News

DIDD Quality Assurance Survey    March 17-21, 2014100 score

Comcare received a perfect score on our recent DIDD Quality Assurance survey. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comcare's 2012 Longevity Awards     January 16, 2013 

The Longevity Awards for 2012 were presented on January 16, 2013.  Pictured below are Dr. John Johnson and Nancy Thiessen receiving their 30 Year Service Plaques.    Click here to see all awards presented.

JTJNTW

 

 

 

Volunteering for the Food Bank         December 14, 2012  121412

John and Charles volunteered to ring the bell for the Greene County Food Bank.  John told everyone "Merry Christmas" and Charles sang Christmas carols while they braved the cold.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comcare's Annual Picnic a Success!!!!     Oct.. 20, 2012  sseaton

Comcare's annual picnic was held on October 20, 2012.  Everyone had a great time!

Click here to see more pictures

 

 

 

 

A Perfect Score!!!!!     October, 2012  sseaton

Rusty and Rhonda have been doing housekeeping work at the Comfort Inn for the past 6 years under supervision of their Comcare job coach.  They are very proud of the work they do. In October, a high ranking inspector for Comfort Inn did a secret inspection.  He checked in as a guest and stayed in a room that is assigned to Rusty and Rhonda.  He scored the room to be perfect.  The hotel was so happy that the staff threw a pizza party for Rusty and Rhonda.

 

 

 

 

Annual Talent Show     Sept. 28, 2012 TS2

For the occasion Comcare assembled a momentous amount of talent.  We would like to say a special thanks to our co-emcee’s Susan Arwood and Vanessa Anderson who did a great job keeping the show moving along.  We also need to recognize three ladies for taking on the daunting task of judging, they were Sandy Seaton (aka Doll Face), Tina Solgovic (aka The Sumo Wrestler) and Olivia Hinkle (aka The Witch).  Everyone also performed their talent show for family and friends who attended  Comcare’s annual picnic. TS3

 

The winners are listed below:

Best Video—Dustin

Best Music Video—Burney

Best Costume—Team 6 Billy Ba, David C., Scottie and Jeffery

Best Entertainers—Melissa W., Janelle and Heather with Splish Splash

Best Overall Individual Performance—RussellTS1

Best Overall Group Performance—Bettie, Nancy D. Wanda and Susan Tyler

Most Creative Category goes to  - Mike S, Linda, Karen, Debbie K, and Matt also Team 5 consisting of Marcella, Nancy R, Andrea, Rocky, Tammy, Lori Ann, Melissa W, Louise, Travis R, Ben, Charles and Activity-A Amanda Livingston, Laura Blevins, Dale Miller Robin Strong and Sharon

 

TS4

 

 

 

 

Comcare Travels to Morristown to Participate in Special Olympics     Sept. 19, 2012  sseaton

Some of Comcare’s folks traveled to Morristown to compete in Special Olympics Bocce Ball.  They fought a hard battle and almost made a clean sweep of the event.  Those attending and placing are:  (left to right)  David C. 1st. Place, Hayes 1st. Place, Heather 1st. Place, Deborah 1st. Place, Arlene 1st. Place, Lori Ann 2nd. Place and Charles 1st. Place.

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Sandy Seaton recently Certified as Grief Counselor     June 1, 2012  sseaton

 

Sandy Seaton, Behavior Specialist for Comcare, has recently been certified as Grief Counselor.  With this certification she has been able to counsel individuals at Comcare who are dealing with the death of their family members.  She is also able to help clients and staff when we have deal with death within our own Comcare family.  Sandy is benefiting Comcare with this qualification added to her job.

Sandy has been an employee of mcare since 1998.

 

 

 

 

Comcare Staff Proudly Announces Results of our "Biggest Loser" Competition!     March 2012BLTeamBLIndv 

 

We are proud of each staff that participated in the “Biggest Loser” Competition.  Melody Murray did a great job organizing the program and tracking the weight loss of each team and each individual.  Awards were given to each team and individual awards for female and male competitors.  The individual winners were Nancy Weber and Marty France and the winning team consisted of Nancy Weber, Patsy Bledsoe, Zonya Cureton and Debra McNeese. 

