Melanie Harris named 2022 Frontline Supervisor of the Year
Melanie Harris, an assistant home manager for Hattie Larlham's Intermediate Care Faciltity (ICF) group living homes, was recently recognized as a 2022 Frontline Supervisor of the Year by the Ohio Provider Resource Association (OPRA.)
Hattie Larlham is incredibly grateful to have Melanie on our direct care team and have been continuously impressed by her compassion, commitment to excellence, and positive attitude in her 22 years of service.
Melanie was nominated for this award by ICF Program Director Okey Ekechi and Home Manager Amy Koneval. Together, they wrote,
"Melanie had been a long time DSP at the Oak home; Melanie was a clear leader in the DSP position and many staff looked up to her. Any time Melanie was in the home, we felt confident things were being done right.
A couple months later, the Assistant Manager position opened, and Melanie bid on the position, but with some hesitation. After long talks about how we could work together to achieve our common goal of excellence at Oak home, Melanie was offered and accepted the position of Assistant Manager.
From day one, Melanie has embraced her position; in times of challenge, she remains fair and consistent. Since Melanie became Asst. Manager, we have completely turned over 3rd shift, as well as enticed a few veteran staff to return to the home. Melanie models the work ethic we had hoped for from the DSP staff at Oak home by example. Melanie has coached and worked alongside the Oak DSP’s, she is accessible and visible in the leadership role. Melanie has given the staff at Oak home (especially the new staff) the knowledge they need to succeed-and succeed they have. In 2020, her first years as Asst. Manager, Melanie assisted her team with two consecutive citation free surveys from the Ohio Dept. of Health.
Melanie always carries herself professionally. Melanie brings positivity to every day, even on the countless days she covers shifts and med passes due to short staffing. In fact, most people don’t even realize how often Melanie covers the floor, because she rarely complains or brings attention to it. Melanie makes out the schedule fairly and then quietly fills all the gaps. Melanie has even come in on her days off so that an Oak home DSP is able to float to another home to ensure active treatment at all the Cuyahoga County homes. Despite having fewer staff than the other 3 homes in her area, Melanie’s staff help fill gaps in other schedules, because all her staff enjoy coming to work, rarely call off, and will help cover open shifts at other homes just because Melanie asked them to.
Any time Melanie is working on the floor, she is a role model, displaying a strong work ethic and providing the highest quality of care for the people we serve. Melanie is so caring and compassionate, that one of our people served started calling her “mommy” because she missed seeing her own mother due to the pandemic and felt that Melanie was like a mother. At this same time, we admitted a new resident, who came here angry about having to live in a group home. While his physical needs are high, cognitively he is very high functioning, and he was very depressed that he couldn’t care for himself. Melanie took an interest in him, she found ways for him to continue to do things that he loved and helped develop his technical skills. Together the two of them created an e-bay account so that he could make his own purchases with Melanie’s assistance and buy different decvices that gave him a way to communicate with his family and be more independent. The difference in his mood is drastic and his face lights up when Melanie comes in.
Her empathy carries well beyond the people we serve, Melanie is always willing to listen to families and/or staff when it comes to a work or personal issue and offers advice or just a listening ear. In addition, Melanie tells us weekly how much she appreciates us and occasionally leaves little notes or treats on her co-worker's desks for them to find.
Oak home is consistently held to the highest of standards from Melanie when it comes to adherence of all policies and procedures. Melanie has risen to this challenge and is always looking for ways to help staff, and herself, improve; to exceed the standard.
Melanie’s contributions in her 22 years at Hattie Larlham are immeasurable. She truly embodies the title of “Frontline Supervisor of the Year.”
Congratulations, Melanie, and thank you for your commitment to the Hattie Larlham mission!