Getting to Know Maintenance Technician Bobby Hoffarth

 

It’s often said that “dressing well is a form of good manners”. That philosophy never applied to anyone as much as it does to Sound’s Maintenance Technician Bobby Hoffarth. Sporting a polished bow tie and a friendly smile around the Sound campuses, Hoffarth exemplifies the professionalism and excellence we have all come to rely on from Sound’s Facilities and Operations teams.

Bobby Hoffarth

Hoffarth works in all areas of the Facilities Team, specializing in the appropriation of furniture, building maintenance, and site design along with managing and serving a variety of stakeholders including vendors and contractors.

The technician has a strong sense of personal style. Fueled by a lifetime of creative focus on the arts, Hoffarth is a published poet, a musician, and an aristologist – a person who loves the arts of both cooking and dining. He and his wife of 22 years, Betty, enjoy dining at different restaurants each week, exploring a variety of cuisines and cultures. Hoffarth is also famous for his amazing varieties of salsas that he meticulously prepares and shares with team members.

Hoffarth and his wife are also avid music fans, having attended countless musical performances of a variety of genres. The latest? Blink 182 with Lil Wayne over the Memorial Day weekend and then, Elton John at the Tacoma Dome. Hoffarth is a musician who was once in a band called Eminence. “Art and music are an important part of who I am. I play instruments, I sing, I write…I can’t believe I went to see Elton John!  It’s was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to check something off my bucket list!”

In addition to valuing the arts, Hoffarth treasures his family. Hoffarth and his wife enjoy spending time with their two cats, Monty and Latuda, their bird Harley, their three children and their 10-year-old grandson. “There is nothing more important to me than being with my kids and grandson. Family is everything to me.”

When he’s not working hard on facilitating projects for team members, you can find Hoffarth designing and creating relaxing outdoor spaces at Sound’s multiple locations.  Bobby takes pride in his work – always striving to make Sound a beautiful, clean, organized, relaxing space.

Hoffarth joined Sound in 2018, after a long career working at the PIH hospital system in Southern California.

“Bobby has a great sense of humor and a never-give-up attitude; he tackles every day and every situation with positivity. He’s a real problem solver and a super person to work with and be around. It seems that a lot of people on campus know him and want him on their projects,” says Operations Manager James Hill. “Bobby is always very professional. He has a great attitude; he’s willing to go above and beyond to help team members and to get projects done. And, he has a light-heartedness that makes everyone smile. Every time I see him he says, ‘There’s a happy camper!’  We’re really glad to have Bobby on the team.”

Hoffarth loves his work with the Facilities Team, which allows him to be creative while being of service to others. His creative thinking has been instrumental in implementing preventive maintenance. For example, earlier in September, someone had left a water faucet running in a facility, causing disaster. Hoffarth suggested installing motion-detecting faucets at that location so that water could not be left on.

Why does Hoffarth choose to work for Sound? “I love it here. I love the people I work with and the clients we serve. It makes me happy to see people being treated so well here. I’m so proud of the work we do. I’m proud to be a part of Sound.”

 

Hoffarth graciously shared one of his published poems from the book, A Celebration of Poets – Showcase Edition Vol. 1, The Poetry Guild, 1998.

We – by Robert A. Hoffarth

The first two letters in wedding are “we”

That’s what a marriage should always be

Us together, what a mighty fine start

Love and honor, until death do us part

What we build together is shared by two

Our love for each other grows stronger

No matter what we do

Like climbing a mountain & sailing the sea

It’s rugged and calm, it’s pure ecstasy

There’s an art to marriage where two

Sides must try

If one side stops, you’re left with an “I”

So look to the future and not to the past

Love your partner like today is the last

Every Sound client has a treatment plan; a set of written instructions that clinicians and clients create together to define treatment goals. The treatment plan includes the patient or client’s personal information, the diagnosis (or diagnoses, as is often the case with behavioral health) and a general outline of the treatment prescribed. These plans are the vehicle by which Sound provides effective, whole healthcare to people, tracks information and remains dedicated to goals.