Click here for pictures of all participants.

Spring Flowers          3-30-2012Spring Flowers

 

Cindy Beckett faithfully tends our flower bed at the office.  We all get to enjoy the beautiful flowers which bloom every spring and summer.

 

 

 

 

Comcare's Volleyball Team Wins 1st Place in Special Olympics          2-24-2012volleyball

 

Comcare’s volleyball team placed 1st in Area 10 Special Olympics with a record of 4-1. The event was held at Carson Newman College on February the 24th. Team members were John Palmer, Hayes Wexler, Melissa Webb, Arlene Kennedy, Charles Wilhoit, Lori Anne Harvey, David Comer, Chad Moore, Lisa Lane, and Nancy Wallin. We are proud of the outstanding performance by our team!

 

 

 

 

Comcare's YMCA Basketball League Team wins 2nd place           2-6-2012basketball

 

Comcare is proud of our volunteer basketball team.  They have played with honor and integrity which won them the Sportsmanship Award from the YMCA.  Our team placed well enough to go on to the tournament where they earned the second place title!  Our team members from left to right Nathan Comer, Chad Moore, Cody Krentz, Chris Livesay, Allen McGhee, Jason Shelton Adam Conner and Tyler Feezell.

 

 

 

 


Longevity Recognition 2011    1-31-2012

On January 31, Comcare staff were honored by Nancy Thiessen with their 2011 longevity plaques.  Pictured with their supervisors and Nancy Thiessen are honored staff.  Congratulations to everyone.

 

 

Retirement Celebration            12-22-2011Retirement   

Christine Dinwiddie retired on December 22 after working at Comcare for 22 years.  Christine provided leadership through the years of growth for Comcare.  She continues to volunteer as the leader of the Comcare bell choir and a weekly yoga class for the individuals we serve.  Many thanks to Christine for the years of service to Comcare.

At the end of December Teddy Andies retired after 14 years of service to Comcare.  During those years Teddy provided quality maintenance and upkeep to Comcare properties.  We are thankful to have had Teddy as a member of our team and he will be missed.

 

 

Celebrating 30 Years:                                            Comcare  1981 - 2011  picnic

In the late 1970s, Mrs. Marjorie Nelle Cardwell approached Dr. John Johnson regarding the increased referrals to the state institution for services for young children with a diagnosis of Autism.  She asked him to develop a community based program as an alternative to institutional placement.

In 1981, Oakhaven was opened as a 24 hour program for six children and teenagers with Autism.  The seventh person soon joined us at Oakhaven for her school program.

By the mid 1980’s we had expanded the number of individuals served and had two homes for young individuals with Autism.  We also developed a day program and had the opportunity to open three eight-person homes for adults with intellectual disabilities.  Some of these individuals moved from Greene Valley Developmental Center and some were placed from their community homes (thereby avoiding institutionalization). 

The Shadow Supervision program was set up in 1984 for individuals who could live on their own but needed assistance with accessing the community for shopping, doctor appointments, etc.

Also in 1984 Comcare’s conservatorship program was set up to provide legal representation for intellectually disabled individuals who do not have family to speak for them.  This program has grown to provide services statewide to 800 individuals.

In the late 1980 – early 1990s Comcare built four HUD homes and one home through THDA to provide affordable housing for the individuals we were serving.   We also opened several three person homes during this time period.

In the mid 1990s Comcare opened six ICF homes to move children from the institutional setting to the community setting.  In 2011, we opened three more ICF homes to serve individuals formerly living at the state institution to the community as the state institution is downsizing their census.  See attached article.

Dr. John Johnson served as Comcare’s Executive Director for 27 years.  In July, 2008, Nancy Thiessen was appointed Executive Director by the Board of Directors.

