A Success Story
VISTAS is honored to welcome Megan L. to the North Hollywood program. Megan started in October. Megan is an intelligent, friendly and humorous person who loves music, art, singing and dancing. When Megan started at VISTAS she often would scream when upset and not interact with her peers. However, with a combination of supportive counseling, life skills training and positive behavior management Megan has made great progress. Megan regularly interacts with her peers and has cultivated friendships. Moreover, she screams far less when distressed and has learned how to use positive replacement behaviors. The VISTAS family is looking forward to a long and productive relationship with Megan!
Three Wise Men
These 3 extraordinary gentlemen have been an honor to serve over the past 28 to 30 years. Steve joined the VISTAS family in July 1985. Leon and Michael joined the VISTAS family in July 1987. Each of them has grown and progressed in so many areas related to stress-management, socialization, communication, community-integration, and independent-living. They are kind, endearing, and unique individuals who VISTAS celebrates for their dedication and commitment. We are proud of you gentlemen and look forward to serving you in the years ahead!

Leon - VISTAS has helped me in many ways. It has helped keep me out of the hospital, cope with life, communicate better with people and learn how to make friends.

Michael - VISTAS is a nice place. I feel better when I'm at VISTAS and I feel very safe here. I really like going on the outings, they are a lot of fun. It's a great place to come to everyday.

Steve - I like VISTAS a lot. The staff and clients are nice. I really enjoy the outings to the animal shelter and the classes at program, especially cooking class. VISTAS has helped me a lot with being nervous and becoming independent.
In Memoriam
The VISTAS family was deeply saddened to learn that a former consumer, Nathan Hartman had passed away. Nathan attended the VISTAS Panorama City and VISTAS North Hollywood program for a number of years. Nathan possessed a wonderful personality which served as a foundation to highly entertaining social interactions with his peers and staff. He always had an energizing and endearing smile on his face. His sense of humor was innate, creative, and never ceased to amaze. His warm demeanor and kind heart ingratiated him to people directly involved in his life as well as people he was meeting for the first time. His performances in several VISTAS' productions have become legendary for his on stage acting skills. Nathan left VISTAS about 4 years ago to attend different programs. However, he never left the hearts of the staff members and fellow consumers who were honored to have known him.

You Shine
Christina "Tina" Moraga began working at VISTAS Inglewood (which is now VISTAS Hawthorne) in February, 1997 as a counselor's aide. Based upon her outstanding performance she was quickly promoted to the position of a full-time counselor. Over the past 20 years, Tina's skill, compassion, and dedication are a key reason why VISTAS Hawthorne has been so successful in providing outstanding services and support to their consumers. Tina is an absolute natural in developing genuine, trusting and therapeutic relationships with the Hawthorne consumers. When someone visits the Hawthorne program it becomes evident immediately how much the consumers love Tina. As a result of Tina's exceptional counseling and behavioral support skills, the consumers are able to successfully improve their life skills, feel valued and be part of a caring and compassionate environment.

SHS Main Office Moves
Effective February 27, 2017, Specialized Health Services will relocate the administrative office to 6350 Laurel Canyon Blvd. # 307 North Hollywood, CA 91606. Phone numbers, fax and email addresses will remain the same.

Granada Hills Day Program
It has been nearly 8 months since the VISTAS Granada Hills Program has transitioned from a center-based to community-based model. The adjustments to this change have been smooth overall. The consumers report that they love the new type of programming which commences each day at Granada Hills Park and is followed by all day activities in the community. Consumers are participating in a number of social/recreational activities such as bowling, movies, miniature-golf, restaurants, museums, art exhibits, and the zoo. Consumers also are afforded the opportunity to participate in a number of volunteer and pre-vocational outings to sites such as Ride-On, Mend, Operation Gratitude, and the Wildlife Learning Center. These activities not only provide enjoyable experiences for the consumers, they also enable the consumers to enhance their community-integration skills. Finally, since converting to a community-based model, VISTAS Granada Hills has had four very special individuals join the program (Matthew, Jonah, Ashley and Patricia). We look forward to working with them and all the other wonderful consumers we are fortunate to serve!

Recently, in the spirit of community-integration, the “Bible Chapel” in Sylmar welcomed the VISTAS consumers to their center to celebrate Thanksgiving. A traditional Thanksgiving meal was prepared and the banquet hall was decorated making the event a memorable experience for the consumers. The consumers shared that they had a wonderful time socializing and enjoying the delicious food the staff worked tirelessly to prepare!

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