Chapel Haven President Recognized as Rising Star
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Chapel Haven President Recognized as Rising Star

The following is a special needs program update from Chapel Haven. You may also click here to read the original article on the program’s website.

Chapel Haven President Michael Storz has been selected by Business New Haven as a “Rising Star” for 2014.

Mike is among a prominent group of 14 business and community leaders recognized for their leadership, innovative and dedication in the September 2014 edition of Business New Haven. Mike’s story appears here, on page 20. He will be honored at an event this spring.

Mike said he is proud to be recognized, but even prouder that Chapel Haven is receiving recognition. “I am proudest of the achievements happening every day for the men and women of our Chapel Haven community. These are individuals who share the same desire for independence that all of us want. The fact that a program like Chapel Haven provides them with the necessary tools to succeed and in turn, the use of those tools results in adults with developmental and social disabilities living happy independent lives is one of the greatest accomplishments I could dream of.”

Among the achievements that won Mike the recognition are:

Chapel Haven's Weigh to Live partnership with the Cornell Scott Hill Health was featured by News Channel 8. Mike helped to start the program both at our New Haven, CT and Tucson, AZ campuses.

Weigh to Live: In 2013, Cornell Scott-Hill Health Center and Chapel Haven created a new class to help adults at Chapel Haven with developmental and social disabilities achieve and maintain a healthy lifestyle. The program, entitled “The Weigh To Live,” achieved encouraging results in a short period of time and Chapel Haven is expanding the program to reach more clients. Pre- and post-testing shows that the program is meeting its goals: to help Chapel Haven’s clients shed pounds, reduce their risk of chronic disease, lower blood pressure and maintain a healthy lifestyle. The program has been so successful, Chapel Haven and the Cornell Scott-Hill Health Center expanded it to include the Chapel Haven West campus in Tucson, AZ and the class is now offered agency-wide to our adults.

Chapel Haven: First Project Search site in Connecticut: Mike spearheaded a partnership with Yale-New Haven Hospital that resulted in Chapel Haven becoming the first agency in Connecticut to establish Project SEARCH, a national one-year, high school transition program for students with disabilities that provides training and education with the goal of obtaining competitive employment. Mike credits Michael Dimenstein, who serves on Chapel Haven’s board and is Vice President of Compensation and Benefits at Yale New Haven Health System, and several others with helping Chapel Haven bring the new partnership to fruition.

National recognition for Chapel Haven: Advancing Futures for Adults with Autism (AFAA) selected six programs across the U.S., including Chapel Haven, as inaugural winners of AFAA Applauds, a national initiative recognizing innovative, high-quality support programs for adults living with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs).  Chapel Haven received a grant and national recognition as a best-practice program in providing excellent services to adults with autism spectrum disorders. The grant allowed Chapel Haven to create a professional video that is widely shown both by Chapel Haven and nationally, highlighting excellent outcomes for those living with autism.

Arts Initiative: Chapel Haven has been selected to receive a $40,000 grant from the State of Connecticut Office of the Arts to start a pilot program that will create entrepreneurial opportunities for artists/artisans with disabilities.

About Chapel Haven: Chapel Haven is a nationally accredited, award-winning school and postsecondary program that teaches adults with autism and other cognitive disabilities to live independent lives. Founded in 1972, Chapel Haven has a 42-year track record of helping adults with cognitive disabilities, Asperger’s Syndrome and those on the autism spectrum live independent and productive lives. Chapel Haven has grown to serve more than 250 adults (18 years of age and older) in the residence and the community with three distinct programs; REACH, Asperger’s Syndrome Adult Transition (ASAT), and Chapel Haven West (Tucson, AZ).