Congratulations to Koinonia’s very own, Lilly Manalo, for winning the Direct Support Supervisor Award presented by OPRA. A Direct Support Supervisor is defined as someone who works as a direct care worker, in-home support worker, personal assistant, or attendant that ensures people with disabilities have the necessary support that enable them to live, work, and enjoy life more independently in a community-based setting. This award recognizes the outstanding performance and dedication of those who are on the front lines every day, helping to make a real difference in the lives of real people. Lilly has been making a difference in not just her client’s lives, but also the lives of their families since 1992. She is a prompt employee, stays until the job is done, and has maintained the same level of passion to serve for 26 years.

Lilly primarily works the third shift at the Smith House, but still has strong relationships with all the family members and guardians of the house. She is always willing to answer any questions or concerns that they might have.  This gives the families “peace of mind” knowing their loved ones are safe with Lilly. One recent example involved a resident of Smith House, who had a subtle swelling on her check. Lilly notified the supervisor on-call immediately, convinced action must be taken. The individual was diagnosed with having an abscess and then promptly treated with antibiotics. Serious injury was prevented, and a speedy recovery ensured; both a direct result of Lilly’s keen observation and excellent reporting.

Lilly stated that her favorite part of her job has been the opportunity to watch each individual grow and experience new things over the years. She works well with her team but in the beginning, the language barrier caused many difficulties for her.  Lilly fondly remembers how welcoming the Smith staff members were and how they patiently helped to bridge the language barriers. Everyone was there to help her through the many challenges she faced. Lilly’s dedication and devotion to all of her people, embodies her personal “pay it forward” ideal. These are some of the many reasons why Lilly Manalo is the recipient of the Direct Support Supervisor Award for 2017.

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