Family Life Series Workshop

The Family & Youth Services Bureau will present a Family Life Series Workshop, “Mental Health, Bullying and Substance Abuse: Exploring the Links,” from 6 to 7:30 p.m. May 13 at the bureau’s office at 253 W. Lincolnway, Valparaiso.

The workshop is led by Tom Moeller, who has served in various capacities at the Family & Youth Services Bureau for more than 20 years, according to a release from the bureau. He works in the clinical services department, where he provides counseling services to adolescents and their families, the release said.

Moeller has a particular interest in the impact of substance abuse on adolescents and how to develop and support efforts by adolescents to succeed despite their history of substance abuse, the release said.

Issues presented and discussed will include how bullying, mental health concerns and substance abuse share a common set of risk factors; how these risks can be reduced by a corresponding set of protective factors; and how families contribute to reducing risk, the release said.

The workshop is free and open to the public. Seating is limited, so attendees are asked to RSVP with their name and contact information by May 12 by calling (219) 464-9585 or emailing kunderwood@fysb.org.

Methodist employees get awards

Methodist Hospitals honored employees by recognizing their dedication and commitment to the hospitals’ mission at a recent annual service awards banquet at the Avalon Manor in Merrillville, according to a press release from Methodist Hospitals.

The banquet honored 303 people who had reached service milestones of five years or longer, including 45 whose careers at Methodist have spanned 25 years or more.

Special award winners included Simon Lillie, Employee of the Year; Dawn Smith, Leader of the Year; and Laurel Valentino, Humanitarian of the Year.

Lillie, a security guard, was lauded for demonstrating the hospital’s standards of behavior every day and in every way, according to the press release. He gets letters from patients and visitors who have been touched and impressed by his welcoming smile and endless helpfulness, it said.

Smith demonstrates her leadership capabilities in everything she does, according to the release. She is the longest-serving member of Methodist Hospitals’ Leadership Development Institute, and one of the top three Heart Walk captains for the last three years, it said.

Valentino has made helping others a hallmark of her 30-year tenure at Methodist Hospitals, according to the release.

She is an advocate for nursing and has served on the State Board of Nursing for many years and has been a tireless fundraiser for organizations serving the patients in her field, the release said.

She is active in youth ministry programs at her church and takes high school and college kids on a mission trip every year to Florida, and she and her husband take biannual mission trips to the Philippines, volunteering in a clinic, and she partners with the Philippine Nurses Association to send books and medical supplies and equipment to needy areas of the Philippines, the release said.

Staff reports