Nurses Week Spotlight: Miranda Desmond and Brittany Calhoun

In Maiden, NC, an RHA Health Services team of dedicated professionals shape the lives of those they serve every day. This Nurses Week, Miranda Desmond, RN, and Brittany Calhoun, LPN, two nurses with unique journeys, share their stories of passion and purpose working at RHA. 

Having been an IDD Nurse at RHA for three years, Miranda remains deeply connected to her work and the individuals she supports. She purposefully journeyed back to serving the IDD population after starting a family and found a role that allows her to provide compassionate care. “Here at RHA, you always have that opportunity to make someone smile, make their day,” Miranda remarks.   

One of Miranda’s most recent, rewarding experiences has been building a top-notch nursing department in Maiden, NC. Her valued team includes Pam, Cassie, Brittany, and Savannah. Miranda says, “I couldn’t ask for a better team. They’re more than just nurses and clerks. They’re amazing people too.” As a unit, they are constantly in collaboration to come up with a plan to help best support the health and safety of all the people supported. 

“When I applied at RHA, I didn’t know what I was getting into. I didn’t technically know what IDD stood for,” admits Brittany. “Now, these individuals are practically family to me, and I absolutely love it.” Beyond addressing their disabilities, Brittany focuses on nurturing the individuals she serves abilities and fostering a sense of self-reliance. 

Joshua Correll, a person served at RHA Health Services in Maiden, NC, shares his gratitude for the nursing team’s support. “I like to see my buddy, Brittany. The nurses are nice. They make sure I’m fed. A long time ago, I hurt my knee. They had to wrap it in an ace bandage,” shares Joshua. 

For Brittany, every day presents an opportunity to infuse love and compassion into the lives of the individuals enrolled in the Maiden Day Program. She reflects, “I’ve personally grown as a nurse. I remember being shy and, in my shell, and this [role] helped me come out of my shell and made me a more confident nurse.”  

Miranda and Brittany’s ongoing journey at RHA Health Services serves as an inspiration for aspiring IDD nurses. Their unwavering dedication to nursing excellence beyond Nurses Week continues to enrich the Maiden community, leaving a lasting impact on those they serve. 

To learn more about nursing opportunities at RHA Health Services, visit rhajobs.com. 

RHA Health Services Celebrates Direct Support Professionals for DSP Week 2023!

We’re celebrating Direct Support Professional Week (September 10-16, 2023) by highlighting our outstanding DSPs.

RHA’s marketing team recently reached out to administrators in Georgia, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee with a simple request: help us identify DSPs who are blooming at RHA. They identified over fifty DSPs who are going above and beyond to provide quality care to the people we support.

Below are some of their stories, words of wisdom, advice, and more.


 

What does it mean to you to be an outstanding DSP?
An outstanding DSP has the heart to take care of and assist others. 

What do you enjoy the most about being a DSP?
I enjoy the opportunity to make a difference in someone‘s life. 

What is one of your favorite memories from your time as a DSP?
While staying at the NC Start East Center, a person I supported improved their health by learning coping skills, exercising, and eating healthy meals. 

What would you tell someone who is considering becoming a DSP with RHA?
Understand the population we serve and why it’s important that DSPs create positive experiences for them. 

 

What does it mean to you to be an outstanding DSP?
An outstanding DSP understands all that is required to fulfill their duties and obligations. 

What do you enjoy the most about being a DSP?
I enjoy gaining knowledge and understanding. I am thankful for my training in medical care and the people I’ve met and formed friendships with. 

What is one of your favorite memories from your time as a DSP?
My favorite memory was feeling respected by my coworkers when I was named DSP of the Year. I’ve also loved watching the progress made by the people I’ve supported throughout my 13 years with RHA. 

What would you tell someone who is considering becoming a DSP with RHA?
It’s hard work, but very fulfilling. Your hard work pays off when you receive love and respect from your people supported, coworkers, and management. I feel blessed to have been hired at RHA. 

 

What does it mean to you to be an outstanding DSP?
An outstanding DSP always puts people supported first and cares for them to the best of their abilities. 

What do you enjoy the most about being a DSP?
I enjoy just being around all the individuals. 

What is one of your favorite memories from your time as a DSP?
My favorite memory as a DSP was taking the kids to the Marbles Museum. Seeing them enjoy the different activities made me happy. 

What would you tell someone who was considering becoming a DSP with RHA?
Working as a DSP is a fun experience, and all the people supported have been loving. 

