Helen H. Heller Health Center and Article 16 Clinic

Nathan Zelesnikar – Director of Programs and Services, Article 16 Clinic

Heather Smith – Program Coordinator

The Article 16 Clinic offers comprehensive diagnostic and treatment services to the adult population with intellectual disabilities.  The clinic currently includes a social work counselor, an occupational therapist and a speech language pathologist who provide services for adults both attending and not attending our day services programs.  A consulting psychologist is on staff to provide evaluations (as recommended by OPWDD) on an as needed basis.  These evaluations include comprehensive psychological evaluations, informed consent capacity determinations, guardianship certifications and credibility assessments.  Our licensed social worker along with our occupational therapist offers a Healthy Relationship Course twice a year for interested adults.

The Health Office

Our two full-time nurses maintain regular contact with many families, physicians, and instructors to monitor an adult’s health issues; work closely with clinicians to provide optimum care and learning readiness; monitor and provide medication to individuals and provide emotional support as needed.

Speech Language Therapy – Joanna Adamson, MA, CCC-SLP

Many of the adults use augmentative communication devices and technology to enhance their communication.  Depending on the need, therapists can program the devices with different tools appropriate to their personal needs.  The Speech and Language Pathologist works to develop social communication, language comprehension, cognition, and swallowing disorders for those we support.  This service does require a prescription from a PCP.

Occupational Therapy – Sydney Byron, MS, OTR/L

Occupational therapy services include evaluations / training, therapeutic activities for patients needing a broad range of rehabilitative techniques that involve movement, and the use of functional activities to restore functional performance in a progressive manner.  OT also provides support to the person’s sensory system and fine motor skills to help with independence for both self-care and work skills.  This service does require a prescription from a PCP.  OT is provided for anyone in need who is referred by a physician, including persons injured from activities to the individual with a severe orthopedic or neurological problem. It can be provided as a single service or part of a comprehensive rehabilitation program.

Social Work Counseling – Alanna Meritt, LCSW-R

Counseling supports through the clinic provide individual and group counseling to people assisting them with processing their feelings.  They work on interpersonal skills, anger management, relaxation techniques, coping skills, grief, anxiety and depression, social functioning, identity, and daily stressors.  We are happy to announce we are now offering a Healthy Relationship Course to assist the people we support in how to recognize healthy relationships and have healthy boundaries at work and in the community. It is a 15-week course (1 hour/week) taught by both our Social Worker and our Occupational Therapist, along with input from people supported.  The class curriculum followed is from Katherine McLaughlin, M.Ed., CSE ‘s training on Sexuality Education for People with Disabilities.

Psychiatric Evaluations – Dr. Robert Valenti, Ph.D

Holy Childhood also offers evaluations conducted by Dr. Robert Valenti, Ph.D.  These include comprehensive psychological evaluations, informed consent capacity determinations, guardianship certification, sexual consent evaluations, and credibility assessments.  These are all scheduled by request/referral.


Holy Childhood’s Article 16 Clinic is certified by the Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD)

For more information or to schedule a tour of Holy Childhood’s facilities contact us by calling (585) 359-3710.


Nate Zelesnikar, Director of Programs & Services
100 Groton Parkway
Rochester, NY  14623
(585) 359-3710 ext. 124

Heather Smith, Program Coordinator, Article 16 Clinic
100 Groton Parkway
Rochester, NY  14623
(585) 359-3710 ext. 123