Birch Direct Support Professionals Celebrated at Appreciation Day

The week of September 11th marked National Direct Support Professionals Recognition Week. This is a national initiative to drawn attention to the important and complex work of DSPs supporting individuals at home, work, and in the community. It is an opportunity for us to advocate for recognition and resources for our staff. Our DSPs and frontline managers are critical in supporting individuals in our Community Services and New Frontier programs. It provides us an opportunity to say thank you and the week was filled with thank you messages from our individuals, families, staff, and leadership along with celebrations across our programs to express our appreciation.

For the first time, we were able to facilitate a system-wide celebration and recognition of our DSPs on Wednesday, September 13th. A little more than 100 Direct Support Professionals from our Community Services joined together at Antun’s in Queens for a celebration of their hard work and outstanding commitment to the people we support. The day was a celebration that included a warm welcome by
Lisa Sterrantino, Senior VP of Community Services, and additional expressions of appreciation by Bridget Waldron, Executive VP, Nathalia Berger, Senior VP Human Resources, and Henry Arukwe, Senior Operations Coordinator.

Staff were moved by the motivational presentation of guest speaker Robert Puimajero who spoke on the importance and work and the career paths they’ve chosen. Finally, staff also heard from Patrick Azuoma, Manager at Irwin Place, who spoke about his journey at Birch from DSP to Manager. Staff were treated to a wonderful buffet luncheon and afforded the opportunity to network with their peers, access the photo booth, and music. The feedback on the day was that it was an extremely positive day. Many were appreciative of the recognition, the gift of appreciation, and we hope we can do it again next year.

I was honored to be a part of the lovely celebration and it feels INCREDIBLE to be heard and appreciated for all that we do to support and enrich the lives of the amazing people we support.” – Karen, 53rd Street.

Hello to my Birch Family Services Family, thank you so much for a wonderful afternoon staff talked about it until late into the night, it was that special.” – Marjorie, 52nd Street.

Click here to see some of the photos from the celebration.