 

What does it mean to you to be an outstanding DSP?
An outstanding DSP loves helping people. They show respect to the people supported and receive respect in return.    

What do you enjoy the most about being a DSP?
I love helping the people we support. It makes me happy when they’re happy! I try to go above and beyond my duties, and I enjoy helping out my peers.  

What is one of your favorite memories from your time as a DSP?
One of my favorite memories was the RHA talent show. The people supported enjoyed it and talked about it for a long time.      

What would you tell someone who was considering becoming a DSP with RHA?
I would tell them it’s a very rewarding, satisfying job. I enjoy it and can’t picture myself doing anything else.   

 

What does it mean to you to be an outstanding DSP?
I’m beyond flattered to be nominated again for DSP Week. Every day, I try to be an outstanding DSP by setting an example for others; I give this job my all and hope others will be inspired to do the same. It is humbling to be nominated. I will continue to represent those values and make RHA proud. Kobe Bryant once said, “Rest in the end, not in the middle.”  

What do you enjoy the most about being a DSP?
I enjoy making a difference in people’s everyday lives. I take pride in seeing the people I support make personal progress, obtain employment, improve their health, and find their own voice. It’s important for me to end each day knowing I’ve made a difference that goes beyond my paycheck. 

What is one of your favorite memories from your time as a DSP?
We make lots of good memories every day! A recent favorite memory is seeing a person I supported get a new job after years of waiting. The look on his face when he got his first paycheck and jumped for joy made the hard work worth it! 

What would you tell someone who was considering becoming a DSP with RHA?
Make sure you’re here for the right reasons. Show compassion and empathy and try your best to be very patient. Staying Zen will help you overcome anything. 

 

What does it mean to you to be an outstanding DSP?
An outstanding DSP has compassion and patience. They treat the people they serve with dignity and help provide them with opportunities.  

What do you enjoy most about being a DSP?
I enjoy being a part of people’s milestones and showing them the acceptance they deserve. 

What is one of your favorite memories from your time as a DSP?
One of my coworkers hosted an annual fish fry for staff and the people we support. We would cook each other’s favorite dishes and spend quality time together. 

What would you tell someone who was considering becoming a DSP with RHA?
I would tell someone considering becoming a DSP that the job requires compassion, patience, and relationship-building skills. 

 

What does it mean to you to be an outstanding DSP?
An outstanding DSP shows empathy and patience and has great communication skills. 

What do you enjoy the most about being a DSP?
I love helping people achieve their goals, whether they are as simple as making a purchase at the grocery store or as complex as planning a beach trip. I love helping them improve their self-confidence and exceed their own expectations.  

What is one of your favorite memories from your time as a DSP?
Recently, I accompanied three people we support on their very first boat trip. We explored Norris Lake and delivered ice cream to other people on the lake. Taking this trip was a goal they had set for themselves, and they achieved it! I will never forget the smiles on their faces. 

What would you tell someone who was considering becoming a DSP with RHA?
I highly recommend RHA to anyone considering working with individuals with intellectual disabilities. Its a very rewarding job that helps you develop humility, patience, kindness, and compassion. Serving and being responsible for someone other than yourself allows you to grow and develop your character in ways you don’t get the chance to working other jobs. 

 

What does it mean to you to be an outstanding DSP?
An outstanding DSP goes above and beyond to provide the best care possible.  

What do you enjoy most about being a DSP?
I enjoy knowing what I do brings joy and happiness to others. You never know what battles a person is fighting and how it affects their quality of life. You never know what can turn someone’s day around! 

What is one of your favorite memories from your time as a DSP?
One of my favorite memories was running into someone at the grocery store that previously was in our day program. He was pushing shopping carts and was excited to tell me he moved into his own place and was taking college courses.  

What would you say to someone who was considering becoming a DSP with RHA?
I would tell them working for RHA is a pleasure and a very rewarding career choice. 

 

What does it mean to you to be an outstanding DSP?
I truly love what I do and being able to provide the people I support with what they need. I can’t see myself doing anything else. 

What do you enjoy most about being a DSP?
I enjoy making a difference in people’s lives – helping them live the lives I would want for myself or my family.  

What is one of your favorite memories from your time as a DSP?
In Colorado Springs in the early 90s, when I first started working with this population, they weren’t well accepted by the community. I would take the people I supported to the same places over and over, and I remember feeling the community begin to welcome us. 

What would you say to someone who was considering becoming a DSP with RHA?
I feel being a DSP is an easy job when you have the heart for it. I have worked other jobs but didn’t feel as fulfilled as I do working as a DSP. I guess it’s my calling. 

