About Sound Community Services
Welcome from our CEO Gino DeMaio
Welcome to Sound Community Services, Inc. (SCSI). We are a private, not-for-profit organization dedicated to educating, assisting, and supporting individuals with persistent mental illness and/or substance use disorders. We work tirelessly to create a culture and environment in which recovery and wellness are possible.
Our services are now defined by the needs of those we serve and incorporate the mainstays of recovery and wellness within all our programs. We are devoted to the recovery process for those we serve by applying evidence-based behavioral health practices in order to achieve independence and integration into the larger community. As we move into the future, we are excited to continue implementing this evidence-based philosophy to address the ever-growing addiction-related issues in our community.
As a leader, coach and mentor at Sound Community Services, I’m honored to have the privilege to lead and create change by developing a shared vision for the future. Personally, I would like to thank all the amazing employees at Sound Community Services for embracing the winds of change.
As a result of this vision for the future, a new culture has emerged; one filled with the enormous heart and soul of its employees and their personal commitment to the agency, those we serve and our community.
We believe in the endless possibilities that can be harnessed simply by access to hope – hope in recovery, hope in progress, and hope in the future. At Sound Community Services, we dedicate our days to providing a culture of compassion and human connection that fosters hope through support, education, and opportunity. And while the statistics inspire our mission, they do not define it.
Ours is a mission defined by passion, intention, inclusion, diversity an enriched connection to our community, those we serve and a belief that any statistic can be overcome when you dare greatly from the heart.
1976 - A mission emerged to facilitate the transition of numerous hospitalized individuals back into the community.
2005 - Integrated Behavioral Health and First Step merged to become Sound Community Services.
2007 - Sound Community Services joined to support children and families by starting Project SAFE (Substance Abuse Family Evaluation) - A successful collaboration between the Department of Children and Families (DCF) and the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) to improve the lives of children and their families in Connecticut.
2009 - Sound Community Services assisted individuals who faced federal probation and required mental health supports to re-integrate back into their community.
2010 - Sound Community Services began accepting applications in order to support people with WISE services - A program, initiated by DMHAS, in order to assist people with staying in their community with supports rather than higher levels of care, such as skilled nursing facilities.
2011 - Sound Community Services opened it's residential doors to the first young adult program. The YAS Scattered Sites Initiative (Shaw Program) began to provide life skills to young adults who were transitioning into adulthood.
2012 - Sound Community Services assessed a need that the community would benefit from and develops the Rite of Passage Program (ROPP) - a 4-bed male house, dedicated to supporting the specific challenges that young adults who have a significant mental illness and cognitive challenges may face.
2013 - Under new leadership, Sound Community Services grew significantly by providing new and innovative services that affected the lives of many in southeastern Connecticut. The agency also grew from a cultural perspective by focusing attention on changing lives through empowerment, knowledge, and opportunity while living our values of integrity, teamwork, and service to our clients, our community and each other.
2014 - Sound Community Services continued its journey on supporting young adults with the implementation of the AXS Center - a young adult drop-in center that provides a range of services focused on socialization, educational, employment, life skills support, and links to services of need.
2015 - Sound Community Services embarked on integrating behavioral health services and coordinating and collaborating more closely with community primary care services with a new program called Behavioral Health Homes (BHH).
2016 - Sound Community Services redesigned the Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP), by moving to a dual-diagnosis model, as well as offering IOP 5 days/week in the morning and introducing a 3 days/week afternoon session as well. Sound Community Services partners with New London adult probation and the court system to provide effective support services by working collaboratively with system stakeholders to promote compliance with court orders and instill positive change in individuals, families, and communities.
2017 - Sound Community Services continued its focus on integration, collaboration, and implementing new strategies to serve our clients and community. The agency embarked on increasing clinical supports within our non-clinical programs in order to increase the level of understanding of the population we serve.
2018 - In the face of trying times, with regards to the region's opioid epidemic, Sound Community Services began offering family support groups for loved ones who may have experienced this difficult journey.
2018 - Sound Community Services earned Top-Rated Nonprofit Award by Great Nonprofits.
2018 - Sound Community Services opened an Intensive Outpatient Program in Norwich.
2018 - CEO earns an Executive Director of the Year Award and Mitchell College’s Distinguished Service Award.
2019 - Sound Community Services obtained its Substance Abuse License in the Norwich Outpatient Clinic to provide focused treatment with individuals with substance use disorder.
2019 - Sound Community Services earned Top-Rated Nonprofit Award by Great Nonprofits, Top Workplaces Award by the Hartford Currant, and a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.
2019 - Sound Community Services increased the clinical collaboration and supports with agency programs with the development of Community Support Groups (CSG). CSG provides various groups that meet the needs of individuals, no matter if they are early or late recovery.
2019 - Sound Community Services developed an internal Leadership Training Academy to educate and empower managers to “lead from the heart” and to “model the way”
Board of Directors
The SCSI Board of Directors (BOD) is an active group that is fully integrated into all organizational development activities, including monthly board meetings and sub-committee meetings, strategic planning, decision-making, and fundraising. Board members are active in the community on both local and state levels and hold seats on a variety of committees.
