Programs Employer Services About Support JEVS

Helen O. Dickens: Women’s Health Pioneer with Philadelphia Connections

As we celebrate Black History month, JEVS Care at Home (JCAH) honors Dr. Helen Octavia Dickens. Dr. Dickens blazed a trail for other black women in medicine, and her work led to many advances in the healthcare of women, especially young mothers.

Helping Mothers in Philadelphia 

Dr. Dickens was born in 1909. Her mother was a domestic servant, and her father had been a slave. Dr. Dickens was an excellent student, and her desire to help improve the lives of others led her to enroll in medical school at the University of Illinois. She graduated in 1933, the only black woman in her class. She worked for a time in Chicago and developed a special interest in Obstetrics and Gynecology, the branch of medicine that is devoted to the care of pregnant women. In 1935, she moved to Philadelphia to work in a clinic that served one of the city’s low-income black communities.

Learning and Leading

Dr. Dickens wanted to continue her education, so she enrolled in a master’s degree program at The University of Pennsylvania (Penn) School of Medicine. After graduating, she took on leadership roles in the Obstetrics and Gynecology departments at two Philadelphia hospitals. In 1965, she began teaching at Penn. Dr. Dickens was dedicated, talented, and driven to change medicine for the better, and her career included several “firsts.” She was the first black woman to become a full professor at Penn and the first black female physician in Philadelphia who became board-certified in Obstetrics & Gynecology. She was also the first black woman admitted to the American College of Surgeons. That meant her fellow physicians viewed her as one of the leading doctors in the country.

Advocating for Women’s Health

Dr. Dicken called for the use of pap smears to detect cervical cancer. She wanted black women to have access to this test, and she personally visited churches in Philadelphia’s black community and performed the test for free. Dr. Dickens’s belief in the pap smear, which was new at the time, had a strong influence on other physicians. Pap smears are credited with saving millions of lives.

Eventually Dr. Dickens rose to an important position at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. She founded a clinic where pregnant teenagers and young mothers could receive treatment and get advice about reproductive health. She also increased minority enrollment in the School of Medicine by over 2000% in a few years.

Legacy and Recognition 

Dr. Dickens passed away in 2001, but she left a remarkable legacy. Few physicians have had as much of an impact on improving the healthcare of young women, especially women of color. To honor her achievements, Penn named its women’s health clinic The Helen O. Dickens Center for Women’s Health. A portrait of Dr. Dickens hangs inside Stemmler Hall, Penn’s Medical Education building, inspiring future generations of physicians.

JCAH’s Commitment Today

Like Dr. Dickens, JCAH helps people get the care they need. In 2024, Home Care Pulse (HCP) honored JCAH as a Provider of Choice. This award reflects JCAH’s dedication to improving healthcare access and quality, just as Dr. Dickens did throughout her remarkable career.

From PA CareerLink® Participant to Professional Driver 

PA CareerLink® provides comprehensive services for both jobseekers and employers. It helps participants learn new skills, including how to write a resume, prepare for an interview, and maintain steady employment. Through this partnership, JEVS Human Services (JEVS) supports employment in the Philadelphia region.  

PA CareerLink® participant, Okeim, recently shared his experience with us. 

“My journey with CareerLink began when I met my JEVS career counselor, Ms. G. She gave me some suggestions about trades that could help me not face this situation ever again if I paid attention and did what I had to do. She also helped me to get clothing and public transit. 

Since I like to travel, Ms. G. suggested that I get my CDL class A license. To see the world and get paid to do it made sense to me! So, I took her advice, and my journey was off to a good start. I would have to wait for all the paperwork to go through; but my mother always said anything worth having is worth waiting for.  

After consistent efforts over four months, I finally received a call from Ms. G. Unfortunately, it came two days after my mother’s death. I was crushed but more determined than ever! 

Ms. G contacted Congreso where I would take CDL classes. [Congreso works with JEVS as a training provider to prepare students to go to CDL schools.]  

After I obtained my CDL (commercial driving learning permit) class A, I had my interview at Congreso. Congreso helped me pick Smith and Solomon Commercial Driving School. I stayed in constant contact with their administrator, Ms. Kiki, and assistant administrator, Ms. Sharday. 

Once at the school, I started receiving my monthly transpass and keeping my counselor up-to-date with my progress. I am proud to say that I obtained my class A commercial driver’s license.  

A new journey now begins as I look to join the commercial driving workforce.  

I would like to say thank you to Ms. G and everyone that was involved in my getting to PA CareerLink®. Thank you for having these types of programs because I didn’t have to pay for anything out-of-pocket. Thank you also to Ms. Kim and Ms. Mayra at Congreso; Ms. Kiki and Ms. Sharday at Smith and Solomon; and last, but not least, my instructor Ms. Baker.” 