Since our beginnings in the 1980s Comcare has grown to serving 108 individuals in 30 homes and two day programs in Greeneville, Johnson City and Erwin.

Pictured above:  Nancy Thiessen, Executive Director; Dr. John Johnson, Founding Executive Director; Mary Anna Pirozzoli, Associate Director 1981-1998

 

 

 

 

Yoga at Comcare      11-8-11    yogatree

Every week Christine Dinwiddie leads a Yoga class for interested individuals.  The goal of the class is to work on flexibility, balance and relaxation - qualities that are very beneficial to everyone.  Several of the individuals have participated since the inception of the class more than 12 years ago.  We are all very grateful for the support and materials provided by Dr. Fred Martinson. 

 

 

 

 

 


Visit from Commissioners Henry and Emkes    10-16-11       Open Marshall LaneCommissioners

On October 16, 2011, Commissioner Jim Henry and Commissioner Mark Emkes and eight other state dignitaries visited Comcare’s newly opened ICF program located on Marshall Lane in Greeneville.  Priscilla Harris conducted a tour of the facility and shared how the program is meeting the needs of the individuals served in the home.  The Marshall Lane program was opened on April 11, 2011.  Four ladies who previously lived at Greene Valley Developmental Center reside in this home.   

Pictured are Debbie Payne with resident Nancy Foland and Commissioners Emkes and Henry with Priscilla Harris, Associate Director for Comcare.

 

Growing to Serve Room Naming RecognitionJones  2010

In recognition of major donors to Comcare’s Growing to Serve Campaign, rooms and areas in the Comcare Building have been named in their honor. Pictured here are Leon and Donna Jones standing with Nancy Thiessen next to the recognition plaque in the Jones Wing named in memory of their son Brooks. Brooks was a long time recipient of Comcare Services until his death. In addition to the generous contribution made by Leon and Donna several family members and friends made contributions in Brooks’ memory.   Click here for additional pictures and recognitions.   (4.9MB)  pdf format

Comcare Awarded Grant from Enterprise Holdings Foundation    5-31-2011

On May 31, 2011, Catherine Cassidy, Account Manager for Enterprise Fleet Management presented Lori Stokely and Nancy Thiessen a check from Enterprise Holdings Foundation in the amount of $2,000 to benefit Comcare’s Christmas Day fund.  We are grateful for this partnership with Enterprise and their donation to benefit our clients.

 

 

Donations collected for Greene County Tornado Relief Fund   5-9-2011

Comcare staff gave $1,600 for the Greene County Tornado Relief Fund.  Our agency was one of the top contributors to this fund raiser.  What a wonderful statement that our staff, some who had property damage themselves, gave to others in our community who lost so much.

 



Belk 2011 Spring Charity Sale    4-20-2011

Twice a year, Comcare participates in the Belk Charity Sale.  Comcare is given tickets to sell for a $5.00 donation that is good for the one-day sale.  All money that is raised from this event goes towards the Comcare Christmas Party for the clients.  Mary Phillips and her family have participated in our Belk Charity ticket sale for a number of years.  She and her family have gotten pretty creative selling tickets.  They have sold them at her children’s functions and in front of the Belk Store.  This year, Mary and her family raised $250 for the sale in April. 

Pictured:   On right is Mary Phillips receiving Certificate of Appreciation from Jana Thomas.

 

 

Representatives Hawk and Faison visit Comcare      3-29-11

On March 29, 2011, Representatives David Hawk and Jeremy Faison visited Comcare on March 29, 2011.  Nancy Thiessen gave them a tour of the building and introduced them to some of our staff and clients.

Mr. Hawk is a Comcare Board member and he has been very instrumental in the process to open our new ICF homes.  This was Mr. Faison’s first visit to Comcare.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First Tennessee Bank Leadership Grant      3-8-11

On March 8, 2011, Willie Anderson, Vice President of First Tennessee Bank presented a $1,000 Leadership Grant check to Comcare.  The grant is acknowledgement by First Tennessee Bank of Mr. Anderson's service to the Comcare Board of Directors.  He has served on the Board for 6 years and as president for the last 2 years.

