Wednesday, 13 September 2017 15:43

OCO Program Recognizes Its 2017 “Rock Stars”

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Seated from left are Ellen Reed, Diane Wood, and Kim VanPatten. Standing from left are Renee Clarke, Grace Einhart, Sherry Mahoney, Cherie Sardella, Michelle Canfield.  Absent from the photo are: Colette Nellis, Allison Griffin, and Stacy Ellis. Seated from left are Ellen Reed, Diane Wood, and Kim VanPatten. Standing from left are Renee Clarke, Grace Einhart, Sherry Mahoney, Cherie Sardella, Michelle Canfield. Absent from the photo are: Colette Nellis, Allison Griffin, and Stacy Ellis. Submitted photo

In recognition of National Direct Support Professional Recognition Week the administrative staff of Oswego County Opportunities (OCO) Developmentally Disabled (DD) program will be recognizing its direct support professionals with a unique token of appreciation….a hand painted rock.

“We want to let them know that they are our ‘Rock Stars’,” said DD Resident Coordinator Cherie Sardella. “We greatly appreciate the work that they do. They are not simply sitters or caretakers, truly are professionals.”

Direct support professionals assist individuals with a disability with their daily living needs, including health treatments such as insulin medications and oxygen treatments, occupational activities, medications and more. They also encourage attitudes and behaviors that enhance community inclusion.

The OCO Developmentally Disabled program operates eleven residential homes, 13 individual apartments, a free standing respite site and day/community habilitations services and serves a total of 135 individuals. Direct support professionals work to support individuals residentially with daily living as well as they provide support through Day Hab as they work with individuals in the encouraging recreational and volunteering opportunities, as well as developing job seeking skills.

“Our Ultimate goal is have individuals be as independent as they can be in their own home and to lead a self-directed life that allows them to be an active part of their community,” said Sardella. “That level of independence is based on what their life desires are. Our direct support professionals work closely with consumers to establish what their individual goals and desires are and the most effective way to achieve them.”

Each hand painted rock will be delivered OCO’s direct support professionals in recognition of their accomplishments, the contributions those accomplishments make to communities across Oswego County, and the vital role they play in supporting individuals with disabilities.

“Our direct support professionals are a dedicated group of individuals that are patient, compassionate, and understanding. They are an important part of our team and we are happy to express our appreciation for all that they do. The ‘You Rock’ project has also been a team building exercise as it has brought the entire administrative team of our Developmentally Disabled program together to recognize our direct support professionals.”

“They are, without a doubt, our ‘Rock Stars’. The work they do is immeasurable and we are fortunate to have them. Direct support professionals are an integral part of our staff and they are more than worthy of this recognition,” added Sardella.

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