To learn more about PA CareerLink®, click this link 


Ten Signs That Someone You Love Needs Help with Everyday Tasks 

By Thomas H. 

As the people we love get older, it’s important to watch for signs they may need help with everyday tasks. Knowing these signs will help you make sure that your loved one is safe and well. If they do need help, you can arrange for a home health aide or become a Family Caregiver. Getting seniors support with chores like cooking, cleaning, and laundry helps them to keep living independently and with dignity. Here are the key signs to look out for:

  1. Changes in Appearance or Grooming Habits: Watch for changes in personal hygiene, such as body odor, unkempt appearance, or re-wearing the same clothes. These changes could mean they’re having trouble with bathing, grooming, or doing laundry.

  2. Trouble Moving Around at Home: If you notice any unexplained bruises or injuries, or if someone seems hesitant to leave their home, it could mean they’re having trouble with moving around safely, which might make them more likely to fall.

  3. Neglected Chores: A once tidy home that suddenly becomes messy, a sink filled with dishes, or unopened mail piled on a table can be signs that someone is struggling with tasks like cleaning, cooking, or managing money.

  4. Losing Weight or Eating Differently: If someone suddenly loses weight, has expired food in the fridge, or starts skipping meals, it could mean they’re having difficulty with things like buying groceries, cooking, or remembering to eat regularly.

  5. Forgetting Things and Feeling Confused: Forgetting appointments, medications, or important dates, and feeling confused about daily routines or familiar places might show that someone is having trouble with their memory or thinking.

  6. Less Time with Others: Spending less time with friends and family, not talking much, or not doing hobbies could mean someone is feeling lonely, sad, or finding it hard to get around.

  7. Problems taking Medicine: Missing doses of medicine, not being sure when or how to take prescriptions, or keeping old medicines might show that someone is having trouble managing their medicines by themselves.

  8. Injuries without a Clear Reason: Bruises, cuts, or burns that can’t be explained might be from accidents or falls. They may be a sign that your loved one is having difficulty moving around or that there are things in the home that aren’t safe.

  9. Changes in Mood or Behavior: When someone is happy one minute and then mad or frustrated the next, or if they are acting in ways that seem different, it could mean they are struggling with the challenges of getting older or finding daily tasks hard to do.

  10. Unopened Mail and Money Issues: Having a lot of mail that hasn’t been opened, not paying bills on time, or making strange money choices might show that someone is having trouble managing their money or could be the victim of scams or fraud.

If you notice any of these signs, it may be time to talk with your loved one about how they can get help. It’s important that you talk about any changes you notice with empathy and respect for your loved one’s independence. 

JEVS Care at Home can help you ensure the well-being and quality of life for your loved one. Contact us today to learn more about our award-winning care and how we help seniors live fully and independently.

Celebrating Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month

February is Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month, which recognizes the many career opportunities in the trades industries. During CTE Month, we take the time to learn about and share the benefits of completing CTE training.

Understanding Career and Technical Education (CTE) 

CTE helps students learn job skills through hands-on learning, connecting classroom knowledge with real-world job requirements. It also offers opportunities for internships and apprenticeships to provide thorough training. The goal is to get students ready for the future. 

students in class holding certificates

Training that Leads to Career Options

CTE also lets students try out different jobs before choosing one. Students can choose between many paths, including healthcare, technology, and building trades. Once students focus on an option, they are able get certificates and degrees that can lead to jobs. In February, during CTE Month, schools, businesses, and communities come together to recognize and celebrate CTE programs. 

Explore CTE Options

JEVS Human Services (JEVS) and its program Orleans Technical College (OTC) both offer CTE options for medical, information technology, and building trades industries.

JEVS offers medical and information technology training. Some programs even help eligible participants gain a high school diploma equivalent. To learn more about CTE options at JEVS, click this link

Students in hard hats working on electrical board.

OTC offers day and evening courses as well as medical and building trades programs. To learn more about CTE options at OTC, click this link.

Career and Technical Education Month reminds us of how important CTE is for the future workforce. By focusing hands-on learning and real-world training, CTE helps people gain job-ready skills and start on a successful career path. 

Recognizing Black History Month 2024

By Ashley R.M.

Black History Month 2024 recognizes important contributions of African Americans in the arts. We celebrate the creativity and innovation of Black voices—artists, thinkers, organizations, and media outlets that enrich our culture and make a positive impact on society.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Efforts at JEVS

This month, we’re also reflecting on our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) journey at JEVS. Our organization started in 1941 to help Jewish refugees during World War II. Over the years, we’ve expanded our services to support people of all ages, races, genders, and communities. We continue this work today, addressing current challenges and providing opportunities for fulfilling careers in an inclusive environment.

