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September 2023 Masada Homes’ Newsletter

masada monthly newsletter

Bringing You the Latest Updates, News, and Highlights! 

Embracing the beauty of autumn, we welcome you to the October edition of our monthly newsletter. As the leaves fall, we rise with excitement to share the latest updates and accomplishments within our Masada community. 

Let’s dive into the highlights!

new faces, fresh energy

Change is a constant in the world of business, and here at Masada, we embrace it with open arms. Our team is continually growing and evolving, and it’s with great excitement that we introduce our newest members:

  • Ariel Reyes, Gardena Outpatient Community Therapist
  • Rosa Cruz, Lancaster Outpatient Community Therapist
  • Lara Davis Del Piccolo, Gardena Occupational Therapist
  • Josette Rosas, Gardena QI/QA Clinician
  • Victoria Jaramillo, Lynwood TBS Specialist
  • Bladimir Polio, Lynwood Case Manager Rehab Specialist
  • Saul Gil, Norwalk FSP-Adult Case Manager
  • Gonzalo Perez, Norwalk FSP-Adult Case Manager
  • Koritza Moreno, Norwalk OCS Therapist Student Intern
  • Jerell Pettway, Gardena FSP Child and Young Adult Therapist
  • Seema Bakshi, Gardena OP Therapist
  • Brenda C. Martinez, Wrap Parent Partner
  • Cindy Juarez, Norwalk OCS Therapist Student Intern
  • LaFawn Carey-Toles, MAT Assessor
  • Jasmine Zendejas, Gardena Wrap CFS
  • Gabriela Perez, Lynwood Outpatient Therapist
  • Maura Llort, Gardena Wraparound Facilitator
We’re excited to have them join us, bringing their unique talents and perspectives to our Masada family. Together, let’s extend our warmest greetings and support to these new members as they embark on their journey with us.
work anniversaries

At Masada, we believe that every day spent working here is a journey filled with growth, learning, and achievement.

Today, we are delighted to introduce a special newsletter feature, “Work Anniversaries,” where we take a moment to celebrate and honor the remarkable individuals who have dedicated their time, energy, and expertise to our organization.

In this feature, we shine a spotlight on those who have reached significant milestones in their careers with us, whether it’s their first year, fifth year, tenth year, or beyond. These anniversaries not only represent the time they’ve spent with us but also the incredible contributions they’ve made to our collective success.

1st Year

  • Erika Sanchez, Norwalk FSP-Adult Therapist

10th Year

  • Paul Gallegos, Norwalk FSP-Adult Case Manager
Congratulating those celebrating work anniversaries this month. Your contributions make Masada an amazing place to work!
employee achievements

Each day, you bring your dedication, passion, and expertise to contribute to our shared success. Today, we are thrilled to introduce a special newsletter feature, “Employee Achievements,” where we take a moment to celebrate the remarkable professional milestones our team members have reached.

In this feature, we turn the spotlight on those who have recently achieved significant professional achievements, significant project milestones, or a successful initiative. These achievements are not just personal victories; they are a testament to the relentless pursuit of excellence that defines our Masada family.

dean furutani
In August, Facilities Maintenance Manager Dean Furutani secured three bids to replace the roof on the Main St. property and interviewed each of the companies. We just signed the contract to replace the roof and prevent further damage and disruption to our Main St. operations. Thank you Deano, great work!
alex crooks

Over the past several weeks Support Specialist Supervisor Alexandra Crooks identified two new Masada partners who are now on board. Specifically, Alex procured bids for cleaning services at our Norwalk and Bellflower sites and helped me secure bids for our Gardena sites.

Alex also improved the security at our Norwalk location by securing bids for a new security guard company. Together, Alex and I negotiated a fair contract for both new partners and one of them has already started working at Masada. Great work! I am thankful to have Alexandra on our Masada Team. Steve Schultz, CFO

linda nakamura

Spotlight on Leadership: Welcoming the New QA/QI Co-Chair of Service Area 8

We are excited to announce that Linda Nakamura has taken the helm as the QA/QI Co-Chair of Service Area 8. With a keen focus on enhancing our quality standards and processes, we are confident that under her guidance, Service Area 8 will achieve new heights of excellence.

