Team Member Recognition

Team Member of the Month

April

Photo of Donna Blumhorst

Being a Community Involvement (CI) Coach has been a true challenge the last couple of years, but it hasn’t stopped the April DMH Team Member of the Month from going above and beyond during a time of critical staffing shortages. Donna Blumhorst is with Northwest Community Services (NWCS) and assists as a Direct Support Professional (DSP), never hesitating to take on extra duties, try something new, work a different schedule, or befriend an individual she has never supported. To say she is dedicated is an understatement.

A DSP must have many skills to be successful: patience, understanding, compassion, adaptability, reliability, and attentiveness. Many DMH staff possess these skills, but Donna embraces them and then takes them a step further. She always asks questions if she’s unsure, and she studies the Individuals’ Plans and Behavior Support Plans. Ultimately her goal is to ensure safety while making the lives of the individuals she serves better. The individuals she supports become like family to her.

Recently, a different home in another area was experiencing staffing shortages, so Donna drove an hour in her own vehicle to assist as a DSP to ensure the individuals continued to receive support. She stated that she didn’t mind because she cares so much for the people she supports. She even stayed overnight at a hotel when a snow storm was predicted to make sure an individual in the hospital had supports the next day.

One of her coworkers said, “we are grateful for all her contributions and the caring way she is with the folks she supports.”

She has worked with NWCS for 10 1/2 years. Congratulations Donna!


March

Photo of Emmaleigh Fleming

Sometimes, being at the right place, at the right time, can make all the difference. The March DMH Team Member of the Month has been at Northwest Missouri Psychiatric Rehabilitation Center (NMPRC) for less than a year and was able to use her training and skills to assist someone in the community. Emmaleigh Fleming is a PRN Psychiatric Technician who recently had a life changing encounter.

When Emmaleigh was returning from lunch, she was approached in the parking lot by an individual from the community. This individual expressed suicidal thoughts and indicated a desire for help. Emmaleigh quickly established rapport with this person and alerted the NMPRC switchboard and security of the situation. Within moments, emergency personnel responded and transported the individual to a local hospital. Due to Emmaleigh's experience, response, and humanitarian spirit she may have saved a life.

One of Emmaleigh’s coworkers said, “NMPRC and the community are grateful for Emmaleigh’s quick thinking and believe she deserves the highest of honors.”

Congratulations Emmaleigh!


February

Fred Purviance

The February Team Member of the Month is said to carry DMH’s mission deep within his soul and he works diligently to ensure that all clients are treated with dignity, respect, and compassion.

Fred Purviance is a Case Manager at the St. Louis County Regional Office who demonstrates this work in its finest form. Recently, there was a client with a disability in crisis who ended up at a hospital. Not knowing this client had a disability, the hospital released her without an action plan or supports. This resulted in her missing for three days. Fred called every shelter on the eastern side of the state all the way down to Poplar Bluff. He finally located her at a homeless shelter in downtown St. Louis. She was frightened and facing being forced on to the streets at closing time per the shelter’s policy. Fred took it upon himself to drive to the shelter with a list of providers. Together they sat at the shelter for six hours and called providers until they finally found one to accept her. He coordinated with the shelter to put minutes on her track-phone and to provide transportation to the new location. He even bought her lunch and sat with her as she ate. Fred really came through to assist in this dire situation. Since this time, she has still experienced some crises, but she knows she is in good hands with Fred.

One of Fred’s coworkers said, “Fred is truly amazing and always goes above and beyond to support those who need assistance. We are blessed to have him here at the St. Louis County Regional Office.”


January

Rayna Born

The January Team Member of the Month consistently demonstrates what it means to go above and beyond. Just ask the staff she works with and individuals she serves, they all love her!

Rayna Born began her tenure with DMH in August 2016 at Southwest Community Services (SWCS) as a Habilitation Specialist. She worked her way up and is now the Employment & Community Integration Coordinator (ECIC). However, she does so much more than employment services.

She assists the facility with a multitude of challenges, including COVID-19 and staffing shortages. She does the shopping for houses, provides individuals with transportation to doctor appointments, makes adaptive equipment to meet the needs of individuals, and offers recreational activities to help alleviate cabin-fever for staff and residents. Rayna even took a certification course to learn how to help with tube-feeding for a house that tends to be low staffed!

One of her coworkers said, “For the last few months, she’s been a blessing for the Supervising Support Care Assistants. She’s been assisting in whichever house they need help at and her sense of humor and great rapport with the individuals makes her fun to work with!”

Congratulations, Rayna!