The SCSI Leadership Team reports directly to the BOD and meets with them monthly to discuss any activities or changes and maintains close contact with the BOD Chair regarding crucial decisions.
Ed Blonder, Chair
Maria Sparmer, Vice Chair
Dan Gaynor, Secretary
Jane Cable, Treasurer
K. Michael Talbot
Gino DeMaio Chief Executive Officer
Corey Whiteside Chief Financial Officer
Dr. Luis Roberto Gonzalez Chief Medical Officer
Jason Hyatt Chief Program Officer
Laura Hurlbirt-Brault Vice President of Administration & Community Relations and Client Rights Officer
Tamra Rodriguez Vice President of Human Resources
Jaimi Vann Director of Community Programs, LPC
Jen Ferrigno Director of Revenue Cycle Management
Lisa Moon Director of Outpatient Services
At Sound Community Services, we dedicate our days to providing a culture of compassion and human connection that fosters hope through support, education, and opportunity. Below are the words and thoughts from just a handful of the many individuals Sound Community Services has been able to help.
"I learned more about how to become independent in 4 weeks at AXS than I did in 4 years at a private schoool meant for teaching independence. I was sheltered for so long and knew next to nothing until I came here. ”
- Lauren, a client of Sound Community Services
"Sound has made a big difference in my life. I am a sober and clean person today. They helped me to do that. I feel like I am finally alive. I felt like I was dead before. Whenever I am down, I now can pick myself back up because Sound taught me how to do that. Sound gives hope and joy.”
- Jeanne, a client of Sound Community Services
"Sound Community Services has helped me in many ways. I am a recovering drug addict for over three years. They have also helped me with the dealth of my mother. I learned a lot of coping skills. And it's a great way to meet people and form relationships."
- JoAnne, a client of Sound Community Services
"Sound has helped me for 15 years in becoming clean and sober. I am around people just like me. I enjoy the groups that the agency provides for the clients."
- Brenda, a client of Sound Community Services
"Sound helped me with my mental health issues and provide me with an opportunity to be around other people who have dual-diagnosis like me. We also get to go on trips, eat together, and be part of wonderful groups. "
Juanita , a client of Sound Community Services
"I have had a rough past. Sound has been a huge help since 2012 with my mental health and drug addiction through one on one therapy. I was also homeless at one time, but Sound gave me the help I needed."
David , a client of Sound Community Services
“Sound is a wonderful community that really cares and helps. It is your job to take the help you are given in life and to never give up. Sound helps to motivate you in right direction of life.”
- Erik, a client of Sound Community Services
At Sound Community Services, we dedicate our days to providing a culture of compassion and human connection that fosters hope through support, education, and opportunity. Below are the words and thoughts from just a handful of the dedicated Sound Community Services staff and volunteers.
“I have watched staff guide young people from dependence to independent living. I have seen people supporting mental health and addition issues in the company on nights, weekends, and holidays. When I need to address my own mental health issues, the support and encouragement I received was amazing and humbling. Who wouldn’t want to work with people like this and at an agency like this?”
- Karl, a part of the Sound Community Services Team
“Every day I wake up ready to serve my clients and give them an opportunity for a better future. ”
- Alixandra, a part of the Sound Community Services Team
“Sound is full of amazing individuals. We are an amazing agency and part of changing the culture of this great city.”
- Orlando, a part of the Sound Community Services Team
“I have worked in many places, but I choose to be a part of Sound because of the people. My coworkers work with passion and are here because we believe in what we do. In the end, I always choose Sound. I choose here.”
- Carlos, a part of the Sound Community Services Team
“Sound has made a difference in my life because I am a part of an initiative that improves the lives of many people and get to have fun doing it.”
- Philip, a part of the Sound Community Services Team
“I choose Sound because they visibly represent more than the individual. The focus on bettering the community is only one of the many outstanding goals of the agency. Being able to give back to the community is so important and this agency has a vested involvement in New London.”
- Joseph, a part of the Sound Community Services Team
“Sound is a place where we have the unique opportunity of changing lives daily. I have learned though life that it is a great blessing to give than to receive. Working at Sound has been some of the greatest years of my life.”
- Errol, a part of the Sound Community Services Team
“I love Sound Community Services! It is amazing when you can work for a place that no matter what positon you hold, we all jump in! Everyone is involved and engaged in making our community a better place by providing sate of the art treatment. I’ve never worked for another place where the CEO walks through the halls, high-fives clients, and knows all their names!”
- Lisa, a part of the Sound Community Services Team
“I enjoy being able to provide support and help in the community that helped me become the man I am today. I enjoy giving faith to those who don’t have love and support and the ability to keep pushing forward.”
- DeJohn, a part of the Sound Community Services Team
“I am a part of Sound Community so I can give back to my home and to help others the way they ”
- Derek, a part of the Sound Community Services Team