Employee of the Month for November 2019: Cindy Rupp

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Our Employee of the Month for November 2019 is Cindy Rupp! Cindy Rupp is a Case Manager who works to help those living with HIV throughout Northeast and North Central Pennsylvania. Before joining Caring Communities, Cindy had worked for Columbia Montour Family Health for 32 years doing patient education and counseling, community education and professional training, and marketing and community networking. She also taught, and continues to teach, Human Sexuality classes as an adjunct professor at Luzerne County Community College. Cindy began working with Caring Communities in July of 2015. In her previous position, Cindy had a long-standing collaborative relationship with Caring Communities, and said it was a pleasure to be able to join the agency whose work she respected so much. As with many who have dedicated their time…
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Real Stories from Real People Living with HIV in Northeast & North Central Pennsylvania

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In honor of World AIDS Day, we reached out to people living with HIV to get their stories. Here’s what they said: What is the biggest hurdle you’ve overcome since receiving your HIV or AIDS diagnosis? “Acceptance of self. I was engaging in risky behavior at the time, and when I received the news it was death sentence. I was so devastated and overwhelmed that I was admitted to the behavioral health unit at the hospital. The guilt and remorse were so intense that I relapsed into risky behavior. I overcame the fear. It was a long process. My wife stayed with me through it all. Eventually ‘the lightbulb went on.’ My life changed. I became optimistic about the future because of my connection with God and my purpose here…
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Seasonal Affective Disorder: The “what,” “why,” and “what to do.”

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Do you experience the “winter blues” every year? It’s that time of year with daylight saving time ending November 3rd. Autumn and winter, although beautiful seasons, are often gloomy and overcast. If you find yourself becoming depressed during this time, you may be experiencing SAD, “Seasonal Affective Disorder”. Seasonal Affective Disorder is a “type” of depression which occurs in late autumn and throughout winter. Seasonal Affective Disorder is characterized by low energy, loss of interest in hobbies and activities, difficulty sleeping, and possibly suicidal thoughts. It may be caused by family history, gender (more women are affected), Vitamin D insufficiency, and a personal history of clinical depression or bipolar disorder. This disorder is very common.  It develops due to changes in our internal clock (circadian rhythms) and changes in brain…
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Trans Awareness Week

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Leading up to Transgender Day of Remembrance (November 20th), people and organizations around the world take time to participate in Trans Awareness Week from November 13th to 19th. Trans Awareness Week is a time to raise the visibility of transgender people and address issues the population faces. Many participants organize events to serve as educational opportunities to their communities. Events can range from screenings of trans-themed films, such as Paris is Burning, to personal testimonies of local transgender people and the issues they experience in their communities. In 2017, there were an estimated 1 million transgender adults living in the United States.[1] This population faces unique challenges related to legal protections, poverty, and social stigma, as well as barriers to education, employment, housing, and healthcare. Transgender individuals, and especially transgender…
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Employee of the Month for October 2019: Jacob Kelley

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Our Employee of the Month for October 2019 is Jacob Kelley! Jacob is a Case Manager and has been with Caring Communities since March of 2017. This is Jacob’s second time receiving Employee of the Month, due in part to his dedication and passion for his work. Jacob graduated from Bloomsburg University in December 2016. He is currently finishing up his master’s degree in Human Sexuality through Weidner University. Jacob hopes to use his education in combination with his experiences at Caring Communities to become a sex educator. Jacob’s coworkers commend his helpfulness and organization. Along with his duties in the Case Management Department, Jacob is always willing to lend a hand when needed, be it organizing events or making sure paperwork is complete. Others note Jacob’s motivation to better…
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