Recognition honors excellence in workforce providing long-term supports and services to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities
The American Network of Community Options and Resources (ANCOR) has announced that Temeake Lowe, a direct support professional with RHA Health in Georgia, has been named the recipient of the 2022 DSP of the Year award. Temeake joins 50 other recipients of ANCOR’s 2022 Direct Support Professional of the Year Awards, chosen from a field of more than 300 outstanding nominees.
Since 2007, ANCOR’s annual DSP of the Year awards recognize outstanding professionals who deliver long-term supports and services to people with 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 approaching 50 percent, as well as double-digit vacancy rates—challenges that have been amplified significantly by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“From helping people with activities of daily living to supporting them to connect with long-lost family members and so much more, direct support professionals like [award recipient’s name] are proof-positive of the crucial roles this workforce plays in communities across the country,” said Heidi Mansir, president of ANCOR’s Board of Directors and executive director of Uplift, Inc., a disability service provider based in Gardiner, Maine. “ANCOR is proud to celebrate [award recipient’s name] and the 50 other professionals who comprise the 2022 class of outstanding honorees.”
Barbara Merrill, chief executive officer for ANCOR, added: “This is the sixteenth consecutive year ANCOR has presented the Direct Support Professional of the Year Awards, and the third class to have been honored since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Although we’ve been saying it for three years now, the challenges presented by the pandemic have collided with a recruitment and retention crisis in our workforce to wreak previously unthinkable havoc on our system of home- and community-based supports. For that reason, there’s never been a more poignant time to celebrate people like [award recipient’s name] and the more than four dozen other DSPs who exemplify excellence in our field.”
The 2022 DSP of the Year awards will be presented in a ceremony at ANCOR’s 2022 Annual Conference in Miami, Fla., on Wednesday, April 13 at 2:30 pm EDT. Members of the press interested in attending the awards presentation should contact Sean Luechtefeld, Senior Director of Communications for ANCOR, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 571.207.9108.