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!