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Tabitha Hatten: Helping Lisa Live Her Best Life

Submitted By: Mariah Barfield, RHA Health Services

Lisa receives supports through RHA Health Services, which is a multi-state company providing a comprehensive network of support services for people with intellectual, physical and developmental disabilities and those with behavioral health needs or substance use challenges. For a year, Lisa has come to RHA’s vocational center where Direct Support Professional Tabitha Hatten has worked with her daily since May 2018.

Tabitha was involved in Lisa’s Personal Outcome Measures® interview. She was able to hear first-hand Lisa’s desire for improving quality of life involving the following indicators:

  • People have the best possible health
  • People interact with other members of the community
  • People participate in the life of the community
  • People are connected to natural support networks
  • People have friends
  • People choose personal goals
  • People realize personal goals

During the Personal Outcome Measures® interview, it was discovered that Lisa really enjoyed swimming, and this could be used as a way for her to pursue her best possible health. As a result, Tabitha spoke with a contractor at RHA’s day program and found information about swimming groups that would be best for Lisa’s support needs.

In the interview, Lisa also shared her interest in continuing her academic exploration at Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute. Over the summer, Lisa did not attend school due to the summer vacation, but Tabitha worked with Lisa to ensure that she didn’t lose the knowledge she had gained during the school year. She also advocated for Lisa to get to spend more time at school.

Lisa also emphasized her interest in volunteer opportunities at the local animal shelter. Tabitha has since worked diligently to help Lisa find a volunteer site that she now enjoys going to on a weekly basis, forming new natural supports and making new friends while working with animals.

In addition, Lisa expressed in the interview her fear of losing function of her left hand, and was excited about new occupational therapy exercises and a splint. Tabitha works with Lisa every day on her occupational therapy exercises. Tabitha has also helped educate other RHA staff about how to do the exercises to strengthen Lisa’s hand.

Tabitha has taken on an active role to help Lisa advocate for outcomes she wants to achieve. Lisa has developed new natural supports in the community at the animal shelter, at school, and in her new swimming group. Lisa has regained more functioning in her hand due to Tabitha’s perseverance and commitment to Lisa’s best possible health. Tabitha has worked as a dedicated employee for RHA Health Services for more than 7 years. She works with Lisa 25 hours a week and works in a group home 10 hours a week, providing individualized and person-centered support. In her spare time, Tabitha and Lisa have attended fun activities and events that Lisa wanted to participate in around town.

When I asked what personal goals Lisa had achieved in her Personal Outcome Measures® interview, Lisa said “I have someone that has not given up on me. Everyone else has given up on me, except Tabitha.” In RHA’s mission statement, our staff is charged with providing a “safe and healthy environment while created opportunities for personal outcomes.” Tabitha exemplifies this mission and through her passion is changing the lives of the people she supports.

2018 Direct Support Professional Recognition Week

This article is part of a campaign during the 2018 Direct Support Professional Recognition Week, to acknowledge Direct Support Professionals who are helping people achieve their individually-defined outcomes, through the use of Personal Outcome Measures®. This campaign was developed through a partnership between CQL | The Council on Quality and Leadership and The National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP).