Benco’s Supported Living Program Receives 2022 Best of Corvallis Award
CORVALLIS August 1, 2022 — Benco Supported Living has been selected for the 2022 Best of Corvallis Award in the Supported Living Program category by the Corvallis Award Program.
Each year, the Corvallis Award Program identifies companies that they believe have achieved exceptional success in their local community. These businesses recognized are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Corvallis area a great place to live, work and play.
Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2022 Corvallis Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Corvallis Award Program and data provided by third parties.
Benco’s Supported Living Program provides staffing and support to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities living in their own home. Staff visit each person at their home and assist them as needed to help develop, build, and maintain skills to live independently and access resources within their community. Angie Lawrence, program coordinator, manages the program which provides support to 11 individuals within Benton County. Supported Living has a tight knit team of 6 in addition to Lawrence. The services delivered are tailored to what the person needs and wants to be successful and lead a high quality of life. Each employee is trained to ensure health and safety, honoring the individual’s privacy and rights, and to treat each person with dignity and respect. Staff assist with house cleaning, laundry, dietary needs, cooking, budgeting, shopping, and general activities of daily living. Staff also provide advocacy support and inclusion within the community.
Throughout the pandemic instances of isolation and loneliness increased substantially, especially for people with disabilities. COVID-19 has illuminated many challenges for this high-risk population within our community. The closure of many ancillary services and shift to telemedicine, meant health conditions were at even more substantial risk. The “Stay Home, Save Lives” orders, often left people in isolation for weeks and months at a time, a dramatic shift from typical routines and for many resulted in a loss of natural supports and friendships and at times a loss of purpose. With more dissemination of information occurring through email, websites, and virtual meetings, it left those with disabilities confused and lost. Without access to the internet, technology devices, and lacking the knowledge or skills to navigate websites and access online resources uncertainty and fear grew. Lack of access to services such as online banking, using door dash or click list to obtain food, groceries, and personal supplies, created an environment which was almost impossible to navigate. As anxiety increased, Benco’s team was there to provide stability and solutions.
This is where Benco’s Supported Living Program really shined. Recognizing these new challenges, the team of caring and dynamic employees came together and delivered big time! They went out of their way to check in, communicate, explain, set plans, build support, provide companionship, and meet needs. Their ability to identify how to best support people during the constant change in precautions really exceeded expectations. They continue to demonstrate, day in and day out, all of the different ways they show up to support their clients.
Sarah Frazzini has been selected for inclusion in the Nationwide Registries Women of Distinction 2022 Honors Edition.
Corvallis, Oregon, January 28th, 2022, Sarah Frazzini has been selected for inclusion in the forthcoming Nationwide Registries Women of Distinction 2022 Honors Edition for demonstrating dedication, leadership, and professional excellence. Her compassion and expertise set the standard in the industry. She has truly dedicated herself to her profession. Representing the state as one of the best in the country requires talent, experience, and integrity. There is humility and personal touch she adds to her relationship with everyone she does business with, more than the value of her service it’s her way of treating everyone like an extended member of her own family that people remember the most. As a talented disciplined professional, she has maintained a proven track record of quality service, driven by her desire to succeed. During the vetting process it was noted along with her exceptional reputation that she has also maintained a positive peer rating. Her years of service along with her level of expertise and several other factors also contributed to her inclusion. She prides herself on honesty and integrity. She is the kind of professional admired by colleagues and peers alike. Her kindness and willingness to always help others and find solutions to most questions is both exemplary and honorable. She has made her mark on her profession as an expert and will become part of history as one of the top professionals in her field. It is a fact after considerable review she is deemed a true woman of Distinction always practicing with grace and total professionalism.
Sarah began her career working for Benco in 2000 as a Direct Care employee working at one of Benco’s 24-hour residential homes. She graduated with honors from Western Oregon University with her Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in psychology and minoring in health. From 2000 – 2007 Sarah worked as a Direct Care employee, Assistant Program Coordinator, Program Coordinator and as the head of Benco’s Alternative to Employment program. In 2007 she became Benco’s company trainer as a certified OIS instructor and FA/CPR instructor. She was then promoted to the Residential Director position while continuing to lead company trainings. In 2013, after a thorough search and application process, Sarah was promoted to Benco’s Executive Director where she has led this non-profit with a values based and person centered approach. In 2021, Sarah graduated from the Coaching for Leaders Leadership Academy after a yearlong intensive leadership study. She is a member of the Oregon Developmental Disabilities Coalition, a member of the Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center Ethics Committee, and regularly volunteers for West Albany Youth Baseball and numerous local school programs.
“It is quite an honor to be recognized as a Women of Distinction and to be inducted as a lifetime member. Serving others brings me great joy. The fulfillment I receive from a career working for Benco and supporting our employees and those in our services is extraordinary. Illuminating issues within the community and systems that serve people with intellectual and developmental disabilities has proven to be best achieved with a solution-oriented approach. To achieve great things, I have found that putting the needs of people first and learning their unique strengths helps pave the path toward inclusion and high quality of life. It is my goal to ensure that the needs of health, safety, and value are met, and this drives the work that I do every day. Kindness matters and every chance I get, I strive to show that in my interactions. Perhaps, my greatest reward is getting to witness amazing people doing amazing things. That continues to motivate and inspire my work.”
BENCO DEMONSTRATES ITS DEDICATION TO DIRECT SUPPORT PROFESSIONALS THROUGH 2022 NADSP MEMBERSHIP
As of January 2022, Benco is becoming a member organization of the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP), which signifies its commitment to Direct Support Professionals (DSPs), other employees, and people receiving services. By becoming a NADSP Member, Benco is taking specific steps to invest in staff development and allocate resources to elevate the status of DSPs, by providing the tools needed for success in their work.