 

 

Jody Guffey 25 yearsStaff Longevity as of September 30, 2010       1-4-11

Executive Director, Nancy Thiessen, expressed grateful appreciation to staff for their dedicated service to Comcare. Longevity plaques were presented to staff in recognition of their years of service. Pictured here is Jody Guffey who was recognized for 25 years of Dedicated Service. Click here to see all staff recognition.

 

 

 

 

 

One of Comcare's new homesComcare Opens New Homes 8-3-10

This summer Comcare is opening three new homes. Each home will serve four people who will be moving from Greene Valley Developmental Center. The opening of these homes represents the culmination of five years of determined and persistent work. The homes were originally built with HUD funds to house eight people. While the homes were the norm of care when they were built 20 years ago, times changed and eight-person homes are no longer in favor. Comcare found good three and four-person homes in other homes in the community for the people who formerly lived in the eight-person homes.

It was not as easy to convince HUD that the eight-bedroom homes no longer offered viable housing and needed to be reduced in size. HUD’s argument was that HUD is in the business to increase, and not decrease housing opportunities. After several years, it became clear that these empty houses were headed for the auction block and that there would be no interested buyers. However, the HUD office in Washington continued to persist that the number of beds should not be reduced.

With the advocacy of Thomas Rone in the Knoxville HUD office, Congressman Phil Roe and Senator Bob Corker, HUD in Washington finally agreed to sell the properties to Comcare and to allow each home to be converted from eight bedrooms to four bedroom suites. The second room of the suite is especially important due to the complex medical equipment, wheelchairs, standers, lifts and sidelyers, required by many of the people who will be living these homes.

In addition to securing the homes, it was necessary to obtain the funding to operate them. The State of Tennessee has a funding category under Medicaid known as Intermediate Care Facility- Mental Retardation (ICF/MR). This category of funding is reserved for people who have significant care needs. To obtain this funding, Comcare went through a lengthy application process with the State of Tennessee Health Services and Development Agency and was successful in obtaining a Certificate of Need for each home.

A third part of the process involved Eastern Eight Community Development Corporation, a non-profit organization that is the business of providing low income housing. Comcare is in the service delivery business and not the housing business. Comcare has partnered with Eastern Eight on other projects and is very pleased that Eastern Eight agreed to purchase the eight-bedroom homes, renovate them to meet the new needs and lease them back to Comcare.      

Finally, the last and most important piece of the process was to identify the people who would live in the homes. Individuals currently living at Greene Valley Developmental Center and who could benefit from living in a home in the community were identified. Transition meetings are currently underway to insure that the physical and staffing requirements of the new homes will meet the needs of each identified person. It will be the culmination of years of work and the contributions of many people when these people move into their new homes this summer.

 

Comcare's Annual Halloween Party
10-24-09

Ghouls, goblins, pinafores and circus acts were seen among the participants gathered for an evening of fun at the Comcare Halloween party.

Halloween 2009

Picnic 2009

Comcare's Annual Picnic
9-12-09

On September 12, 2009, Comcare hosted the Annual Picnic in our new facility. The theme was "Reaching for the Stars." More than 300 clients, family member and staff gathered to enjoy music, games and a meal. It was a great to see everyone and spend time together.


Picnic 2009

Comcare's First Annual Talent Show
6-26-09

On June 26, 2009 the Day Program hosted their first annual Comcare Talent Show.  Clients and staff worked for weeks creating and perfecting their acts for the big days’ performance. A wide variety of talent put their skills to the test. We had solo artists, duets, trios, dance acts and even a hula hoop performance. The judges had a very difficult time picking the winners, but trophies were handed out to the top performers.  Everyone had a great time and the top performances were showcased at this year’s company picnic.

