After an amazing 25-year career at Family Service Association, Barbara Oliveira has retired. A lot has happened since 1987 when Barbara first joined Family Service Association. It was in July of that year when she began as a Mental Health Aide for the program which was, at that time, known as Geriatric Day Activity. It operated at First Baptist Church under a contract with the Department of Mental Health.
In the early 90s, FSA started the Social Day Program, which grew steadily, aided by Barbara’s experience and expertise. By 1996, Barbara became the manager of the Geriatric Day Activity program. And only a year later, this special “home away from home” for many of our community’s elders would make the important transition and become an Adult Day Health center, creating exciting new opportunities for the elder and disabled adult population. It eventually became known at Pine Haven Adult Day Health.
Barbara served at the helm as many important milestones were achieved. She was a pioneer in our agency’s first efforts at conducting intergenerational activities when her program teamed up with students from Kuss Middle School. And since 1999, and on a continuous basis, Barbara has provided training to her FSA colleagues in CPR and First Aide.
The Sports Banquet held each year at Pine Haven has been a marvelous showcase of the hard work and accomplishments of the program’s participants. Seasonal celebrations of every kind and description began to fill the Pine Haven calendar. Each year when our program sites are invited to wear red to support Women’s Heart Health…or pink to support Breast Cancer Research, the brightest colors and the most participation happens at Pine Haven.
Do you need a little holiday cheer? That might mean a visit from the Pine Haven carolers, who even entertained our Board of Directors at its December meeting.
All these things didn’t just happen on their own – they happened because of Barbara’s commitment to the agency and to her staff and program participants.
And speaking of the staff, in the fall of 2007, when FSA implemented the Award of Excellence, recognizing those staff persons who exemplify the important qualities that the agency cherishes and strives to achieve, Barbara was the second agency staff member to receive this award. It’s important to note that her nomination was made by her team of Pine Haven staff. And “team” is the appropriate term, because the importance of the “team effort” has always been one of Barbara’s highest priorities.
When the staff nominated Barbara for the award, the nomination form that came before the Recognition Committee was filled with words describing her like phenomenal, leadership, enthusiasm, understanding, compassion andinexhaustible energy. It said that Barbara“sets an extraordinary example and encourages us at the program to work hard and always be our best.”
Barbara set quite an example for her staff and beloved program participants. The bar has been raised by her leadership, and she has left an indelible imprint on our agency and on the lives of all she has touched. She departs FSA with our love, our respect and…most importantly…our thanks for an incredible “job well done.”