We are incredibly proud of your dedication and your hard work inspires us all. Let’s celebrate these milestones and look forward to more accomplishments.

esperanza taylor

Congratulations Esperanza is now a Certified Peer Specialist!

Some words for her Supervisor, Esmeralda Diaz: Espe’s care and compassion with our clients is so genuine. Her willingness to support our caregivers and collaboration with the team is amazing! I often hear from caregivers how kind, helpful, and supportive she is of our parents.

cecilia lopez

Masada’s leadership team is excited to announce that Cecilia Lopez has been promoted to serve as Masada’s Contract Manager under the direction of CFO Steve Schultz. 

Cecilia has been an awesome member of the Revenue Management Team for over 8 years, most recently serving as RMD Supervisor. Ceci is an excellent team player and effective problem-solver with great communication and organizational skills. She is working to advance her skills further by obtaining a degree in Business Administration. Please join us in congratulating Cecilia on this exciting promotion!

We are incredibly proud of your dedication and your hard work inspires us all. Let’s celebrate these milestones and look forward to more accomplishments.

Open Minds

open minds flyer

From August 15 to 17, 2023, members of the dedicated Masada leadership team embarked on an enlightening journey to the Open Minds Management Best Practices Institute Conference held in Long Beach, CA. This prestigious event served as a beacon for leadership teams within the mental health service provider community across the Western United States.

The conference was a vibrant tapestry of knowledge sharing and the exchange of best practices, all aimed at enhancing our ability to serve the members of our local communities. With an ever-evolving landscape in mind, this year’s conference took a deep dive into adapting to the changes brought about by CalAIM, a State initiative that aims to improve healthcare services and outcomes throughout the MediCal system of care. These insights are invaluable, equipping us to better assist those in our communities who need our support the most.

The Masada leadership team embraced this opportunity with enthusiasm, eagerly delving into discussions and collaborations. The conference unveiled exciting new programs that we are enthusiastic to implement in the coming years. These programs promise to extend our reach and impact, allowing us to serve our communities with even greater effectiveness.

As we reflect on this enriching experience, we look forward to more opportunities for learning and growth. Our commitment to becoming the premier mental health provider and employer in Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties remains unwavering. These moments of exploration and collaboration inspire us to continue our journey of excellence in service to our community.

Stay tuned for the incredible innovations and advancements that will emerge from this experience, as we work tirelessly to elevate the standard of mental health care in our region.

Learning Symposium

learning syposium

We are excited to announce our Rancho Outpatient participation in the past Learning Symposium that was held on September 12th, 2023. This event was a rich source of knowledge and inspiration, and we’re thrilled to have had two of our talented professionals as presenters.

Understanding Grief and Loss Experienced by Students

Presented by Program Manager Vanessa Fornasier, LMFT

Vanessa Fornasier, LMFT, recently gave a presentation addressing the unsettling trend of young individuals confronting the loss of significant loved ones. The obstacles posed by the pandemic have intensified the grief and loss experiences of students. Through her insights, she granted a deeper understanding of how grief impacts students and also shared invaluable advice on assisting students during these challenging periods.

Authentic Attunement with Students: Enlivening Your Teaching Experience

Presented by Clinical Supervisor Stanley Benoit, LMFT

Clinical Supervisor Stanley Benoit, LMFT, emphasized that authentic teaching extends beyond just disseminating knowledge—it deeply involves cultivating meaningful relationships with students. In his enlightening talk, Stanley delved into humanistic psychotherapy techniques tailored specifically for classroom integration. Using real-life scenarios as illustrations, he demonstrated the transformative power of these methods in strengthening ties with students. Moreover, Stanley introduced principles from the “Compassionate Teaching” approach, which focuses on galvanizing students through empathetic and attuned support. Through his discourse, attendees learned how embracing these methodologies can not only enrich one’s teaching journey but also uplift and empower students.

monthly raffle

August Raffle Winners

august raffle winners

We held our September Virtual Raffle on Friday, 9/15 to celebrate our hardworking staff. Congrats to our 10 lucky raffle winners!