For those who don’t know, the tool we use to write treatment plans and organize data is MyAvatar, an electronic health record (EHR) system developed by Netsmart, Inc. Clinicians enter service information into MyAvatar such as assessments, treatment plans, progress notes, and medications. MyAvatar also captures client health insurance information required to produce claims to Medicare and other insurers and supports managed care functions.

The big news, though, is that a multidisciplinary team at Sound, which consisted of Sound’s clinical, quality and business applications teams who agreed that the initial configuration wasn’t quite right worked together to create a new design that places the treatment plan on top of all the other information, like an umbrella. (See illustration.)

The new treatment plan is a primary example of Sound’s strategic initiatives focused on team member experience and client care outcomes.

This new configuration is a welcome change for clinicians, who have been happier with the easy, new way to see and work with client data. Before the change, documentation was disjointed and it was difficult for clinicians to link client progress back to their treatment plan. With the change in place, the treatment plan is the top layer and links to the progress notes in any episode without having to try to puzzle together what is going on with a client’s treatment. Previously, they couldn’t link to progress notes at all. Clinicians were trained on best practices for care planning in order to use the new treatment plan as a clinical tool to help drive treatment.

Susie Winston, chief quality & clinical excellence officer, shared her thoughts about the umbrella model of the treatment plan.

“The new treatment plan is the culmination of many months’ effort,“ she says. “The team has redesigned the way we organize data.  The plan is very intuitive. It keeps the treatment plan at the forefront and integrates the Reaching Recovery components.  Now, everything is organized around the treatment plan, whereas before, all data was inside episodes and progress notes weren’t linked to the treatment plan, the way they are now.  Having this non-episodic feature supports our move towards a true co-occurring treatment plan. “

Because the plan lives outside of the treatment episodes, it is easier to refer to the most recent information. Clinicians can easily link the treatment plan with progress notes in any episode to document progress towards treatment goals.  As a result, people in services have one integrated holistic treatment plan that covers all services the person is receiving.

The new treatment plan takes advantage of MyAvatar’s ability to adapt to growth and change.

“The beauty of MyAvatar is that we can change it as we go, fulfilling the requirements of the clinical team as needed. This EHR system is very flexible,” says Lisa Greer, applications manager at Sound.

This new, more efficient approach saves time and helps different service providers work collaboratively to the benefit of the clients.

“For far too long, clinicians have had to struggle through a series of episodes to piece together client progress notes and to view Reaching Recovery markers,” says Winston.  “The goal for a treatment plan is that it be seamless and easy to read. There’s ONE treatment plan per client and many different clinicians and providers need to be able to see it.  There could be several different programs that a client is partaking in and we just need to make sure everyone is aware of that client’s overall treatment plan.  This new organized way of doing things is really beneficial.  We are literally living our vision to provide effective and innovative whole health care for the people and the community we serve.”

Sound’s Adult Recovery Services (ARS) team offers integrated addiction and dual diagnosis treatment, with people receiving individualized recovery support. This group serves all adults, including older adults and provides a full range of outpatient and case management behavioral health services.

Approximately 900 people receive services from Adult Recovery Services in Auburn. Some of those folks receive services every day and others show up once a quarter, to check in.

Sound Adult Services has 13 clinicians and one peer. The team is growing, too.

“We’ve got an offer out right now to a 14th clinician!” exclaimed Pat Dickerson, ARS South department manager.

The team, led by Cassandra Jackson, is made up of high-energy, dedicated people.

“The ARS team members are extremely compassionate and positive. They care first and foremost about people.”

Older Adult Services (OAS), led by Salim Qassis, a part of ARS South, provides behavioral health care to Sound’s geriatric population. These clients typically have a multitude of complex mental, medical, physical, environmental and psychosocial challenges which may accompany the aging process. OAS works closely with the Department of Health and Human Services (DSHS) and other geriatric providers. OAS also provides family support groups, training and consultation for businesses and human service agencies and community education classes.

The team also works with people who need supported housing. The Supported Housing Team is a part of ARS and is led by Annamaria Gueco.

“The Supported Housing program strives to place each eligible person in the least restrictive situation that is safe, stable, therapeutic, culturally and age-appropriate,” says Jackson.

