The week of Sept. 13 is “Direct Support Professional Appreciation Week.” It is no secret that DSP’s are Optimae LifeService’s life blood. They are incredibly crucial to not only ourselves but also to the individuals who have been placed in their care. Be it during a worldwide pandemic, or in the wake of a natural disaster, our DSP’s show up to face any challenge.
This week, we will spotlight DSP’s that have been nominated by their leaders and/or their peers for having gone above and beyond in their roles. Today’s spotlight comes from our Central Iowa region, as highlighted on the service map to the right.
1. Polk County Residential Site Team wants to nominate Jeanne Witt. She has been with Optimae for many years and has worked with many challenging customers. Customers enjoy working with her as she brings a kind, empathetic and discerning approach to each customers’ needs. She is very consistent in her work with the customers and assisting them in their progress. She is detail oriented and purposeful. Her communication with her team members including customers is exquisite. When Jeanne goes above and beyond she thinks outside of the box in how to manage a situation. She does so independently. Jeanne is always willing to lend a helping hand. She is not shaken by crisis and knows that this can be part of the recovery process. She shows that you can be a leader in the DSP role. She recognizes when the team is out of alignment and assists in bringing the team together for clarity. A current endeavor was helping a customer find a free piano and they are learning to play piano together. She starts each shift by sitting down with each customer for a quick check in to see where they are at and what their focus is on that day. All of this she is doing in her retirement years.
2. Polk County Supportive Employment Team would like to nominate Sarah Challender. Sarah has been a great asset to the Polk County Supported Employment team. Sarah works very well with others and is very flexible with her time. Sarah is always willing to help out where needed and is quick to learn new responsibilities.
3. Story County Site Team would like to nomination Sam Krause. Sam is constantly monitoring her customers to watch for subtle changes that indicate how they are really doing. If Sam senses that a customer is struggling she immediately jumps into action to pull together any resources that may assist her customers. Sam is a tremendous help to her team, she is always willing to help out. One thing that Sam does for herself that is so helpful in the field of Human Services is that she is very honest about how she is doing and does not hesitate to say no in order to take care of herself.
4. Marshall County Residential Team would like to nominate Shania Kumbier. Shania works very diligently with the customers. During each shift she is working on many goals with the customers and does a lot of skill building with them. Shania also takes on tasks that are not asked of her which in return helps out the Team Lead and her other team members. Shania stays organized, engaged, and supportive for our customers.