Office for People With Developmental Disabilities

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Frances Blackwell

Frances Blackwell

POSITION: Office Assistant I


Frances Blackwell is an integral part of the Bronx eligibility unit, according to Shanequa Whitmore, Psychologist II and Frances’ supervisor. Whitmore says the Metro NY DDRO Bronx office receives a high volume of applications, and that Frances manages daily the organizing of the process and assists many people both in person and through electronic communications. 

“She was selected as Employee of the Year not only because she has a big job, but because she values her role and understands that being effective in it has a high impact on people we support,” Whitmore says. “It is important to her to do a great job and she works daily to do it completely, constantly and consistently, tying up loose ends.”

Frances has a high regard for people, treats them with dignity and recognizes their right to tap into services that will enrich their lives. For this reason, she takes each inquiry for services seriously. 

“She sees all the steps through until the person and their families receive notification that they are eligible,” Whitmore adds. “When the process becomes choked up for any reason, Frances is supportive and makes sure to involve all necessary parties to assist the advocate in getting through the process.” 

While she is conscientious of how she spends her time and protects herself from interruptions of her work, Frances is always willing to do anything asked of her, even for other departments. Sometimes others will note that she has her head down and is not seeming very approachable, but that observation is a misreading of the fact that she cares deeply about getting it all done, even if it means having tunnel vision for a time. 

“I greatly appreciate the ways she continues to support my role and how much my department has transformed since she joined it two years ago,” said Whitmore.

Frances has become a valuable member of the eligibility team for the past two years and helps serve a very large borough with a high volume of applications and electronic communications. She is a tremendous support to the team and has seen it through many transitions, including the introduction of the Care Coordination Organizations and the resulting changes to the eligibility process. 

“She is passionate about being a high performer and she treats people we support with dignity and respect. She is committed to our team and is someone on whom we all can depend. I know that I would be lost without her,” Whitmore says.