Comcare Building

Comcare BuildingComcare Moves Into New Facility
9-25-08

On Thursday September 25 Comcare hosted a Greene County Partnership ribbon cutting to symbolize its move to a new facility located at 100 Pennsylvania Ave. A second ribbon cutting for families, staff and clients will take place at the annual picnic to be held at the site on Saturday September 27. Comcare purchased the former National Business Forms building in June 2007 and has been conducting extensive renovations since that time. The building will house Comcare’s day program services as well as administrative and management offices, training and conference rooms and the maintenance department. These programs were currently located in three different buildings on West Main Street. Training and conferences were being done off site due to space restrictions.  

“We had outgrown our facilities and had a plan for expansion when the National Business Forms Building became available. It was an opportunity we couldn’t pass up. This campus atmosphere with its ample parking and this 70,000 square foot building is designed to meet the present and future needs of our clients. This building houses all the support functions for our agency as well as our day services program. The building will be in use 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.“ said Nancy Thiessen, Executive Director.“ Not only do we have more space we have a safe environment where clients can enter the building protected from the weather and away from traffic. The bathroom, lunchroom and health services room have been significantly improved.

“We are also interested in promoting our business incubator opportunity. We have designated 17,000 sq. ft. of production space, additional shipping and receiving space and a loading dock for a new business start-up or a company wanting to start a new line. If we can attract an operation that will have some component where our clients can participate, we are willing to provide some support incentives. Interested parties can contact me for more information,” said Thiessen

 The Comcare Work Activities Center which is located in the building is the hub for a menu of  day services.
• Supported employment
• Vocational training
• Developmental skills training
• Sheltered workshop

Many of the people in the day program assemble piece work for a local industry.   They find this work to be very rewarding because they can work at their own pace while being productive and earning a paycheck. Others are involved in meaningful day activities including exercise, music, community activities and training in self care and safety.

25 people in the program have jobs in the community through the Supported Employment section of the day program.  Each person has a job coach that supports them to do their job.  These individuals are employed at McDonalds, Tusculum College, the Rest Area on the interstate, Comfort Inn, Hampton Inn, 4-H Camp, YMCA, Roberts Furniture, Gregg’s Pizza, Mama’s House, Fazolis and several cleaning jobs.  Many of the individuals have held their job for more than 6 years.

 Comcare, a not-for –profit agency, is in its 27th year of service to people with disabilities. The program began with five children who lived  in the Susong home where Laughlin hospital now stands The residential program currently serves 100 people in 25 homes and 5 foster homes in Greeneville, Jonesboro, Erwin and Johnson City.

Comcare’s services have been given a three star rating by the state, an honor received by a small number of agencies across the state.

 

 

Comcare Building

Comcare BuildingRibbon Cutting for New Rental Housing Group
9-22-08

Eastern Eight Community Development Corporation and Comcare, Inc. conducted a Ribbon Cutting for four new rental housing group homes. The Event took place on Monday, September 22 at the development located at Willow Creek Subdivision, Mosheim.

The new affordable handicap-accessible homes were developed for residential service-recipients at Comcare, featuring three bedrooms and a fully handicapped accessible bathroom. Each home will house three individuals with 24-hour on site staff.

The project forged partnerships between Comcare and Eastern Eight. Comcare received a HOME grant from the Tennessee Housing Development Agency for the construction financing of the rental housing to serve qualified adults with developmental disabilities. Eastern Eight is the project administrator and will manage the rental units now that construction is complete.

Comcare, located in Greeneville, is a private agency serving adults and children with mental retardation and developmental disabilities. Comcare provides person-centered services in a variety of residential and day settings. Services are based upon individual needs. Comcare is a community 501 c (3) non-profit organization, governed by a volunteer board of directors.

The Ribbon Cutting is in celebration of Creating Affordable Housing Solutions for Northeast Tennessee. Any persons wanting more information should contact Eastern Eight at 423.232.5097 or Comcare at 423.638.3926.