Thursday, September 12, 2013

Introducing AHCA/NCAL's 2013 Developmental Disabilities Hero of the Year, Helen Cherry!

The American Health Care Association (AHCA) and the National Centers for Assisted Living (NCAL) applaud Helen Cherry of Coffeyville, Kansas on her 2013 Developmental Disabilities Hero of the Year Award

“Since joining this challenging yet rewarding field 22 years ago, Ms. Cherry has helped to forge meaningful relationships between her clients and local businesses,” said Cindy Luxem, President and CEO of the Kansas Health Care Association. “She has successfully developed her clients’ skill sets and facilitated their integration into various work and social environments where they can not only contribute, but thrive.”

Ms. Cherry is an active member of New Hope Services at Medicalodges, Inc. in Pittsburg, Kansas. New Hope Services provides community living options and supportive services for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Ms. Cherry has created several programs including the New Hope Bulldogs Special Olympics team which, with 56 coaches and 124 athletes, is one of the largest Special Olympics chapters in the state of Kansas.

“Helen has made extraordinary contributions to the lives of the clients at New Hope,” said Fred Benjamin, Chief Operating Officer at Medicalodges New Hope in his nomination of Helen. “She builds her clients’ self-worth, dignity and their inner spirit to strive to be the best they can be.”

Ms. Cherry founded Extraordinary Outrageous Creations- a business designed to offer intellectually disabled adults job choices. She also instituted the Legacy Fitness Center and the BIKE 4 LIFE program that together have positively impacted hundreds of special needs athletes in Pittsburg, Kansas.

Helen Cherry’s dedication to serving others will be recognized at the AHCA/NCAL 64th Annual Convention & Expo in Phoenix, Arizona, on October 6-9, 2013.

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