Congratulations to employee Gayle Ferona, who has been named the 2019 Pennsylvania DSP of the Year!
The American Network of Community Options and Resources (ANCOR) gives this award out annually to an outstanding Direct Support Professional (DSP) in Pennsylvania who provides supports and services to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The award celebrates the important role DSPs play in ensuring people with intellectual and developmental disabilities are included in their communities and can pursue full, meaningful lives.
This is a well-deserved award for Gayle. She is a dedicated employment specialist who forms genuine relationships with the people she supports. A strong advocate for employment as part of building a full life in the community, she understands and deeply values the role that relationships, real friendships, and meaningful connections play in all our lives. Gayle is a leader, an advocate, and a valuable member of our team.
"Gayle is dedicated to true community inclusion," said Charles Hooker, President and CEO of Keystone Human Services. "Every day she is working to help people pursue their goals and make sure people's voices are heard. We're proud that ANCOR has recognized her with this honor."
Robert Budd, President of ANCOR and Chief Executive Officer at FREE, Inc, in Old Bethpage, New York, said, "I started my career in the field of disability supports as a DSP, and so I know just how critical DSPs are to supporting individuals in their quest to live their best and most fulfilling lives. DSPs rarely receive the recognition they deserve, and for that reason I'm proud of our association for recognizing Gayle and all of her significant contributions to the lives of the people supported by Keystone Human Services."
Barbara Merrill, ANCOR's Chief Executive Officer, added: "I often describe DSPs as 'community navigators.' Far more than just caregivers, DSPs do it all. From navigating civic life to supporting individuals to create a sense of community around them, DSPs make magic in their communities every single day. These awards represent just a fraction of the recognition that individuals like Gayle deserve."
Gayle will officially receive her award at ANCOR's Annual Conference, Bridges to Better Outcomes, on May 8. Please join us in congratulating Gayle and recognizing her for her excellent work!