The Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs announces the winners of the Code of Conduct Recognition Award for 2018. This award honors staff who embody the ethical standards outlined in the Code of Conduct for Custodians of People with Special Needs. Employees who assist people with special needs are required to sign the Code, which ensures that people “live self-directed meaningful lives in their communities, free from abuse and neglect, and protected from harm.”

The awards, issued by the Justice Center’s Advisory Council, “give peers, the people they serve and their families the opportunity to express their gratitude for their dedication and devotion to their work,” Council Chair William T. Gettman said. “Nominees have demonstrated a clear commitment to the ethical standards outlined in the Code of Conduct, and for that, we are giving them the recognition and gratitude they so richly deserve.”

Family members, personal representatives, and provider agencies from across the state nominated candidates to the Justice Center. The agency’s Advisory Council selected the following four individuals to receive the 2018 Code of Conduct award at a ceremony held today:

Timothy Bancroft, Northern Rivers Family of Services, Albany – One could say Timothy has been working at inspiring those around him during his entire 20-year career.  His leadership, support, and belief in the young people he has served came full-circle this year when a former service recipient got hired at Northern Rivers and asked specifically to work and train under Timothy’s guidance.  He focuses on helping children and teens in crisis overcome difficulties in a positive and productive way.  Tim believes in speaking up for those who cannot speak up on their own and is dedicated to ensuring youth in his care are treated with respect and protected from harm. 

Patti Jones-Krause, Abilities First, Wappingers Falls – Helping people in her care live self-directed, meaningful lives has been the driving force behind Patti’s 17-year career at Abilities First.  Recently, she advocated tirelessly for a day habilitation participant who was living in an unsafe environment.  She pushed until he was discharged to a place of his own choice, which was what he wanted.  Patti can often be found visiting service recipients at their homes on her days off.

Kathryn Morrissey-Burch, retired from Elmira Psychiatric Center, Sayre PA – Kathryn recently retired as a psychologist at Elmira Psychiatric Center where she provided outstanding therapy and support to all under her care and the community at large.  She eagerly mastered new treatment approaches and shared her knowledge with colleagues through ongoing training.  Kathryn also spent several years providing free training to staff and community members about suicide prevention and helped raise money to increase awareness. 

Tammy West-Wood, Community, Work, and Independence, Glens Falls – Tammy has been enhancing the lives of those in her care for more than 15 years.  She works with an aging population of people with developmental disabilities, some of whom are non-verbal, who often have no family members.  Tammy has taken on that role.  She works every day to understand their feelings, find solutions if they are not happy or well, and comfort them at the end of their lives.  Tammy also works diligently on documentation and ongoing communication, ensuring all staff know what is needed to keep everyone health and protected.  In the four years since she became responsible for ordering medications, every single one has arrived on-time.

The following individuals were also recognized and given a Code of Conduct Certificate of Recognition for their good work:

  • Diana Christy, Recreation Aide, The Institutes of Applied Human Dynamics, Tarrytown
  • Janine DiGioia, Case Manager, Transitional Services of NY, Flushing
  • Cheryl Dutton, Client Service Specialist, Empower WNY, Niagara Falls
  • Amanda Figueroa, Direct Support Professional, YAI, New York City
  • Jessica Freese, Assistant Manager, Developmental Disabilities Institute, Smithtown
  • Kathleen Hall, Medical Specialist, The Institutes of Applied Human Dynamics, Tarrytown
  • Rodjana Ismail, Senior Direct Support Professional, Ohel Children’s Home and Family Services/ Bais Ezra, New York City
  • Dawn Knapper, Director of Community Residences, SAIL, Inc., Baldwin
  • Theresa Kolsin, Incident Management Coordinator, Independent Living Association, New York City
  • Jacqueline Lenox, Health Care Specialist, YAI, New York City
  • Dale McGinnity, Direct Support Professional, Life’s WORC, Garden City
  • Justine Ortiz, Direct Support Professional, YAI, New York City
  • Sofia Paltenea, Direct Support Professional II, YAI, Bayside Day Habilitation Prgm., Queens
  • Kathleen Roberts, Program Manager, Glove House, Inc., Elmira
  • Matthew Russo, Employment Specialist, Life’s WORC, Garden City
  • Charlene Sanders, Medicaid Service Coordinator, Community, Work, and Independence Inc., Glens Falls
  • Kathyann Scantlebury, Direct Support Professional V, Access: Supports for Living, Middletown
  • Leah Segal, Rehabilitation Coordinator, Lakeview Health Services, Geneva
  • Melissa Spencer, Mental Health Therapy Aide, Elmira Psychiatric Center, Elmira
  • Claudia Worrell-Fraser, Direct Support Professional, HeartShare Human Services of New York, New York City

About the Code of Conduct

Individuals who are employed by, or volunteer at, state operated, licensed or certified facilities or agencies under the Justice Center’s jurisdiction and who have regular and substantial contact with service recipients are required to sign and adhere to the provisions of the Code of Conduct. Consultants, volunteers or contractors of organizations or companies that contract with facilities and agencies, under the Justice Center’s jurisdiction, are also considered to be custodians if they have regular and substantial contact with a service recipient. 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 13, 2018     Contact: Christine Buttigieg, Director of Public Information     518.949.5621