Peerstar, LLC

December 2015

It's beginning to look a lot like...

A Holiday Door Contest!

That's right, the staff at the Altoona Corporate Office are participating in a door decorating contest and they need your help to pick a winner! Please see the photos of the decorated doors, then take this survey by November 17th to choose your favorite! Pictured below are a snowman themed door, a Santa themed door, a fireplace themed door, and a photo-booth themed door. If you are in the Altoona office, stop by and have your picture taken by your favorite door!

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Enhancing Wellness with Light: Tips fom the Copeland Center

The days are becoming shorter and the nights are becoming colder. We've been lucky enough to have some warmer days; days that allowed me to hang my outside Christmas lights without dread or frozen limbs. But, I know that it is inevitable that winter will come, the snow will fall, and I will be dreaming of long summer evenings and the heat of the sun.

The Copeland Center knows that the shorter days, longer nights, and decrease of sunlight is hard on the wellness of many people. To combat the coming winter, they have provided these tips for enhancing your wellness with light, even when it's hard to find!

  • Uncover the windows in your home, or at least your primary living space. By raising the blinds or pulling back the curtains while the sun is out, you can have more light in the comfort of a warm room
  • Increase your time outside during daylight. As someone who is cold on an 80 degree day, I know that this can be hard. But if the sun is out, bundle up and take a walk. If it is too cold for you, you can sit in your car and enjoy the sunlight with the occasional burst of fresh air.
  • Take a "sun-break". Take some advice from your pets and follow the sun. Take a break from what you are doing to stand in a window that is facing the sun. Close your eyes and let the sun shine onto you, after a few minutes, your temperature and your spirit could warm up.
  • Get moving! We are much more active in the spring and summer time when we can be outside. If you are feeling the effects of winter, try to increase your exercise. This could be: taking a few extra trips up and down the steps, walking at your local mall, joining a fitness class, or even just adding some simple jumping jacks and squats to your daily routine. The more you move, the better you will feel.


These are just a few suggestion to help if you notice that your wellness seems to be effected by the shorter days. Click here to read the full article.

The Holiday reds, greens, and blues...

Last month we started preparing for the upcoming holiday season. Thanksgiving has passed and we hope that everyone was able to celebrate it in a way that was meaningful to them. Some of you may have spent time with family. Some of you may have enjoyed it, some of you may have not. Many people I know celebrated a "Friendsgiving" choosing to spend the holiday with the friends and supports that mean the most to them. Others chose to volunteer or visit at community meals, community centers, and/or personal care homes. However you chose to celebrate, we hope it was a time that allowed you to enjoy the things that are important to you.

This month we prepare for the next round of holiday celebrations. Some of you may celebrate Christmas, others will celebrate Hanukkah, Ramadan, and/or Kwanzaa. No matter your celebration, our hope for you is the same: That your holidays are filled with peace, joy, and love. These three things come differently for all of us. And for many of us, there are times when these three things are more difficult to find. Sometimes the celebrations are difficult to attend, sometimes the desire to decorate is missing, and sometimes the season is the opposite of a "holiday".

Personally, I love Christmas. I love every ornament, every carol, and every cookie that crosses my path. I could begin celebrating in October with no remorse for skipping over Thanksgiving. I am the annoying woman you see standing in the aisle of Walmart on October 20th buying Halloween Candy but loudly sharing my excitement about the Christmas trees they are putting up in the Home and Garden section. My greatest wellness tool is sitting in the glow of my Christmas tree with a hot cup of hopes and dreams ( aka coffee.)

This year is a little different for me though, which is why I am including this into the newsletter. This year, my halls are decked, my trees are bright, and I happily hum Christmas carols all day long. Yep, I'm decorated in the Holiday reds and greens...and I'm even decorating with some holiday blues this year. And from the out-pour of resource requests the past few weeks, I know that I'm not the only one.

For those of us that are newly grieving this holiday season as well as those of us who experience grief every holiday season, those that struggle with broken hope and unmet expectations, these tips are for you. Our holidays change over the years, and we often find that these are un-welcomed changes. Loved ones are lost, relationships are broken, finances are tightened, and our stress-level is heightened. These things cause our traditions to change, our expectations to change, and often our happiness to change.

But, it is my hope, that if you are experiencing some of these things this holiday season, you can join me in taking control of your happiness in December. I am choosing to change my expectations, I am choosing to start new traditions, and I am choosing to allow the joy to shine through the grief. I am choosing to follow some of these tips below to empower myself and to make this holiday season what I need it to be, changes and all.


  • Realize that it is okay to grieve. It is okay to cry. This year, I am going to choose to understand that to grieve deeply means that I was loved deeply and that I loved deeply.
  • Make time for yourself and set limits for your energy.
  • Call, write, or visit someone who is far away. Reach out to old friends or family, just to let them know you were thinking of them. Reach out to those that are housebound and unable to participate in the regular holiday celebrations.
  • Choose to spend your time with people that are supportive. Avoid spending time with people that make you uncomfortable or those that are not supportive. This may mean changing your traditions, or creatively scheduling visits.
  • Start a new tradition!! If you find it hard to spend the holidays with certain people, then schedule yourself to be somewhere different! This may mean you start a new tradition of volunteering at a local nursing home for the holidays. Maybe volunteer at a church for their holiday services. These are great ways to make yourself unavailable for the places that you would like to avoid.
  • Give to others. If you are grieving this year, whether that be through death or the loss of a relationship, give a gift or do a good deed in their honor or memory!
  • Minimize drinking and over-eating. Sometimes these may make you feel worse
  • Get out and enjoy the free things your community has to offer or the special celebrations only found around the holidays. Try something new! Drive through town and look at all the Christmas lights that your neighbors have to offer. Attend a community choir show, take a holiday tour of historic landmarks, attend a local tree-lighting celebration. The options are endless this time of year!