You’re Invited to Our September Virtual Raffle

september raffle

We are thrilled to invite all of our amazing employees to our upcoming September Raffle and 1st Quarter Staff Recognition Event, scheduled for Friday, October 20th from 12:00pm – 1:00pm.

The Executive Team has been hard at work, and we can’t wait to reveal some exciting developments and future plans that will shape the path ahead for our company. Please save the date and make every effort to attend. We value your presence and look forward to sharing this momentous occasion with you.

Masada's Workforce Grant

masada's workforce grant

Summer Fun Photo Contest Submissions

summer fun photo contest

Our Summer Fun Photo Contest has been a fantastic celebration of summer moments captured through your lenses. Now, it’s time to choose the winners! We invite you to be a part of this exciting process by voting for your favorite summer photos.

How to Vote:

  1. Review the Entries: Take a moment to look through the stunning entries below.
  2. Choose Your Favorites: Select the photos that resonate with you the most. You can choose up to five photos to vote for.
  3. Vote at the bottom to cast your votes.

Voting Deadline:

Please cast your votes by Friday, October 13th. Winners will be determined based on the number of votes received, so every vote counts!


Remember, the winners of our Summer Fun Photo Contest will receive a $50 Amazon Gift Card for 1st Place, a $40 Amazon Gift Card for 2nd Place, and a $30 Amazon Gift Card for 3rd Place.

We can’t wait to see which photos will rise to the top as our community’s favorites. Cast your votes today and help us choose the winners! Winners will be announced in next month’s newsletter.

summer photo contest welcome to warren heaton
summer fun
summer nights
find me under the palms
the ohana is luau ready
life's a beach and we're playing in the sand
serenity now!
a beautiful sunset
summer fun catching frogs
national suicide prevention month

At Masada, we believe in the power of awareness, compassion, and support to make a difference in the lives of those struggling with suicidal thoughts or mental health challenges. We want to shed light on this important topic and share resources to help us all contribute to suicide prevention.

Understanding the Impact

Suicide is a global public health concern, affecting individuals, families, and communities alike. Every year, millions of lives are touched by the tragedy of suicide, and it is a leading cause of death worldwide. It’s essential to recognize the signs, promote mental health, and offer support to those in need.

Breaking the Stigma

One of the most significant barriers to suicide prevention is the stigma associated with mental health. We must break this silence and promote open, non-judgmental conversations about mental health challenges. By fostering a culture of acceptance and understanding, we can create an environment where people feel comfortable seeking help.

Resources for Support

Masada is committed to supporting the mental health and well-being of our staff. Here are some resources available to you:

  • 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline: The 988 Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals in the United States.
  • Employee Assistance Programs (EAP): Our EAP provides confidential support and resources for employees and their families dealing with personal and workplace challenges.
  • Community Support Groups: Join local or online support groups where individuals can share their experiences and provide mutual support.

Take Action

Here are some ways you can take action during Suicide Prevention Awareness Month:

  • Educate Yourself: Learn about the warning signs of suicide and how to approach someone who may be struggling.
  • Spread Awareness: Share informative resources and articles on social media to help educate your friends and family.
  • Be Supportive: If someone confides in you about their mental health, listen without judgment, and encourage them to seek professional help.
  • Self-Care: Take care of your own mental health. Self-care is not selfish; it’s essential.
Let’s unite to make a difference in the lives of those affected by suicide. By breaking the silence and offering support, we can work together to prevent these tragedies and promote mental well-being.
halloween graphic

Self-Care Halloween Edition: Tricks and Treats for a Spook-tacular You!

