DSP Recognition Week

The most important job in agencies that provide service for people with disabilities is not Directors of Departments, Executives, HR, and or Finance; although administrative staff does provide an important role, the DSP (Direct Support Professional) has the most important role. When asking a few people what role does a DSP participate in one’s life; there is not just one answer.

Sure a DSP helps assist individuals with meals, medications, doctor’s appointments, finances, jobs, achieving IHP Goals, and daily life routines. A DSP helps assist with the basic needs of service recipient. What about the need for human interactions, having a friend in some cases a family, providing loving and caring environment, building trust, confidence, showing individual’s dignity, respect and integrity, providing personal care, seeing people with disabilities at their most vulnerable state; even the service recipient with the toughest exterior. As simple as making a meal; knowing what the individual’s favorite dish or what not to make. DSP learns how to bring out a smile and laughter, when someone is having a tough day or knows when to give that person space. DSP knows what an individual enjoy during recreational time, maybe as simple as watching a TV show or going to a sports event or shopping. DSP knows how important it is for an individual to make their own choices as much as possible; but when a staff needs to help make a choice for a person, they know their likes and dislikes. DSP knows an individual just as they would know their own family. This is very evident when the individual favorite staff comes in to work a shift and the biggest smile appears on an individual’s face with such excitement. The trust that has been built from scratch you can see in both set of eyes (Staff and Service Recipient) just like old friends. The most important role here is, being that person that at any given time brings joy and gladness to the lives of service recipients and occasionally filling the void of family contact in certain particular instances and the instant gratification that comes along with that.

When asking a DSP what the most important aspect of their job is…they don’t say money or earning a paycheck…they say providing a caring compassionate environment, treating individual with respect and decency… “The individual’s we support, they are our extended family”. This is such gratitude, integrity and dignity that DSP demonstrate on a daily basis. The DSP is the heart of an agency. Here are some examples:

Sakree Tillman joined the Residential program as the Manager of Supported Living Program (SLP) July 23, 2014. As soon as taking up the leadership role as the manager of the SLP program, she was quick to assist an individual in the program to obtain employment. This individual has been out of work for almost two years. In addition, Sakree was able to gain the trust and respect from the individuals after losing staff members that were important to them. As a result, another individual served now allow staff to participate in receiving reports from doctors (going into the room with them). Sakree took the time to match staff and persons-served to help create person-centered supports, Sakree has open communication with family members and guardians. In addition, Sakree is a team player and will step in and provide coverage whenever there is a last minute call out. Sakree continues to ensure his individuals are receiving best quality of life.

The Teacher Assistants at the Developmental Daycare and Preschool at the Jerry Davis Center for Children and Families exhibit amazing strength and flexibility! They are able to be supportive and encouraging to the children in one moment, distract and re-direct the next moment, and sing songs and play games the next. Their energy is solely directed at the children and ensuring their growth and development.

Jess Peyser is the Night Director at Camp Jotoni. During her time at camp, she worked with campers to adapt the programs so all campers, regardless of ability, were able to participate and enjoy themselves, while leading staff and campers at the same time. Often ‘sleepover’ camp is the first away from home experience for our campers, and Jess made sure all of our campers where comfortable and had a great camp experience.
Matt Pribula gave 110% throughout the entire summer. He volunteered to work with campers who exhibited challenging behaviors and was very successful in ensuring those campers had a quality camp experience.

Crystal Condit recently became the Respite Coordinator for the Saturday Respite Program. She has shown great initiative in coordinating the program. She works closely with families to ensure open communication and engages the students in activities that meet each child’s unique needs.

Shavonne Stick starts each day with an idea of how best to keep person served happy while making a difference. This year she surveyed the consumers looking into their interests for community outings and was able to plan and accommodate day trips. The day trips were to Keansburg Beach and amusement park, 4-H fair, afternoon coffee breaks, and she held a create your own sundae while at work activity. Shavonne displays a very high level of care when interacting with ALL consumers served within our agency. She consistently goes above and beyond the requirements of her position as long as the consumer’s interest is represented.

By |2016-11-03T10:15:11+00:00September 11th, 2014|Categories: Bev Eschbach's Posts|Tags: , |Comments Off on DSP Recognition Week

IHP Goals

I hope everyone has been enjoying their summer. The Arc of Somerset has been working towards becoming paperless.  Currently all health tracking ( doctors appointments, seizures, vitals, etc.) , finances (program and service recipients), in house UIR and reportable UIR are all being tracked in Therap.  Now we are happy to announce  for all  IHP Goals for each Service Recipient is now being tracked in ISP Data. We are approaching 300 Service Recipients within both Departments of Residential and Employment Services that we provide support services for. This has been a great success!!  Managers are amazed with how easy the DDD Monthly tracking reports have become.   We are looking forward to using Emars for all of our programs.

