2017 ARRM Cares Award Winner

ARRM Cares Award Winner Geoff Makousky (Middle) With (L)Tom Gillespie, Hammer CPO and (R) Barb Matter, Hammer Program Director

ARRM Cares Award Winner Geoff Makousky (Center) (L)Tom Gillespie, Hammer CPO and (R) Barb Matter, Hammer Program Director

Hammer Residences Direct Care Worker Honored

ARRM Association recognizes local caregiver as one of the best in the state

JUNE 8, 2017 WAYZATA, MINN. – Hammer Residences is proud to announce that Geoff Makousky has received the ARRM Cares Award, a prestigious honor recognizing the top direct service professionals (DSP) in Minnesota.

Geoff is a DSP for Hammer’s Parkway Apartment program in Eden Prairie. During his time with Hammer, he has had a tremendous impact on the people he supports and has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to the mission of Hammer, to help individuals with disabilities live life to its fullest.

ARRM Cares Award winners are selected because they have significantly enhanced the life of a person, or persons, who they support, and have demonstrated an outstanding level of professional integrity, creative and person-centered service, and ability to connect their clients with family and community support networks, called ‘natural supports’. Like all DSPs, ARRM Cares honorees perform a diverse array of job functions, from healthy lifestyle support to employment assistance to health care, but regardless of their work award winners represent the highest standard of quality.

When Geoff began working at Hammer, he quickly found common ground with an individual who loves music. This individual wanted to learn to play guitar, so Geoff (a musician himself) worked with the individual each week to develop his musical talents. Geoff soon recognized that some of the other individuals in the program were also interested in music and performance, and Geoff donated a few of his personal items for use so that everyone could have a chance to try a different instrument. One thing led to another, and the Parkway Band was formed. Today, the band writes original songs and performs a mix of original and cover songs at a number of Hammer events, making the members’ dreams of being in a rock and roll band a reality. See Live Recorded Performance of Parkway Band

“We are so proud to recognize this group of amazing professionals who represent the very best in person-centered support for people with disabilities,” said John Kehr, board president for ARRM, the association representing disability service provider organizations in Minnesota. “ARRM and our entire industry thank them for their incredible dedicated service.”

ARRM members nominate their top DSPs for the ARRM Cares award, from which winners are selected by a committee of member representatives. ARRM members employ approximately 60,000 DSPs and submitted 87 nominees.

Geoff and the other awardees were honored at a ceremony during the ARRM Annual Conference. Their individual stories can be viewed at Arrm.org <http://www.arrm.org/>.

About Hammer Residences, Inc. Since opening its doors in 1923, Hammer has helped thousands of adults and children with developmental disabilities experience life to its fullest. Founder Alvina Hammer believed that individuals with disabilities had the right to lead full lives in a loving atmosphere where they would feel secure and develop self-confidence. Today, Hammer Residences, Inc. provides residential and customized support services, including In-Home Support; Support Planning; Case Management; and Healthcare Coordination (SNBC) to more than 1,500 people throughout the state. For more information, please visit Hammer.org 

Geoff is one of six ARRM Cares Award winners from across the state.