Tammy Watson

Tammy rests head on hand, wearing black top

REGION: 1 – Finger Lakes 

DSP: Tammy Watson 

Position: Direct Support Assistant 

Years of Service: 23 


Tammy Watson has worked for the Finger Lakes DDSOO for 23 years and is a seasoned employee whose knowledge and caring go a long way, says Brad Westlake, Developmental Assistant II and Tammy’s supervisor. 

Westlake says Tammy spends much of her own time making sure that the people living there have a hot meal, a clean house, clothing and belongings that they like for their room. She spends many hours each year opening and cleaning the pool, decorating the lawn, and planting spring vegetables and she makes sure holidays and birthdays are a special occasion for the people she supports. 

“She is knowledgeable on many of the procedures at the house. She knows peoples’ behaviors and their likes and dislikes,” he adds. “She makes it a point in her daily schedule to make sure they have what they need to lead a happy and healthy life.” 

“I am most rewarded by the enjoyment of the people living in the home. I thrive on making sure they are happy. I know their wants and needs, and I use that knowledge to shop for them, whether it be for Christmas, their birthday, clothing, personal belongings or groceries,” Tammy adds. “I am not a person that considers this just a job – this is their home.” 

In addition to caring for the people living in the home, Westlake says Tammy cares for her fellow staff, as well. 

“She assists new employees by sharing much of her knowledge with them,” Westlake says. “She is respectful—always prompt and staying within the attendance guidelines. She gets along well with her coworkers and tries to make sure that staff get recognized when they are retiring, expecting a baby, if they have lost a loved one or if they are having a special occasion.” 

Tammy also takes initiative, he says. She has spent many hours trimming and painting bedrooms, the living room and the office, and has put shelves together in the basement of the home where she works to improve storage and organization. Tammy also put together a canopy on the back patio so that the people living in the home would have relief from the sun.  

“And not only that, “Westlake adds, “But she organized the porch and hung an American flag and flower baskets people bought for that purpose.” 

“Tammy does everything she can to make the lives of the people she supports fulfilling,” he says. “She often contributes her own time, finances and equipment to make them have better, look better and feel better.” 

“We need more staff like Tammy,” Westlake concludes.