RHD recognizes Direct Service Professionals Week

Filed Under:

At RHD Missouri, Perry Tyson works with a young man named Eric who has intellectual disabilities. Perry coaches football (he’s affectionately known by almost everyone as “Coach”) and encouraged Eric to help out — and helped Eric become part of the team.

“Coach asked Eric to be the water boy on the football team he was coaching — something I would not have thought would work,” said Eric’s mom, Kathy. “But Coach was matter of fact that of course Eric would be a part of the team. Eric was a part of the team and was seen by all the players as a part of their team.

“Coach gives Eric friendship and security in his own home, and encourages Eric to be independent. Coach provides a safe environment for our son and has helped Eric grow to be a stronger, more confident man — and has given us the security of knowing someone is with Eric, looking out for Eric and caring for Eric. He’s given us a commitment, and has given us stability.”

This is just one of hundreds of stories of RHD Direct Service Professionals all across the country, doing amazing work with the individuals we support. At RHD, we’re incredibly grateful every day for our terrific DSPs who tireless, amazing work — and the hours they put in barely begin to tell the stories of their compassion, their creativity and their boundless enthusiasm.

Missouri Rep. Sommer visits RHD's Blank Canvas Studios for Be a DSP for a Day event

Special thanks to Missouri State Representative Chrissy Sommer for participating in Be a Direct Support Professional for a Day at RHD’s Blank Canvas Studios. Our DSPs who tireless, amazing work, and we’re honored Rep. Sommer came out to see firsthand the impact DSPs have on the people we serve. Blank Canvas Studios is a creative arts program for individuals with developmental disabilities, providing people of all ability levels the opportunity to create and be celebrated for their unique style of outsider art.

The week of Sept. 10-16 is Direct Support Professionals Recognition Week, a week dedicated to recognizing the critical hard work of DSPs across the country. Here are some of the stories we heard from our programs this week:

Ruby King, a Mobile Psych Worker for RHD’s Team Arrive, teaches people the skills they need to live successfully and independently. She also supports them in integrating into the community and connects them with community and natural resources.

“Since her start here she has been a team player and shows her participants what quality services really means,” said Christine Gibson, Team Arrive assistant director.

Sherry Avery works as a DSP at RHD Wister St. In addition to her many roles at the program, Sherry is the official “culinary expert” at Wister St. Sherry works hard to ensure that the residents receive a healthy and delicious meal, works diligently in creating recipes that she hopes the residents will enjoy, and takes delight in seeing the satisfied look on each resident’s face after eating.

“Sherry performs her work with a great level of compassion and professionalism, incorporating RHD’s Values as she provides services to each resident,” said Nicole Brown, RHD Wister St. office manager.

At Pathways Transitional Housing in Louisiana, Gil Goines works with a number of challenging individuals and has always experienced success. He’s known for a kind of extended family in Jefferson Parish, and makes an effort to get to know everyone.

“Gil goes above and beyond the call of duty, and we so appreciate it,” Tanisha Johnson-White, Manager of Homeless Programs. “His delivery is sensitive and tailor-made for each individual. Gil is a bundle of hard work — and the world is a better place because of it.”

Also at Pathways, Case Manager Deanna Reine is available whenever something is out of the ordinary is needed. She works with all of her consumers in a way that is respectful and helpful at the same time.

“Deanna is a great story teller and she has this wonderful sense of humor, and even on a not-so-good day she can make us laugh and smile,” Johnson-White said. “Deanna makes all the tough things seem not so tough. Deanna is a bundle of compassion and laughs.”

This week RHD interim CEO Marco Giordano personally thanked RHD’s Direct Service Professionals for their work:

“I have had the privilege of meeting many of RHD’s DSPs and have witnessed the compassionate, effective, values-driven services you provide,” Giordano said. “You all do some of the most important work out there; you help people build their best quality lives.

“As part of the Executive Team here at RHD, please know that we strive every day to make RHD an employer of choice so that we can help create a work environment that you truly deserve. I hope you can take a few minutes this week to reflect on how you impact the people we serve and the communities around you.

Thank you for all of your hard work and dedication. Happy National DSP Recognition Week!”