Celebrating Our CareGivers–July 2022

Celebrating Our CareGivers–July 2022

Congratulations to Julia Barnhill and Kevin Heroff!
Now, more than ever, it’s important to recognize, thank, and celebrate all of our dedicated caregivers. Each month, we recognize 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.
Julia Barnhill – DSP at Hammer’s Gardner Home
Program Director, Samantha Vokaty, says Julia has done an amazing job during the pandemic. “Julia is very quiet, so she slides under the radar often and never toots her own horn,” Samantha says. “But she is extremely creative and is a self-starter to find the ladies activities and community outings and has been able to keep them all very busy while meeting their emotional supports.”

Gardner’s Program Manager, Annie Critzer, agrees. “Julia is a wonderful staff at Gardner. She takes the initiative to get things done such as grocery shopping, cleaning, and helping with cares. She is great with all the ladies and gets them involved in activities they like to do.” Annie says Julia has taken the ladies to famers’ markets, the library, shopping, movies, the zoo, and Color Me Mine (pottery studio), just to name a few. “She is also GREAT with hair,” Annie adds, “which the ladies at Gardner LOVE. She has done braiding, curling, and ponytails.”

Annie says if there are other tasks she or the home’s APM need help with, they know they can always count on Julia to get it done and do it well. She also picks up extra shifts where needed. “The ladies are always so happy to see Julia when she’s working,” Annie says. “I can tell Julia’s dedication and passion for all the ladies in how she interacts with them. She is a WONDERFUL staff that we are lucky to have!”

Kevin Heroff Float, Direct Support Professional (DSP) at NER
In his role as a “Float,” Kevin supports 19 of our NER homes. Yes, 19. NER’s Centralized Scheduling Manager, Brion Curran, supervises the float staff and says Kevin is truly an all-star employee. “When needs change from day to day, Kevin is always flexible and willing to switch sites at a moment’s notice,” Brion says. “Kevin has an incredible ability to go into a home he’s never worked at before and take great care of the individuals living there without missing a beat.” Brion says Kevin is always cool and collected. “We have counted on him in times of crisis, for training new employees, taking individuals to appointments, and the list goes on.”

Kevin has established wonderful relationships with over 100 individuals NER has served over the years. His patience and kindness are easily recognized by all he serves. Brion adds that Kevin brings grace and compassion to his role and to those he serves.

Kevin is celebrating his 20th anniversary with Northeast Residence. He started with NER while still in high school when it operated the Extended Day/After School Program in White Bear Lake. “He moved on to become a Program Manager in prior years and then became one of our very first full-time ‘Weekend Relief’ float employees,” Brion says. “He is known for working just about every weekend and we all sincerely appreciate his continued service to those living in NER homes!

Thank you Julia and Kevin for ALL you do each day to support the individuals we serve. 


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