 

What does it mean to you to be an outstanding DSP?
An outstanding DSP has a lot of patience and understanding. They help the people they support be as independent as possible and make sure they receive the care they need.  

What do you enjoy most about being a DSP?
The most enjoyable part of being a DSP is watching the people we support become more independent, and seeing the excitement and happiness they experience when they learn something new. I also enjoy celebrating their birthdays. The excitement it brings just melts my heart. 

What is one of your favorite memories from your time as a DSP?
My favorite memories come from watching the people I support achieve their personal goals. I love watching them volunteer with Meals on Wheels, helping others in the community. 

What would you say to someone who was considering becoming a DSP with RHA?
I would tell them it’s very rewarding to be able to show love and care to the people we support. You have to be devoted. You will create a lot of great memories and have an amazing time working here. 

 

What does it mean to you to be an outstanding DSP?
It is an honor to be recognized as an outstanding DSP. To be able to help others in need is a great job! 

What do you enjoy most about being a DSP?
I enjoy being able to help others reach their goals and seeing them smile every day. I’m thankful for the great support team I have in my coworkers and manager.  

What is one of your favorite memories from your time as a DSP?
I cherish the memories of grocery shopping, taking van rides, and just going different places with the people we support. Seeing them help with washing their own clothes is also a joy. 

What would you say to someone who was considering becoming a DSP with RHA?
I would tell them you must have the heart to help others in need. If you are understanding and caring, and have love and patience, then this job is for you. 

 

What does it mean to you to be an outstanding DSP?
Being recognized as an outstanding DSP makes me feel proud of my work. I love being of service to the people we support at RHA. 

What do you enjoy most about being a DSP?
I enjoy taking care of the people we support, making sure their needs are met, and making a difference in their lives. It means a lot to know they trust me. When I receive the smiles, the hugs, and the “I Love You’s,” how could I not enjoy being a DSP? 

What is one of your favorite memories from your time as a DSP?
I still think about one of my first memories as a DSP. I was helping a person get ready for bed and had to use the lift. I knew she needed to trust me first, so I reminded her that I would take good care of her. I asked her to trust me, and she agreed. When I laid her down in her bed, she had the biggest smile on her face. I’ll never forget that moment when she knew she could trust me. It’s a wonderful feeling knowing the people I support can depend on me. 

What would you say to someone who was considering becoming a DSP with RHA?
Always remember: safety first. Get to know the people you support. Don’t take anything personally – the people we support have good and bad days, like anyone else. You may face challenges as a DSP, but anything worth having is worth fighting for. This job isn’t for everyone, but if you’re compassionate, empathetic, and patient: Welcome to my world! Come find your niche supporting people.  

 

What does it mean to you to be an outstanding DSP?
An outstanding DSP listens to the people they serve, ensures they are advocated for, and supports them in meeting their own needs. I try to be an outstanding DSP by loving and valuing what I do. It is not just a job; it is a chance to help others and be a part of a supportive community. I truly value all the people I support and am so happy to know my work makes a difference in their lives. 

What do you enjoy most about being a DSP?
I enjoy working with people with different backgrounds, needs, and experiences. We all learn from each other. My experience as a caregiver and mother helps me know how to fight for opportunities to improve the lives of the people I support. As a DSP, I enjoy being a team player, bringing out the best in the people I serve, and being part of a community that fosters positive discussions and engagement.  

What is one of your favorite memories from your time as a DSP?
A child I supported hit me on the back of the head while I was driving. After safely stopping the car, I tried several techniques to understand his frustration. The child could not communicate with words. I asked yes or no questions, maintained eye contact, used flash cards, watched his body language, encouraged him to gesture and point, and used sign language. With patience, I understood that he had dropped his toy on the floor. After I gave it back to him, he hugged me and smiled. This is one of my favorite memories because I was able to utilize and improve my communication skills and the child did as well.  

What would you say to someone who was considering becoming a DSP with RHA?
Without a doubt, I recommend RHA as a place to work. RHA is a company dedicated to employee and client satisfaction and morale, supervisors are knowledgeable and caring, and RHA has great benefits. 

 

What does it mean to you to be an outstanding DSP?
An outstanding DSP is helpful, dependable, and a team player. I’m proud and pleased to be considered “outstanding” in this field. It shows that my work and efforts don’t go unnoticed. 

What do you enjoy most about being a DSP?
I enjoy supporting people and witnessing their achievements, progression, and growth. It’s so rewarding to be a part of that process. 