By |2016-11-03T10:15:12+00:00August 13th, 2014|Categories: Bev Eschbach's Posts|Tags: |Comments Off on IHP Goals

TMS Spring Cleaning

So this weekend I took an opportunity to refine our classes / courses / curricula in THERAP. Community Services has been using the Training Management System for about 4 years now. When we began using it, only a curriculum could be assigned to an employee. In addition to all of the “classes” that were listed under Curriculum, we also had a specific curriculum for every job title at the agency. As you can imagine, over time, this became quite unwieldy. Even though I use TMS daily; and am very familiar with its function, I was nervous.  CSDD employees about 850 staff. If something were to go awry, it would create a nightmare to repair. After many hours, I was able to delete all the curricula and courses, create a few new  consolidated courses that would work for a large number of employees and assign those courses to the staff. This is not to say their were not any glitches in my plan. For one, there were a handful of curricula that I was unable to  delete without reassigning the classes that comprised the curriculum. The correction for this glitch requires looking at each employees class assignment and un-assigning the surplus classes.  There were also a few group of employee’s that required a course other than the one I initially determined was the best fit. This was a simple correction. The moral of the story?  Trust the plan, but prepare for pitfalls.

By |2016-11-03T10:15:30+00:00March 25th, 2013|Categories: Joe Pendergast's Posts|Tags: , , , , , , , , |Comments Off on TMS Spring Cleaning

Knowledge is Power

Ken Slavin did a nice overview of changes within HIPAA and HiTECH, as well as reviewing the meaning surrounding CCHIT’s and ONC’s definitions of EHRs.

Video on Trainings for Certified Trainers: A Discussion about HiTECH, HIPAA, and CCHIT

By |2013-03-15T20:24:45+00:00March 15th, 2013|Categories: Allison's Posts|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |Comments Off on Knowledge is Power

Hello from New Jersey

Whew!  Day 2 of 2013 Therap conference down, 1 day to go!  It’s been a long couple of days, but am excited to take back a lot of great ideas to Oregon.

Meeting people from different agencies and hearing creative ideas of how they are using Therap has been very helpful.  Everyone has been so willing to share ideas of how we can improve and streamline our documentation.  I have really enjoyed meeting and talking to more fellow Therapites this year!

More information around reporting, manipulating excel reports and creating pivot tables is new for me this year and will be very useful to us as we roll out a new self assessment process at our agency.  I am also excited to explore more custom forms and utilizing ISP programs in more creative ways.

Looking forward to one more day of Therap learning.  I still need to corner Allison at some point…

By |2016-11-03T10:15:32+00:00January 31st, 2013|Categories: Gina Loraine's Posts|Tags: , |Comments Off on Hello from New Jersey

My first blog

Picture of The Arc of Somerset County’s Family Support ProgramPicture of Family Support ProgramThe Arc of Somerset County’s Family Support Program assists individual with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families in their effort to remain together in their homes and communities. The home is typically the best environment for the individual so Family support is often defined as “whatever it takes” to help an individual stay in his/her natural home. Family involvement and empowerment are key in determining the needs of the individual or family. The Family support Coordinator works with the family to determine needs and assist with obtaining quality of life for the families and the child with a disability. Raising a child with intellectual and development disabilities can challenge a family’s ability to cope; and parents, siblings, caregivers and friends often feel overwhelmed. As individuals with disabilities have the best opportunity to grow and develop within a loving family environment, the Family Support Program is designed to keep families together.

Recently The Family Support program held their fifth annual Caring for Mothers and Others Day on May 5th 2012. Mothers and care givers enjoyed a full day of pampering and activities, including Zumba, beading, crafting, nutrition seminars and spirit counseling. The keynote speaker was Paula Marasco, Chairwoman of the Somerset county Commission on the Status of Women reflected on her experience of babysitting a child with special needs, Marasco remarked how the child influenced and continues to influence her outlook on life. She learned a new kind of love from the child who could not say her name. By sharing her story, Marasco was truly honoring the caregivers in attendance, applauding their compassion and never ending care and support for their loved one with a disability. The Arc of Somerset provided Respite Care for the children at the event so the caregivers could have a piece of mind. There were 42 venders, 10 Respite staff, 43 family members and 19 children.

Our heartfelt thanks to all our parents for your time, effort and love in providing for the needs of your children.

