Rise Blog

2019 Direct Support Professional of the Year Award

Recognition honors excellence in workforce providing long-term supports and services to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities

National Disability Provider Association Names Tommie J. Gross Recipient of 2019 Arizona Direct Support Professional of the Year Award

Mesa, Arizona–on April 16th, the American Network of Community Options and Resources (ANCOR) announced that Tommie J Gross, a Direct Support Professional at RISE Services Inc., has been named the recipient of the 2019 Arizona Direct Support Professional of the Year Award.  Tommie joins more than four dozen other recipients of ANCOR’s 2019 Direct Support Professional of the Year awards, chosen from a field of nearly 350 outstanding nominees.

“RISE Services is overwhelmingly proud of Tommie for her award recognition of course, but more importantly for her dedication and commitment to true community inclusion for the individuals we support,” said JJ Auer, Chief Executive Director. “We cannot think of anyone who more clearly demonstrates the power of person-centered supports, and we’re so grateful that ANCOR has recognized Tommie with this high-profile honor.”

Awarded annually since 2007, ANCOR’s Direct Support Professional of the Year awards recognize outstanding professionals who provide long-term supports and services to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). The awards and the accompanying presentation at ANCOR’s annual conference were created to celebrate the important role Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) play in ensuring individuals with I/DD can be included and empowered in their communities, and to raise awareness about a direct support workforce in crisis. Nationally, turnover rates near 50 percent amount to a significant shortage of DSPs.

The 2019 Direct Support Professional of the Year awards will be presented in a ceremony in Portland, Oregon on May 8, 2019, at ANCOR’s Annual Conference, Bridges to Better Outcomes.