Vivienne first recipient of John Pratt Legacy Award

A very important person for Vivienne during her awards presentation was Roger, the love of her life and her husband of more than 60 years.

A very important person for Vivienne during her awards presentation was Roger, the love of her life and her husband of more than 60 years.

The tears and sense of gratitude were overflowing on November 13 when family, friends and colleagues came together to honor decades of service to the community by Vivienne Himmell. Partners For Community Living presented Vivienne its first annual John W. Pratt Legacy Award. The Award honors an individual or group whose long-time service, advocacy and leadership follow the example of John W. Pratt, one of the founders of both Resident Home Association and Choices In Community Living and chair of Partners For Community Living’s Endowment Fund at the time of his death.

During the ceremonies, Vivienne was presented a proclamation from the Montgomery County Commission for her service on the Human Services Levy Council. She was also recognized for decades long volunteer service to the League of Women Voters, as well as her advocacy and support of people with developmental disabilities. Three of John’s daughters, Ann Schulte, Cathy Payne, Mary Ann Shultz helped make the presentations on behalf of their father and family. John’s fourth daughter, Susan, lives in a Resident Home Association home.

Vivienne worked for more than two decades as a social worker and case manager for what was then the Montgomery County Board of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities. After her retirement in 1998, she became a board member for the Resident Home Association, where she still serves in a volunteer capacity. She is also a very active member of Partners Joint Development Committee.

Vivienne was presented a scrapbook and shadow box filled with letters, notes and cards from her friends from throughout the community. As her husband and one of her three daughters sat with her, all were moved to tears as the ceremonies came to an end with the beautiful performance of Margie Little, who is supported by Choices In Clark County by Choices In Community Living. Margie sang Debbie Boone’s You Light Up My Life and dedicated it to Vivienne and all those in the room who have given so much of their lives in service to others and their community.

The ceremonies also served as the official kickoff for Partners 2015 Community Campaign, with a  goal to raise $10,000 in donations.  Donations in honor of Vivienne, in honor and memory of John Pratt, or to honor or remember someone special in your life can be made on our secure website, or may be forwarded to 1651 Needmore Road, Dayton OH 45414.


Donna, the Editor

donnaWe congratulate Donna Lawson on being named  the new editor of the OADSP E-flash newsletter (Ohio Alliance of Direct Support Professionals.)  Just over two years ago Donna joined the Resident Home Association team as a Direct Support Professional (DSP.) Not only has she excelled at Resident Home and assumed the critical leadership role of Home Manager for our Kenbrook Home, she is establishing herself at the state level as a mentor and advocate for other DSPs.

She is also an active member of the DSP Council and has made presentations this year at both the Ohio Provider Resource Association state conference and the Synergy Conferences.

Congratulations to Donna and thank you for your support of Direct Support Professionals at Resident Home, Choices In Community Living and across Ohio!


A family visit

Being with family is what the holidays are all about, one of the reasons we have to give thanks. The ladies at Resident Home’s Springmill Home have been missing a member of their family since she retired in May. Wanda Cooley had been Home Manager at the home for 15 years. She has worked with and been a member of the family for some of the ladies for almost 25 years. Three of the ladies, Susan, Loretta and Debbie had the chance to rekindle family ties on November 7.

Wanda Cooley and Susan PrattSusan, pictured with Wanda, helped Debbie and Loretta arrange a coffee date with Wanda. Everyone was so happy to see each other and what might have been a short meeting just to say hello turned into a time of everyone talking at once, trying to catch up with everything that happened over the summer and many hugs. There were even some moments when tears were almost shed, they were so happy to be together again.

It was  such a good time that there are plans for Wanda to stop by the home to help decorate the Christmas tree. That family bond has been a hallmark of every Thanksgiving, holiday and every day since Resident Home was founded in 1966.

May that spirit of family that abounds at Springmill and throughout our Resident Home and Choices  In Community Living homes be present in your home as we celebrate the holidays and, most joyfully, celebrate family!
wanda 2


Choices staff receive statewide award

The Choices IT and Management Team have been awarded the statewide Innovation Award presented in October by the Ohio Provider Resource Association (OPRA.)  In presenting the award, it was noted that Choices was one of the agencies from across the State to be selected by the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities to participate in a pilot project that incorporates the innovative use of technology in association with person-centered planning.

Choices has purchased tablets to replace computers in selected homes. This provides staff flexibility and portability in such areas as reporting, documentation, and electronic MAR. The agency is fully connected in a four county service area. Staff update demographic information related to services. There is no data delay! Direct Support Professionals can collect, document and distribute all information related to the people who are served and it is immediately available to administrative, supervisory and other staff, as applicable. The importance of real-time access to client information cannot be overstated.

Choices uses Twitter for emergency communication with staff and to post job openings. They also provide Help Desk services for other agencies, including HAVAR, Ardmore, Independence of Portage County and Toward Independence that provides them live technical support to their Direct Support Professionals , managers and offices.

The IT team includes David Roustio, Ian O’Malley, Chris McLaughlin, Kristen Park and Rob Sukel. According to Executive Director Tom Weaver, it is the team work between the IT staff and the creativity of  the management team in implementing aspects of the technology effort that is responsible for the successful use of technology within the agency in support of those served and for the statewide recognition that effort is receiving.