Gloria Ferris

one woman’s view from a place by the zoo in the city

Archive for December, 2008

"from sharing to cooperation to collective action"

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This is Tim, writing for Gloria. We were both going over a book Carole Cohen gave Gloria to while away the hours at Metro, and we had an “aha” moment we wanted to share with all of you. Here’s a  excerpt from pages 47 & 48 of Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing without Organizations by Clay Shirky:

For the last hundred years the big organizational question has been whether any given task was best taken on by the state, directing the effort in a planned way, or by businesses competing in a market. This debate was based on the universal and unspoken supposition that people couldn’t simply self-assemble, the choice between markets and managed effort assumed that there was no third alternative. Now there is. Our electronic networks are enabling novel forms of collective action, enabling the creation of collaborative groups that are larger and more distributed than at any other time in history. The scope of work that can be done by noninstitutional groups is a profound challenge to the status quo.

The collapse of transaction costs makes it easier for people to get together–so much easier, in fact, that it is changing the world.

Written by Gloria Ferris

December 30th, 2008 at 9:48 am


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This is Tim, filling in for Gloria. We got this press release today from Bill Denihan, who was telling Gloria about the new, improved situation yesterday, when he dropped by the 7th floor at Metro. Gloria will comment on it herself soon, but here is the release:

The Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board of Cuyahoga County with Provisional Authority has voted to name William M. Denihan to serve for three years as Executive Director of the soon-to-be-consolidated agency.  The appointment will be effective July 1, 2009, when the new agency comes into existence.  Mr. Denihan is currently the Chief Executive Officer of the Cuyahoga County Community Mental Health Board (CCCMHB). 

The decision comes after nearly six months of careful deliberation on the qualities and qualifications needed to lead the new organization, which unites the Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services Board of Cuyahoga County and the CCCMHB.  

The provisional board voted December 1 to limit the search to the two incumbent executives.  William M. Denihan will be on loan to serve as the Executive Director under the terms of a memorandum of understanding while continuing to direct the CCCMHB.

“We take very seriously both our stewardship of the public’s mental health and drug and alcohol addiction services dollars, and our charge to assess and quickly respond to the community’s growing need for lifesaving behavioral healthcare services,” said Mary McElrath, ADAMH board co-chair. “We want this agency to be the gold standard for good government in Cuyahoga County, and Bill is the person to take us there.”

“The search committee had two highly competent and accomplished candidates to choose from, and the decision was not an easy one,” said Kathryn Gambatese, ADAMH board co-chair. “However, in the end we felt that Bill is best suited to lead the consolidated board at this point in time.  His particular combination of skills and track record of experience were significant deciding factors.” 

The Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board of Cuyahoga County is committed to strengthening the community by supporting a provider network that offers leading edge behavioral healthcare and wellness services.  In joining forces, the preferred practices of both systems will be combined, with the goal of continuously improving how people are connected with the recovery services necessary to lead an independent and productive life.

Scott S. Osiecki

Director of External Affairs

Cuyahoga County Community Mental Health Board

216-241-3400, ext. 361

Written by Gloria Ferris

December 20th, 2008 at 8:55 pm

Posted in Cleveland,I-Open,MeetTheBloggers

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the jumping bean bed

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Tim is writing this post for me, but this is the tale of me and my ever-jumping bed.

Those who have visited me in the last week or two have probably been greeted with the words, "I swear, if I didn’t know better, this bed moved all night long!"

At first, I thought it was me and the medications they gave me each day. But then I happened to tell one of the nurses, "If I didn’t know better, I’d think my bed was moving," and she answered, "It is!"

It turns out that my bed is a highly sophisticated model that keeps severely disabled people from getting pressure sores. These beds are great things, but certainly not what I need. When I come to bed at night, I need to be able to sink down into a comfy bed, cover myself with blankets, and snuggle down in between to get a good night’s rest because sleep is when you heal.

Right now, the only one in the room getting any sleep is that bed. Well, this isn’t over yet. It may have won the battle, but it’s certainly not won the war. Hooray, Dr. Cui has given the order to banish that bed and to find me a new "old" bed. The nurses have already taken up the fight and are combing the halls for a different bed. So tonight, the ever-jumping bed will sleep somewhere very comfortably in the halls of this hospital, but not anywhere close to me.

Written by Gloria Ferris

December 18th, 2008 at 7:41 pm

Posted in Cleveland

NO is not an option: a request from Gloria

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It is with great pleasure that I’m typing up this entry at the request of my dear, dear mentor and friend (how lucky am I to be able to write that?), Gloria Ferris.

This request from Gloria is for us to say prayers on behalf of her dear friend, Patty, who would have been a five year cancer survivor by the end of this year.  Today, Patty is having her last test and consult and Gloria reports that her friend will begin and is beginning to make final decisions due to her health.

It is Gloria’s wish and desire that, while we are planning and conducting our end of the year vacations and get togethers, we also recall that Patty is making life-altering choices.  Although Gloria did not say this in so many words, I believe her intent is that, as matters that seem small and large may dog us in relation to all the holiday arrangements so many of us make, we please pray for Patty as she makes a certain set of arrangments as well.

Thank you.

Written by Gloria Ferris

December 16th, 2008 at 7:47 pm

Posted in respect

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rule #1: never forget who you are

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Who knew that I would have to be reminded by my husband Tim of what is so important? I am fortunate to have the most wonderful care here (at MetroHealth in stroke rehab), but today this story is about my nurse Michelle.

Yesterday, she spent quite a bit of time with us telling us about Foster and Kleiser’s billboard business and about her uncle who was a poster artist. I believe I may have known him during the political campaigns of the ’70s, but that’s a blog for another day.

So yesterday, when we were having this conversation, I insisted on continuing to call her Marjorie even though I insisted I knew her name was Michelle. I said that Marjorie was a beautiful name and that it would be a good name for her.

To be truthful, I am not sure that I could get "Michelle" to stick in my head. But, what I didn’t realize was that I had forgotten what I had always prided myself on: Remembering peoples’ names. I am putting it in my head early, I have done this since 1972 when I first started student teaching: People’s names are who they are.

I grew up with Mom and Dad, who always were very centered on making sure that people were included and that new people were welcome. Thanks to Tim, I didn’t forget the biggest part of me and I won’t forget Michelle’s name, I know I won’t.

Through the days, I’ll be writing more little snippets, but they may be much different from what you remember, but remember, after all, this is my experience.

Wow, is it great to get back to writing!

Written by Gloria Ferris

December 14th, 2008 at 3:56 pm