Synathia Wright-Morgan at New Generations receives CSB's top staff award

Kathy Butler, Synathia Wright-Morgan and George Braunstein

New Generations Director Kathy Butler, Synathia Wright-Morgan and CSB Executive Director George Braunstein

Synathia Wright-Morgan, a day care center teacher at New Generations, is the recipient of the CSB’s 2013 “Spirit of Excellence” award, presented in a ceremony on May 23, 2013.

The CSB Spirit of Excellence Award recognizes one outstanding CSB employee or team of CSB employees whose performance and actions “promote, reinforce, or exemplify the CSB’s vision and mission.” Award nominations are made by CSB staff and Fairfax County employees, individuals receiving CSB services and their families or significant others, and the Fairfax County community at large.

To be considered for a CSB Spirit of Excellence Award, an employee or team must make a deliberate, obvious, and valuable contribution through actions in Leadership, Customer Service, Innovation, Stewardship and Good Samaritanship. Synathia’s work was cited for three of the five categories:  Customer Service, Stewardship and Good Samaritanship.

Synathia is a day care teacher at New Generations, a residential treatment program for women who have a substance use disorder or co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders and are pregnant, entering services with a child (4 years or younger), or are in a parenting relationship with a child who resides elsewhere. Synathia cares for the children while their mothers are in therapy services.

In addition to her regular job duties caring for the children, Synathia goes above and beyond to help women in the program learn parenting and other life skills. She works with the moms and encourages them to learn by doing – shopping, meal planning and preparation, and house cleaning. She also works with moms to find community resources such as clothes closets and free/low cost medications, and offers guidance on evaluating and selecting their own private daycare as they progress through treatment.

Synathia recently intervened in two potentially life-threatening situations. The first involved a premature baby living at the program. The child had been to the doctor the previous day and all was fine. However, when observing the child, Synathia (with no formal medical training) noticed that the child’s breathing didn’t seem right. She facilitated immediate medical attention for the child, who was in respiratory distress. Due to Synathia’s observant eye, the baby got the necessary medical attention and crisis was averted. In another situation, Synathia noticed an infant with an apparent toe infection. She alerted the nurse at New Generations, who indicated the baby needed immediate medical attention. The child was seen at the Emergency Department and was hospitalized for a Staph Infection. Synathia’s keen eye and attention to detail saved precious moments and ensured the baby received help.

Though it is not part of her job, Synathia works with local charity group to be sure that each mom at New Generations is able to provide holiday gifts for her children, both those who reside at the program and those who live in the community. She also plans baby showers for the moms-to-be, making sure each woman is able to experience her pregnancy as a special time.

New Generations participants see Synathia as a valuable resource when they have parenting concerns through the treatment process and beyond – many continue to look to her for advice even after they’ve graduated the program. Her consistent, positive, nurturing approach is a true asset to the women in the New Generations program.

Congratulations Synathia!

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