Direct  Support  Professionals
Direct  Support  Professionals

Tribal Luncheon Honors Direct Support Professionals

Sep 19, 2016

Honors Frontline Workers Who Support People with Disabilities

Akwesasne NY — The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe’s Home and Community-Based Waiver Services (HCBS) held a special luncheon on Friday, Seskehkó:wa/September 16, 2016 in honor of National Direct Support Professionals (DSP) Recognition Week. The event recognized Habilitation Aides who support people with disabilities and was held at the newly renovated Family Support Building located at 420 State Route 37 in Akwesasne, adjacent to the Tribe’s Community Building.

Community and Family Services Director Jamie Bay spoke at the luncheon and shared words in honor of all the Habilitation Aides who provide services to community members. Bay noted, “We celebrate Direct Support Professionals Recognition Week to show our appreciation for the dedication and hard work our frontline workers do to help our clients have productive lives as contributing members of the community.”

HCBS is overseen by the Tribe’s Family Support Program, which provides services to over thirty-eight (38) adults and thirteen (13) youth and has been in existence for over thirty (30) years. Family Support currently has fifty (50) Direct Support Professionals that offer services such as Supportive Apartments, the Residential Apartment Program, Home and Community Based Waiver Services, Youth After-School Recreation, Individualized Residential Alternatives, and Medicaid Service Coordination.

Home and Community-Based Waiver Services (HCBS) Supervisor Sweets Jacobs attended the event and shared appreciation to Habilitation Aides that offer habilitation services at the Family Support Building, stating “We want everyone in the community to know and appreciate the amazing work you all do, and getting local media coverage is one way to make that happen."

HCBS provides group daytime habilitation and at-home residential habilitation to individuals with developmental disabilities. The program’s services provide opportunities for clients to promote independence, encourage personal growth and enhance educational experiences through guidance and assistance from trained Direct Support Professionals. Habilitation Aides operate out of the Family Support Building, as well as the Individualized Residential Alternatives facilities and Sweetflag Estate.

The HCBS Habilitation Aides help clients with developmental disabilities to participate in day-to-day activities, attend special community events, and provide transportation to and from appointments. They also provide advocacy, support, mentoring, supervision, and other support that makes an important impact on client’s lives and helps ensure a quality of life for the people they serve.

Not all of the Family Support Program’s Direct Support Professionals were able to attend the luncheon, as the program provides 24/7 service to clients throughout the Akwesasne community. They all received however, heartfelt gratitude from their colleagues, supervisors, administrators, as well as from the individuals they help.

Executive Director Tsiorasa Barreiro attended the special luncheon and remarked, “Our DSPs do so much in the workplace, and we seldom have an opportunity to thank them. We are proud to honor you today. You are right there on the front lines caring for our developmentally challenged elders, youth and families each and every day.”

Family Support Program Direct Support Professionals being recognized include Dori Adel (Supervisor), Carly Benedict, Brian Blais, Sherry Bowen, John Cayea, Darlene Chubb, Joan Clark, Margaret Cook-Chaussi, Amanda Demers, Laurie Dufrane, Edwina Fry, Devin Gamache, Trenia Gero, William Gero, Dana Gibson, Klaus Herbstler, Joe Hurteau, Yvonne Jobin, Rachel Jock, Melissa Jock (Administrative Assistant), Reva Kelley, Joanne King-Lazore, Jane Lafave, Cherrie Lazore, Nancy Lazore, Alicia Leaf, Amanda Lord, Harmony Love, Barbara Mitchell, Alaina Oakes, Shirley Oakes, Tanya Papineau, Robert Paquin, Darline Phelps, Lorraine Pierce, Krista Plumb, Jason Premo, Patrick Pritchard, Teresa Pryce, Todd Robinson, Bobby Rubado, Ruth Ann Sessions, Kierstyn Sunday, Trina Terrance, Sheryl Thomas (Supervisor), Rosemary Thompson, Wendy Tremblay, Mary Ann Vanbuskirk, Viktoria White, Tiann White, and Chandra Caldwell.

On behalf of the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe; we extend our gratitude, respect, and commendations to all of our community’s Direct Support Professionals for your hard work.

About National Direct Support Professionals (DSP) Recognition Week:

Spearheaded by ANCOR members, with partners including the National Association of Direct Support Professionals (NADSP) and the National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services (NASDDDS), National Direct Support Professional Recognition Week is celebrated annually across the country with special events and ceremonies earmarked to honor the tens of thousands of workers who enable people with intellectual, developmental and other significant disabilities and their families to live healthy community-oriented lives.

PHOTO CAPTION: The Tribe’s Home and Community-Based Waiver Services recognized some of the Family Support Program’s frontline workers during a special luncheon for National Direct Support Professionals Recognition Week; including (from left) Harmony Love, Melissa Jock, Rachel Jock-King, Darline Phelps, Trina Terrance, Maggie Cook-Chaussi, Yvonne Jobin, Cherrie Lazore, Missing- Teresa Price, Tiann White, Dori Adele, John Cayea, Joan Clark.


The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribal Council is the duly elected and federally recognized government of the Saint Regis Mohawk People. ­