Officially Viability in Enid!

A couple weeks ago, Viability in Enid, OK hosted a ribbon cutting as part of an Enid Chamber Business Spotlight event. They officially changed their name to Viability to make all the office’s name changes complete! They had a great turnout and proudly displayed the Viability name throughout the office. Everyday the great staff, Business Advisory Board, community partners and vendors provide individuals in Oklahoma meaningful opportunities to fulfill their dreams. Congratulations, Enid! Even though you’re a far distance from the rest of us, we’re all family and keep you close in our hearts.

A Heart So Big

This is Jacquelyn Santiago, age 22, and she was referred to Viability from the Bureau of Rehabilitation Services in Connecticut a few years ago as a working interview that placed her at the Hartford Knights. After only 40-hours of showcasing her skills and talents, she was immediately hired!

Jackie grew up in an impoverished family to a single parent in Hartford, CT struggling to get by with her 4-brothers and sisters. She had many struggles in her early life and wanted to make sure many families at Dr. Frank T. Simpson-Waverly School in the North End of Hartford didn’t have to go through what she had experienced. Back in November, she wanted to give back by organizing a food drive, putting in $200 of her own funds, collecting donations from countless local food stores and was able to give 20-families the full Thanksgiving dinner that they deserved. She had also previously worked on a coat drive as well as fundraising for the Hartford Knights’ golf tournament. Jackie is currently registered at Manchester Community College and can be an inspiration to us all. Check out the full story here from the Hartford Courant –

A Champion of the Community

For 30-years, Susan Smith, the Senior Employment Coordinator at Forum House in Westfield, has been developing transitional, supported and independent employment positions for members thus creating countless opportunities for them to return to work and develop substantial career paths.  Last week, she was graciously awarded the 2018 Judge Frank Freedman Community First Award for exemplifying mindfulness of the humanity of service recipients and working respectfully with every single clubhouse member.  She recognizes that recovery embraces all aspects of life and she values strengths and needs to the fullest degree.  Nominated by Viability’s Vice President of Quality, Margaret Jordan and endorsed by President Dick Venne, Sue was an overwhelmingly qualified candidate with a long track record of encouraging individuals to believe that they can have a full life beyond poverty and unemployment.  We salute you, Sue and thank you for your dedication to many members’ lives and to Viability’s mission of building a world of individuals who realize their full potential.

Then, on Monday to further congratulate Sue for her life’s work, Massachusetts Representative John Velis came to Forum House and presented her with a citation from the MA House of Representatives.  Sue is certainly a champion of the community!

Viability announces the appointment of Dr. Lynn Ostrowski-Ireland as Chief Operating Officer

Viability, Inc. today announced that Lynn Ostrowski-Ireland, PhD has been appointed Chief Operating Officer, a new position within Viability, reporting directly to the President and CEO, Dick Venne.

Venne said, “Viability is thrilled to bring Dr. Ostrowski-Ireland back to Western Massachusetts.  She is an experienced leader with an intimate knowledge of what Viability is working to achieve.  I am confident that Lynn will bring her impressive track record in the not-for-profit healthcare arena (especially in the areas of public and population health) and her expertise in corporate responsibility and sustainability, to ensure we proactively make a difference in the lives of the clients we serve and to grow our organization in the communities we serve.”

As COO, Dr. Ostrowski-Ireland will be responsible for overseeing the operation of Viability’s programs and services as the agency continues its commitment to be the premier provider of quality, measurably effective, coordinated and cost efficient services to those in need based on a culture of operational excellence and innovation across the 36 locations in five states in which it currently operates.

Ostrowski-Ireland is the former Executive Director of the National Aetna Foundation where she led the Foundation’s strategic grants and programs and the enterprise wide corporate social responsibility strategy and reporting. She also held numerous leadership positions at Health New England including  Director of Marketing, Communications and Brand, Director of Community Relations and Health Programs, Director of Corporate Responsibility & Government Affairs. She is recognized for her expertise in Population Health and addressing Social Determinants of Health, and has addressed national audiences on many public health topics, most recently keynoting at the National Cancer Foundation in 2017. She will be keynoting at the National Oncology Nurses Congress in May of 2018.

