Employee Spotlight: Melinda Brightwell and Brian Parker

by pathforward August 19, 2019
08:00 AM

 

 

In this edition of our employee spotlight, we would like to introduce two of our program coordinators: Melinda Brightwell and Brian Parker. Mendy oversees services including family home provider and ABI companion care. Brian oversees community living supports, respite, community access, personal assistance, personal care and homemaker services. They oversee these services in the Louisville, Elizabethtown, Bardstown and Bowling Green areas. Mendy and Brian utilize their wealth of experience and demonstrate teamwork, compassion and hard work on a daily basis to ensure each consumer we serve receives quality individualized services. We asked them to share what being a service provider means to them. Here is what their journey means to them in their own words:

 

Mendy

 

I have been in this field for a little over 16 years. After working in the school system for 8 years, I went to work for an agency as a direct support professional. I loved being a DSP, getting to know clients, and building relationships with teams. I then became a house manager, an ADT assistant Director and then started providing medical coordination with the nurse, before coming here to Path Forward. Being a service provider to me means that you look out for your clients and you do whatever you need to do to make sure that their needs are met. I love working in this field. It is so rewarding seeing our clients having meaningful lives and doing things that they want to do such as going on vacations and being able to get out into the community and do the things they choose to do. As the residential coordinator, I love to see my clients placed in a home where they are happy, feel support, and have the family life that some of them have never had before.  The life lesson that I have gained from working in this field is that never take anything for granted and always be grateful for the people that you have in your life, sometimes you don’t realize the impact that you can have on someone’s life just by being there.

 

Brian

Bring a service provider to me means helping build positive relationships with the consumers we serve, their staff and team members, and the community.  It means helping the people we serve reach their greatest potential and goals. It means advocating for the consumers we serve to have the fundamental rights that everyone else has.  Being in the human service field for the last 20 years, I’ve seen a lot of changes for the better over the years for the consumers we serve.  Generational perspectives have changed regarding acceptance, advocacy, community inclusion, and overall quality of life for the consumers we serve.  During my journey in this field, I have seen a lot from working in an institutional style facility, establishing staff residences, group homes, being a behavioral technician, house manager, residential director(for over 30 houses), and program director(overseeing a residential program, ADT program, FHP program).  There were a lot of good memories made, even through the difficult times.  Human growth for the consumers we serve and contractors is what I remember most.  I am a pretty laid back kind of guy but patience, listening, and promotion of the best version of myself daily are lessons I have gained on this journey that transcends into my everyday life.

 

Creating a Beautiful Space!

by pathforward August 19, 2019
08:00 AM

Creating a Beautiful Space!

By Tammy Ritchie and Eric Fitzpatrick

 Creating a beautiful space is hard, especially when starting from scratch! Eric’s new home needed a garden, according to Eric because he loves watching things grow. The space was cleared, supplies purchased and the work begun. Eric learned how to use pruners, shovels, rakes and a wheelbarrow. It was hard work and Eric never complained. He choose the plants and put them in place. A bird feeder and bath was added for feathered friends to enjoy. Eric loves maintaining it and the new garden, after creating such a beautiful space!


By Jo Grayson

When I was a college professor teaching English composition courses at Eastern Kentucky University, I never put much thought into what some of my students called “green therapy.” My students would enthusiastically write about the benefits of extra recess time in elementary school as many of them would go on to become teachers of young children who need to have that time outdoors. As I would read on my own, I would read the many benefits of “green therapy" even for adults who have several disorders ranging from Attention Deficit Disorder to Depression. So when Chelsea and her friend Eric asked if I would help them build a garden, I was happy to oblige. I felt that this would be a good opportunity to learn, not only about growing your own food, but also to be able to use these plants in the kitchen. As a project my consumer and I were able to learn many things, including what building materials are required to build a raised flower bed. Together, we were able to choose a design we liked from Pinterest and have some professionals help us with using the heavy equipment required. We were able to look at prices to build the most cost effective space. Chelsea and I were able to learn how long it takes to build such a garden. She and Eric were able to choose what plants they wanted to grow. We learned about planting things too early or too late and what effects wildlife can have on a garden. We also learned about soil and fertilizer. After the garden was built they picked out what they wanted to grow, we were able to plant herbs and some vegetables. All in all, this project has helped Chelsea learn new things as well as being a fun project that will benefit Chelsea for years to come, as we learn each year from trail and error.

