Welcome to another installment of Optimae Spotlight, where we showcase those among our ranks who have gone above and beyond.
For this week’s installment, Heather Kienol of Optimae’s Great River Region would like to nominate Kim Hurka and Sandi Dean!
Kim Hurka has been with Optimae since September 2015, and is her site’s seniority hourly DSP. There have been many changes within the hourly community program and she has adapted with each change.
Per Kienol, Hurka, “Often assists with DSP training and leads by example by turning her paperwork in on time, attending scheduled meetings, being dependable and modeling thorough communication with her supervisory team.”
Recently, Hurka has been aiding in meeting the needs of a very symptomatic customer. This customer trusts her and has allowed her to aid him in matters that other members of his team have struggled with. According to her leadership, Hurka genuinely cares about the customers she serves and will go above and beyond in ensuring their safety and making sure that supervisors are informed timely of the concerns.
Kim Hurka is a great asset to the Optimae team and we would like to recognize her for all her hard work and dedication!
Sandi Dean was very excited to obtain a job working for Norte Dame School in Burlington, Iowa. On Nov. 30, 2020 Dean started her position as the Lunch Lady/Dish Washer.
“The staff have respect for me,” Dean said. “They’re kind. They give me advice.”
At Notre Dame, it’s all part of the family atmosphere, according to principal Bill Maupin, who attended the school as a student — and he’s quick to point out that Dean is a key contributor to that atmosphere.
“Sandi’s always smiling,” he said.
Seeing these smiles from Dean, one might not realize some of the challenges she has faced, including lived experiences with a learning disability, anxiety and mild depression. Staff members at Optimae, who provide community-based assistance with the activities of daily living, as well as behavioral health services, have helped on the journey.
“I go through mild depression, but I pull through it with help,” Dean said. “I got a counselor [from Optimae Behavioral Health Services] that helps me. She talks to me about things; I talk to her, and I open up.”
Opening up is an important element to reducing the stigma sometimes associated with mental health. As Dean has learned to open up herself, she’s learned the importance of encouraging others to do the same.
Optimae is grateful to have individuals like these who go out of their way to enrich those around them! If you would like to nominate someone for the spotlight, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.