At JEVS, we embrace DEI in various ways, including supporting employee-led resource groups (ERGs). One of our largest ERGs, the African American, African, and Caribbean (AAAC) ERG, was created almost three years ago to promote diversity and inclusion. Members of this group make a positive impact beyond our company by volunteering throughout the year. For instance, they recently supported The Choice is Yours Dr. Martin Luther King’s Day of Hope, providing essential items to families in need in the Philadelphia area.

JEVS’ Partnership with The Ladipo Group

We also focus on equal education, leadership, and economic opportunities for all. In 2023, JEVS began a partnership with The Ladipo Group. The Ladipo Group is the region’s only therapy, counseling, and Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion consulting practice that specializes in serving Black and African American communities. Through this partnership, we sponsor an ongoing DEI Speaker series, addressing important topics like employee well-being and creating safe environments in the Human Services industry.

Get Involved

JEVS remains committed to collaborating with diverse partners to amplify voices, broaden perspectives, and better serve our communities. As we reflect on #BHM, we want to know: what does Black History Month mean to you?

To explore Black History Month events in Philadelphia, click this link.

Explore Career and Technical Education (CTE) Programs at JEVS Human Services

Discover JEVS Human Services (JEVS) programs this February during Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month! JEVS provides choices in medical training, information technology, and continuing education to help you learn and grow in your career.

EduConnect: Certifications for High-Demand Jobs

EduConnect provides certifications for jobs in medical or information technology industries. Students receive success coaching and one-to-one support. Classes are hybrid and at no cost for eligible applicants. Click this link to learn more about EduConnect’s medical and IT programs.

Project WoW: Property Maintenance & Repair (PMR) or Certified Production Technician (CPT) Programs

Project WoW’s PMR track is a free 22-week program for Philadelphia residents aged 16-24. It includes skills training, help to gain a high school diploma equivalent, and support to find a job in the building trades. The program is free for eligible participants. Click here to learn more about Project WoW and PMR.

Get started with CTE options at JEVS Human Services!Project Wow’s CPT route is a 6-8 week program for Philadelphia residents aged 18-24. Options include logistics, manufacturing, maintenance, production, and more. Participants can earn MSSC’s CPT 4.0 & CPT+ certifications in Safety, Manufacturing Process & Production, Quality Practices & Measurement, and Maintenance Awareness. Instructors are certified by the Manufacturing Skill Standards Council (MSSC). The programs use Amatrol computer-based learning to simulate real-world factory situations. Interested in the CPT option? Click this link for more information.

IT Pre-Apprenticeship: Training for Philadelphians Aged 18-24 in IT and Office Technology

For Philadelphians aged 18-24, JEVS offers the IT Pre-Apprenticeship program, providing training in IT and office technology. This program can open doors to opportunities in the tech field and is free for eligible participants. Click here to explore the IT Pre-Apprenticeship.

Classes are starting soon, so reach out today!

JEVS Care at Home Honors Rebecca Lee Crumpler During Black History Month

By Thomas H.  

JEVS Care at Home (JCAH) provides in-home support for older adults and people with disabilities. JCAH is different from other home care agencies because we have our own team of nurses who make sure each person’s care plan is right for them. 

To kick off Black History Month, JCAH celebrates Rebecca Lee Crumpler. Born in 1831, Rebecca was a nurse, doctor, and writer. Today she is seen as an important pioneer in American medicine.  

As a girl, Rebecca often helped her aunt, who was a midwife and healer. She was a great student and later became a nurse. She wanted to devote her life to helping others feel better. She went on to study medicine at New England Female Medical College, which is now part of Boston University School of Medicine. In 1864, she made history by becoming the first black woman in the U.S. to earn a medical degree. 

After the Civil War, Rebecca went to Virginia to help newly freed slaves who needed medical attention. Her work showed other doctors that many slaves became sick because of poor living conditions. 

Rebecca also wrote what is thought to be the first medical book by a black person, called A Book of Medical Discourses: In Two Parts. It focuses on caring for women and children. 

Rebecca Lee Crumpler continues to inspire nurses and caregivers everywhere.  

Click here to learn more about JEVS Care at Home and opportunities to join our team of outstanding caregivers. 

JEVS Staff Gathers for Second Annual Employee Winterfest

JEVS Human Services staff had a blast at the 2024 Winterfest – an awesome 80s and 90s-themed bash at SPIN Philadelphia. Colleagues from across the organization gathered for this year’s annual employee celebration.

