Mary Thurmond

2020 MediSked Outstanding DSP Award Winner

Agency: Open Door Rehab Center (ODRC) – Sandwich, Illinois
Length of Service
: 8 years

Mary is a support aid of a high physical care house. She loves the individuals there and has also helped them establish friendships with her family, who often come and visit or do volunteer work with them. Mary really stepped up during the COVID-19 crisis. She is currently living at the house for 3 1/2 days a week to ensure the best care is given and there is limited staff exposure to the individuals. When programming needed to occur at the house she jumped right in. Each morning she has them dancing for exercise. She gets creative with sensory activities such as painting using bubble wrap, water balloon toss, and painting the windows (just to name a few). She attended a PT session for one individual so she could do the home exercises the correct way. She knows each personality very well and treats each of them in the way they best respond to. She is quick to notice any change in behavior or medial change and reports it ASAP.  Because she knows them so well she assists Q’s in problem-solving of issues and remembering what was tried in the past.

Mary Thurmond high-fives an Individual

She is more than just a staff member. She has become family to those at her house and that is how she treats all of them.

Testimonials from Individuals Supported

Some at the house Mary is support aid at are non-verbal, however it is obvious how much they love and care for her. They smile, laugh, and interact with her all the time. For those that are verbal, they tell her they love her, and when she isn’t working they ask when she will be in next.