By |2016-11-03T10:15:40+00:00June 12th, 2012|Categories: Bev Eschbach's Posts|Tags: |Comments Off on My first blog

Some FIRSTS for Certified Trainers

We have a handful of new certified trainers to introduce…They will soon learn the secret handshake! There are several more but they are not official until I get a photo…they must prove their existence before they show up here. :D

Picture of Beverly Eschbach, Quality Management Coordinator for The Arc of Somerset




Beverly Eschbach is the SECOND Beverly (our Beverlies are the best!) on the trainers’ gang. She is the Quality Management Coordinator for The Arc of Somerset. She knows tons about individual supports and has been one of their provider administrators since 2009. They are also tinkering with the Training Management System, Personal Finance and getting the MAR on board. She sounds super busy…AND SHE IS THE FIRST NEW JERSEY-AN to be a super Therap nerd. It’s like being an astronaut when you’re first at something…all new territory. One small step for Beverly, but one giant step for Therapkind.

Picture of Kristy Dominy, from The Jessamine Place in Fitzgerald, Georgia

Kristy Dominy is another first! She is from The Jessamine Place in Fitzgerald, Georgia, and is THE FIRST GEORGIAN to join the secret trainerhood. Kristy is their quality assurance nerd so you know she knows what’s up…and it sounds like Jessamine is using EVERYTHING they can find in Therap, including running the pilot for billing in the state of Georgia. She is as busy as Beverly!

Picture of David Van Hook, IT Technician for Living Opportunities in Medford, Oregon.

David Van Hook is the IT Technician for Living Opportunities in Medford, Oregon. He has been with them for several years and was working as a support person before moving into the IT position. David actually has spent most of his time in the field of technology; Living Opportunities was his first experience in human services. He is presently becoming their central provider administrator, as well as trainer. Right now, he is figuring out the Training Management System…

More to come when they cough up some pictures. ;)


By |2016-11-03T10:15:42+00:00April 28th, 2012|Categories: Allison's Posts|Tags: , , , |Comments Off on Some FIRSTS for Certified Trainers

National Conference

There is so much to talk about regarding last weeks conference! First of all…another blogger wrote about all the eating! Totally true! Breakfast was just about over and voila! Delicious snacks graced the coffee table!! I, too, probably gained 10 pounds!!!

Two other things worth mentioning…I have two small kids (3 yrs and 10 months) and it was wonderful to be able to sleep in the hotel and get uninterrupted sleep!! That was fabulous and I most certainly did not tell my husband! Kind of felt a bit guilty!!

The other thing was being able to leisurely stroll through Target! I have not been able to do that without kids in 3 years!!! So much fun….I know….It’s the little things!!! Haha!!!

Anyway…I also learned a lot during those three days! Event summaries was very interesting to me. It is a simple little thing but something in which I forgot about. These summaries will surely help gather behavior info.

I also avoided the pivot table session! I start to glaze over when I hear the words, “pivot tables”!!! However, Brent told us that he also had difficultly with those until he was taught by Allison. Maybe I gather up courage and take another go at it!!

We also spent a lot of time going over the training component. This will be our agencies next thing to do. Looking forward to getting that set up and will keep everyone posted as to our progress!

Anyway…it was a great conference and am already looking forward to next year!

By |2016-11-03T10:15:45+00:00February 13th, 2012|Categories: Deanna Bisaillon's Posts|Tags: , , , |Comments Off on National Conference

February for Fishkill, in New Jersey!

The time is getting closer for our annual trip to Fishkill (I know it isn’t in Fishkill this year but, I think we will always call it that her at TRC). We are looking forwarding to going and learning alot of new things since the new release as well as work out a few bugs we are having. We are also looking forward to our annual bowling tournament that we have while we are there. I am sure that Todd will not take home the trophy again this year as I hear a few people have been practicing. We’ll hope to see a lot of the regulars there again this year.

By |2012-01-26T18:57:35+00:00January 26th, 2012|Categories: Bev Arvidson's Posts|Tags: , , |1 Comment

Will you be in New Jersey next month?

The Therap National Conference is in 2 weeks! I cannot wait to attend this conference because there are so many experts at the same place at the same time! I plan to attend some sessions about billing and want to learn more about CCHIT. I also want to catch some of the awesome presentations from other Therap users. I hope you are signed up for this conference and can’t wait to see you in New Jersey!

Michelle Emoticon showing smiley face

By |2016-11-03T10:15:49+00:00January 24th, 2012|Categories: Michelle Saunders's Posts|Tags: , , , , |2 Comments
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