(201) 996-9100 Bergen / (201) 533-4407 Hudson

hip Newsletter Fall 2021

From the Desk of the President:

One of the core functions of a Center for Independent Living is to ensure that people with disabilities are aware of and have access to all the resources available in their communities. It’s for that reason that outreach is so important to the work that we do. With that in mind I have made a commitment to make sure that the community is aware of hip and all the programs and opportunities that we offer. While Marily Gonzalez, Executive Director of our Hudson office has the resources in that area covered I have signed up for all the Bergen County Boards, Councils and Committees that focus on Disability and Diversity so that I can understand how their work can help the hip consumer achieve their personal goals toward independence.

In the COVID era, meetings have gone virtual and the Zoom format can be tedious, but I need to say that everyone whom I have met in the community of helping professionals has taught me something valuable to pass on to our staff or to offer advice to reach a solution for a consumer.

In addition to spreading the word about hip at meetings we continue to feature up to date information at www.hipcil.org and are building our Constant Contact list to keep you well informed. And, by the way, we’re still able to be reached by phone and email so let us know what’s happening in your part of the world.



Trish Carney to Retire at End of Year

Dear Friends,

As 2021 winds down to a close, so too does my work at hip, for after 29+ years I am retiring at the end of this year. December 23rd will be my last day in the office.

Working at hip has been an incredible experience that has truly enriched my life. I have met many wonderful people, participated in a multitude of diverse experiences, and learned so much. I will be forever grateful to Eileen Goff, who first hired me as her part-time driver in the summer of 1992 when I was unemployed due to a corporate downsizing, and then created a full-time job that afforded me countless opportunities. We were a team for 25 years and I am saddened that Eileen is not here to celebrate my retirement with me. She inspired me and was the wind beneath my wings.

I would like to thank the members of hip’s Board of Trustees, past and present, for their support over the years, and all of the funders that I have worked with (and to whom I have submitted hundreds of reports) for entrusting hip to provide quality programs for people with disabilities. I also thank the many local civic organizations who have provided ongoing support, and all of you who have demonstrated your belief in hip and its mission through memberships and participation in our fundraising activities. I have enjoyed seeing you in person at our events and talking with those of you who have become phone friends. hip functions through the generosity of many individuals in the community and your contributions made my job as Chief Financial Officer easier.

I also want to acknowledge all the wonderful parishioners of St. Peter the Apostle Church in River Edge and other members of the community who, for the past 25 years, have made the holidays brighter for our consumers by generously bestowing on them a countless number of gifts including clothing, household items, toys, sporting goods, and gift cards. You have always made December a very special time at hip.

To our consumers – you are what hip is all about, and I hope that in some small way my work over the past 29 years has helped to enhance your independent living. I have enjoyed getting to know you and will cherish the friendships we have formed. I leave with fond memories of the good times we have shared together at our social events over the years. I am as disappointed as you are that we have had to cancel two picnics, two dinner dances, and now a second Holiday Party due to COVID-19, and hope that these activities can resume in 2022.

I’d also like to give a special shout out to all of you who have participated in my hip Humpday Home Happenings program since early this year – Danny, Danielle, Ivan, Jarrett, Austin, William, Hanneh, Timothy, Margaret, Noel, Gloria, Danielle, Stephen, Stephanie, Stephanie, Sharon, and Cheryl. I have enjoyed Zooming with you each week and seeing your artistic talent. Keep demonstrating your creativity!

Finally, I wish Brian Fitzgibbons, hip’s President/CEO and Marily Gonzalez, the Executive Director of Hudson hip, and the staff in the Bergen and Hudson offices continued success and hip’s Board of Trustees the wisdom and fortitude to lead hip to new heights. Marily and Maria Smith – we’ve worked together for over a quarter of a century, and it’s been a great ride!

Thank you all for being a part of my life for nearly thirty years. Be Safe and Be Well!

With Best Wishes,

Trish Carney

Please send a card to congratulate Trish on her retirement and to remind her of your special connection. Send them to the Bergen hip office marked for Trish and we will present them to her. It will be nice for her memory book. Send them to hip by 12/23/21.

