Friday, April 5, 2013

Don't forget our four-legged friends!

UPDATE: A second Pet First Aid Class has been scheduled for Monday, April 29 from 6pm-9:30pm. The first class filled up quick, so don't miss your chance to help your furry family members stay safe and healthy. Sign up today!

When we talk about preparedness, we're usually talking about people. Whether it's putting together that emergency kit or knowing what to do if a loved one needed first aid, most people think of their fellow humans. That's not a bad thing, of course, but many of us have other family members we should be considering as well.

This is our Greyhound, Jinx, a few years ago. Like his daddy,
he has a little more grey hair these days, and he tests our
pet first aid skills with the multiple pills he takes each night!
April is Pet First Aid Month, and the Red Cross is here to make sure you're ready to help out our furry friends as well as your human ones! In addition to the tips and checklists available on the website, we offer Pet First Aid Classes on a regular basis! I set out to write this blog as a way to promote our April 15 Pet First Aid Class at the Orchard Park Veterinary Medical Center. However, we WNYers are such animal lovers that the class is already full! More dates will be added soon, so make sure you're following us on Facebook and Twitter to make sure you know about the next class before it fills up as well. And in the meantime, make sure to include Fido or Fluffy in your disaster planning! (ps-taking First Aid for people classes are always a good idea, too!)

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Volunteers Needed for Ombudsman Program

Training scheduled for April 29-May 2

The American Red Cross, Serving Erie and Niagara Counties is currently seeking volunteers for its Ombudsman Program.  The Ombudsman Program provides advocacy services responsive to the complaints and problems of residents living in long term care facilities.

An Ombudsman is a dedicated volunteer certified to receive, investigate, and solve complaints made by, or on behalf of, residents in nursing homes, assisted living facilities and certified housing in the community.  Ombudsmen are assigned to a facility on a weekly basis to discuss problems, concerns, or to simply lend an ear when residents have something on their minds.  They monitor the quality of care, help protect residents’ rights, provide information to the residents and their families to ensure proper treatment, and encourage residents to express their opinions. Volunteers will experience a wide range of satisfactions as they handle advocacy issues and increase community concern and interest for the institutionalized elderly.

Ombudsmen must be at least 21 years of age with an interest and capacity to fulfill the advocate’s role, as well as having strong verbal and written communication skills. Volunteers will receive a minimum of 36 hours of training, consisting of pre, post, and in-classroom instruction. Volunteers MUST complete all 4-days of in-classroom instruction.

Regularly scheduled training is provided.  The next scheduled training program will be held April 29-May 2.  Prospective Ombudsmen must successfully complete the full 36 hours of training.

Interested parties should contact (716) 878-2385 or for more information.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Nancy Blaschak Named Regional CEO for Western New York and Finger Lakes Regions

Brings 34 years of Red Cross experience to position

WNY and Finger Lakes Regional CEO
Nancy Blaschak
ROCHESTER, NY, April 1, 2013 – Gail DeNicola, American Red Cross Division Vice President, Northeast, is pleased to announce the appointment of Nancy Blaschak as Regional Chief Executive Officer. Blaschak will lead the newly-merged organization, which includes the current Western New York and Finger Lakes Regions, to improve service delivery throughout the community.

“I cannot think of anyone more qualified to lead the Red Cross in Western New York and the Finger Lakes Region than Nancy Blaschak,” DeNicola said. “Her expertise and years of experience will help make the Red Cross an even stronger presence in both communities going forward.”

Blaschak has been with the Red Cross since 1979. As Regional Executive for Western New York for the past 21 years, Blaschak has led the Red Cross response to several incidents, including the October Surprise storm of 2006 and the crash of Flight 3407 in Clarence, NY, and she recently returned from New York City where she directed the Hurricane Sandy Long Term Recovery Project.

“I am honored to have been given this opportunity, and look forward to working with our amazing staff, volunteers and supporters to lead the Red Cross into an exciting new era,” Blaschak said. “By combining our resources, we will be able to improve upon the disaster preparedness and response, assistance to military members and their families, health and safety training, blood services and other community services that residents in both the Finger Lakes and Western New York regions have come to expect from their local Red Cross.”

Blaschak holds a BS in Business Administration from the University at Buffalo, an MBA from Canisius College, and completed post-graduate studies at the Hauser Institute for Not for Profit Organizations at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Nancy and her husband John live in Eden, NY along with their two children.