Happy Direct Support Professional week everyone! Once again, we begin our annual celebration to recognize you – our caregivers – for your compassion, your loyalty, and the crucial support you provide to the individuals we serve. Each year, it seems, our DSP celebration becomes more important than ever. Over the past year and a half, we’ve all experienced events like no other period in Danville’s history. Yet, despite the pandemic and environmental crises, you’ve continued to focus on the needs of our individuals and have heroically strived to keep them safe; all while delivering on Danville’s mission to help each individual we serve achieve their desired quality of life. Your effort has been remarkable, and your commitment continues to inspire me. Thank you!
This fiscal year, Danville turns 35 years old. It’s a significant milestone worthy of reflection… for the positive contributions our organization has furnished to our communities, as well as the tens of thousands of staff who have provided care to so many individuals over three and a half decades. It is often difficult to describe or summarize the extent of Danville’s reach. Consequently, a few years ago our Regional Leadership team identified a single word that conveys the influence, emotion, and gratitude we associate with our efforts: JOY. ‘Danvillians’, as we like to call ourselves, have been steadfastly sharing joy with each other, the folks we serve and their families, our partners, and our communities since 1987. Wow, that’s a lot of joy!
We all deliver joy in small ways every day by cultivating positive relationships with clients and coworkers alike. Joy also comes from adhering to safety protocols, like those we’ve implemented to mitigate the effects of the pandemic and to reduce the risk of injury. A wonderful example of this type of joy was revealed to me last week as I was driving into the office. I noticed one of our vans traveling on the freeway up ahead of me. I was driving in the passing lane and about to overtake our van. Since we were entering a construction zone, the speed limit was reduced to 55 MPH. Without initially realizing the speed limit was changing, I passed our van and saw the driver with her eyes attentively focused on the road and potential hazards ahead. At that point, I immediately checked and reduced my speed. ‘How about that?’, I thought, one of our dedicated DSPs unknowingly gave the CEO a reminder about the importance of being focused and driving safely! Through the magic of GPS tracking and assistance from our fleet management team, I was able to identify the superstar. Thank you, Ginger Applegate (Program Manager in Utah’s Western region), for sharing that joy with me and the individuals you were transporting back from medical appointments! Way to go!!!
I hope you all have a fun DSP week ahead. Our Regional Leadership teams have lots of goodies and joy they’ll share with you to express our sincere gratitude. Thank you, again, and here’s to our next 35 years of sharing joy with those around us!
Chris Hatton, CEO