Heather has been a DSP for 20 years – the past nine with ResCare in Dublin, Georgia – and earned a reputation as a professional who brings new perspectives and great energy to person-centered supports. Bringing a focus to the health and activities of those she supports is a key tenet of her care.
Heather has one client with cerebral palsy who works at the Salvation Army doing stocking work and customer service. Both he and Heather were honored at a recent Salvation Army awards dinner with a Certificate of Appreciation. “She’s not only an advocate but a friend to those she serves,” said Angela Raines, who nominated her for this award as Georgia’s top DSP. “Since Heather started serving him, his health has improved tremendously. Her patience and loyalty are very much appreciated by our organization and the people she supports.”
One of her clients has a tremendous love of arts and crafts and is also big into holidays, so Heather makes sure each big celebration is accompanied with a theme. For Halloween Heather and the client “pimped out” his wheelchair. For Christmas they decorated it with ornaments and lights. In December they also made Christmas snowmen for office doors, made out of woven canvass and stuffed with cotton. Heather makes sure her client is a central part of every activity within their organization, and each month they create an arts-themed calendar.
This man’s mother is thankful he has Heather in his life. “Over the years he has blossomed with Mrs. Smith as a part of his life,” she says. “Many of the health issues that were present in his life have become less acute since Heather has joined our team.”