What is one of your favorite memories from your time as a DSP?
My favorite memories come from the relationships, laughs, accomplishments, and sometimes even failures. They are just some of the many steps unique to each individual’s progress. 

What would you say to someone who was considering becoming a DSP with RHA?
This job is fulfilling. Be genuine, compassionate, considerate, have integrity, and be willing to learn. 

 

What does it mean to you to be an outstanding DSP?
To be nominated as an outstanding DSP is such a privilege and honor. An outstanding DSP provides the people we support with the care they need to succeed and grow.  

What do you enjoy most about being a DSP?
I enjoy creating meaningful memories with my coworkers and the people we support. As time passes, my team has felt like my family, and there’s nothing better than a family-like work environment.  

What is one of your favorite memories from your time as a DSP?
One of my favorite memories is the Spring Fling. The Spring Fling takes place in the community and gives the people we support an opportunity to meet others outside of RHA and to have some fun while doing it.  

What would you say to someone who was considering becoming a DSP with RHA?
I would say go for it! RHA offers great benefits and supports not only the people we serve, but their employees.  

 

What does it mean to you to be an outstanding DSP?
An outstanding DSP works to increase the quality of life of the people they support. They create an environment where people can blossom and reach their full potential in their homes and communities 

What do you enjoy most about being a DSP?
I enjoy interacting with the people I support. Coaching them to achieve their personal goals is gratifying on many levels. I also enjoy putting smiles on their faces. 

What is one of your favorite memories from your time as a DSP?
On an outing to the park, I observed the people I support smiling and laughing as ducks approached them. They fed the ducks some oats and frozen veggies. 

What would you say to someone who was considering becoming a DSP with RHA?
My one piece of advice for someone considering becoming a DSP is to evaluate their capacity for caring. The key to success as a DSP is to genuinely care for the people we serve. 

 

What does it mean to you to be an outstanding DSP?
An outstanding DSP is caring, passionate, patient, and advocates for the people they support. They have knowledge and understanding of intellectual and developmental disabilities. They go the extra mile to help the people they support as well as their peers. 

What do you enjoy most about being a DSP?
I enjoy helping people improve their quality of life, enhance their skills, and reach their goals. 

What is one of your favorite memories from your time as a DSP?
My favorite memories are celebrating holidays and birthdays. I love seeing the excitement it brings to the people we support. 

What would you say to someone who was considering becoming a DSP with RHA?
This is a very rewarding job. Come join us if you are caring, passionate, patient, and are willing to learn about the people we support. 

 

What does it mean to you to be an outstanding DSP?
It’s a privilege and an honor to be recognized as an outstanding DSP. The recognition reinforces my resolve to do my very best to serve the people we support. 

What do you enjoy most about being a DSP?
I enjoy providing the necessary skills and assistance for the people we support to become independent and improve their quality of life. 

What is one of your favorite memories from your time as a DSP?
My favorite memories come from learning from the people I support every day. I’ve learned from them the attitude of love, humility, and gratitude. 

What would you say to someone who was considering becoming a DSP with RHA?
The Scripture says if you serve your fellow man, you’re serving God. Nothing is more fulfilling and rewarding for me than serving those who need our voices, skills, and assistance. If you are loving, patient, and tolerant, RHA is the place for you. 

 

What does it mean to you to be an outstanding DSP?
To be nominated means a lot to me; it tells me I’m doing my job well and I’m appreciated. 

What do you enjoy most about being a DSP?
I love supporting people as they work hard to meet their goals. I enjoy seeing how they get excited about learning and having fun.    

What is one of your favorite memories from your time as a DSP?
One of my favorite memories is the talent show. I love watching the people we serve entertain each other and have fun. It’s so sweet and enjoyable.  

What would you say to someone who was considering becoming a DSP with RHA?
I love my job. We not only help the people we serve, but we also help one another. 

 

What does it mean to you to be an outstanding DSP?
It means a lot to me to be recognized for the work that we do.  

What do you enjoy most about being a DSP?
I enjoy making a difference in the lives of the people I serve. They make a difference in my life too, because I’ve learned a lot from them 

What is one of your favorite memories from your time as a DSP?
My favorite memories come from seeing people in the community that we used to support. They recognize me like they never left. That lets me know I did my job well. 

What would you say to someone who was considering becoming a DSP with RHA?
Come join our team! Have an open mind because every day is different. We are all here to learn from each other. 

 

What does it mean to you to be an outstanding DSP?
An outstanding DSP provides the best support possible, physically, mentally, or emotionally.  