10 Years and Counting!

by pathforward August 15, 2019
08:00 AM

10 Years and Counting!

By Alex Sholtz

 

Path Forward of KY was founded in January 2009 with the goal to provide effective and individualized services to people with disabilities. We began in Louisville with Supported Employment and then as the years passed we continued to add services and 3 new regions, Bowling Green, Elizabethtown and the Bluegrass. 10 years on, we now offer Case Management, Behavior Supports, Personal Care, Community Living Supports, Respite Services, Community Access, Acquired Brain Injury Services, Family Home Providers, Ticket to Work and an even more thriving Supported Employment Service, in three Regions. 

 

This decade of work has grown our great team of staff and contractors that embody our mission, vision and values. With a leadership team boasting of more than 75 years of experience in Human Services, and having Brittany lead us on our journey, we look forward to building even greater services and Regions for the exceptional people that we serve. When you get right down to it, it’s all because of rock solid teamwork. After all, that’s the PFK Way!


A College Graduate!

by pathforward August 12, 2019
08:00 AM

 

Denise Knight and Teresa Lonkard

 

Paulette has always been passionate about learning and about achieving her goals. When she learned about the College Connections program through Down Syndrome of Louisville with a partnership with JCTC, she knew she wanted to be a part of it. On May 23, 2019, after almost 3 years of hard work and determination, Paulette celebrated graduating college at Jefferson Community and Technical College. Paulette enjoyed taking part in classes including Life Skills, which she attended with several of her peers. She then chose a variety of integrated courses including African American Music History, Drawing, and History of Rock and Roll. She reported that she loved her music classes and learned a lot. After giving a speech during her ceremony about what graduating meant to her, she celebrated her accomplishment with her family home provider and her siblings. She said it was a “great day” and she was sure to let all of her friends know about her graduation. Paulette shared that her mother had always told her that she could graduate college and she wanted to complete the program for her mother.  Paulette is excited to have her certificate of completion and to be a college graduate. She is ready to go out and change the world. Congratulations Paulette!

 

 

The Bluegrass Does It Again!

by pathforward August 9, 2019
11:17 AM

 

The Bluegrass Does It Again!

The Bluegrass Region of PFK held their annual Fun & Fit Field Day in June at Lawrenceburg’s Splash Park and BOY was it fun! Each year DSPs, consumers and their families are invited to participate in a day of healthy food and fun physical exercise.

 

This year, over 35 participated in the Splash Park antics along with Frisbee fun, beach ball volleyball, hula hooping, jump roping, water balloon fights and best of all making giant bubbles!

Healthy salads, fresh fruits, chicken, grilled garden veggies and turkey dogs beat out avocado chocolate pudding, brownies and watermelon slushies, only by a nose!

 

Even Wiggles, the Humane Society’s mascot showed up to give hugs and get pictures taken. Path Forward of KY is proud to offer this free and fun event that not only promotes opportunities for learning about healthy choices in an inclusive environment, but grows socialization skills for our wonderful consumers while on their road to success! At PFK, we’ll make the journey with you!

 

 

 

The Bluegrass Does It Again!

by pathforward August 9, 2019
11:17 AM

 

The Bluegrass Does It Again!

The Bluegrass Region of PFK held their annual Fun & Fit Field Day in June at Lawrenceburg’s Splash Park and BOY was it fun! Each year DSPs, consumers and their families are invited to participate in a day of healthy food and fun physical exercise.

 

This year, over 35 participated in the Splash Park antics along with Frisbee fun, beach ball volleyball, hula hooping, jump roping, water balloon fights and best of all making giant bubbles!

Healthy salads, fresh fruits, chicken, grilled garden veggies and turkey dogs beat out avocado chocolate pudding, brownies and watermelon slushies, only by a nose!

 

Even Wiggles, the Humane Society’s mascot showed up to give hugs and get pictures taken. Path Forward of KY is proud to offer this free and fun event that not only promotes opportunities for learning about healthy choices in an inclusive environment, but grows socialization skills for our wonderful consumers while on their road to success! At PFK, we’ll make the journey with you!