Thank You DSPs!Every September during DSP Appreciation Week we take time to honor our Direct Support Professionals (DSPs). We also choose a DSP and Home Provider of the Year.

During this challenging time, it just doesn’t seem quite right, or possible, to single out someone from the hundreds of DSPs and Home Providers who have all worked so hard.

Every one of these essential heroes has gone above and beyond, safely doing their jobs with compassion and diligence amidst crisis and confusion. How to choose from among them?

Traditionally, our regional DSP and Home Provider of the Year Awards are based on nominations from families, individuals, providers, and staff. We did receive 15 nominations this year. This annual process is also how we submit our regional winners for statewide consideration by the NH Council on Developmental Disabilities.

To satisfy this longstanding tradition and to honor those who took the time to nominate, we felt it was important to select someone from the nominees to send to the Council for statewide honors.

However we would like to announce that, in fact, our Monadnock Region DSP and Home Provider of the Year is EVERYONE.

For submission to the NH Council on Developmental Disabilities, we have chosen these two outstanding caregivers from the Monadnock Region.

DSP Jennifer Sawyer of Jaffrey has been a DSP for more than a decade. She has shown again and again what it is to be an exemplary employee and caregiver. She is always on time and strives to go the extra mile for each individual she comes in contact with.

“Jennifer’s main attribute is her integrity,” says Dirk Doughty, Program Manager at Chesco, Inc. “Her ability to follow policy and balance the individual’s values is what makes her stand out.”

Throughout the COVID-19 situation, Jennifer created an online learning activity to work remotely with an individual to help keep them on task and continue furthering their education, planning a lesson each day before her shift began. She has also created a Craft Group that she plans and runs weekly. Jennifer’s talents and values impact and inspire not just the individuals she serves, but her fellow employees and the community as well.

Home Provider Diane Gregory of Antrim shows extraordinary commitment and dedication to the individual who has lived with her for more than six years and has become a part of the family. From volunteering, doing mowing jobs, weekly shopping trips, and going to church to community suppers, bowling, family celebrations and much more, this individual has a rich life, day in and day out, thanks to Diane’s efforts.

During the coronavirus pandemic, Diane continued this good work, organizing ZOOM church sessions, going fishing and providing other opportunities for the individual to get outside regularly and stay connected.

“Diane would be the last one to feel she is doing anything extraordinary,” says Chris McDermitt, Chesco Program Manager. “In fact, she would say it was part of what a home provider should be doing.”

MDS also received nominations for more than a dozen DSPs and Home Providers.

For DSP: Brandi Bills, Karen Collins, Meghan Jacob, Barry Paton, Natasha Vogel, Holly Wilson.

For Home Provider: Mary Boulay, Kim Carrier, David Garrapy, Scott and Judy Lazzaro, Doreen Madore, Nancy Thompson, Lisa Uskov.

Congratulations and our deepest thanks to ALL of the direct care staff at MDS and our provider agencies who have done amazing work in making sure that the individuals we serve are safe and still connected to the community.

DSP & Home Provider of the Year - EVERYONE!

COVID-19 RESOURCES

Questions about COVID-19?  CALL 2-1-1 
Phone: 1-866-444-4211   TTY: 603-634-3388

State of NH COVID-19

Centers for Disease Control COVID-19

Face Masks per NH Public Health/DHHS

City of Keene CV Response Site

Cheshire Medical Center CV Site

Monadnock Hospital CV Site

Dartmouth-Hitchcock CV Site

How to Use Zoom Safely

Relias: CV Free Resources & Training for Healthcare Professionals, Families and Individuals

Other Resources

Family Support Resources

Disability Benefits Resources

Employment Resources

Transportation Resources

Housing Resources

NH Family Voices Maneuvering Through the Maze Resource Guide (updated January 2019)
Statewide guide to resources for people with physical, developmental, mental health and chronic health conditions and their families.

Keene Rotary Family Resource Guide (Cheshire County)

The River Center’s FACT Book Online
Local community resource guide for those living in the eastern Monadnock Region.