What do you enjoy most about being a DSP?
Im honestly passionate about my work. I enjoy advocating for those that cannot advocate for themselves. I enjoy helping people reach goals that some may believe are unreachable. 

What is one of your favorite memories from your time as a DSP?
One of my favorite memories was taking the people we support to Zumba. They had so much fun, and it warmed my heart to see the joy on their faces. 

What would you say to someone who was considering becoming a DSP with RHA?
RHA is one of the best companies I’ve worked for in this field. My time here has been enjoyable. My team is supportive and hardworking, which makes everything run smoothly. 

 

What does it mean to you to be an outstanding DSP?
I try to be an outstanding DSP by coming to work with a smile on my face, ready to make a positive impact in the lives of the people we support and my coworkers. When I’m helping people with their personal hygiene, feeding them, cleaning their wheelchairs, etc., I try to give it my all, even if I’m the last person to clock out. One of my favorite scriptures is Galatians 6:9, ‘‘And let us not be weary in well doing; for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.’’ It means do not get tired of doing the right thing because at some point (usually when you least expect it) you will receive a reward if you don’t give up.   

What do you enjoy most about being a DSP?
As someone with a disability, many people helped me get to where I am today. I enjoy being a part of someone else’s journey to becoming the best version of themself. I believe a disability is a different ability.  

What is one of your favorite memories from your time as a DSP?
My favorite memories are witnessing the people we support meet their personal goals; for example, one person progressed from being a twoman lift to a stand and pivot. I also love seeing their excitement when their families visit

What would you say to someone who was considering becoming a DSP with RHA?
I would tell them to have compassion, patience, empathy, be eager to learn, and be a team player. Being a DSP is not the prettiest job, but knowing you are making a difference is very rewarding. 

 

What does it mean to you to be an outstanding DSP?
I’m grateful for those who see me that way. I come to work, do my best, and I have fun while doing my job.  

What do you enjoy most about being a DSP?
I love supporting our individuals.  

What is one of your favorite memories from your time as a DSP?
One favorite memory was taking a person I supported to the park for the first time. I was so excited when I found out she knew how to swing! Another favorite memory was helping a few people make a poster for Nurses Week. They did an awesome job making the poster! 

What would you say to someone who was considering becoming a DSP with RHA?
Ask yourself if you have empathy, compassion, love, understanding, and dedication for the individuals you would support. 


Thank you to the DSPs who participated in this feature, as well as all of the incredible DSPs working each day to help the people we support live life to its fullest potential! It is because of you that RHA continues to be a place #WhereHumansBloom.

If this article has inspired you, or you know someone who may be a good fit in a Direct Support role, please visit rhajobs.com to view available positions near you.

RHA Welcomes Mickey Atkins as New President for North Carolina, Georgia, and Pennsylvania

RHA has carefully considered candidates as RHA’s President since the departure of Nick Sulaiman. We are pleased to announce the search is over as we welcome Mickey Atkins as RHA’s President of North Carolina, Georgia, and Pennsylvania.

“Our company was built on highly relational and dedicated leaders with exceptional experience in serving people living with an intellectual disability, and mental health or substance use needs. Serving this community is one’s greatest honor, and Mickey demonstrates this commitment and experience,” says Jeanne Duncan, RHA’s Chief Executive Officer.

A healthcare executive with almost 30 years of experience in both growing and managing community-based healthcare companies, Mickey’s career started as a CPA and CFO. During these years, he managed all financial aspects of the company, along with acquisitions and legislative efforts.

In 2006, he moved into the CEO role for D&S Residential Services. During his 15-year tenure with D&S, he built a strong management team and ensured the company’s quality remained at the forefront of operations. His dedication to supporting individuals through a person-centered approach was the foundation of the company’s mission and vision.

“I am thrilled to be joining a team that I have admired for some time. This opportunity to continue to support individuals in the community as part of RHA Health Services is exciting and I look forward to sharing my knowledge and skills with the team to add to the great work already being done,” says Atkins.

Mickey lives in Austin, Texas with his wife of 36 years. He has two daughters and one granddaughter. He likes playing golf with friends, traveling with his wife, and listening to good singers/songwriters of country music.