King County locations include:

South King County (SKC) Housing First – Serves the chronically homeless who need permanent housing
Pacific Court, Capitol Hill Apodments & Holly Creek – Supportive Housing
Project Homestead includes – Outreach and Engagement, intensive wraparound services, supportive permanent housing for high needs families
Kenyon House – Serves clients with AIDS/Mental Health (MH)/Substance Use Disorders (SUD). Provides service-enriched permanent housing
McDermott Place – Uses a Housing First approach and serves Vets/ MH/SUD. Includes permanent housing, harm reduction, relapse prevention, employment and peer support, in partnership with Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI)
Gossett Place – Serves Young Adults/Vets/ MH/SUD. Includes permanent housing, harm reduction, relapse prevention, employment and peer support, in partnership with LIHI
Ernestine Anderson – Serves Older Adults/Vets/ MH/SUD. Provides permanent housing, harm reduction, relapse prevention, employment and peer support, in partnership with LIHI
Homeless Services – Includes Outreach and Engagement, The Project for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness (PATH) and South King County Homeless Outreach.
Sound serves adults all over King County. Location plays a role in what makes ARS/ Auburn different than the other Adult Recovery Teams.

”Located in South King County, there are traditionally fewer supports and less understanding by the larger community of our clients and their symptoms/behaviors,” says Dickerson. “This means that our location, our team and our treatment had to branch out to fill the gaps. We are able to provide a space in the world for our clients that is theirs. This outlook has our team in the unique position of seeing whole healthcare as the next logical step in caring for our clients.”

Dickerson feels proud of the people she works with.

“People work hard to achieve their goals,” she says. “Every single day there is a person who demonstrates an unimaginable level of resilience! ARS is where the rubber meets the road. We see the value in meeting people where they are to provide client-centered, strength-based services. ARS strives to provide a space in the world that respects and values people who don’t necessarily find that anywhere else.”

 

Sound provides clear masks to those who need them

  

At Sound, we have team members and clients who rely on speech reading to communicate. In order to be as safe as possible and to accommodate those team members and clients, Sound’s Safety and Operations Teams have provided team members with 200 clear-faced masks to ensure their safety while helping them communicate effectively and comfortably.  

“Deaf and hard of hearing people rely on facial expressions to communicate, so blocking half of your face removes a crucial source of information. We appreciate Sound’s commitment to removing barriers while keeping us safe,”  says Deaf Services Program Manager Anne Baldwin.

“We are here to support all our team members so they can support the people we serve. We’re glad there is a solutions that makes sense,” added Safety Manager Hailey Willmann.

Please follow this linkto view a webinar by the Center for Hearing and Communication to learn practical strategies for managing social interactions and the emotional impact wearing face masks has on people with hearing loss.

The Sound Facilities team has been working diligently to keep facilities clean and safe for both team members and the people we serve, exceeding the CDC as well as state recommendations for facility cleaning.

In addition to their vigorous and thorough cleaning routines, team members have been making the rounds at all Sound locations, thoroughly cleaning all surfaces with a technology called electrostatic cleaning to help fight the Coronavirus. It is the favored tool of leading organizations like Sound.

Vice President & Chief Operations Officer Guy Delisi recommended the purchase of the equipment to keep facilities as clean as possible, to ensure the safety of clients and team members.

“Traditional disinfecting using spray bottles is often not effective for cleaning hard-to-reach corners and spaces. Fortunately, there is a way to disinfect more areas – more efficiently than traditional sprays and rags – it’s called electrostatic cleaning. Electrostatic cleaning equipment is a sprayer that ensures 360-degree coverage. That means the spray from the machine extends around the area to reach all sides and crevices, such as the space between furniture cushions and inside the fabric, making sure every corner and crevice gets sanitized,” says Delisi. “With the machine and the EPA-approved sanitizing liquid, electrostatic cleaning can kill up to 99.999% of bacteria and viruses and can cover a 450 square foot room in just over 2 minutes.”

How does it work? An Electrostatic sprayer is basically a sprayer that applies an electrostatic charge to the disinfectant as it leaves the sprayer nozzle. The positive electrical charge of the disinfectant attaches to the negative charge of surfaces and eliminates the bacteria and viruses.

