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Celebrating During Recognition Week and All Year Long

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By Marisa Geitner

ANCOR recognizes the week of September 10 – 16 as Direct Support Professionals Recognition Week. Without our frontline caring professionals, there wouldn’t be a healthcare or human services industry at all. Their work is selfless, important and absolutely necessary. Imagine a world where there is nobody to care for us when it is difficult to care for ourselves.

Perhaps the most important thing agencies can do to support their frontline care professionals is in the area of wage equity. For two consecutive years, we’ve raised the base wage of frontline professionals, which set in motion similar raises at other regional care providers. We are passionate about taking action for more self-sufficient wages for frontline care professionals. Given our commitment, we are recognized by the Rochester Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative as a Level-Up Champion teaming up with other businesses to advance wage equity. However, our work is far from done. It is critical that we all continue to advocate on the state and national level for increased funding for frontline wages, as we are currently self-funding a large portion of our wage enhancements. You can learn more about how to come alongside us in advocacy here.

We strive to support our entire staff, understanding that a majority of the frontline care workforce consists of women, with a growing representation of women of color. Our partnership with the Employer Resource Network provides employees with success coaches who can offer them support to remove barriers to their employment, like access to child care, transportation, and housing resources. We also provide training and development opportunities that allow staff members to advance in their careers. Our award-winning health and wellness program, HealthyYOU, provides holistic resources to our staff members, supporting their mind, body and spirit. These efforts to support our workforce including such a strong representation of women were recognized by the Rochester Business Journal with a 2023 inaugural Elevating Women award.

We invite you to help us recognize direct support professionals during National Direct Support Professionals Recognition Week and beyond. To add to our celebration, on September 9 and 16, we will be holding our Heritage Hero Run + Roll + Stroll events at Seabreeze Amusement Park in Irondequoit and Beaver Island State Park in Grand Island respectively, where we will be celebrating caring professionals in our community.

Whether it’s recognizing a caring professional who has had a positive impact on your life, or advocating for wage equity for caring professionals, there are so many ways you can show your appreciation.