October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month. According the the Americans With Disabilities Act, a person can be said to have a disability if they fall within some of the following distinctions:

1. If he or she has a physical or mental condition that substantially limits a major life activity (such as walking, talking, seeing, hearing or learning).
2. If he or she has a history of a disability (such as cancer that is in remission).

3. If he or she is believed to have a physical or mental impairment that is not transitory (lasting or expected to last six months or less) and minor (even if he does not have such an impairment).

As Kathy Martinez, the assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor wrote in announcing this month: “The importance of work extends far beyond any one individual. When all people are able to contribute and be recognized for their abilities, society as a whole reaps the benefits. Local economies are bolstered. Communities are strengthened.

This essential principle is at the heart of this year’s National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) theme: A Strong Workforce is an Inclusive Workforce: What Can YOU Do?” This theme conveys that we all have a role to play in—and can benefit from—increasing employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

Employers must foster workplaces that are welcoming to current and potential employees with disabilities. But the responsibility doesn’t stop there. Those of us with disabilities must understand the intrinsic value of work and the skills and talent we have to offer. Youth with disabilities must grow up with the expectation of employment; and parents, educators and other adults of influence in their lives must reinforce this. America’s future success requires us to capitalize on the talents of all segments of the population, and the responsibility for making that happen must be shared. There is something everyone can do—every day of every month.

Here at Sinai Hospital, VSP, a hospital department and vocational rehabilitation provider for over 45 years, is doing a lot to foster a strong and inclusive workforce. Through its array of comprehensive vocational services, VSP increases employment opportunities to over 300 Baltimore area individuals with disabilities and economic need annually. 

Recognized as one of the region’s workforce development leaders, VSP utilizes a client-centered approach by offering career assessment, work adjustment training, office technology skills training, job placement and direct employment to both youth and adults at VSP’s Seton Business Park facility or within over 30 LBH departments at Sinai, Northwest Hospital and Levindale. A single-point-of-entry system (intake) allows streamlined access to VSP's complete array of services.

Each year, VSP services have resulted in dozens of secure jobs for our participants with advancement opportunities leading to economic self-sufficiency. On average, LifeBridge Health hires 50 of our graduates annually into a variety of positions throughout the health system. Many other graduates obtain employment with local employers.

With strong LifeBridge Health department partnerships in providing venues to train and support our trainees, our caring, skilled professionals provide a continuum of services all of which are tailored to the needs of our clients. As a LifeBridge Health employee/member, you can be proud to know that each and every day; we are fulfilling the intent of National Disability Employment Awareness Month.

Click here to read some truly inspirational VSP success stories.

- Writen by Mira Appleby, manager for Program Development at VSP

To schedule an appointment with one of our highly trained physicians and find out why LifeBridge Health is Baltimore's premier health care organization, call 410-601-WELL.

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    lifebridgehealth: "Emergency care has always been a staple service at #SinaiHospital. Today, our ER and Trauma Center are among the best in the state. Happy 150th anniversary, Sinai!"
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    lifebridgehealth: "After an exhausting workday, exercising is probably the last thing you want to do. But getting your sweat on will actually energize you. According to a study published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, fatigue along with mood and depression improved after a single 30-minute, moderate intensity exercise session. #WednesdayWisdom"
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    lifebridgehealth: "“Teamwork is our motto and that is how we function each day,” says Nurse Manager Michele Stiller of the Northwest Center for Wound Care and Hyperbarics. This center, which sees about 500 patients every month, helps patients with chronic non-healing wounds, such as pressure ulcers and complicated surgical wounds. #TeamLifeBridge"
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    lifebridgehealth: "Congratulations to our four #SuperStar employees for June! Your hard work and commitment to #TeamLifeBridge is truly inspiring. Thank you for all that you do. (From top left to bottom right: Charles Nehwah of #SinaiHospital; Rolawn Patton of #NorthwestHospital; Rachel McDaniel of #Levindale; and Laura Lehman of #CarrollHospital)"
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    lifebridgehealth: "In 1895, #SinaiHospital became one of the first to devote an entire ward to treating #children. In the 120-plus years since then, we have offered exceptional #pediatric care to thousands of children in and around #Baltimore. Did you receive care at Sinai as a child? Share your story today! www.sinai150.com #TBT"
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    lifebridgehealth: "Did you know ... #rethinkyourdrink #sugar #healthyfood #healthyhabits #livehealthy #WednesdayWisdom #foodforthought 
Photo and data credit: @american_heart"
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    lifebridgehealth: "Averaging 150 to 200 patients a day with conditions ranging from acute sprains and strains to chronic conditions such as heart disease and diabetes, the team at the BW Primary Care of Eldersburg works to provide personalized, effective, and high quality care for the #CarrollCounty #community. We appreciate your hard work, thank you! #TeamLifeBridge #LifeBridgeHealth #healthcare #employeeappreciation #Maryland #Medicine #healthyliving"
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    lifebridgehealth: "#SinaiHospital is embracing innovation and looking to the future! Maryland Commerce Secretary R. Michael Gill (second from left) recently visited Sinai Hospital learn more about our BioIncubator, new laboratory space in the hospital created in the hopes of fostering collaboration between start-up companies and Sinai's health experts. In this photo (L-R): Martha Nathanson, vice president of government relations and community development for LifeBridge Health; Secretary Gill; Amy Perry, president of Sinai Hospital and executive vice president of LifeBridge Health; and Neil Carpenter, vice president of strategic planning for LifeBridge Health. #Maryland #Baltimore"
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    lifebridgehealth: "Did you know #SinaiHospital used to be located in downtown #Baltimore? Here are photos of the move to our current location in 1959. Take our Sinai #trivia quiz at www.Sinai150.com for your chance to win a $150 gift card. #TBT #MD #maryland"
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