Search Staff Wins "Community Care Professional Of The Year" Award

We're so proud of our very own Beth Shandles who won the Illinois Association of Rehabilitation Facilities' "Community Care Professional Of The Year" award!

Beth is Search's Community Integration Assistant and does an amazing job facilitating community inclusion opportunities for our participants. Beth's award was presented in October 2017 at IARF's annual conference in Springfield, IL.

Here are some excerpts from the award nomination, written by Beth's supervisor:

"Beth Shandles (nickname 'Bethers') gives 100% regardless of the intensity of the assistance needed by that individual. No one is left out of Bether's circle - she will not stop until everyone is given the opportunity to 'get engaged' in the task at hand. And no activity is out of reach/too much/too difficult. Civil War reenactment? No problem. Native Pow Wow demonstration? Let's go. Street Festival? When and where.

I dare anyone to drop in on an activity being run by Bethers and not be inspired by her commitment to person-first services. She listens to people when she's out and about with them. She is always passing on information to me like "so and so really wants to go to Six Flags" and "this person is asking about the Taste of Chicago."

I would strongly suggest a visit on a holiday. Bethers is the first in line to take a shift on Thanksgiving or Christmas without a whimper, groan, or a complaint. It's a win-win-win for the agency, the house staff and the residents. The house staff get to spend the day with their families. The agency knows the residents will be in good hands on the holidays even with their regular lead gone. And the residents are sure to be greeted with a family recipe and baking ingredients when she shows up at the door for her shift!

Bethers has a commitment to the agency that very much mirrors the mission we work to honor."

Congratulations, Beth, on your well-deserved award!