Block the Sun, Not the Fun – A Message on Sun Safety from RHA Safety Director Carla Brown

It’s the time of the year to get outside and enjoy those long, warm summer days.  Whether you are visiting a park, attending a ball game, or even just sitting in the backyard, here are some practical measures you can take to avoid sunburn this season:

  • Generously apply sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or greater at least 30 minutes prior to going outside.
  • Make sure to reapply sunscreen at least every two hours.
  • Limit time spent in direct sunlight; sunburn can occur after as little as 11 minutes of direct UV exposure.
  • Wear protective clothing such as long-sleeved shirts, pants, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses with UV protection.
  • Stay in the shade when the sun is at its strongest (10 a.m. – 4 p.m.).
  • Use extra caution near water, snow, and sand as these terrains can reflect damaging UV rays and increase the chance of sunburn.
  • Drink plenty of water, sport drinks, or other liquids to ensure proper hydration.
  • Pay close attention to medication warnings, as some medications may increase the risk of sunburn.
  • Pay attention throughout the day; areas that were once shaded can become exposed to the sun quickly.

Individuals with IDD may have difficulty communicating their discomfort or recognizing the signs of sunburn, making it essential to provide them with the knowledge and tools to protect themselves adequately. By sharing these sun safety tips with the people we serve, we empower them to take proactive measures to safeguard their health and well-being during outdoor activities, promoting their overall quality of life. Stay safe out there!

Celebrating RHA’s Longest Tenured Nurse for National Nurses Week

RHA’s longest tenured nurse, Marietta “Cookie” Lofton, is celebrating 43 years at the place Where Humans Bloom! This National Nurses Week, RHA expresses our profound gratitude for Cookie and all our nurses dedicated to providing excellent care for the people we serve. We asked Cookie a few questions to get to know her better. 

Describe your role with RHA and overall industry experience.

Cookie: I began my career with RHA in 1980 as a Direct Care staff member on 3rd shift. Over the years, I have been fortunate to fulfill various roles with the Bear Creek facility as an LPN and RN. Currently, I am the RN Team Leader on Blue Bayou. I feel that my integrity, trust, and loyalty to others within the Bear Creek organization has been influential in developing a better medical team and therapeutic relationships with the individuals and families we serve. 

Why nursing? Tell us what inspires you about your work with RHA. 

Cookie: I had never considered a career in nursing, but I feel God always puts the right people in my path to steer me in the right direction. One day while assisting a nurse, she told me that I should become a nurse because of my enjoyment in helping others. So, I began my journey to become the nurse that I am today! I became an LPN in 1991, a RN in 1999, and earned my BSN in 2008.  

Tell us about a time you made a difference in someone’s life through your work.

Cookie: Every day that I have a chance to advocate, promote positive choices, and encourage independence, I feel that I have made a difference in an individual’s life. Throughout my tenure at Bear Creek, I have had opportunities to empower and enrich the lives of individuals who inspire me every day; their unconditional love still melts my heart and makes me smile! 

Outside of RHA, what are your passions and hobbies? 

Cookie: My faith in God and family are two of my strongest passions. I love being grandma to my granddaughter and grand dog. My hobbies include curling up with a good book, shopping for a great sale, or watching Lifetime and Hallmark movies. 

If you’re looking for a rewarding career making a difference in the lives of others, visit rhajobs.com and join our team of dedicated professionals at RHA – Where Humans Bloom! 

 

RHA Health Services Appreciates Our Passionate Teachers

Did you know that RHA Health Services employs teachers at many of our service locations? This Teacher Appreciation Week, we want to express our deepest gratitude for their selfless dedication to the people we serve. To celebrate, we reached out to two teachers to learn more about their stories. Bonnie Robbins and Quin Crandle work at our Tar River location, a residential facility for medically complex children in Greenville, NC. Keep reading to learn more about them!

Describe your role with RHA and overall industry experience. 

Bonnie: My passion has always been to work with special needs students, and I am now in my 39th year as a Special Education Teacher. I worked for the state for 31.5 years and served in many positions. I have been a department chair, exceptional children’s contact person, testing coordinator, and behavior specialist. I tried retirement and it just wasn’t for me! 

Quin: I have been with RHA Health Services for over 20 years. Through the years, I have experienced “ups” and “downs” while teaching. The ups outweigh the downs, thanks to the children that have been admitted into this facility.  

Why teaching? Tell us what inspires you about your work with RHA.

Bonnie: I knew at an early age that I wanted to teach students with special needs. I began volunteering with Special Olympics and I knew that this is where I was destined to be. The children at RHA inspire me every day. They greet me daily with smiles on their faces and no matter how bad I feel, they can turn it around with their laughter. I can come in to teach and feel better because my struggles cannot compare to what some of these children go through. If they can smile and be happy, then so can I. 