“Benco relies on our workforce to provide the greatest level of care, performing highly skilled interactions and person-centered supports. Providing safety, security, honoring personalized supports and self-determination contribute to high quality of life and drive the work that is done each day.,” says Sarah Frazzini, Executive Director of Benco. We can do this best when we have the tools we need, feel supported, and are valued for our contributions. Benco employees are at the heart of our organization. Investing in them has a ripple effect that positively impacts those receiving our services and the greater community overall.”
Benco is initiating its NADSP Membership in 2022, which will continue throughout the calendar year. Benco will use NADSP Membership to advance its mission to create and support an atmosphere in which an individual can live a high-quality lifestyle based on person-centered services. Assisting with social and community involvement, encouraging maximum independence, promoting quality health care, and ensuring personal security are all priorities within our scope of care. The services provided are tailored to the specific needs of each individual who is supported.
“NADSP Membership is a promise by organizations to direct support professionals, that they truly understand and genuinely value the contributions of the workforce,” says Joseph Macbeth, President and Chief Executive Officer of NADSP. “As a result of this support, we’ll be able to work together to improve practice standards, promote system reform, and advance the knowledge, skills, and values of DSPs.”
Benco evaluates the needs and desires of each person wishing to receive services. Benco serves and provides support to the individual in all aspects of their life. We provide a safe and caring environment in which all access to care needs are met or facilitated by program management. Benco assists each individual to access financial and medical benefits through Social Security and State Programs, with accessing doctors and any other medical, mental health or behavioral support the individual may need. Benco staff will assist with administration of medications and treatments, personal hygiene needs, budgeting, dietary needs such as meal planning and cooking, cleaning, laundry and general activities of daily living. Benco provides transportation and transportation resources, companionship and community integration to all of the individuals we serve. Family involvement is encouraged, and active participation is welcomed.
Benco currently provides services to 50 people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the Corvallis, Oregon area.
Benco operates under endorsements which are licensed through the Oregon Department of Human Services. Benco’s endorsements include:
- 24 Hour Residential Services
- Supported Living Services
- In-Home Supports
Through NADSP Membership, employees of Benco will have access to a robust library of archived webinars and resources on subjects that are important to DSPs, receive e-newsletters, take advantage of discounted rates for the NADSP E-Badge Academy, and apply a 10% discount for NADSP Training and Curriculum offerings. Along with these member benefits, Benco will be featured on NADSP’s website, highlighting their dedication to the people they employ, and in turn, the people they support.
The vision of the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP) is a world with a highly qualified and professional direct support workforce that partners with, supports, and empowers people with disabilities to lead a life of their choosing. NADSP works to elevate the status of direct support professionals by improving practice standards, promoting system reform, and advancing their knowledge, skills and values, through certification, credentialing, training, professional development, and accreditation services. www.nadsp.org
Congratulations to Benco’s Program Coordinator of the Year for 2021
JOHN SHARP of 17th Street
When our PC of the year first began with Benco, they stated that they were looking for a job in which they could make a difference. In the just over 2 years that John has been in the PC role at our 17th Street program, he has done just that! Although he was new to working with individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, John was able to transfer over his skills from many years in the mental health field in a thoughtful and impactful way that continues to help transform the lives of the individuals supported and staff served.
During his time as PC, John has devoted countless hours to developing his staff. He doesn’t just have a listening ear; he really seeks to give them constructive feedback and help each member of his team challenge themselves to grow into the best version of themselves as caregivers. While continuously faced with staffing challenges, he remains flexible and creative to ensure program needs are met and always tries to balance out with reducing staff burnout. He shows up to check in and check on things on an ongoing basis to ensure staff feel comfortable with the tasks on their plate, regardless of day or time. He can always be found on the floor, whether it is clearing up lunch, pitching in with morning chores, or tackling tasks to get the covering staff out the door sooner. Staff know that he won’t just talk the talk, he will walk the walk and be there whenever needed.
There is no greater example of how John showed up for staff and residents alike than throughout the past year, when a resident at 17th began a health decline. John made every effort to get answers on the individual’s diagnosis, which was not easy when presented with both a pandemic and the individual’s reluctance to participate in medical care. John was so creative and caring in working with the individual and their medical providers to ensure all diagnostics occurred. Once the individual moved onto hospice care, John worked tirelessly to understand the changes happening and to help staff adapt to those changes. Protocols and practices sometimes were updated week after week after week, always with clear communication to staff on what they were updating and why it was in the individual’s best interest, based on their evolving condition. He guided staff through the behavioral and medical adjustments that were required for the individual’s best care, which meant modeling and training staff on significant asks of their physical and mental strength.
In the weeks surrounding that individual’s finale decline, John made a point to set aside extra time to spend one-on-one with the individual, reading, listening to music, and talking. He advocated strongly for medical pieces to help the individual be comfortable and pain-free. He helped prepare staff mentally and physically for the process of dying, though he was new to the experience himself. He also was considerate of the other residents in the home and helped explain what was going on and give them extra one-on-one time, set up calls and visits with their family members, and schedule special outings so that each resident felt supported as well.
Through the end and afterwards, he was positive and present and supported each member of the team so that the process felt true to the individual; dignified; person-centered; and honorable. The staff at 17th have described the process as life-changing to be part of. Without John’s presence and leadership, this would not have been possible. Whether he is going “Jersey John” to ensure that an individual’s rights are advocated for or doing his best to keep a “Pollyanna” mindset during a challenging time, John has demonstrated he will show up in whatever way is needed to best serve the needs of the residents and staff. We are beyond appreciative of John’s efforts and thus recognize him as PC of the Year!