People on the Move
Amie Miarecki has been hired as Marketing and Development manager for Porchlight VNA/Home Care. Miarecki will focus on customer service, business development, and brand awareness for the free-standing, not-for-profit organization. In 2014, Chicopee VNA, Great to Be Home Care, and Porchlight VNA/Home Care merged to cover all of Berkshire, Hampshire, and Hampden counties. The agency has received several awards, including Home Care Elite Awards of Excellence as one of the top 500 home-health agencies in the U.S. according to Decision Health and National Research Corp. Miarecki is a board member for MotherWoman and a member of the Professional Women’s Chamber, the GFWC Agawam Junior Women’s Club, the Young Professional Society of Greater Springfield, the AIDS Foundation of Western MA events committee, and the civic and community engagement committee of the Springfield City Library. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from UMass Amherst and a master’s degree in corporate and organizational communications, specializing in leadership, from Northeastern University’s College of Professional Studies.
Michael Hutton-Woodland has been named director of ServiceNet’s REACH program. Last year, REACH provided services to 500 children, including babies born with physical or mental disabilities, toddlers whose speech or motor skills are delayed, and children diagnosed with autism. REACH staff — from physical therapists to speech pathologists — provide interventions during the critical development window of birth to age 3. A key part of the program is support to families to address the d eep, often painful concerns parents have for their young child. The program is available to all families who need the service, regardless of their ability to pay. After many years of teaching clinical psychology, running a health foundation, and private consulting, Hutton-Woodland is grateful to be serving young children and their parents in this role. “It’s wonderful work,” he said, “and the staff are all dedicated, loving, caring, skilled, thoughtful people. They go into people’s homes to work with their children. That’s a sacred occupation.” Since starting at REACH, he’s been sitting down individually with all 45 staff members to learn about their experiences. He brings some new ideas for streamlining program processes so staff can focus more of their time on direct services and less on paperwork, with a goal of ensuring that staff remains “passionate and excited.” He added that “these kids and families need to be helped now, when a child’s brain is growing and developing the fastest in his or her entire life.” Since the program works with any family whose child needs early intervention, REACH also navigates the effects of two troubling trends: homelessness and increased referrals by the Department of Children and Families. Whatever a family’s situation, Hutton-Woodland emphasizes that “this is prevention work, available to all children with developmental issues, all of whom are very, very special little babies.” Families can contact REACH to inquire about services at (413) 665-8717. Staff members include educators, nurses, nutritionists, occupational and physical therapists, speech and language pathologists, social workers, and autism specialists. The program serves Hampshire and Franklin counties and the North Quabbin area of Worcester County. REACH services are funded by private insurance, Medicaid, the state Department of Public Health, United Way of Hampshire County, and an annual participation fee from families.