Outstanding staff recognized on state level

Since 1991, the Ohio Provider Resource Association (OPRA) has annually recognized direct support individuals and teams from Provider Members that have demonstrated outstanding service and achievement in the DD field, and whose work has significantly impacted the lives of individuals with developmental disabilities.

Two CRSI program administrators nominated a total of one team and four direct support professionals. Two nominees received OPRA awards and all nominees are winners with CRSI.

Nominated by Cristin Schappert, program administrator for the Defiance Co. Regional Office are:

  • Team Paulding, one of two Ohio winners of the ‘Team’ award.
  • Elodia Wheeler, one of four Ohio winners of the ‘Front Line Supervisor’ award.
  • Monica Heckel, nominated for the ‘DSP’ award.

Nominated by Ashley Brocious, program administrator for the Miami Co. Regional Office are:

  • Mary Butt, nominated for the ‘Front Line Supervisor’ award.
  • Chelsea Mumford, nominated for the ‘DSP’ award.

From the Defiance Co. Regional Office: 

15Team Paulding

Paulding: Co.: Recipient of the ‘Team’ award. Lisa Brothers, Support Specialist; Becky Tennison, Support Specialist; Sharon Franklin, Program Specialist; Brenda Ruder, Support Specialist; Sue Antoine (kneeling), Support Manager; with Lynn Johnson, consumer. Not pictured: Patricia Bernard, Support Specialist.

Paulding Co.: I (Cristin Schappert) am nominating Team Paulding County for its outstanding medical advocacy that can only be achieved by a group of direct support professionals who are exceptionally dedicated to the people they serve. The following account is just one example of how every member of this team is committed and exhaustive when it comes to supporting individuals, in order to ensure a quality of life that everyone deserves.

A female consumer with high blood sugars, congestive heart failure and stage-four kidney failure was admitted to the hospital when team members recognized her need to be immediately cared for by her medical staff. During her hospitalization, her support staff noticed that she was not being given the correct medications and when she was released, members of Team Paulding observed her to have another dangerous condition. They took her to the emergency room and to her physician four times in one week, relentlessly pursuing the treatment she needed to save her life. The doctors told the support team to prepare themselves for her impending death.

They refused to give up. A bowel blockage was finally noted and medications were adjusted. Three months later, her kidney specialist commented that she was surprised to see her. It was clear that the health care professionals were too quick to write her off, but due to the tenacity of Team Paulding, the individual is now at home and she is happy to be alive.

15Elodia Wheeler

Williams Co. Elodia Wheeler, recipient of the ‘Front Line Supervisor’ award .

Williams Co.: Elodia Wheeler, support manager in Williams County has worked with two male individuals for four years. During this time, she has made a tremendous impact on their lives.

Both gentlemen spent much of their earlier lives in institutions where bad behavior was not properly dealt. When CRSI began providing services, both individuals displayed difficult to manage behaviors; such as throwing furniture, attempting to go AWOL, property destruction, inappropriate stripping, and rarely cooperating with routine hygiene tasks.

Then along came Elodia with her loving, supportive approach to home managing. She has adapted the home to ensure that it is a warm, clean, well-decorated place to live that meets the clients’ needs.

A good example of her ingenuity is the kitchen clock. One of the individuals looked at it as a menacing object, relating it to his institutional living experiences. He would yell at the inanimate object on the wall and call it names. Elodia put colorful pictures of the gentleman around the clock, thus removing the threat it caused him and successfully stopping his behavior.

Elodia is extremely organized and on top of things when it comes to the health of both gentlemen. She ensures medical appoints are scheduled in a timely fashion and carried out, she puts a lot of effort into the necessary paperwork involved, and she effectively looks after their finances with routinely clean audits.

Today, BSP’s for both individuals have been discontinued and when they arrive home from work each day, their first discussion is ‘who is going to shower first’.

15Monica Heckel

Monica Heckel

Defiance County: Monica Heckel is an outstanding support manager working in Defiance, Williams and Fulton Counties. She has extensive education and experience in the field and still loves to perform direct care and not just manage it. She is very outgoing and loves the challenges of redirecting behavior difficulties. She’s never intimidated by BSP’s and knows how to be successful under high pressure situations. She is the most trained in our region and has excelled at several different positions within the agency. Monica is well liked by the individuals she serves and is considered a valued employee.

From the Miami Co. Regional Office: 

15Mary Butt with Bill Mann

Mary Butt with Bill Mann, consumer.

Shelby Co.: Mary Butt, program specialist in Shelby Co. is a true and effective leader for the direct support employees that she supervises. She has been trained in “Good Life” and uses that philosophy when training staff and during team ISP meetings. She is dedicated to working with people with developmental disabilities and takes pride in her work. Mary is always willing to help her peers and give ideas and suggestions and she jumps right in when she sees that someone needs help. Mary is a true professional and a valued employee. 

15Chelsea Mumford withDianeHarris

Chelsea Mumford (L) with Diane Harris, consumer.

Miami Co.: Chelsea Mumford, support specialist in Miami Co. is enthusiastic, energetic and motivated to bring happiness and a quality of life to the ladies she serves. She is always on the go with them and has accompanied them on every vacation since she’s been with CRSI. She makes sure that their hair and nails are done before going to day habilitation or out to an event or appointment. She is also always willing to help out and assist her fellow staff members when needed. Chelsea is truly appreciated not only by other staff members and the individuals she serves, but also by their families and guardians. They love how much pride Chelsea takes in their loved one’s appearance and her commitment to each person and their happiness.