JEVS employees at the 2024 Winterfest Employee Celebration JEVS employees at the 2024 Winterfest Employee Celebration

The festivities kicked off with a totally tubular 80s-themed video welcome from JEVS President and CEO, Cynthia F. Figueroa. Her message set the stage for an afternoon packed with fun.

Many employees decked out in 80s and 90s style costumes. They also enjoyed delicious food, including a specially crafted JEVS-themed mocktail.

Games, prizes, a ping-pong tournament, and a dance floor made it a great time!

Each person’s entry ticket became a chance in the raffle. The winners were: Yana K. (tool basket); Fatima M. (movie basket); Pauline C. (restaurant basket); and Sharyn C. (Spin basket).

Paulette L. won the trivia challenge, and two employees tied for best dressed: Devez P. and Janet E.

The event brought staff together for an afternoon filled with 80s and 90s nostalgia, camaraderie, and laughter. 

The 2024 Winterfest Planning Committee

Special shoutout to the 2024 JEVS Winterfest committee for putting together an unforgettable celebration!

Many thanks to JEVS Human Services for this fun annual employee event. 

Want to join our team? Click this link to see current openings.

JEVS Care at Home Best of 2024 Awards

By Thomas H.

JEVS Care at Home (JCAH) is proud to receive three special awards by Home Care Pulse (HCP): Provider of Choice, Employer of Choice, and Leader in Experience. Every year, HCP recognizes the nation’s best home care agencies.

The HCP awards are important signs of exceptional care and client trust. They show that JCAH is one of the leading home care agencies in the Philadelphia area.

HCP gives awards based on ratings from phone interviews with people who get home care. To earn a Home Care Pulse award, a provider needs a rating of at least 8.75 out of 10 on quality measures. HCP, an independent company, ensures honest feedback collection.

The Leader in Experience award, the highest honor an agency can receive from HCP, is significant. Only one other agency in Philadelphia and 10 agencies in southeastern Pennsylvania earned this distinction. Four hundred and forty-five agencies received Leader of Experience awards nationwide.

JCAH is also excited to earn HCP’s Employer of Choice award, which is based on employee satisfaction surveys. We’re extremely proud of the positive and supportive culture we’ve built, and the industry-leading benefits and educational opportunities we’re able to offer caregivers.

JEVS Care at Home provides home care services in Philadelphia, Montgomery, Delaware, Bucks, Berks, Lehigh, and Northampton counties.

Click this link to learn more about JEVS Care at Home and current job opportunities.

Yana’s Journey with JEVS’ Center for New Americans (CNA) 

By Serhii Y.

JEVS’ Center for New Americans (CNA) gives training and coaching for finding jobs to those like refugees, asylees, and survivors of human trafficking. They offer lots of services to help these individuals rebuild their lives in the United States. Many of them had to leave their homelands quickly and come to the U.S. without knowing what to expect.

It’s not an easy thing to do and it’s important that we hear their stories.

JEVS’ Job Placement Counselor and Job Developer Serhii Y. had the following to share about a CNA participant named Yana K.

“Today, I am writing a story about a Ukrainian girl who was challenged to leave her past life and move to the United States with her husband. This story is unusual because Yana and Ivan are an international couple from warring countries: Ukraine and Russia.

They are both sailors and met while working on a cruise ship. Like many married couples, Yana and her husband worked and planned to save money so they could buy their own house, raise their children, and enjoy life. But the war ruined their plans, and they were forced to leave. The war happened while they were working on a ship in Europe, and they were never able to return home.

Upon arriving in the United States, the young couple looked for an organization that would provide free English classes and help them find employment. And this is how they ended up at the JEVS Human Services Center for New Americans.

They are very grateful for the support, help, kindness, and care of the U.S. government and all people.

After attending English classes, Yana and her husband went to work. Yana started her first job in the U.S. at a children’s clinic as a receptionist. When a Case Manager position opened at JEVS Human Services, Yana applied, passed the interview, and joined our team at the Center for New Americans.

Yana is an experienced and successful Case Manager. She assists our clients from all over the world by providing our social services. Our clients love Yana for her dedication and friendly attitude towards them, and her colleagues respect Yana for her professionalism. I wish for Yana to grow with JEVS Human Services and continue to build on her plans in her new home country in the USA.

I am glad to say that this young couple is now back on their feet. They are already helping those who need help and support, just as they once did.”

Click this link to learn more about the JEVS’ Center for New Americans.

Want to Stay Connected with JEVS? Sign Up for Our Updates.

Sign Me Up!
Skip to content