This award recognizes direct care staff members who demonstrate outstanding person-centered skills, effective communication techniques, dedication, creativity and teamwork attitude. This individual serves as a model for others who choose this profession.
NADSA is proud to present the 2013 Direct Care Worker Award to Penny Hatrick, Adult Care of Chester County, Exton, PA. A very talented certified music therapist, one of the participants stated, “She has me singing to the music even though I cannot verbalize.” Not only does Penny plan musical activities for the participants, she engages with them and assists as needed.
Penny’s commitment and passion for her work overflow beyond her talents and skills as a Music Therapist producing three talent shows annually and leading a bell choir and drum group. She does whatever is necessary to help participants have a great day, whether assisting with leading activities or personal care, plating food for meals or running the dishwasher. She is creative with frugal donations for talent shows, proms, party themes, or helping with activities. She brings harmony to whatever she does and is willing to do whatever is needed to help participants have a great day. Her attentiveness and respect to each participant’s ideas, opinions and feelings create a sense of pride to the participants for their individual input in a take-home project or themed celebration. Penny also volunteers on the Fundraising Committee of the Adult Care of Chester County.
For over 19 years, Penny has made a difference in the lives of others through both group and individual music therapy session. “Penny has a knack for drawing the talent out of people and the therapeutic skills that enable people to reach new goals in their rehab,” said Pat Shull. “She is very respectful of the participants’ ideas, opinions and feelings and solicits their input for special events as well as routine activities. Her creativity is unmatched.”
Participants in her programs state, “She is very caring and concerned. She is aware of people’s needs such as if a person needs assistance with walking or getting into a wheelchair. She loves to encourage people to dance and dances with them, holding an annual senior prom and requests the participants choose the selections and themes.”
Her relationship with the residents, staff and all the families at Adult Care of Chester County characterizes the term, “direct care.”