DSP of the Year state winners head to sunny Miami

Eleven ResCare Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) were named state winners in ANCOR’s DSP of the Year contest. Pictured, from left, are Jeanette Chabot (FL), Patricia Browning (KS), Lisa Murden (VA), Donna Campbell (IL), Greg Curry (Canada), Virginia Lee (GA), Cody Klauke (MI), Evelia Sanchez (AK) and Janet Thienes (ID). Chris Birdeau (AZ) and Vickie Brooks (TX) were unable to attend the event.

Eleven ResCare Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) were named state winners in ANCOR’s DSP of the Year contest. Pictured, from left, are Jeanette Chabot (FL), Patricia Browning (KS), Lisa Murden (VA), Donna Campbell (IL), Greg Curry (Canada), Virginia Lee (GA), Cody Klauke (MI), Evelia Sanchez (AK) and Janet Thienes (ID). Chris Birdeau (AZ) and Vickie Brooks (TX) were unable to attend the event.

MIAMI, FL (May 21, 2014) – Every day, tens of thousands ResCare Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) dedicate their careers to providing the care and support the people we serve need to reach their highest level of independence. Eleven of these caring professionals from across the country were recently chosen as state winners during the annual American Network of Community Options and Resources (ANCOR) DSP of the Year contest. Nine of the state winners headed to sunny Miami to receive their award and have a little fun in the “Magic City.”

Thanks to the caring professionals recognized for their amazing work, ResCare is one step closer to working with legislatures to increase DSP wages by telling the story and putting a face to the passionate and caring role they play in the lives of individuals with disabilities, people with traumatic brain injury and seniors aging in their homes. Chris Sparks, vice chair of the board and co-chair of ANCOR’s National Advocacy Campaign, put it best when he said that DSPs are “the people that do the real work in the organization. They are required to give and then when they have given their all, they are asked to give a little more.”

ResCare ANCOR conference participants and DSP of the Year winners attended a ResCare-only dinner to recognize the state winners for their accomplishment.

ResCare ANCOR conference participants and DSP of the Year winners attended a ResCare-only dinner to recognize the state winners for their accomplishment.

The DSP of the Year award ceremony, held during ANCOR’s annual conference, showcased each winner’s dedication to provide top quality support. Winners also received complimentary attendance at the DSP Leadership Academy which included seminars about the mission and purpose of ANCOR’s National Advocacy Campaign, influencing change in state and federal laws, ethics and achieving harmony in a multi-generational workplace.

“I was so shocked when I learned I had won,” DSP Greg Curry, ANCOR’s first international winner from Canada, said. “When I read my nomination I was even more moved. The seminars we have attended have been really beneficial because I can see how I can go back and use them in my daily profession.”

State winners enjoyed a tour of downtown Miami and the lively South Beach area.

State winners enjoyed a tour of downtown Miami and the lively South Beach area.

In addition to special recognition and seminars from ANCOR, the ResCare DSPs received recognition from ResCare Chief Operations Officer Pat Kelley and ResCare Residential Services Operations Officers Troy Robb, Dave Folkner and Doug Russell during a ResCare-only dinner at City Hall Restaurant, a popular dining spot in downtown Miami.

DSPs then hopped on a bus for a tour of downtown Miami and South Beach. The tour included a walk on the beach and hot spot Ocean Drive and views of Miami’s famous art deco style, celebrity homes and locations used for shows and movies like Miami Ink, Porky’s and Miami Vice.

The ocean was a favorite stop for the DSPs, some visiting Florida for the first time.

The ocean was a favorite stop for the DSPs, some visiting Florida for the first time.

While the trip is planned as an award for ResCare’s state winners, there is no award large enough to fully thank them for the amazing contributions they make to the lives of the people they care for on a daily basis.

“When it comes to supporting community living, inclusion and choice for people with disabilities and seniors, DSPs are the front line workers we rely on,” Renee Pietrangelo, CEO of ANCOR, said. “These awards are one small measure of giving individuals like the ResCare state winners the recognition they deserve.”

“I was very excited and honored when I learned I had been named DSP of the Year for the state of Illinois,” DSP Donna Campbell said. “I really enjoyed meeting the other DSPs from all over the country and attending the DSP Leadership Academy. I learned a lot about ANCOR and their mission. I already felt like I was working for a purpose, but now I feel even better about what I’m doing. It was just a great experience.”

The Direct Support Professional of the Year awards recognize the best of the best in a field of dedicated and caring professionals, but it also serves a greater purpose. The effort gives a voice to the hundreds of thousands of individuals with disabilities or seniors who need care to stay in their homes.

ResCare’s 2014 Direct Support Professional of the Year state winners are:

Evelia Sanchez, Alaska
Chris Birdeau, Arizona
Jeanette Chabot, Florida
Virginia Lee, Georgia
Janet Thienes, Idaho
Donna Campbell, Illinois
Patricia Browning, Kansas
Cody Klauke, Michigan
Vickie Brooks, Texas
Lisa Murden, Virginia
Greg Curry, Canada

Read more about the winners and all the nominees for DSP of the Year.

About ResCare
ResCare, with 40 years of experience, is one of the largest providers of in home care to seniors. Our caregivers provide elder care services, including housekeeping, telecare, recovery care for seniors living alone and respite care for families who provide full-time care to loved ones with conditions such as Alzheimer’s. ResCare also offers residential and support services to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and provides education, vocational training and job placement for people of all ages and skill levels.

Author: Rachel Thomas