Summer Calendar Raffle Wrap Up!

Every Thursday in July, August and September, the Bergen hip office staff looked forward to picking winning tickets for the Summer Calendar Raffle. After a fun summer, our Grand Prize Winner was longtime hip friend Todd Accomando, who took home $250!

Thank you to everyone for supporting our effort and congratulations to all the winners!

Welcome to hip, Mayra!

Mayra Preciado joined the Hudson hip staff in November as a DDD Support Coordinator. Mayra is currently pursuing her A.A. in Studio Arts from Hudson County Community College. She volunteers with developmentally delayed adults for Camp New Day, which provides a positive and supportive environment for individuals with developmental disabilities. This past summer, Mayra marked her thirteenth year at New Day. In her spare time, she enjoys drawing, painting, and reading books.

Support hip While You Do Your Holiday Shopping!

Amazon Smile offers the same products, prices, and shopping features as Amazon, and donates a percentage of your purchase price to the charitable organization of your choice. Once on the website (www.amazonsmile.com), select Heightened Independence and Progress from the drop-down menu of registered agencies and hip will be the beneficiary of your shopping! Thank you for the support and happy shopping!

hip Fundraiser

Welcome to the home division of Swarovski.  We offer the same first grade quality crystals and materials as found in the stores in the mall, but at a quarter of the price! Enjoy gorgeous Swarovski jewelry at a fraction of the cost. Affordable Swarovski jewelry! They make perfect gifts for the holidays. 

From now until the end of the year, I will donate a portion of all my sales to hip. Please make sure you CALL me with your order so I may ensure it counts towards the fundraiser. Also, I can do sparkle math so you get you the best discounts! Get your holiday shopping started now and help a great cause!


Hanneh Kalyoussef




If you’re moving or your address label is incorrect, please call Linda Horvath in the Bergen office at ext. 19 or email her lhorvath@hipcil.org. We want to make sure everyone receives hipNews!

hip’s QR Codes

QR Codes (Quick Response Codes) are two-dimensional barcode images that when scanned by a camera on a smartphone, they can, among other things, open a link on a webpage. This way, you don’t need to type out the full address of a website. QR Codes allow quick and simple linking from offline to online platforms.

You can scan the QR Code from this newsletter to see the “Fall 2021 hipNews” webpage. Our website is designed for mobile browsers and you will have the option to continue reading or listening to this same information on your cell phone.

Type this address


or scan this QR Code with your cell phone to access the web page.

Enjoy your reading!

Fall Word Search

(jpg image of the word search)

Congratulations, Eric!

On October 9, 2021 in Piscataway, NJ, Eric LeGrand was officially inducted into the Rutgers Hall of Fame with the other 4 members of the 2020 Hall of Fame Class. While the induction ceremony was postponed for a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the delay did nothing to damper the significance of the day. Congratulations to all the inductees on this wonderful accomplishment!

We look forward to Eric presenting as our keynote speaker when we’re able to host our 40th Anniversary Gala safely.

Talking With Your Doctor or Health Care Provider

You can play an active role in your health care by talking with your doctor or health care provider. Clear and honest communication between you and your physician or health care team can help you both make informed choices about your health. It’s important to be honest and upfront about your symptoms even if you feel embarrassed or shy. Have an open dialogue with your doctor or health care provider— ask questions to make sure you understand your diagnosis, treatment, and recovery.

Here are a few tips that can help you talk to your doctor or health care provider and make the most of your appointment:

  • Write down a list of questions and concerns before your appointment.
  • Consider bringing a close friend or family member with you.
  • Take notes about what the doctor or health care provider say or ask a friend or family member to take notes for you.
  • Learn how to access your medical records, so you can keep track of test results, diagnoses, treatments plans, and medications and prepare for your next appointment.
  • Ask for the doctor’s or health care provider’s contact information and their preferred method of communication.
  • Remember that nurses and pharmacists are also good sources of information.

(Article courtesy of National Institutes of Health www.nih.gov)

Welcome to hip, Dawson!

Say hello to the newest member of the Bergen office – Trisha Ebel’s new Seeing Eye dog, Dawson!

