CBS Celebrates Black History Month

  1. Community Based Services Celebrates Black History Month
  2. Community Based Services Honors Bessie Blount Griffin for Black History Month
  3. Direct Support Professional Donna Simonds
  4. DSP Denise M., whose uncle was a Freedom Rider, works with residents in creating the Harlem Renaissance display board

CBS celebrates Black History Month with a focus on health and wellness, this year’s theme. We are honoring the contributions of Black Americans to the health care field through their ingenuity and inventiveness. People like Bessie Blount Griffin who used her talent to create the Portable Receptacle Support.

Bessie Blount Griffin: Early inventor for Physical Therapy

Bessie Blount Griffin is one of the earliest inventors for the field of Physical Therapy. Seeing that the equipment in use after WWII was inadequate, she invented an apparatus that made it possible for amputees to eat independently. This device had an electrical motor that propelled food through a protruding tube. The tube was inserted into the patient’s mouth, and upon biting down on it, a small portion of food was pushed into his mouth. Her invention no doubt improved the lives of many and positioned her as a pioneer in physical therapy.

Bessie Blount Griffin's quote, Community Based Services Honors Bessie Blount Griffin for Black History Month

The Inventiveness and Creativity of CBS Direct Support Staff

Bessie Blount Griffin inspired us to look inward at our organization and the work of our direct support staff, who contribute everyday to the life stories of the people they support. Through compassion, creativity, and inventiveness, they too change the trajectory of the lives of the people for whom they care.

Direct Support Professional Princess Williams

Direct Support Professional Princess Williams

Princess Williams has been taking care of our residents at Garofano for quite a long time, and she has come to know their preferences by paying attention to their body language and verbalization. She uses this unique form of communication to make their experience pleasurable. Princess says, “I consider these residents here as part of my extended family, and make sure they have quality care, as well as teaching new staff about them and what amazing people they are.”

Direct Support Professional Donna Simonds

Direct Support Professional Donna Simmonds

Donna has been contributing to the personal stories of the residents at Fairmount for a long time now. Through observation, Donna has learned the facial and body expressions of the people she supports to ensure they are happy, healthy, and engaged. The residents’ health and wellness are of utmost importance to Donna, and she ensures all their appointments are adhered to.

“Often overlooked, the importance of a DSP’s ability to develop a trusting relationship with a person receiving support cannot be overstated. These relationships, forged by the DSP’s genuine care for another person, create the opportunity for persons with special needs to share and achieve their hopes, dreams, and goals. DSPs work tirelessly, around the clock, with the goal of ensuring that each person receives the highest level of care and is supported with becoming the best version of himself or herself,” says Director of Residential Services Keith Segalini.

CBS Residential Programs Celebrate Black History Month

CBS’ Residential Group Day Habilitation programs celebrated Black History Month by learning about the contributions African Americans have made to our culture and society. We asked each of the houses to create programs that would teach their residents what this month represents. We offered full creativity to our Group Day Habilitation staff to find ways to engage each person in their educational crafts and programs. The Henry Street GDH created displays to show all that they learned about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the civil rights movement and the Harlem Renaissance.

DSP Denise M., whose uncle was a Freedom Rider, works with residents in creating the Harlem Renaissance display board

DSP Denise McDonald, whose uncle was a Freedom Rider, works with residents in creating the Harlem Renaissance display board.

Thank you to Princess, Donna, and Denise for having a significant impact on the personal histories of the people they support.

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