The work of a Direct Support Professional (DSP) takes a special kind of person. The hours can be long, and the work emotionally draining as these professionals care for some of Arizona's most vulnerable citizens. Yet, each day, hundreds of DSP's around the state are invested and engaged in helping individuals with physical and/or intellectual disabilities work toward independence and integration into his/her community.
The DES Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) recently hosted its 13th Annual Direct Support Professionals Award Ceremony. The event is an opportunity to shine a much-deserved spotlight on the direct support profession and recognize some of the men and women who have gone above and beyond in providing exceptional care.
Individuals can be nominated by a colleague, a member receiving services, or a family member of an individual receiving services. DDD received 86 nominations for this year's DSP awards.
Dr. Laure Love, Assistant Director of DDD said, "We have some of the most dedicated and compassionate Direct Support Professionals serving our members. I wish every one of them could be honored for their selfless contributions." Love added, "To the winners of this year's award, I offer a heartfelt congratulations. To all of our DSP's, thank you for all you do."
More than 100 people were in attendance at the event, including Timothy Jeffries, Director of the Department of Economic Security, and Clark Collier, the agency's Chief of Staff. In all, 12 individuals were honored: ten DSPs and two DSP supervisors.
Below is a list of the 2016 Direct Support Professionals honorees:
- Ron Aguilera, Yavapai Exceptional Industries
- Aurora Bernal, Good Neighbor Support Services
- Beatriz Bowsher, DDD, Arizona Training Program at Coolidge
- Alana Dunbar, The Centers for Habilitation
- Cris Estoque, DDD, Arizona Training Program at Coolidge
- Thomas Glisson, AIRES LLC
- April Guerrero, Danville Services of Arizona, LLC
- Brenda King, Arizona Care Providers LLC
- Gladys McKeon, Good Neighbor Support Services
- Daniel Ramirez Jr., Easter Seals Blake Foundation
- Glennda Glasgow, DDD State Operated Services
- Jill Saillant, Arizona Foundation for the Handicapped
Please join all of DES in congratulating these individuals for their outstanding contributions to DDD and its members!
By Vielka Atherton