New Contest!

Do you like creating new, exciting designs? We’re looking for the perfect art to put on new hip T-shirts that will be produced and sold next year, with the proceeds used to support hip’s diverse programs. Details to follow soon, stay tuned!

Medicare Advantage Enrollment Period

Mark your calendars! Starting October 15 to December 7, 2021, you may change your Medicare health or drug coverage for 2022. You can join, switch, or leave a Medicare Advantage Plan or a Medicare drug plan during this Open Enrollment Period each year. Please call the hip offices with your questions or concerns or visit https://www.medicare.gov/plan-compare

We Welcome the Following New and Renewing Members of hip for 2021!

Jeanne Aimone

Carol Akridge

Kevin Angellini

James Arkills

Griselda Delgado

Brian Fitzgibbons

Paul F. Gaughran

Ninfa Hernandez

Meldri Jerez

Hanneh Kalyoussef

Doreen Kovach

Morgan Neumann

Chandravati Singh

Stephanie Thomas

Catherine Haralynn Wighard

You can become a member of hip! For a membership form visit our website at www.hipcil.org/membership or call one of our offices!

The bergenPAC Arts Access Program is Back!

With new COVID-19 safety guidelines in place, the bergenPAC is ready to welcome back members of the community to their wonderful theater! hip is very fortunate to be part of the Arts Access Program, which provides free tickets to certain performances (on a first come first served basis) to members of different nonprofit organizations in Bergen County.

Please note, in order to receive the list of available shows and to request your tickets, you must be a current member of hip. We request tickets twice per month, on the 15th and the last weekday of the month.

bergenPAC’s new COVID-19 policies are listed on their website www.bergenpac.org. They should be reviewed carefully before attending any performances to make sure they are followed correctly.

We look forward to participating in this fantastic program again! Enjoy the show!

MTS Update

After a bit of a slowdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re happy to say that Braille by Multimedia Transcription Service (MTS) is back in the swing of things! MTS has been working on many interesting new projects as well as textbooks for students across the country.

One project that stands out was for the Macculloch Hall Historical Museum in Morristown, NJ. The curators at the museum were updating the audio tour and wanted to know how they could make it as accessible as possible. MTS worked closely with the museum to create clear braille stickers for each podium of the tour so all the visitors can follow along together. We look forward to continuing this relationship and increasing the accessibility of this wonderful museum!

hip Thanks…

hip receives many contributions from the individuals and the community throughout the year. We thank the following for their recent exceptional generosity:

Eve & Mort Levinson

Diane Albarella

All About SCORE

SCORE provides free and confidential mentoring, and hands on workshops designed to improve our clients’ business outcomes. Funded by the Small Business Administration (SBA), our services have been helping both established and new businesses owners for more than 50 years. SCORE is a not for profit small business mentoring organization, and staffed by highly experienced business executives and owners

Typical mentoring and workshop topics include; business planning, financing, marketing and digital strategies. Services are provided through the entire life cycle of a business, from early stage through business sale / closing. We are committed to diversity and inclusion as the guiding principles on how we serve our clients, as well with the mentors we choose.

If you have interest in hiring a free mentor, or just reviewing our reference materials, visit our web site northeastnj.score.org or contact me directly.

Gregg Butler

Certified Mentor | Outreach Leader

SCORE Northeast New Jersey | northeastnj.score.org

gregg.butler@scorevolunteer.org | 201-370-4743

We Mourn…

Our hip family lost the following people in recent months:

Donn Slonim

Nick Tzakis

Barbara Simon

Lorraine Martocci

George Rush

We also mourn all those lost to COVID-19.

Remembering Barbara Conklin

Barbara Conklin, dear friend and longtime hip member, passed away in September. Some of you may know Barbara as the designer of hipNews but what you may not know is that Barbara was the creative mind behind so many hip items over the years. From dinner dance invitations to brochures and journals, Barbara was our go-to for design and created so many great pieces for hip. In addition to being incredibly artistic, she was a wonderful person who always made a point to check in on everyone and send her love. Barbara’s caring presence will be missed by all who knew and loved her.

hip Holiday Party 2021

We still can’t gather in person for a Holiday Party, but we can celebrate via Zoom!

