenges we face right now. Over the past three months, I have met with dozens of partner agencies and professionals across the health care and disability fields to deepen my understanding of the landscape of the field, and to develop a vision for Family Voices’ unique niche in the rapidly changing health care arena in our state. I look forward to sharing that vision with you in the coming months.

In addition to the executive transition, we have had several staff change roles or move on to other opportunities in the past few months. A complete listing of current staff is below for your reference, and you can find contact information for our new office space here.

As always, we remain absolutely committed to our mission of improving access to and quality of health care systems for children and youth with special health care needs. We are thankful for your interest in our work and for your support, in whatever form that takes, and we look forward to continuing to work with you.

Sincerely,

Tom Rose
Executive Director

Staff List:

Name

Title

Email

Direct line

Tom Rose Executive Director tom@familyvoicesco.org 303-577-0338
Dina Castro Family-to-Family Project Coordinator dina@familyvoicesco.org 303-577-0328
Susan Cassell Health Care Transitions Navigator scassell@familyvoicesco.org 303-577-0331
Suzette Elledge Medical Home Project Coordinator suzette@familyvoicesco.org 303-577-0337
Ileana Perez Provider Recruitment Coordinator ileana@familyvoicesco.org 720-940-6969
Colleen Roahrig Western Slope Coordinator colleen@familyvoicesco.org 720-319-6102
Sam Murillo Family Navigator at Children’s Hospital sam@familyvoicesco.org 720-301-7705
Susana Herrera Medical Home Navigator susana@familyvoicesco.org 303-577-0336
Anne Patton Operations Manager anne@familyvoicesco.org 303-577-0318
Kerry Greenhill Communications Manager kerry@familyvoicesco.org 303-577-0329
Chrystal Ferber Development Associate (AmeriCorps VISTA) chrystal@familyvoicesco.org 303-577-0319

Learning opportunities & family fun events

Check out these opportunities for learning & training in the coming weeks:

Estate & Financial Planning For Children with Special Needs
September 27 OR October 18, 5:30pm to 7:30pm
MetroPoint I Building, 4600 S. Ulster St., Blue Spruce, First Floor, Denver, CO 80237
Call (303) 300-4341

The National Forum on Disability Issues
The forum will focus on the disability positions of the 2012 Presidential candidates
Friday, September 28, 10:30 am – 1:30pm Mountain Time
Held in Columbus, Ohio; Live webcast available

Down Syndrome-Autism Connection Fall Conference
Saturday, September 29, 8:30 am – 4:30 pm
Children’s Hospital Colorado

Peak Parent Center IEP Lunchtime Webinar Series
Part 3 Implementation and follow up of the IEP
Wednesday, October 3, 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Being the Voice for Your Child with Special Healthcare Needs
Tuesday, October 9, 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
Children’s Hospital Colorado, Conference Center

And if you’re looking for some family fun:

AMC Sensory Friendly Films
The program provides a special opportunity for families affected by autism to enjoy their favorite films in a safe and accepting environment. The auditoriums dedicated to the program have their lights up, the sound turned down and audience members are invited to get up and dance, walk, shout or sing!

October 13 – FRANKENWEENIE
November 10 – WRECK-IT RALPH
December 8 – RISE OF THE GUARDIANS

The following theaters in Colorado (Denver area) are participating:

  • AMC Flatiron 14
  • AMC Highlands Ranch 24
  • AMC Southlands 16
  • AMC Westminster 24

All shows are at 10:00 am local time. Dates and films are subject to change.

Making Colorado a better place for children and youth with special health care needs