Share This Post

CHI Friendship Receives 2015 CQL Award of Excellence

CHI Friendship supports over 350 people with disabilities and has over 400 staff on the eastern side of North Dakota in Fargo, Grafton and Park River. They provide the full spectrum of services which includes individualized comprehensive residential and vocational supports, allowing for full community participation and inclusion in the state of North Dakota.

CHI Friendship has established itself as a pioneer in the area of community-based employment and has developed many ways to provide integrated and meaningful employment opportunities for the people they support. CHI Friendship closed two large sheltered workshops and now supports all people in their day support program in the community. Within all employment programs, 87% of people supported by CHI Friendship are in paid positions, and CHI Friendship supports 30 small businesses owned and operated by individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

“We are deeply honored to receive this inspiring award from CQL, The Council on Quality and Leadership in recognition of employment services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities! It is also humbling for us to know the great effort involved in making this transition from facility based vocational services to community based vocational services” says Jeff Pederson, President of CHI Friendship, adding “It is one thing to set the vision for this to happen. It is another to recognize our Direct Support Professionals and Leadership Team in their perseverance to make this happen. The credit goes to our DSPs in making this possible in allowing people to achieve their dreams!”

CHI Friendship strives to be active in the community in a variety of ways, including community based employment. The community has recognized the people CHI Friendship supports as valuable employees and volunteers as they give back to the community, creating a better understanding and a healthier community, which is of great significance to our field and can have a profound impact on people’s lives in the future.

“We believe that all people of working age who can work and who want to work, should work. Everyone wants the American dream.”

dori leslie, chi friendship

The mission of Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI Friendship) is to nurture the healing ministry of the Church, supported by education and research. Fidelity to the Gospel urges us to emphasize human dignity and social justice as we create healthier communities.


Since 1969, CQL | The Council on Quality and Leadership has been a leader in working with human service organizations and systems to continuously define, measure, and improve quality of life and quality of services for youth, adults, and older adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and psychiatric disabilities. CQL offers accreditation, training, certification, research, and consultation services to agencies that share our vision of dignity, opportunity, and community for all people.