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Dignity Health Receives Star Award

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California Disability Services Association 

Contact:  Chris Rice
crice@cal-dsa.org
916-441-5844 x 106
916-317-8648 (cell)

Dignity Health Receives Star Award For Helping Persons with Developmental Disabilities Develop Job Skills

Star Award from California Disability Services Association

Pasadena, CA (October 10, 2019) Three Dignity Health hospitals in California have received Star Awards from the California Disability Services Association for providing learning opportunities to persons with developmental disabilities. 

The hospitals collaborate with PathPoint to operate the Project SEARCH transition-to-work program.  Interns are immersed in work rotations in various hospital departments during the morning, gaining valuable work experience and learning transferable skills.  The afternoons are dedicated to workshops, taught by PathPoint, on topics such as interviewing, team building, and workplace safety. 

This one-year program for young adults with developmental disabilities takes place entirely at the work site: Mercy Hospital Downtown, Bakersfield; St. John’s Pleasant Valley Hospital, Camarillo; and St. John’s Regional Medical Center, Oxnard. 

“My son, Henry benefitted greatly from participating in the Project SEARCH internship program,” reports parent Debby Perez.  “Not only did he learn marketable, real world job skills in his three rotations, doing so also boosted his self-confidence. I'm not aware of any other training programs such as this where developmentally disabled young adults are fully immersed in a business setting and are taught real-world job skills.  A few months after graduating, he landed a job (at a Dignity Health hospital), and he couldn't be happier!”

“The skills and confidence the interns learn have a life-long impact, often leading to competitive employment in the community and increased independence,” reports Jeannie Barbieri-Low, PathPoint Communications Director.  As for the hospital staff, Barbieri-Low continues, “Department managers have commented that they feel more well-rounded for having worked with and learned from the interns. Stereotypes around people with developmental disabilities have been broken down and barriers have been removed.” 

Dignity Health is made up of more than 60,000 caregivers and staff who deliver excellent care to diverse communities in 21 states. Headquartered in San Francisco, Dignity Health is the fifth largest health system in the nation and the largest hospital provider in California.

PathPoint annually supports 2,700 people in living the life they choose. The organization partners with people with disabilities, people with mental health diagnoses, and young adults to pursue their hopes and dreams through strengthening workplace abilities, building life skills, and developing meaningful relationships.  PathPoint’s nearly 500 staff operate employment, residential and community integration programs in five southern and central California counties — Kern, Los Angeles, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura. 

The Star Award program is sponsored and run by the California Disability Services Association (CDSA), which has been the voice for developmental disability service providers in California for more than 40 years.  CDSA is a trade association representing 80-plus community‐based, direct care providers whose common purpose is to help Californians with developmental disabilities lead productive and fulfilling lives of their choosing.   These organizations serve 51,000 clients and employ some 19,000 people.

PathPoint President and CEO Harry Bruell presented a Star Award to Kenny Navarro of St. John’s Regional Medical Center during the CDSA Annual Meeting in Pasadena on September 25. 

Service providers respect the dignity, diversity of needs, feelings and independent thought of their clients, working with parents and families, the Regional Centers, and other advocacy networks.

Developmental disabilities include, but are not limited to: autism, epilepsy, intellectual disability, cerebral palsy, Down Syndrome and other severe, chronic disabilities.

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(Photo left to right) Dominick Correy (Office of Senator Anthony Portantino), Harry Bruell (PathPoint President and CEO), Kenny Navarro (St. John’s Regional Medical Center Nutrition Services Manager), Patty Enger (PathPoint Senior Advisor), Sarah Rizvi (Office of Assemblymember Blanca Rubio), and Hector Rodriguez (Office of Assemblymember Chris Holden)