As I mentioned, I encourage you to utilize these tips if you are struggling this holiday season. If you are interested in hearing about the specific things I am doing this year, I will gladly share them with you!

You can also find more tips here. I have uploaded additional resources on dealing with grief over the holidays to our staff resource tab on our website. If you would like the resources emailed directly to you, just contact me at jpeacock@peerstarllc.com. And please remember, if you are in need of recovery support for yourself or additional recovery support for working with you peers, you can contact me at any time. I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season, and that you find what works best for you with any changes you have to your holiday celebrations.

Recovery Support

If you are in need of Recovery Support for yourself or need additional recovery support for a peer you are working with, please contact Jessica Peacock, Director of Recovery and Community Outreach

A Glimmer Of Hope...

We would like to take a moment to acknowledge an employee who went above and beyond within her community to help a woman in her greatest time of need. Last week, Jefferson County CPS, Colleen Schott was driving through Big Run, Jefferson County when she noticed an Amish buggy pulled over along the side of the road. Colleen happened to notice a distressed woman holding an unresponsive small child. Colleen used her skills as an EMT and was able to dislodge a large piece of candy and perform CPR until the child began to cry.

Please join us as we recognize Colleen for this inspirational act of courage.

Delaware County gives...

Congratulations to the Delaware County Office and Staff on their large contribution to the Delaware County Food Drive. Peerstar's Delco office donated 334 pounds of food to this effort! Please join us in congratulation the Delaware County team on their hard work and awesome contribution to their community!

Lunches and Brunches and Dinners...oh my!

It's December! And that means a Holiday breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner in your area! Holiday celebrations are being held throughout the month, so be sure to join your co-workers to celebrate the holidays.

As a reminder, here are the dates of the gatherings along with the RSVP deadlines. Please contact your Regional Director if you have any questions!


REGION A: Please RSVP to Michele Seaman

  • December 15th 9:00 am - 11:00 am at the Dubois Office. RSVP by Dec. 4th
  • December 18th 9:00 am - 11:00 am at the Indiana Office RSVP by Dec. 9th
  • December 22nd 9:00 am - 11:00 am at the Philipsburg Office RSVP by Dec 9th


REGION B: Please RSVP to Christine Butterbaugh

  • December 7th 9:00 am - 11:00 am at the Richland Office RSVP was Nov. 30th
  • December 21st 9:00 am - 11:00 am at the Altoona Office RSVP by Dec. 14th
  • Franklin/Fulton Counties To be announced


REGION C: For more information or to RSVP, please contact Heather Moran

  • December 16th 3:30 pm - 5:30 in State College
  • December 21st 9:00 am - 11:00 am in Lewistown


REGION D: For more information or to RSVP, please contact Maggie Pruett-Saratan

  • December 7th at 9:00 am in the Delaware County Office


REGION E: For more information or to RSVP please contact Christine Fletcher

  • December 18th at 12:00 pm. Location to be determined

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Compliance Department

Any concerns of Fraud, Waste, or Abuse can be reported to the Compliance Department by contacting our Chief Compliance Officer, Lori Miller. All staff are responsible for reporting any and all suspected Fraud, Waste, or Abuse attempts.

Twas the night before...an audit?

by Lori Miller


Twas the night before the MCO audit

When all through the office

No one was stirring

Everyone was nauseous.

The files were locked in the cabinets with care

In hopes that a HIPAA auditor would never come there.

The staff were restless

Heads down at their desks

While visions of Compliance danced through their heads.

Josh in his tie, and Lori in her bonnet

Had just put down their pens from the internal audit.

When out by the elevator there arose such a clatter

Intake jumped from their chairs to see what was the matter.

Away to the door flew the majority

Only to find Ms. Smith from the MCO, the billing authority.

The glare of her badge gave them instant concern

They knew it was possible we could be “burned.”

And then through their trembling eyes did appear

Our Compliance Officer Lori carrying binders with no trace of fear.

With policies and procedures in hand so easy and quick

We knew in a moment we’d pass without a lick.

Rapidly the MCO finished; policies they read.

They nodded with approval and said!

Approved charts, approved trainings, approved CPS procedures and documentation too!

The points are all here with perfect record retention.

However, Ms Smith said, there is one more thing I think I should mention.

You’ve passed have no fear-THERE IS NOTHING TO PAY!!

Then laughter and dancing broke out in a deafening way.

And we heard the auditors exclaim as they drove out of sight-

Merry Christmas to All and to All a Compliant Good Night!!

Eating Disorders Anonymous Support Group

Wednesday, Dec. 9th, 6-7pm

203 East Pitt Street

Bedford, PA

This support group meets every Wednesday from 6 to 7 pm
located in the downstairs conferences room at
203 East Pitt St. Bedford pa 15522

For info Contact Sarah Lazer 814-494-3673 or Tammy Povich 814-7909-3888
or www.4EDA.org

Somerset Peer to Peer Support Group

Tuesday, Dec. 15th, 3-5pm

225 South Center Avenue

Somerset, PA

Bedford County Peer to Peer Support Group

Monday, Dec. 21st, 4-6pm

145 South Juliana Street

Bedford, PA