“This disinfectant is very thorough,” emphasizes Delisi. “Electrostatic disinfection is just one of the tools we are using to ensure a safe, clean environment.”

Regional director Alice Nichols cares about people and has these great ideas for FREE ways to give a gift to a friend this holiday season.

“Gifts don’t have to cost money to be valuable. The very best things we give come from our heart.”

  • A listening ear. Schedule a standing weekly phone call with a friend. Get it on your calendars! This kind gesture seems small but can mean the world to a shy friend.
  • A list of things you value about someone. Make a list of things you love and value about someone, print it out and present it to them with a bow.
  • Make a Tell Me Notebook: Fill a notebook with questions that invite your friend to write their thoughts and feelings. Each page can be a question/writing prompt – What things make you think about spring? Who was your favorite teacher and why? Tell me about three memorable friends.
  • Share a list of lessons learned: Make a list of all the valuable and wonderful things you’ve learned from your friend.
  • Car care: Go wash their car.
  • Help them with a chore! Doing someone’s laundry can be a godsend!
  • Offer to babysit their children: During COVID, babysitting can be as simple as scheduling a Zoom call for an hour and chatting about school or hearing how their day is going. Or, read them a story. This hour can give your friend time to focus on self-care, relax, take a nap or a bath.
  • The NEW mixed tape! Spotify! Make your friend a playlist on Spotify and invite them to it. Create a playlist of their favorite songs, or a list of songs that remind you of them. Name it after them: Jem’s Top Ten
  • Have a virtual movie party! Watch a Netflix movie together (a Netflix Party) from a Chrome web browser!
  • Read an eBook together: So many books are free online. Choose one and invite your friend to a cozy book club just for two!

No matter what you chose to do, your friend will appreciate your thoughtful gift because it came from you!

Sound has played a vital role in the community for over 50 years. And now, during the Covid-19 crisis, Sound’s team of experts continues to serve thousands of clients in person as well as via telehealth every month. Join us as we continue to visit and celebrate Sound’s Heroes of the Pandemic.

The heart and soul of our model of care are the people who work here, helping clients get through these scary, unprecedented times. We will continue to work with people and we will get through this together with these Heroes of the Pandemic.

Today, we’re getting to know Residential Case Manager Bethany Simpson, who has been working at Cascade Hall for three years, and has been with the organization for 6 years.

“We all really love our residents here at Cascade Hall and we try to make their time here happy, especially during this pandemic and for the holidays. A number of our residents are veterans. I had a grand plan to bake cookies for them for Veterans Day, but I’ll be honest, my baking went awry haha. Instead, I got each of our veterans a Starbucks gift card and cookie and each member of the team signed cards thanking them for their service.”

For Thanksgiving, Bethany and the team are writing cards for each resident where they state something about that person that they’re thankful for, a tradition started by Sound team member Rachel Dealy who used to work at Cascade Hall but now works as a case manager at Lake City Way. And for the December holidays, Bethany has organized a greeting card drive where people she knows from across the country are sending cards that will be evenly distributed among all the residents.

“The only mail most of them receive tends to be junk or social security and I know how happy they all are to get things like greeting cards,” says Simpson. “A friend of mine who is a teacher is having her 1st graders make cards to send as a class project. In addition to this, I began a project back in October to knit scarves for each of my residents as part of their holiday gift. I’ve ended up adding our other residential sites to my goal – I’m trying to make scarves for all the residents at Cascade Hall, Keystone, Stillwater, and the Willows. So far, I’ve completed about 75 out of a total goal of roughly 140. I couldn’t possibly get this done without the help of lots of friends and family who have donated yarn to the cause, and some friends are even knitting some themselves to help me reach my goal. There are about 25 scarves so far that are getting mailed to me from friends knitting them all across the state and the country!”

We’re thankful and proud of you Bethany. Thank you for your sweet, caring heart and all that you do for Sound & the people we serve – and for being a Hero of the Pandemic.

To join Bethany’s holiday card campaign, please email Marketing@Sound.health for details.

Sound has played a vital role in the community for over 50 years. And now, during the Covid-19 crisis, Sound’s team of experts continues to serve thousands of clients in person as well as via telehealth every month.

