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FRAMINGHAM – Wayside Youth & Family Support Network’s COVID Positive Program team today received the 2020 Excellence in Perseverance Award from the Association for Behavioral Healthcare (ABH).

The Excellence in Perseverance Award is part of ABH’s annual Salute to Excellence Awards. The COVID Positive Program staff recognized are Alex Bernard, Josue Guerra, Ethan Kokennen, Zach Lozzi, Dave Metelus, Torey Niles, Aaron Owens and Joan Yokie.

Wayside opened a COVID Positive Program in April for youth involved with the Department of Children & Families.

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“The COVID positive program opened during a time when Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) was in short supply and COVID was still very new and creating tremendous fear in people,” said Eric L. Masi, Ed.D, President & CEO of Wayside. “The courage, perseverance and profound commitment to youth and families that this team showed was such an inspiration to the entire agency. They received tremendous kudos from the Department of Children & Families and the Executive Office of Health and Human Services for their willingness to take this on.”

The COVID Positive Program direct care staff worked an average of 48 hours a week for nine weeks. Many were unable to see family or friends during that time.

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“This remarkable team opened our emergency COVID Positive Program for youth and young adults involved in Department of Children & Families’ care,” said Sara McCabe, vice president of Wayside Campus Services. “The display of courage was nothing short of remarkable. They were faced with having to learn new emergency COVID policies, increased training in PPE procedures and how to safely care for youth while they resided in the program.”

The Direct Care Team received the Excellence in Perseverance Award at ABH’s Virtual Salute to Excellence event.

Founded in 1977, Wayside Youth & Family Support Network is a non-profit, nationally accredited human service agency headquartered in Framingham, that is dedicated to building Strength, Hope and Resiliency through its family-based outreach services, residential treatment programs, and community-based counseling services to more than 6,000 children, youth and families throughout Central, Eastern and Northeastern Massachusetts.


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By editor

Susan Petroni is the former editor for SOURCE. She is the founder of the former news site, which as of May 1, 2023, is now a self-publishing community bulletin board. The website no longer has a journalist but a webmaster.