Recognition honors excellence in workforce providing long-term supports and services to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities
Augusta, GEORGIA – On April 16th, the American Network of Community Options and Resources (ANCOR) announced that Carla Garrison-Greene, a Direct Support Professional (DSP) at RHA Health Services in Augusta, Georgia, has been named the recipient of the 2020 Georgia DSP of the Year award. Carla joins 54 other recipients of ANCOR’s 2020 Direct Support Professional of the Year awards, chosen from a field of 300 outstanding nominees.
“This is wonderful. RHA is overwhelmingly proud of our hero Carla, for her award recognition. I personally appreciate her dedication to support, celebrate, and help the people she serves be who they want to be,” said Jeanne Duncan, CEO of RHA Health Services. “We are fortunate to have so many dedicated DSPs helping others live their best lives, and we’re grateful that ANCOR has recognized Carla with this high-profile honor.”
Since 2007, ANCOR’s annual DSP of the Year awards have recognized outstanding professionals who deliver long-term supports and services to people with an Intellectual and/or Developmental Disability (I/DD). The awards celebrate the important role DSPs play in ensuring individuals with I/DD are included and empowered in the community and raise awareness about a direct support workforce in crisis. Inadequate investments in this essential workforce have led to turnover rates in excess of 50 percent and vacancy rates that average 18 to 20 percent nationally.
“ANCOR and our Diamond Partner, Relias, co-present the DSP of the Year awards program each year precisely because of people like Carla. Her commitment to ensuring the inclusion of people supported by RHA Health Services enriches not only the lives of those individuals, but the broader Augusta community at large. Without committed direct support professionals like Carla and all of this year’s outstanding award recipients, people with I/DD would have severely limited opportunities to be part of the community,” said ANCOR chief executive officer Barbara Merrill.
Robert Budd, president of the ANCOR Board of Directors and chief executive officer for Family Residences & Essential Enterprises, Inc., in Old Bethpage, New York, stated, “As someone who started his career providing direct support, I have a deep admiration for people who can overcome their own personal obstacles to show others in the community all that is possible when people have the support they need. Our DSPs rarely receive the recognition they deserve, and so I’m proud of our national association for acknowledging the critical work of Carla Garrison-Greene and all of our phenomenal awardees.”
About Carla’s Contribution
When an individual Carla supports expressed that they wanted to be President, Carla used the upcoming Residents Council election to launch an all-out campaign. This included photoshoots, posters, door-to-door canvassing and campaign rallies. Carla even secured a voting booth to transform her office into a polling place.
But Carla did not stop there: she then used this as an opportunity to educate others supported by RHA Health Services on the voting process and provide them with the full voting experience. The experience also inspired Carla to speak at the Georgia Capitol to advocate for fair wages for DSPs, where her testimony received a standing ovation from the panel.
“Our world would be a better place if there were more people that focused the kind of energy that Carla does on helping others reach their dreams,” said Tonya Self, RHA Administrator in Augusta, GA.
For 50 years, the American Network of Community Options and Resources (ancor.org) has been a leading advocate for the critical role service providers play in enriching the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). As a national nonprofit trade association, ANCOR represents 1,600+ organizations employing more than a half-million professionals who together serve more than a million individuals with I/DD. Our mission is to advance the ability of our members to support people with I/DD to fully participate in their communities.
About RHA Health Services
At RHA Health Services (RHAHealthServices.org), the people we serve and support in Georgia, Florida, North Carolina and Tennessee are at the very center of everything we do. We are here to support, celebrate, and help the people we serve be the person they want to be and live their best lives.
Learn more about RHA Health Services.