St. John’sMercy Medical Center recently won the Employer Award from APSE, the only national organization with an exclusive focus on integrated employment and career advancement opportunities for individuals with disabilities.
The Medical Center was nominated by Life Skills, a local organization that helps people with developmental disabilities, for its commitment to integrated disabled adults into the work force. There were 13 organizations nominated for the award including other health systems and corporations.
"A job gives an adult with developmental disabilities so much more than a place to go everyday. It provides a sense of purpose and pride,” Wendy Sullivan, president of Life Skills, said. “St. John’s Mercy Medical Center has been an extraordinary partner for Life Skills through its ongoing commitment to employing and supporting people with disabilities, and bringing awareness to this vision.”
“We are very proud of the work we have done to include those with disabilities into our daily operations,” Jan O’Connell, manager at the St. John’s Mercy’s Earth City Distribution Center, said. “This work group is highly efficient and it allows us to move certain jobs into a more focused production.”
One of the support letters with the nomination was from the parents of Libby Waddell. Waddell has Downs Syndrome and has been working with O’Connell since 2008. The letter described Waddell’s position as her “dream job” and how she had grown in ability and self-esteem.
APSE is a growing national non-profit membership organization, founded in 1988 as the Association for Persons in Supported Employment, now known as APSE. APSE has chapters in 35 states and the District of Columbia with members from all 50 states and Puerto Rico, as well as several foreign countries. APSE supports the only annual national conference focused solely on the advancement of integrated employment.