Quin: Teaching is a great profession and experiencing these children achieving different milestones makes my role so rewarding. What inspires me the most is seeing these children accomplish things they were told they would never be able to do. RHA provides me with the tools to build upon my knowledge as a teacher and to achieve the best outcomes in my role. 

Tell us about a time you made a difference in someone’s life through your work. 

Bonnie: I look at the students and say, “This is what we are going to do today, and you can do it.” My saying is, “You can do ANYTHING!” I have had the privilege of helping many students become productive citizens with employment and the ability to care for themselves. 

Quin: I am a positive influence that helps my coworkers experience the true purpose of their work through correct training. When they allow the smiles on these children’s faces add meaning to their days, it increases their motivation to come to work and see the children happy! 

Outside of RHA, what are your passions and hobbies? 

Bonnie: I love to travel, even if it is just a day trip. I have traveled to many places, and I will continue to travel as much as possible. I especially enjoy reading and being by the water, lake, beach, pool, etc. 

Quin: Outside of work, I am a caretaker for my family members. I am also a crafter and use my creative skills to supply people in the community with custom-made items. I enjoy seeing the reactions on their faces when they receive their products. I have a strong passion for working with people with special needs.  

If you’re looking for a rewarding career making a difference in the lives of others, visit rhajobs.com and join our team of dedicated professionals at RHA – Where Humans Bloom! 

 

Nurses Week 2023: A message from RHA’s Chief Nursing Officer Robin Correll

Happy Nurses Week! We’re excited to recognize and celebrate RHA’s extraordinary team of nurses across many specialties; including caring for newborns with medical complexities, and people with intellectual and developmental disabilities or behavioral health needs. 

We truly have the best nurses. They demonstrate exceptional compassion and dedication, going above and beyond to ensure we’re providing high-quality care for the people we serve. 

Our nurses make a world of difference in the lives of people we serve, and we are grateful for their tireless effort. Please join us in thanking our nurses for their hard work and unwavering commitment to the health and well-being of others! 

– Robin Correll, Chief Nursing Officer  

Celebrating Western North Carolina’s Employees of the Year

RHA is proud to celebrate these outstanding employees named 2022 Employees of the Year!

Each month, Behavioral Health services directors in Western North Carolina name an Employee of the Month from which they annually select an Employee of the Year. Congratulations to the following employees who have worked hard for this award!

Brooklyn S. is an Employment Specialist with RHA’s Individual Placement Support Team. She is currently working towards a Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree from Gardner-Webb University. Brooklyn says, “I have always had a passion for helping those with mental health and substance use issues. My ultimate desired outcome is to obtain my PhD in psychology, so that I can continue to help the community that I serve and to have a greater impact in the lives of others.”

Brooklyn’s coworkers say:Thank you, Brooklyn, for the outstanding work you do! Brooklyn is consistent with serving members of IPS get and maintain employment, completing her documentation, and building bridges and partnerships with community stakeholders.”

 

RHA Team Leader Shemeca R.Shemeca R. is a Team Leader with RHA’s Comprehensive Case Management (CCM) Program. She started her career as a Qualified Professional with RHA’s Asheville-based Community Support Team, and after progressing to a Team Leader role, has grown the CCM program into the success it is today. 

Shemeca’s coworkers say:Shemeca leads by example, supporting not only her staff in being successful but also those individuals supported by CCM.”   

“Shemeca expects from others only what she will do herself. She is all in when it comes to helping and doing the ‘dirty work’ when necessary.”

RHA Licensed Clinical Addiction Specialist Catherine L.Catherine L. is a Licensed Clinical Addiction Specialist. She is currently working to obtain a Mental Health license                                       

Catherine’s coworkers say:Catherine is extremely dedicated to her job. When I think about what it takes to be a great mental health and substance use therapist, I think about Cat. It’s amazing how well she balances the job, especially since she has been in the field for so many years.”                                

“Cat contributes to our team anywhere she sees a need. She has provided transportation to many of the individuals she serves just to help them get to groups to continue in their recovery journeys.”

Adaptive Technology Professional Bruce J.Bruce J. is the Adaptive Technology Professional in RHA’s Information Technology department.          

Bruce’s coworkers say:We are so appreciative of Bruce. He is a calm presence when we are experiencing IT panic. Not only is he incredibly competent in his job, he shows such patience with those of us who are less technically inclined.”                                                    

Bruce puts aside his own agenda on a busy day to help staff members who are struggling with IT issues. He responds quickly to IT struggles and maintains respect and professionalism as we try to navigate new computer systems.”

