REGION: 4 –Hudson Valley
DSP: Adriane Daniel
Position: Developmental Assistant III
Years of Service: 34
The Hudson Valley DDSOO chose Adriane Daniel as a Direct Support Professional of the Year because of her ability to be the “calm in the midst of the storm.”
Deputy Director Michelle Dawkins says that in December of 2022, she met Adriane due to a significant audit citation in one of the homes. Adriane was covering at the residence.
“She was the point person for all citations, request for safety, quality improvement, work control. Adriane provided an abundance of oversight in training staff – she not only trained the staff, but she provided hands-on modeling of what the staff were supposed to be implementing. There was nothing that Adriane would not do to bring this site up to standard,” Dawkins says.
In addition, Adriane’s interaction with the people in the home was beyond reproach – she implemented the person-centered approach with one of the most challenging residents and developed a relationship of comradery and respect, Dawkins adds.
“Adriane ensured that the person was aware that she was there to provide whatever plan of care they needed and that she needed their direction and input and that she was not there to dictate a plan of care, but to get them to partner with her in their plan of care,” she says.
Adriane provided leadership to the sole Developmental Assistant I who was overwhelmed and was not sure how to lead staff that were not motivated. Adriane not only encouraged but empowered this DA1.
“It should be noted that during this stressful time and short-term deadlines at no point did Adriane show any frustration – she was the calm in the midst of the storm,” Dawkins says. “Adriane is able to diffuse and respond to any stressful situations without it impacting her professional approach. She is extremely calm and person-centered both to the people she is supporting and to fellow staff.”
“She is quick to volunteer to assist staff and people she supports with anything that arises,” Dawkins continues. “Her energy is not only welcoming, it is contagious. Adriane’s demeanor is to focus on measuring and acknowledging progress, rather than dwelling on setbacks. She treats and speaks of the people in our programs as family and has often been heard trying to brainstorm creative ways to best support those under our auspices.”
“During a time of heightened security at one of OPWDD’s programs, Adriane was a driving force to swiftly implement change and work collaboratively towards resolutions that had an overall impact not only on the site, but to the agency as a whole. She is naturally oriented towards putting the people and staff first while working to maximize opportunities to support the diverse needs of our agency,” says Dawkins.
“Adriane has shown she can adapt to change in whatever situation she is put in, jumping in and implementing practices that support HCBS standards and structural teamwork, as well as taking on the day-to-day stress in stride and efficiently problem-solving on the fly. She constantly shows flexibility in the workplace when asked and is always eager to learn new things. Her effort is extremely appreciated and we are incredibly lucky to have someone like Adriane on the team,” Dawkins concludes.