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HeartShare Direct Support Professional (DSP) Claudine Phillips works directly with Marc, an adult with special needs living at HeartShare’s Subbiondo I Residence. Marc calls HeartShare his home. He enjoys going to church, listening to music and visiting family. Claudine helped Marc lead an even better life. Over a period of time, Claudine noticed that in most circumstances, Marc was not only agreeable, but always said “yes” to whatever was asked of him. Claudine had a talk with Marc, explaining the difference between “yes” and “no.” She showed Marc a book that explained his right to say “no.” Mark was surprised at this. Claudine illuminated this right for Marc to stand up for himself and express his preferences.
Claudine also helped Marc drastically improve his health. When accompanying Marc to a medical appointment, the nutritionist was concerned about Mark’s weight gain. She taught Marc how to make healthy food choices, including shopping with him at the supermarket, going out for daily walks together and encouraging him during each weigh-in. Marc lost 20 pounds.
For her ability to teach Mark his rights and how to achieve healthy living, Claudine was nominated as a HeartShare Everyday Hero, an employee recognition program for outstanding frontline workers who uplift and enhance quality of life for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. “I always hope to be as patient, encouraging and open-minded as possible. I want people in our care to gain the skills they need to become more independent,” said Claudine.