Believe It, Achieve It Empowerment Award
Billy Kearney - Multiple members this year have left the enclave program as they have gained community employment. This is an extraordinary accomplishment for the members and something the enclave supervisors and the member's team are very proud of! Many members at the enclaves enjoy doing very specific tasks. Billy works hard to ensure member's are familiar with and are able to complete most any task which is needed by Danfoss. He also has been working with members to utilize technology provided by Danfoss to order needed supplies in order for members to continue working on their needed tasks. Helping members to do more for themselves and to be as independent as possible has been a strong area of focus for Billy and something the team is very proud of.
Emily Noland - Emily works hard wherever she is. Working part time at Fremont and part-time in SCL, she is always pursuing ways for members to meet their goals of independence. She is an excellent teacher and support for her members to learn to do for themselves. She is working hard at Fremont to enable members' independence; to help them understand that they are capable of doing for themselves. Emily knows that by doing for people, they lose their willingness to do it themselves, even though their capacity is great. Emily is very creative and finds new, interesting ways to get members involved in their recovery.
Community Inclusion Award
Augustmae Dobbs - Augustmae works very hard to ensure her members feel like they are part of the community. She ensures that they are engaged in activities within the community, looks for local events she can help them attend, and sets up parties or activities with her members to help them maintain their personal friendships. Augustmae helped one of her members plan several trips this past year. This included booking hotels, planning events to do at each location, providing transportation and supervision to complete these tasks. She is committed to making sure her members are involved in their local community and the community at large.
Mary Selin - Mary self- initiated identifying landlords that had apartment units in DSM that were affordable for our members. She identified six apartment complexes in the city. Her goal was to identify complexes that were located in safe neighborhoods, with landlords that would be open to leasing to people with limited or negative rental history, criminal backgrounds and/or limited or no income. She was able to work with these individuals and get application fees waived, have apartments held for our members and get some deposit payment plans arranged. Through this process, Mary collaborated with her peers and other departments to: schedule apartment tours; scheduled moving dates with maintenance, communicated with payees, gathered boxes and helped people pack and unpack their belongings and help them acclimate to their new neighborhoods. While the transition from the apartment program was challenging, Mary was able to identify safe, affordable options living with or near people they know.
Also nominated - Angie Beane, Bethany Henze, Lisa Ledford
Champion of Change Award
Angie Beane - Over the last year the mental health programs have struggled to adjust to the strict guidelines set by the managed care organizations. This has resulted in members being denied for higher tiers and a large increase in paperwork and time to prepare for appeals. Angie has been instrumental in working with IHH providers and to ensure that members are receiving the appropriate level of care. Angie is proactive and meets with the members so that she can give a detailed description of their needs, challenges, and support plans.
There are often a number of members in varying levels of appeals. Angie created a tracking form so that an appeal isn't missed and the members authorizations are valid.
Also nominated - Takiya Luster, Connie Mortvedt
Ashley Rush - The TAY program has been trying to implement a daily meal program that will allow each home to have an opportunity to plan, prepare, and eat a daily meal together. For years, it has been each individual has been responsible for preparing their own meals. Ashley has worked with the members at one location to develop a plan to overcome the barriers to starting this program. She worked with the members to figure out how to budget the weekly amount necessary to purchase the groceries for the meals. Ashley also helped the members create and follow a weekly meal plan. This required all four members to meet and work together. This was often the most challenging part of the whole process. Ashley really worked out all of the kinks and the members have been able to expand their culinary skills, problem solving, budgeting, and creating a sense of family that has been missing in many of their lives.
Also nominated - Trish Mull-Short
Rising Star Leader of the Year
Ben Weiss - Benjamin takes his job responsibilities very seriously and performs his job with integrity. He is an excellent example for staff, helping them problem solve and training them in many scenarios. Benjamin has positive relationships with his coworkers, often giving them assistance with tasks or advice on how to get something done. He fills in shifts for many caseloads, including in Ames when they were short staffed. Benjamin has excellent relationships with the members, they are often very excited to see him and enjoy when he works shifts.
Benjamin works towards his own leadership goals and self-development. He participates in training opportunities and conferences that are offered to leadership. Last year, he completed his degree in psychology focusing his final project on Mainstream. He has participated in the MEL program, and created a project idea that will help the management teams continue to improve on their knowledge and to aid staff performance. Benjamin exhibits qualities of an amazing leader.
Also nominated - Tiffani Chandler, Trudy Luetters
Difference Maker of the Year
Megan Friestad - Megan has been a consistent employee at one site for the past 5 years. She has built a relationship of trust and mutual respect with the ladies at that site as well as their families. Megan has been a wealth of knowledge and support as the supervisory staff has changed. She has been relied on to provide instruction, information, stability, and guidance. I have heard her speak in terms of "would you want that for your family?" and "that would not be good enough for my kids." The site she works at has encountered some challenges over the past few months and she has been a core person to help the team understand and work through them. Megan has also had a particularly challenging time with a member who has had a change in personality. This member was given a medication to try, only to find that it increased her agitation. It resulted in a fit of rage by this member and in an attempt to protect the housemates and herself, Megan endured hair being pulled out of her head, multiple bruises from hitting and kicking and 12 major bites on her arm that broke the skin. After some recovery time, Megan returned with no question in her mind about whether she should. She knew this was not in this member's character to attack like this and knew this had to be a result of something else going on. Megan is a now source of comfort for the member due to the relationship they have built. Megan has accepted the challenge. As we continue to work with the is member, we are seeing more signs that are pointing to dementia. Megan continues to offer ideas for her success and continues to empower the member to be as independent as possible as she goes through this journey. The parents of this member often refer to Megan as their angel. She has never wavered on her support of this member.
Also nominated - Lisa Willis, Ashley Rush