Family Services of Westchester, Inc. (FSW) is pleased to announce the appointment of Karen Bisignano, LMSW, as the Director of My Second Home, our social model adult day and intergenerational program in Mt. Kisco. Ms. Bisignano replaces long-time Director Rina Bellamy, who recently left the agency in order to pursue her interests in Hospice Care and teaching.
Ms. Bisignano, a resident of the Mt. Kisco/Bedford Hills community, has a strong background working with intellectually disabled adults in individual and group settings, counseling caregivers, and developing and implementing programs to improve quality of life. She also has extensive leadership experience in film/commercial production. “We are delighted to welcome Karen on board,” says Susan B. Wayne, President and CEO of FSW, “as she brings the perfect combination of business acumen, clinical experience and passion, which will continue to grow what is already an award-winning program. We know that the participants and staff of My Second Home remain in good hands.”
My Second Home is the first of FSW’s two highly innovative programs that help families who are caring for older adults in Westchester County. Housed in the same building as the Mt. Kisco Child Care Center, My Second Home provides a safe, nurturing and home-like environment where older adults can continue to find meaning and dignity in their daily lives through stimulating activities, wellness programs, personal care, excellent nutrition and “living room to living room” transportation. At My Second Home, FSW’s unique intergenerational model brings children from the Mt. Kisco Child Care Center and adults together on a daily basis to share in activities and forge relationships that promote mutual understanding and connectivity. The JEWEL (Joining Elders with Early Learners) program has been tremendously successful and has led to numerous awards and recognition:
2014 Outstanding Adult Day Center Award from the National Adult Day Services Association
2011 MindAlert Award from American Society on Aging and the MetLife Foundation
2010 Recognized by the Alliance for Children & Families for Innovation in Serving Older Adults
2008 Winner of National Best Practices Award by MetLife Foundation and Generations United
2007 Non-profit Agency of the Year, Mt. Kisco Chamber of Commerce
A New York-based documentary filmmaker, whose work has been recognized with an Academy Award® and Emmy nominations, Megan Mylan, was so touched by the power of My Second Home that she created the 2013 Living with Alzheimer’s film, My Little Friends.
The success of My Second Home prompted FSW to replicate the program in White Plains so that residents.in the southern and central regions of Westchester could benefit from similar programming. The new Lanza Family Center for All Ages houses My Second Home, as well as Early Childhood Education programs and a teen center. Specialized programming is available for each of these groups in separate wings of the building, while shared spaces allow the different age groups to come together for intergenerational activities.
We welcome you to contact Karen Bisignano, Director of My Second Home, at 914-241-0770 or KBisignano@fsw.org, or Rebecca Lippel, Director of the Lanza Family Center for All Ages and My Second Home White Plains at 914-422-8100 orRLippel@fsw.org to learn more about FSW’s intergenerational programming.