CMC/DHK Celebrates Graduates of Project Search

June 27, 2012
Keene, NH

Left to right: Sheila Cowing, Classroom Teacher; Rafael Meyers; Alexis Breslin; Susan Shaw, Vocational Trainer; Tara McGrath; Molly McNeil, Monadnock Center for Successful Transitions; Emily Manfre; Estafania Davila, Vocational Trainer; Michael Picinisco; Ethan Dietsch-Kennedy; Dawn Fenner

Cheshire Medical Center/Dartmouth-Hitchcock Keene (CMC/DHK) recently hosted a celebration honoring seven Monadnock-area graduates of Project SEARCH, a collaboration of CMC/DHK with the Keene School District, Monadnock Developmental Services, Monadnock Center for Successful Transitions and NH Vocational Rehabilitation. This year's graduates are; Alexis Breslin, Ethan Dietsch-Kennedy, Dawn Fenner, Emily Manfre, Tara McGrath, Rafael Meyers and Michael  Picinisco

The celebration held on June 21, 2012 focused on the graduates and their significant accomplishments and celebrated the successful implementation of the program at CMC/DHK for a second year. "We are pleased to provide job training opportunities for these enthusiastic and dedicated young people," said Arthur Nichols, President and CEO of CMC/DHK. "The interns are helpful with the work they do and interact nicely with our staff, patients and visitors."

"Project SEARCH started at Cincinnati Children's Hospital and there are now over 200 sites worldwide," said Sheila Mahon of Monadnock Center for Successful Transitions. "It is a collaborative approach to creating real-world employment training for individuals with developmental disabilities. It's a chance (for them) to work in a hospital and learn marketable skills. Project SEARCH breaks down barriers and offers opportunity." The foundation of Project SEARCH is workplace immersion: participants receive training through a series of internships structured to teach complex but systematic skills that are competitive, marketable and transferable. What is learned at Project SEARCH easily transfers to other industries.

 "Our interns graduating today are not the same people who came to us at the start of the program," said Ms. Mahon. "They discovered talents they never dreamed they had. They overcame fears. They surprised themselves, their families and their co-workers. And if anyone is looking for a good employee, come talk to me. I know a few amazing candidates with great skills looking for work."

Cheshire Medical Center/Dartmouth-Hitchcock Keene is a nonprofit community hospital and clinic with a mission to lead our community to become the nation's healthiest through our clinical and service excellence, collaboration, and compassion for every patient, every time. Founded by CMC/DHK, Vision 2020 is a community-wide health initiative designed to actively engage the citizens of Cheshire County in the process of becoming the nation's healthiest community by 2020. For information, please call (603) 354-5400 or visit

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