The heart and soul of our model of care are the people who work here, helping clients get through these scary, unprecedented times. We will continue to work with people and we will get through this together with these Heroes of the Pandemic.

Meet Ann Marie Hill, a clinician at Sound’s Tukwila location. Ann Marie put together a virtual group for parents to learn how to best help their children through these unprecedented times – with a group specifically FOR parents, called “School Online”, offering tips and tricks to help with successful online schooling.

“The idea is to help parents who really want to help their children succeed in spite of a global pandemic that forces us all into a very difficult, socially-distanced situation, ” Says Hill. “By nature, kids are social, and sitting in front of a screen instead of interacting with a human being in person is DEFINITELY a challenge for them. What I wanted to do was support parents, give them ideas, and help them keep their positive energy flowing! I think our group parents are doing just a phenomenal job caring for kids. I’m so proud of them! I couldn’t be happier with the success of these families!”

As for the curriculum? “The materials were created by Child and Family Services. They had so much success with them that I chose to tailor the materials to families with children that have Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. These families’ already-complicated situations are only compounded by the COVID epidemic. I just thought they could use some of that same success only more individually tailored to the challenges they face.”

Ann Marie, Thank you for your dedication. You are a Hero of the Pandemic!

Sound has played a vital role in the community for over 50 years. And now, during the Covid-19 crisis, Sound’s team of experts continues to serve thousands of clients in person as well as via telehealth every month. Join us as we continue to visit and celebrate Sound’s Heroes of the Pandemic.

The heart and soul of our model of care are the people who work here, helping clients get through these scary, unprecedented times. We will continue to work with people and we will get through this together with these Heroes of the Pandemic.

When Governor Inslee issued strict quarantine measures for Washington State due to Covid-19, team members at Sound got to work. “Instead of panicking, the Operations Team at Sound got organized,” said Hansen. “One of my first assignments was to get the necessary supplies to help protect team members and clients.”

Hansen immediately rolled up her sleeves, and started working to help. “Like everyone else, I was stunned at the gravity of the situation. We serve over 26,000 people at Sound. I wanted to do everything I could to make sure the team and the clients all had the proper personal protective gear to stay safe,” said Hansen

Procuring personal protective equipment (PPE) for the entire organization was not an easy task.

“Back when Covid-19 started, it was really tough to get PPE,” said Sound Safety Manager Hailey Willman. “Elyssa really worked hard to get PPE to keep clients and team members safe. She was really key in making things happen.”

Director of Administrative Services Eric Cota had this to say about Elyssa, “Elyssa has ensured, since day one, that we had all of the Covid supplies we needed. Elyssa spent almost the first few months doing nothing but shopping. Since supplies were difficult to find – at least at first – she spent a lot of time researching different vendors, checking back constantly on availability, etc. She also has done a tremendous job tracking the supplies and the associated costs, and she took the opportunity to install shelving in the room across the hall from her to create an organized space. Elyssa also spends quite a bit of time each week fulfilling orders from all of our clinical and housing locations.”

We’re thankful and proud of you Elyssa. Thank you for joining Sound and for being a Hero of the Pandemic.

Sound has played a vital role in the community for over 50 years. And now, during the Covid-19 crisis, Sound’s team of experts continues to serve thousands of clients in person as well as via telehealth every month. Join us as we continue to visit and celebrate Sound’s Heroes of the Pandemic.

The heart and soul of our model of care are the people who work here, helping clients get through these scary, unprecedented times. We will continue to work with people and we will get through this together with these Heroes of the Pandemic.

Maia Leslie is a clinician at Sound. Maia’s office is with her IDD team at the Capitol Hill location, but these days, Maia is conducting most of her client work online. Recently, Maia created an online group called Music with Maia, a virtual group that meets online on Friday afternoons with clients who log in to participate.

“Music is such a universal language! I just love to see happy faces smiling and singing on our video group chats. It’s encouraging to know that we can be the highlight of someone’s day – maybe even their week,” says Maia. “To me, the most important thing about our work is giving people hope – something to look forward to. Participating in the group is social, and fun, and happy. It’s really about self-care. I’m so proud to be a part of this team!”

Maia, thank you for caring for the people we serve. Thank you for being a Hero of the Pandemic!