Wednesday, January 27, 2010

GCASA demonstrates a high commitment to professional education

GCASA has a long history of commitment to Human Service professional education. GCASA's student internship program has grown and become stronger over the years to the point now that, unfortunately, we have to turn students away.

GCASA's commitment to professional education is good for the Behavioral Health field, good for GCASA's staff, good for our neighboring colleges and universities, good for our clients, and good for our community.

GCASA has incorporated the commitment to professional education into its way of doing things, into its institutional culture, and it receives no additional funding or reimbursement for the tremendous contribution it makes.

In the 2009 - 2010 academic school year GCASA has 11 of its staff who serve as field instructors for 14 different students from 6 different Colleges such as SUNY Brockport, University of Buffalo, Nazareth College, Roberts Wesleyan, Keuka, and Genesee Community College. GCASA also provides shadowing and work study opportunities for Genesee Valley BOCES students.

Human Service professionals are low paid, with poor benefits, in very stressful jobs. People go into the field for the satisfaction and fulfillment derived from the work, rather than for external rewards. The staff morale at GCASA is very good, and client satisfaction is very high, and this is due to many factors one of which is having eager, enthusiastic, motivated, excited students who want to help people and make the world a better place.

Based on comments made on the Daily News articles on GCASA, GCASA is accused of being a money grubbing agency that makes life tough on innocent people who have gotten caught up in the criminal justice system due to their substance abuse, and a Medicaid mill ripping off the taxpayers. Upon closer look with more objective eyes GCASA is not about any of this and these comments may be due to sour grapes and prejudicial attitudes which stigmatize people with a very serious, if not terminal, disease. GCASA's participation with neighboring colleges and universities preparing the health care and human service professionals of tomorrow is another manifestation of GCASA's commitment to improving the health of the community and making a better world for all of us. GCASA's commitment to professional education is not about money because there is no money in it for GCASA. It is about community service and raising the bar for the quality of services which GCASA provides. There is no agency of GCASA's size in Western New York which has made the commitment to professional education which GCASA has and because of this we all can be very proud.

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