St. Joe’s Recognizes Direct Support Professionals of the Year

St. Joe's honorees

Sister Maryalice Jacquinot, IHM, President and CEO of St. Joseph’s Center and Patricia Tetreault, President of the St. Joseph’s Center Board of Directors, recognized the Direct Support Professionals of the Year for their dedication to the mission of St. Joe’s at the recent Center board meeting at the IHM Center. Shown seated from left: Linda Edlund, Jessica Benke, and Michelle Miles. Standing: Patricia Tetreault, Sister Maryalice Jacquinot, IHM; Marie Woody, Jennifer Mackey, Linda Riley, and Richard Kane.

Sister Maryalice Jacquinot, IHM, President and CEO of St. Joseph’s Center, and Patricia Tetreault, president of the St. Joseph’s Center Board of Directors, recognized The Direct Support Professionals of the Year for their dedication to the Mission of St. Joe’s at the recent Center Board Meeting at the IHM Center.

Phan Inthavong, who has worked at St. Joseph’s Center Intermediate Care Facility for the past 19 years, is a Direct Support Professional at the Main Center who has a unique ability to really get to know the people he works with. He uses that information to help create a nurturing, positive environment that’s filled with energy and fun. 

He will tell you the individuals he works with push him to do his very best every day. He understands peoples’ differences and will always adjust his style, his routine, his life in order to celebrate those differences. 

Phan immigrated to the United States with his family when he was two years old.  He enjoys visiting his three brothers in Philadelphia, Boston and Baltimore. He has two dogs, Comet and Kingston and enjoys taking them for walks.

Michelle Miles works in Community Support Services at St. Joseph’s Center. She has followed a person-centered approach since she began working at St. Joe’s 10 years ago in the Dickson City CLA. There are many examples of how Michelle utilizes her time with the individuals she serves. When asked to highlight a mission moment, Michelle said, “It’s hard to pick just one moment. Working in this department has opened my eyes to the capabilities of individuals with Intellectual Disabilities. Being able to support my clients in their community is so rewarding.” Michelle has a fiancé Nick and has been engaged for one year on Christmas Day. She is kept very busy with taking care of her five year old daughter, Myla, and her two year old son, Carter. 

Linda Edlund works as a Direct Support Professional at St. Joseph’s Center Adult Day Services. “I love people and everyone we care for.  Disability disappears and abilities come through. I see the person and I am humbled to have a job like this for the past 11 years,” says Linda.  She always puts the client’s needs above hers; she is always the first one to arrive and the last one to leave. 

One day, while listening to music, one client reacted favorably as Linda rattled coins, so she found a tambourine for the client.  This prompted more interaction and the two share the same interest in “live music.”

 Linda recalls this special moment of sharing interests as her mission moment. Linda has two children and one four-year-old granddaughter who brings so much joy to her life! 

Jessica Benke has worked in the Community Living Arrangement for four years. “I love my clients and I love to work” Jessica says with a smile. One of the residents Jessica works with is deaf. She downloads apps and attends specialized trainings to help facilitate her communication with this resident so that she can provide the highest level of care that he deserves.  

Jessica has attended many training sessions through the Office of Developmental Programs and the Scranton School for Deaf and Hard of Hearing to learn more, and notes,   “…it helps to alleviate his frustration when I am able to identify his needs and help him right away. This is my mission moment,” says Jessica.

She was chosen for this recognition because epitomizes Saint Joseph’s core values in her daily work. Jessica was born and raised in Scranton and lives at home with her Mom, Dad and her brother.