Employee Spotlight: Celebrating RHA Team Leads at the Place Where Humans Bloom!

Carlina S. and Nicole K. are Team Leads in North Carolina who recently celebrated five years with RHA.

Carlina is a Peer Support & Bridge Home Team Lead for RHA along the coast of North Carolina. Carlina began her journey at RHA as a Qualified Professional on the Transitional Management Services team in New Bern, a role she filled for a little over three years before transitioning to her current role as Team Lead over the Peer Support Team almost two years ago. In her current role, Carlina has been an instrumental part in establishing two new Trillium Bridge Recovery Homes in Greenville, North Carolina. Under Carlina’s leadership, the programs have seen such impressive success and growth in the Community Peer Support team’s caseload that they were able to split the team into two community Peer Support teams – one serving Greenville and New Bern, and the other serving Craven, Carteret, Edenton, and Elizabeth City.

Carlina is admired by her coworkers and has been referred to by peers as a great example of a strategic leader.

Nicole K. is a Transitional Management Services (TMS) Team Lead, also located along the east coast of North Carolina. Since Nicole came on board five years ago, she has been instrumental in training leaders within the company — Carlina being one of them.

Nicole maintains a full caseload and is often the first point of contact by Trillium Health Resources when they have a new member who needs to be transitioned to a TMS team in the New Bern area. Nicole is reported as  willing to drop everything to see a new individual and get them started with services. Coworkers described Nicole as a leader that is invested in the wellbeing of people, and someone who would willingly sacrifice anything to help a person supported.

We are so grateful to have Nicole and Carlina at RHA, and for the work that they are doing to help people we support live their best lives.

Interested in joining our team? Visit rhajobs.com to view available positions near you.

We’re Hiring! – Talent Acquisition Lead Shares About RHA’s Open Positions

As we expand and evolve, RHA is always seeking to fill open positions. From business to operations to healthcare, we offer a variety of opportunities for all experience levels. 

RHA's Talent Acquisition Lead Amie Sevier

We reached out to Talent Acquisition Lead Amie Sevier to share more about her work, RHA, and what potential applicants should know. 

Q: Can you describe your role with RHA and overall industry experience?   

A: As the Talent Acquisition Lead, my role is to lead the Talent Acquisition/Recruitment team to attract and connect talent at RHA. We work with the Operations team to connect candidates with the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of the people we serve across Georgia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee. I started in December 2020 as the first centralized Recruiter at RHA, and our team now has more than five members. I have 11 years of Recruitment experience in different industries, and I love having the opportunity to work with and hire passionate professionals! I love what I do because I am constantly learning from others, and I get to help develop and build the teams that stand behind our company.  

Q: What inspires you about your work with RHA? 

A: I am inspired by all we do for the community and the passion of our staff who work to provide opportunities for people to live more independent lives. I learn every day from the people at RHA, working in the community to make a difference by providing needed services I never knew existed. In Recruitment, we are inspired to keep doing what we do each day so RHA and all its great programs can keep providing for the communities we serve. 

Q: How would you describe RHA’s work culture and environment? 

A: RHA as a company is all about passion for the people we serve, and this shines through our staff. The Operations staff does everything they can to serve the unique needs of intellectual and developmental disability (IDD) services, mental health support services, and substance use services. Starting my job in 2020, I witnessed this passion when everyone came together to keep our services running as optimally as possible. 

Q: What kind of jobs are available with RHA? 

A: We have a little bit of everything at RHA, literally from hairdressers to psychiatrists! Most of our workforce are Direct Support Professionals, entry-level positions who provide care for the people we serve. These positions are 24/7, with a variety of schedules available, making them a great fit for someone in school or starting their career. We also have available positions in a variety of programs and services within the IDD and Behavioral Health space. My team and I like to say, if you are interested in working in one of the states we serve, we can find a job that suits your current needs and allows you to grow or “bloom” professionally at RHA. 

Q: What qualities and skills does RHA look for in potential candidates? 

A: We look for passion to support the people we serve, responsibility, innovation, a strong work ethic, and a teamwork mindset. 

Q: Why should someone apply to work with RHA? 

A: To state our tagline: At RHA, Where Humans Bloom, we give our staff the chance to grow and learn. If you want to make a difference in the lives of people living with intellectual/developmental disabilities or behavioral/mental health needs, there is a place for you at RHA. Explore the variety of services we provide to find the right fit for you and submit an application. We want to hear from you! 

Visit rhajobs.com or email careers@rhanet.org to learn more about available positions and apply now!