Lynn has achieved several certificates of advanced study from Harvard Business School of Executive Education as well as Johns Hopkins University. She holds a bachelor of science degree and a master’s degree from Springfield College, and a PhD from Capella University. Dr. Ostrowski-Ireland was honored at the 2017 Bay Path University Women’s Leadership Conference and inducted into the Bay Path University Women’s Leadership Hall of Fame.

The announcement of Dr. Ostrowski-Ireland is the latest business announcement in what has been an outstanding year for Viability, Inc. created through a merger of two strong and forward thinking human service organizations, Community Enterprises and Human Resources Unlimited. Viability combines the best of both organizations. This is a strategic merger of equals, who for 40 years, have provided superior services to disabled and disadvantaged members of our communities. The combined capacity and vision have allowed for an increase in geographic footprint as well as service offerings.


02/26 – Gales Ferry Open House

Monday, February 26 from 2pm to 4pm

Please come and learn about our exciting program!

  • We have a very active health and wellness club
  • We frequently visit many different locations, community parks and recreational sites
  • We provide a broad range of educational and work readiness activities as well as personal growth activities

Viability, 1649 Route 12, Gales Ferry, CT


02/01 – ‘Cupcake Wars’ in Pittsfield, MA

The 4th Annual Cupcake Wars will be held on February 1, 2018 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at Berkshire Hills Country Club. Bakeries from throughout Berkshire County, including Linda’s Pastries,Berkshire Pathways – A Program of Viability and Simply Sweet, will compete for the best cupcake in the following categories: Best Tasting, Most Creative, Best Presentation and People’s Choice.

Tickets are $35 in advance and $40 at the door. The price includes an Italian dinner prepared by UNICO and cupcake tasting. At the end of the evening, a dozen full-size cupcakes from each bakery will be auctioned off to the highest bidder.

Pick up your tickets at the NAMI Berkshire County Office, 333 East St, Rm 417, Pittsfield (Phone: 413-443-1666), at Elm Street Hardware, 129 Elm St, Pittsfield (Phone: 413-442-9558) or online by clicking the “Buy Now” button below. 

They are also selling tickets for a Lake House Guest Cottage Raffle that we will be holding during Cupcake Wars on February 1. The gift certificate is for a 2-night stay worth $1,400 that can be used anytime between and now and January 2020. Tickets are $10 each. You do not have to be present to win. To view photos of the Lake House in Lanesboro, click here to visit their Facebook page.

12/08 – Holiday Dinner in Holyoke, MA

Viability Holyoke Community Living Holiday Dinner (Cena de Fiesta Navideña)

For Consumers, Homeshares and Staff (Para Consumidores, Cuidadoras y Empleados)

Come join us for a Holiday Dinner and enjoy good company & great food.  (Vengan disfrutar con nosotros de una cena de días de fistas.)

DATE/FECHA: December 8, 2017

TIME/HORA: 4pm to 7pm (please do not arrive early)

PLACE/LUGAR: All Saint’s Episcopal Church  |  7 Woodbridge St  |  South Hadley, MA 01075

RSVP: Call Carmen at 413-536-4880 ext. 101 by December 5, 2017

Contact your Supported Living Coordinator if transportation is needed (Comuniquese con su Manejador(a) de Caso si necesita transportación)

12/13 – Winter Open House in Greenfield, MA

Join us on December 13, 2017 for music, craft raffle/demo, slide show and snacks!  Please wear a festive hat and celebrate with us.  Viability, 60 Wells St, Suite 1, Greenfield, MA.

Viability at Business & Innovation Expo of Western Mass

Join us for this year’s Business & Innovation Expo of Western Mass!
The region’s best one-day business event! More than 150 exhibitors and 2,500 attendees are expected for a show that is packed with a number of special programs, speakers, and learning opportunities. Be a part of this incredible day!

Date: Thursday, November 2, 2017
Time: Show Floor OPEN 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. & Expo Social 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Location: MassMutual Center, Springfield, MA
Cost: FREE ADMISSION with a Business Card


A new grant from a wonderful donor!

VIABILITY received a generous donation this week.  Forum House in Westfield received a grant in the amount of $7,200 from the Westfield Academy for our student internship program for students at Westfield State University to assist members in educational pursuits at Forum House.