Join all your hip friends as we celebrate the 2021 Holidays with our favorite DJ, Gary Morton!

Friday, December 10th from 7-9PM

To register and receive the link for the party, email Trish Carney tcarney@hipcil.org

Please note Holiday Party in the Subject Line. The link will be sent the week of December 6th.

Calendar of Events

Holiday Party Zoom – December 10 at 7pm
Virtual Book Club Conference Call – December 17

Happy Holiday and a Happy New Year – December 20 at 7pm
For all Hudson events, please RSVP with
Mariana at mmartinez@hipcil.org or call 201-533-4407

Secaucus – 10am Via Zoom December 2
North Arlington – 2pm Via Zoom December 14
Washington Township/Fort Lee – 10am Every Wednesday
Via Conference Call

Telephone Support Group
Young Adult Peer Group Conference Call
Ages 18 – 30 7:30 pm
December 7
Older Adult Peer Group Conference Call
Ages 31 – 50 7:30 pm
December 16
Please call the hip Office to confirm that the meetings will take place.

hip Offers Innovative Programs to Meet the Independent Living Needs of People with Disabilities in Bergen and Hudson Counties and Beyond”>hip Offers Innovative Programs to Meet the Independent Living Needs of People with Disabilities in Bergen and Hudson Counties and Beyond

Founded in 1980, Heightened Independence & Progress (hip) is observing 41 years of service. hip not only continues to provide vital assistance through information, referral, advocacy, and peer support, but also offers a wide variety of programs to people with all types of disabilities in Bergen and Hudson Counties. Some programs have statewide, even national impact. The following is a summary of hip programs.

Adjustment to Vision Loss coordinates peer support groups. Contact: Trisha Ebel (Bergen)

Braille by Multimedia Transcription Service (MTS) transcribes textbooks and other materials into Braille. Contact: Jayne Jacobs (Bergen)

Community Advocacy and Outreach Program seeks to promote full inclusion through advocacy, education and legislation. Contact: Hudson Staff or Bergen Staff

Comprehensive Independent Living Support (CILS) provides care management assistance to residents of Hudson County to remain in the community. Contact: Hudson Staff

Division of Developmental Disabilities Support Coordination Program assists individuals from Bergen and Hudson Counties to discover their full potential. Contact: Brian Fitzgibbons (Bergen), Natalie Alave (Hudson)

Empowering Women Support Group. Contact: Nicole Clark (Bergen)

Hispanic Outreach Program directs Independent Living services to individuals of Hispanic origin, in English and Spanish. Contact: Maria Valentin (Bergen) or Hudson Staff (Hudson)

Youth Transition Case Management assists high school students to plan for their future and for employment. Contact: Jenny Paniagua (Hudson)

Modification Access Project (MAP) assists with funding for barrier-free home renovation projects from concept to completion. Contact: Maria Valentin (Bergen)

Our New Journey provides financial and practical help to families newly impacted by the onset of illness or disability. Contact: Anne Ciavaglia McMahon (201-288-2867)

Polio Network of New Jersey – The Ruprecht Fund. hip administers this fund for PNNJ to help polio survivors in New Jersey finance necessary products and services. Contact: Maria Valentin (Bergen)

Senior and Caregiver Assistance Program provides care management to individuals over the age of 60 and/or adult family caregivers. Contact: Care Management Staff (Bergen)

Special Assistance for Independent Living (SAIL) provides funding to Hudson County residents for assistive devices or barrierfree home renovation projects. Contact: Natalie Alave (Hudson)

Special Needs Assistance Program (SNAP) provides funding and facilitates acquisition of services and adaptive devices such as wheelchairs, bathroom safety equipment, hearing aids and more. Contact: Maria Valentin (Bergen)

Support for Independent Living (SIL) provides ongoing care management services through assessment, linkage, and coordination for people with disabilities (18-59). Contact: Tamara Clark (Bergen)

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is a state-funded case management program for New Jersey residents who have survived an acquired brain injury, for services and supports they need to live in the community. Contact: Shoshana Stubin (Bergen)

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