As Halloween approaches, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of costumes, decorations, and candy. However, amidst the festivities, it’s crucial to prioritize self-care and well-being. This Halloween, we bring you a special edition focused on self-care tricks and treats to ensure you have a spook-tacular and balanced celebration.

  1. “Me Time” Pumpkin Carving: Before you start carving jack-o’-lanterns for the front porch, set aside one for yourself. Carving a pumpkin can be a therapeutic and creative self-care activity. Light it up, and you’ve got your very own calming Halloween decoration.
  2. Spooky Movie Marathon: Grab a cozy blanket and your favorite Halloween-themed movies. Whether you prefer classic horror films or family-friendly favorites, indulge in a movie marathon and let yourself unwind.
  3. Scare-Free Night In: Not a fan of haunted houses or spooky attractions? No problem. Create your own scare-free night in with warm cider, a good book, or a soothing bath. It’s your night to relax and recharge.
  4. Costume Comfort: Choose a Halloween costume that allows you to move comfortably and stay warm, especially if you’re going out. Your comfort and well-being should come first.
  5. Mindful Candy Consumption: While indulging in Halloween treats, practice mindful eating. Savor each bite and enjoy the flavors. It’s about quality, not quantity.
  6. Outdoor Adventure: If you enjoy the crisp fall air, take a leisurely walk or hike through a nearby park or nature reserve. Enjoy the beauty of autumn, and let nature’s colors inspire tranquility.
  7. Spooky Self-Care Kit: Create a “Spooky Self-Care Kit” with your favorite self-care items—a scented candle, herbal tea, cozy socks, and a journal for reflections. Treat yourself to a night of relaxation.
  8. Pumpkin Spa: Make a DIY pumpkin facial mask or scrub. Pumpkin is rich in vitamins and antioxidants, making it an excellent choice for healthy skin.
  9. Ghostly Gratitude: Take a moment to reflect on the things you’re grateful for this Halloween season. Gratitude can be a powerful self-care tool.
  10. Disconnect to Reconnect: Consider a technology detox. Turn off your devices for a few hours and enjoy the peace and quiet. Use this time for introspection and relaxation.
  11. Share Your Self-Care: Share your self-care Halloween moments with your friends and family. You might inspire them to prioritize their well-being too.

This Halloween, don’t forget that self-care is a treat, not a trick. Whether you’re reveling in spooky festivities or enjoying a quiet night in, make self-care a part of your celebration. Remember, a well-cared-for you is the best treat you can give yourself.

Stay safe, enjoy the festivities, and have a happy Halloween!

open positions at masada

Hawaiian Gardens Office:

  • Full-Time Community Therapist

Rancho Cucamonga Office:

  • Full-Time Support Specialist
  • Full-Time Parent Partner

Norwalk Office:

  • Full-Time Full Service (FSP) Clinical Supervisor
  • Full-Time Full Service Partnership (FSP) Adult Case Manager

Bellflower Office:

  • Full-Time Wraparound Parent Partner

Gardena Office:

  • Full-Time Full-Service Partnership Therapist – Child
  • Full-Time Therapeutic Behavioral Services (TBS) Supervisor
  • Full-Time Quality Improvement Specialist
  • Full-Time Support Specialist
  • Full-Time IT Manager (Hybrid)
  • Full-Time Full Service Partnership (FSP) Parent Partner
  • Full-Time Therapeutic Behavioral Services (TBS) Specialist
  • Full-Time Executive Assistant
  • Full-Time Wraparound Parent Partner

Lynwood Office:

  • Full-Time Wraparound Therapist

Lancaster Office:

  • Full-Time IFCCS/Wraparound Therapist (Flexible Schedule) 
  • Full-Time Wraparound Team Supervisor

Los Angeles Office:
No open positions at this time

Thank you for your unwavering commitment and passion. Let’s make October a month of growth, collaboration, and celebration.

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