ATKINSON — Each year, Community Crossroads selects a Direct Support Professional and Home Care Provider to receive the DSP and HCP of the Year awards. The recipients of this award demonstrated the ability to provide outstanding support for an individual who experiences a disability made the community more welcoming and accessible to people of all abilities and exemplifies Guidance, Support, and Advocacy.
Donna Reidy was selected as the 2020 DSP of The Year Award recipient because of the dedication and excellence she provides in this essential caregiving field. She became interested in this work after observing the challenges her sister, who experiences Down syndrome, faces. Donna knows as a DSP it is critical to offer empathy, patience, and understanding when interacting with those who have a disability. Knowing she wanted to make a positive impact on people’s lives, she worked as a paraprofessional at a local high school where she met Jon. Now, 16 years later, Donna is still Jon’s DSP. Donna understands the importance of the dignity of work and went above and beyond to be supportive of Jon’s career goals. Donna sought work opportunities ideal for Jon’s skill set which lead to his successful employment at CVS. While Jon had to take a leave-of-absence due to the Coronavirus, she noted he is looking forward to returning to his job and how proud he is to work in an environment where he is a valued member of the team. She has continued to offer him culturally competent care and be by Jon’s side despite the challenges and risks brought by the COVID-19 Pandemic. As a frontline worker, Donna ensures he continues to receive critically needed day-to-day support and still live a meaningful life while staying put and safe.
This year’s Home Care Provider of the Year award recipient is Jean Dorin. Jean became an HCP in 1993 when she invited Pam, a woman who experiences a developmental disability to live in her home and provide the needed support for her to lead an engaging life experience. Throughout the years, Pam grew close to Jean and she has become part of the family. Jean has offered outstanding long-term care for Pam through the highs and lows of life. In 2013, Jean welcomed a second woman named Deb into her family. As a family, the women celebrate holidays, birthdays, travel, and go on vacations together. Jean also offers care to four other women and supports them at doctor’s appointments, therapy, lunch, art class, and other places that are of interest to these ladies. Jean has a close connection to all the women she supports as well as their guardians.
The outstanding long-time support and dedication shown by Donna Reidy and Jean Dorin to help people who experience developmental disabilities live full inclusive lives in the community truly exemplify Community Crossroads’ mission of Guidance, Support, and Advocacy.