DSP of the Year 2013
MIAMI, FL. — For the second time in three years, a Direct Support Professional (DSP) from REM West Virginia was named DSP of the Year by the American Network of Community Options and Resources (ANCOR). Katherine McCormick was presented with the prestigious award May 6 at the 2014 ANCOR Conference in Miami, Florida. Two years ago,Jeanette Penix received the same honor while representing REM West Virginia.
“DSPs are on the front lines, supporting people with disabilities and ensuring those individuals are granted full inclusion in their communities,” said Renee Pietrangelo, CEO of ANCOR. “It is absolutely essential that individuals like Katherine are given the recognition and respect they deserve.”
ANCOR’s Direct Support Professional Recognition Award is given to those who personify the values of ANCOR’s National Advocacy Campaign, which works to ensure a well-trained and sustainable direct support workforce. Nominees are judged on the work they’ve done to build social networks, actively participate in their communities, and advocate for the people they serve.
“All of us at The MENTOR Network are proud of Katherine for her dedication to supporting individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and her commitment to The Network’s mission,” said Bruce Nardella, president and CEO of The MENTOR Network. “We believe that all of our employees in direct care should be valued, supported and recognized for a job well done. Without a dedicated direct-support workforce, organizations such as ours would be unable to provide community-based services to thousands of individuals with disabilities.”
Over the past 30 years, Katherine has been a constant source of support for a local couple with cerebral palsy. KD and her husband, DD, have shared many amazing accomplishments, and have done so with Katherine by their side as their friend and biggest advocate. Today, Katherine supports this husband and wife in their own home through the REM West Virginia’s hourly support program.
Katherine assisted KD and DD in planning their wedding and was instrumental in helping the couple become home owners. She got them involved with the “Home of Your Own” initiative, which helps those who help themselves by saving money for a new home.
Through the years, Katherine has gone through great lengths to establish and maintain a strong, positive relationship with KD and DD, a couple that she says is like family to her. The trio is so close that Katherine has moved her own family to be closer to KD and DD each time the couple has had to relocate. Katherine currently lives across the street from them and regularly spends her personal time making sure they are healthy, happy, and comfortable.
“Katherine is an inspiration to all of us,” said Cheryl Herdman, a regional director with REM West Virginia. “Her DSP of the Year award is a well-deserved honor and a compliment to the work she does every day. All of us who know Katherine strive to make such an impact as she has had on the lives of the individuals she serves.”