topheader.pngOctober 13, 2023

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Chase Cook, Acting Director, Office of Communications, 410-767-8649 

PHOTO RELEASE: Maryland Department of Health joins Maryland Departments of Disabilities and Labor to honor 31 direct support professionals for their service

Baltimore, MD — The Maryland Department of Health, along with partners from the Maryland Department of Disabilities and the Maryland Department of Labor hosted a celebration today to honor 31 direct support professionals for their service to Marylanders with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The Department of Health and the Department of Disabilities called for nominations and chose the awardees in honor of Direct Support Professionals Recognition Week, which occurs annually in September.  The week aims to raise public awareness about the role these individuals play in supporting people with intellectual, developmental and other disabilities so they can live, work and thrive in their communities. 


Maryland Department of Labor Deputy Secretary Jason Perkins-Cohen, Maryland Department of Health Developmental Disabilities Administration Director of Programs Nick Burton and Maryland Department of Disabilities Secretary Carol Beatty, thank 31 direct support professional honorees for their service at 100 Community Place in Crownsville, MD.

Direct support professionals provide care to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities through the Department of Health’s Developmental Disabilities Administration-licensed providers in Maryland. They are vital to the life experiences of many people with disabilities in Maryland, providing supports in homes, communities and workplaces. 

Direct support professionals are champions for the people they support,” said Department of Health Secretary Laura Herrera Scott. “They help people with intellectual and developmental disabilities realize their full potential and live full and independent lives. Today’s celebration is just a small token of the recognition they deserve every day of the year.”


Attendees of the Direct Support Professionals Celebration hold up the citation from Governor Wes Moore.

During the event, Department of Disabilities Secretary Carol Beatty thanked the honorees for providing outstanding support in the award category of community living. “Direct support professionals support people with intellectual and developmental disabilities with developing important life skills that allow for meaningful participation in all aspects of their community life,” said Secretary Beatty. “This can include finding and keeping jobs, enjoying recreational activities, and living safely in their homes and neighborhoods. Direct support professionals are the backbone of our community system of services.” 

Department of Labor Deputy Secretary Jason Perkins-Cohen awarded each honoree with an individual citation from Governor Wes Moore to say ‘thank you’ for a job well done in the award categories of employment and community living supports. “The positive impact of meaningful work has the power to transform lives,” said Department of Labor Secretary Portia Wu. “Direct support professionals assist in job search, vocational training, skill development and on-the-job coaching. Employment provides people with financial independence and fosters a sense of real purpose in the community.”


The Maryland Department of Health is dedicated to protecting and improving the health and safety of all Marylanders through disease prevention, access to care, quality management and community engagement.

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