Mainstream Living

Quarterly Mission Maker Awards

Mission Maker awards are determined quarterly using the monthly Service Excellence Award nominations.  Those selected for the award have demonstrated impact, innovation, and/or leadership in their support to the organization and to our members.  Mission Maker Award winners receive a special engraved award and a gift card as a token of our appreciation. 

Steve Gehlsen, nominated by Amber Schaefer 

When the bus at Center has an issue with main door not staying, Steve researched the specific brand of door and watched several videos on YouTube, determining a way to fix it. He was successful and the bus is being used again for programming! This is a task which was far outside the asked tasks of Steve's job. 

Pat VanCannon, nominated by Amber Schaefer

Since the implementation of the managed care organizations, billing has become a much more time consuming process. Pat has worked on a specific claim which had not been paid correctly to the Center since April 2016. The payment was only recently made.  This is just one example of Pat working hard to ensure payment is received fully for the services provided. 

Abbie Agan-Laws, nominated by Renee Hynes

Abbie assisted an HCBS member and Team Leader in finding an attorney and setting up a Miller Trust so the member could work full time and keep his benefits; working towards his goal of purchasing a vehicle. Abbie attended meetings and met with staff and was a critical part in communicating with the attorney. Abbie went above and beyond representative payee duties to ensure the member met criteria allowing him to keep multiple life needing benefits and work full time.

Karen VanNewKirk, nominated by Jade Hols

Karen works at the RCF where we recently strayed away from "board and care" to become more focused on member engagement. This has never been done at Fremont before and when the idea was introduced to the staff, Karen really took it to heart and immediately came up with some amazing ideas on how to get the members engaged. She stepped up and became a leader for all her peers. 

Nicole Beardsley, nominated by Michelle Strutzenberg

Nicole had a coworker call out and on call was called in. She did not recognize the voice of on call so she made sure to get everyone ready and have all their medications passed. When I arrived, she explained that she had done all this and she stayed late 30 minutes past her shift to ensure that I (on call) were comfortable with the members and the routine for the day. Nichole stated that she would never want to leave a coworker unprepared for the members or leave the members with someone who was unfamiliar with their needs. 

Gina Shelley, nominated by Jenni Stephenson

Gina works with a member who wanted to get out in the community but refused to go to a day program. He would generally refuse any activities the staff offered to do with him and was getting bored at home. The member asked if he could volunteer and Gina worked to find him an opportunity with a nursing home where he now volunteers to days a week with Gina's assistance. 

Stefanie Musel and Brenda Bacon, nominated by Abby Day

A member came to the office to pick up his check 30 minutes prior to the office closing. When it was time to close the office, the member's cab had not arrived to pick him up. Brenda and Stefanie jumped in to help, providing the member a place to wait, helping to cancel the cab, and then giving him a ride home.  Although this just seems like the right thing to do, they certainly went above and beyond their normal duties!

Christine Hatcher, nominated by Robin Brown

Christine has done an amazing job with assisting a member and her parents through the tedious process of getting the member onto the kidney transplant list. This required a tremendous amount of time, focus, attention to detail, communication with the members team and nursing department and lots of follow up work. She has done an amazing job and is a wonderful example of the Mainstream mission!

Blu and Mike, nominated by Michelle Strutzenberg

Blu and Mike helped HCBS move several members due to some housing changes. They moved all of the members' furniture and boxes, took loads with the trailers, installed all the new furniture where it belonged in the new living arrangements all in the awful Iowa summer heat.  We want to thank them for all their hard work and maintaining core values of Mainstream by taking on a difficult (and unpleasant) task with such great attitudes.

Kevin Smith, nominated by Bill Vaughn

Kevin demonstrates our Mainstream Living values on a daily basis. He advances our services while making our job as simple as possible, and he is always working to make us more accountable and efficient. He is uniquely skilled at his job and has a talent for considering the needs of the members we serve, and our staff, while balancing the bottom line of the budget.

Megan Friestad, nominated by Traci Miner and Serena McCuen

Megan has established an amazing bond of trust with a member she supports at a daily site. This member is deathly afraid of anything that has to do with medical care.  Due to their relationship, Megan was asked to come in on her day off to see if she could convince this member to attend her appointment. Past appointments of this type have ended in screaming, crying, violence and restraint. Megan was happy to help.  Each time we checked in with Megan we all sat in awe and amazement of what she was accomplishing with this member. 

Lainey Carnahan, nominated by Michelle Strutzenberg

Lainey has helped one of our hourly members with an enormous amount of tasks. He has had some issues with a court charge that came up on a background check that does not exist. This kept him from moving. Lainey helped fill out paperwork and dispute this charge that was falsely found. She also had helped him to pack, find a new apartment, explain all of the process going on with this to keep him from becoming upset. Lainey, during this time, has not stopped coming up creative ideas to help him work towards his goals. 

Andrea Hernandez, nominated by Amber Schaefer

The Center dayhab program recently went through a structural change. A program closed, which resulted in discharging members and letting go of five team members. The dayhab program decided to utilize the former sensory space in the building in order to maximize the use of the space fully. Andrea Hernandez, Assistant Team Lead at the Center, has worked diligently with the team to re-organize the space, helped members who were in the sensory program adjust to dayhab programming and also answered questions and supported the rest of the team as they moved forward during this transition. 

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