Celebrating Our CareGivers–May 2022

Celebrating Our CareGivers–May 2022

Congratulations to Victoria Kou and Wade Hartmann!

Now, more than ever, it’s important to recognize, thank, and celebrate all of our dedicated caregivers. Each month, our Program Directors nominate Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) and Assistant Program Managers (APMs) who are going above and beyond to make a difference in the life (or lives) of those they serve. One nominee from the West metro area (Hammer) and one from the East metro area (NER) will be selected each month and will receive their choice of a $25 gift card to Starbucks, Target, Holiday, or Cub Foods.

Victoria Kou – APM at  Hammer’s (West metro) Kentucky home

Victoria has worked at Hammer for nearly 17 years. She always lends a helping hand during hard times and is passionate about what she does. Victoria has gone above and beyond on many occasions. She is person centered and knows the individuals we serve very well. She helps out with all aspects of programing including activities, medical, and finances. Victoria comes in early to take people to appointments. She does our grocery shopping every week and does a great job following the dietician’s menu. Victoria also picks up shifts when needed either at the Kentucky home or our Arkansas home.

Victoria maintains great relationships and has excellent communication with guardians, day programs, and other community members/organizations. She does a great job helping the people she cares for gain skills that they use in their day-to-day tasks. She is a great member of our staff. Victoria’s Program Manager says Victoria is a great staff member and just a great human being all around!

Wade Hartmann – Lead DSP at NER’s (East metro) Highway 96 home
Wade advocates for and connects the people we serve by helping them stay as involved in their relationships as possible, engaged with activities they enjoy, and connected to the community. He spends one-on-one time with each individual, engaging them in conversation about the things they are interested in. He goes on walks or rides bike with one of the individuals we serve and takes another individual out shopping.

One of our individuals, an older gentleman, is nonverbal. He happens to love music. Wade will go out and sit with him on the deck and talk to him while they listen to music. Wade has taught other staff how to communicate with him and how to understand when he indicates that he needs or wants something. This man knows his schedule and needs consistency. Wade wrote out what the whole day should look like for him so that any staff who come in know what to expect from and for this person and how to communicate with him.

Wade’s Program Manager, Renay Lunzer, says Wade works so well with other employees at NER. “His ability to teach them things they need to know to do their jobs is outstanding. I’m grateful to have him for lead staff at our Hwy 96 home.”

Thank you Victoria and Wade for ALL you do each day to support the individuals we serve. 


  1. Gary Hays

    I’m so impressed by the care and commitment you both show. It’s obvious that your work is more than just a job.

  2. Lisa cooper

    Congratulations Vick.


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