Dungarvin Oklahoma Celebrates Growth and Achievements

Jun 26
Karla Jones, Area Director
Dungarvin Oklahoma

Time really does fly when there is excitement, a sense of renewal, and growth in the air.

It is hard to believe that we are already six months into 2015. There has been quite a bit of hustle and bustle in Oklahoma since January 1 for sure.

Our first task of the year was to transition 20 individuals into our Agency Companion program as a result of another agency deciding not to continue to provide this service. This decision followed a change in state policy requiring that all Agency Companion providers must be independent subcontractors. Dungarvin Oklahoma has been providing Agency Companion services under the contractor model since 2003, so we were well equipped to assume these services.

This presented opportunities for Dungarvin Oklahoma. We had two months to prepare for this transition, which was effective on January 1, 2015. This opportunity more than doubled our Agency Companion program, and we were able to extend our services into the Tulsa area. We found and set up an office, set up orientation sessions with the in-coming providers, worked with DDS for service authorizations, and hired a Program Director, which did not occur until April. January 1 came and thus far the transition has been a success. Special thanks to Heather Brown for maintaining the Tulsa office during the past five months and everybody involved in making the transition a success, including Lori Kress, Randee Lang, Cathy Rathburn, Shirley Pullar and so many others that assisted us in this endeavor.

In the midst of preparing for the growth in our Agency Companion segment, we were also transitioning four new individuals out of the last remaining institution in Oklahoma. These individuals were admitted into our Daily Living Support segment and have been the most successful to date. We were told that these transitions would be under incredible scrutiny and, indeed, they were and still are. However, Dungarvin Oklahoma rose to the occasion and with the careful oversight by Program Directors Chris Serafino and Frances Case, these transitions have been a success.

Dungarvin Oklahoma has some bragging rights to share as well. In March, we learned that one of our own was selected among “the best of the best” at this years’ Governor’s Conference. Case Management staff nominated Jackie Kropf, Residential Coordinator, for this honor and she was recognized among a select few as an outstanding Direct Support Professional. Jackie’s efforts were instrumental in stabilizing a home that was opened as a result of an institutional closure here in Oklahoma. This home supports individuals with intense medical challenges. Jackie was able to step in after a series of challenges and provide the stability and care needed to make this home a success. Her philosophy is that even those with significant challenges can live a normal life. Jackie has facilitated a number of activities and opportunities for these gentlemen that they have never experienced. This is a true testament that everybody can be served in the community given the right supports and that their quality of life does not need to be diminished because of their unique needs. Congratulations Jackie!

Additionally, in April, we learned that one of our Agency Companion providers, Glory Honea, was selected as Oklahoma’s representative for ANCOR’s DSP of the Year and she was honored at the ANCOR conference in Washington DC in May. Since 2003, Glory provided services for a young man who, with her help and support through some challenging times, has since moved into a more independent setting, and is going to school and working as part of a pilot program to assist those with intellectual disabilities accomplish their dreams and aspirations. This would not have happened if it were not for Glory’s advocacy for this young man and her faith in his abilities. She recognized his interests and abilities and nurtured that through his adolescence. She provided him with a loving home and included him in all the family activities including trips to Las Vegas and a cruise. In addition, she provides excellent relief services for many others, and often times, does so without question if she knows the need is dire. Thank you Glory for all you do and congratulations!

In closing, I would like to share another exciting event that occurred in April and that was the bitter sweet move of our administrative office. We moved from Norman, Oklahoma, which we called home for 18 years, to Oklahoma City. Some people say we have moved from the ghetto to uptown. I think they are right. Even though our space in Norman served its purpose well for many years, it was time to upgrade. And that we did. We have doubled our space and it is hoped that it will support future growth for years to come. We are very privileged to have this wonderful work space and appreciate all the efforts from many people including again, Randee Lang, for orchestrating the move with the help of Karen Lindquist, Office Manager, who facilitated and coordinated all the necessary local activities involved in a move of this magnitude. We could not have done this without them. There are others to thank, including Linda Norman, Office Assistant, and the Dungarvin IS department. This move has given us a sense of renewal and pride and we look forward to conducting our business in our new space as we support the folks we consider our primary focus. Thus far, the stakeholders that have visited have been very impressed and have requested our new conference room as their permanent meeting place. We will be glad to accommodate! We have settled in and are now planning for our official Open House to take place in July, so we can show off our new digs even further.

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  1. LuAnn Imdieke,

    Honoring Oklahoma!

    I got the goosebumps from reading about these wonderful life-changing accomplishments Oklahoma has made already this year!

    Thank you ALL for your wonderful service, for your unending dedication and commitment to the PEOPLE we serve. I am very proud of you especially after reading this article and wanted to thank you for all you do! Good Luck on the Open House!

    Keep up the great work!!