Star program reaches 10 years

Shown from top left are Steve Carney, Steve Bartlebaugh, Renae Johnston, Michele McCool, Deb Allegretto, Wendy Persing, Tanya Smith (Aiello) and Shery Barker. From bottom left are Brenda Baer, Shannon Bartlebaugh, Kelly Swanson, Vicki Zawatski, Casey Bucher and Robert Kinney. Not pictured Susan Wood and Dr. John Simora.

Beacon Light Behavioral Health System’s Short-Term Adolescent Recovery (STAR) program, located in Bradford, recently celebrated its 10-year anniversary. The unique 10-bed residential unit meets the immediate needs of youth, ages 7 to 18, who are in crisis. STAR provides clinical mental health services during the child’s stay with a goal of a successful transition to home.

According to STAR’s Manager Vicki Zawatski, the success of the program may be attributed to the employees’ hard work and a low staff turnover rate. The STAR team and their years of service include…

10 years: Dr. John Simora, Kelly Swanson, Shannon Bartlebaugh, Wendy Persing, Steve Bartlebaugh, Tanya Aiello and Vicki Zawatski with 19 years at Beacon Light.

Nine years: Robert Kinney, Renae Johnston and Deb Allegretto.

Five to eight years: Casey Bucher and Shery Barker with over 20 years at Beacon Light.

Two to four years: Brenda Baer, Susan Wood with 13 years at Beacon Light and Steve Carney STAR’s newest employee however he’s been with Beacon Light since 2014.

Since opening their doors, the STAR team has served nearly 420 consumers by providing weekly or twice weekly psychiatrist consultations, daily treatment groups, contacts daily with therapists, weekly family sessions and a structured environment for an approximate stay of up to 90 days.

Beacon Light accepts referrals from community agencies for treatment of young people who meet the following criteria:

— Must have a psychiatric mental health diagnosis

— Capable of functioning in an on-site classroom

— Demonstrated maladaptive interpersonal behavior which impairs functioning within family or among peers

— Free of medical conditions requiring care not available at this facility

— Approval of Children and Youth, Juvenile Probation, County Mental Health Administration, guardians and Managed Care authorization.

For more information about STAR services at Beacon Light, an affiliate of Journey Health System, call 814-817-1310 extension 1360 or visit