RHD On Our Own I Team Leader Danna Ellison honored with PAR Award for exemplary serivce

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Danna Ellison, Team Leader for RHD’s On Our Own I program, was selected as the Frontline Manager of the Year Award for Pennsylvania’s Northeastern Region by PAR, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s leading disability provider and advocacy association for people with autism and intellectual disability.

Ellison was recognized for her strong and effective management skills for the past 13 years At RHD’s On Our Own I program, creating strong and effective teams, helping Direct Support Professionals improve their skills, and enabling team members to move into higher level positions as Lead Staff and Site Supervisors. On Our Own I is a community-based program providing comprehensive residential and day services in staffed homes to adults with autism, developmental and other neurobiological disabilities, as well as medical complications. Emphasis is placed on developing communication skills, social supports and daily living skills.

Ellison received her award at the PAR Annual Solutions Conference “We Are Worth It” Awards Ceremony in Harrisburg, Pa. PAR is committed to ensuring, strengthening and promoting the viability of community­-based organizations that support people with autism or intellectual disability and their families.

“Danna and her colleagues at RHD daily demonstrate the best leadership skills in our community,” said Shirley Walker, President and CEO of PAR. “Through effective mentoring, innovative ideas and genuine encouragement, Danna is the type of leader that inspires her colleagues to grow in this field and provide excellent supports and services for people with intellectual disability and autism.”

Ellison demonstrates the importance of building strong relationships with each individual’s support system, including Supports Coordinators, families, and direct support staff. These relationships create an environment where everyone from the staff that she supervises to the individuals she supports to flourish. She leads her team by example with a willingness and eagerness to work with and understand individuals with intellectual disability with challenging needs with a caring and innovative approach.

“Danna exemplifies the very best of the human service profession – creatively supporting consumers to reach their goals, excelling in developing cohesive teams, and effectively nurturing partnerships with families and stakeholders,” said Jeff Prince, RHD Regional Director for Pennsylvania Intellectual Disabilities Services. “Her selfless leadership allows her teams to confidently accept new challenges, facing them with innovation, thoughtfulness, and patience. Danna’s unwavering commitment to those she supports directly translates into success for consumers and her teams, and RHD is fortunate to call her one of our own.”

“Danna has the ability to create strong teams and develops DSPs to move into higher level positions, as Lead Staff and Site Supervisors,” said Rayann Rohrer, RHD Regional Director for Pennsylvania Intellectual Disabilities Services. “Danna is able to take the lead when it comes to organizing and opening new homes in the community. She has successful partnership relationships with the SCs, families and other stakeholders. She is backed by her well developed teams, who are always willing to go above and beyond to provide supports to other teams who are in need.

“Danna has worked with many challenging individuals and has supported them in becoming successful members of the community. She is always willing to accept new challenges and functions as a leader to support her peers. Danna is caring and nurturing, yet is able to set boundaries for both the individuals she works with, as well as her teams and her peers. Danna is versatile, innovative, and always willing to accept new challenges, and she is  valued member of RHD On Our Own I.”