2022 DSNWK News

06/20/22

Heartland Foundation supports DSNWK with $2500 grant


Developmental Services of Northwest Kansas is proud to announce a grant award of $2500 from the Heartland Community Foundation. The grant will be utilized for a kitchen remodeling project at one of its residential living locations in Ellis County that serve people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The renovation will make the space wheelchair accessible.


Many of the people living in the home have accessibility needs or use a wheelchair for mobility. Making the kitchen more manageable will improve mobility within the area and ability for staff to monitor the home's activities and better ensure a safe living environment.


“Having these improvements made is necessary for the residents, to provide for their daily routines - such as preparing meals for themselves properly and safely, which directly relates to our mission,” states Jerry Michaud, DSNWK President.


DSNWK strives to match the needs and desires of the people it serves with the most appropriate and independent living environment possible. Regardless of where a person lives, DSNWK believes in providing home environments that are comfortable, safe, and promotes independence.


DSNWK is a 501c3 nonprofit serving 18 counties in northwest Kansas with a mission to advocate for persons with disabilities and those who care about them by planning and supporting a life of dignity, interdependence, and personal satisfaction in the community.



06/07/22

DSNWK receives grant from Norton County Community Foundation


Developmental Services of Northwest Kansas will be getting two new automated external defibrillators (AEDs) thanks to a $3,566 grant from the Norton County Community Foundation. The AEDs will be utilized by both the Frontier Developmental Center staff and the people it serves who have intellectual and developmental disabilities in Norton.


The AEDs will allow DSNWK staff to be better equipped for cardiac arrest-type situations should they occur. Having AEDs in all DSNWK locations helps increase the ability to implement EMS advice on-site to save the life of someone as they wait for an emergency responder to arrive on scene. All DSNWK staff are trained to use the AED devices through its staff training program.


“DSNWK hopes never to be put into a situation where an AED is needed,” states Jerry Michaud, DSNWK President. “This grant helps us to be better prepared for these time sensitive situations with the right equipment to ensure the best care and response, especially as our population continues to age.”


DSNWK is a 501c3 nonprofit serving 18 counties in northwest Kansas with a mission to advocate for persons with disabilities and those who care about them by planning and supporting a life of dignity, interdependence, and personal satisfaction in the community.



05/09/22

Part C Tiny-k services transitioning from HACC to DSNWK


The Hays Area Children's Center (HACC) and Developmental Services of Northwest Kansas (DSNWK) are collaborating together on a transition process for Part C, Tiny-k services in Ellis County and a portion of Rush County.


Infant-toddler early intervention services are available to infants and toddlers to enhance development and minimize their potential for developmental delays, and to recognize the significant brain development that occurs during the child’s first three years. Intervention services include screenings, home visits, occupational, physical, speech or behavioral therapy and other intervention services.


This home-based service previously provided through the HACC, will officially transition over to DSNWK's Kid-Link services on May 15, 2022. The HACC will continue to operate their daycare services without change at the Children's Center on the FHSU campus.


Both the HACC and DSNWK are working to make this a smooth transition and would like to express our appreciation to all the affected families involved in this Part C, Tiny-k program for their help, patience and understanding as we work together through this transition process.


DSNWK's Kid-Link program has been proudly serving families in several surrounding counties in northwest Kansas including Norton, Phillips, Rooks, Smith, Osborne and Russell since 1976.


Parents involved in the Tiny-k program at the HACC can reach out with any questions about this change by calling HACC at (785) 625-3257. Over the next several weeks, direct outreach will be occurring with each enrolled family. New referrals in this area can be sent to DSNWK Kid-Link by faxing (785) 623-2867, phone (785) 621-5270, PO Box 310 or ASQ database


English: https://www.asqonline.com/family/eabcab

Spanish: https://www.asqonline.com/family/42baa5.


04/25/2022

Individuals served by DSNWK enjoy art collaboration

with first responders

On March 30th, Fort Hays State University hosted a Collaborative Arts project between persons served, FHSU students, and first responders. This event was sponsored by the FHSU Honor Society and in association with Disability Awareness Week. The event brought together persons served, first responders, and students to create art projects as well as build trust and teach effective communication between the participants.


Amy Schmeirbach, an Art Professor from FHSU, has been hosting Collaborative Arts Projects for six years. These events have been held at the Reed Center and Employment Connections, and were moved virtually during the pandemic. Schmierbach emphasizes the importance of art and communication, “For many of us we learn and communicate visually so making art helps us build confidence and articulate our voice,” stated Schmierbach.


Schmierbach wanted to include first responders in the project because persons with cognitive disabilities are at a higher risk of being victims of violence. Bringing together first responders and persons served in a safe, relaxed environment helps build trust and communication.


Schmeirbach also emphasizes the importance of students having experience with persons with disabilities. “Students learn what people with disabilities need to live and thrive in our community,” she says, “and what is lacking in services and in the educational system”. Students work closely with persons served to assist with their art projects.


04/25/2022

Graham County Community Foundation supports DSNWK with AED


Developmental Services of Northwest Kansas will be getting a new automated external defibrillator (AED) thanks to a $891.00 grant from the Graham County Community Foundation. The AED will be utilized at its group home that serves people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Hill City located at 122 W. Prout Street.


The AED will allow DSNWK staff to be better equipped for cardiac arrest-type situations should they occur. Having AEDs in all DSNWK locations helps increase the ability to implement EMS advice on-site to save the life of someone as they wait for an emergency responder to arrive on scene. All DSNWK staff are trained to use the AED devices through its staff training program.


“DSNWK hopes never to be put into a situation where an AED is needed,” states Jerry Michaud, DSNWK President. “This grant helps us to be better prepared for these time sensitive situations with the right equipment to ensure the best care and response, especially as our population continues to age.”


DSNWK is a 501c3 nonprofit serving 18 counties in northwest Kansas with a mission to advocate for persons with disabilities and those who care about them by planning and supporting a life of dignity, interdependence, and personal satisfaction in the community.


04/15/2022

David and Yeyette Houfek, Legacy Society Members

DSNWK’s Legacy Society recognizes and honors people who have included a gift in their estate plan or have made a cash gift of $10,000 or more. This type of giving ensures that future funding will be available to support the growing needs and priorities of DSNWK and our mission. DSNWK is proud to count David and Yeyette Houfek among the founding members of the Legacy Society. Here’s their special story. David and Yeyette Houfek’s story is a story of love. Love for their daughter Margo took them across the country for the services that she needed. The story began many years ago, as Margo was aging out of a special needs facility for children in Raleigh, North Carolina. The Houfeks knew they needed to find services for Margo. However, services were extremely limited at this time, as there were no services in the area appropriate for adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities. After searching all across the United States, their names were passed along to DSNWK. Yeyette said, “One day, on a Friday afternoon, I returned home from work,and there was a packet of information in our mailbox from DSNWK. I thought to myself, ‘ I didn’t contact them. Where’s Hays, Kansas?’” Yeyette called DSNWK the following Monday morning, and spoke to the staff person who had written the letter to them and he said, “Yes, I think we can help your daughter.” When they visited Hays, the Houfeks were taken on a tour. They were amazed that persons served were laughing, happy, and wearing smiles. As the Houfeks were driving out of Hays, Yeyette said she was distressed because she and David knew what they had to do. David said, “I think we’re moving,” and Yeyette said, “I think you’re right.” Now, over 20 years later, the Houfeks reflect on Margo’s time with DSNWK with great appreciation. “The staff have done a wonderful job with Margo,” stated Dave and Yeyette. “She always has a smile on her face. We are blessed to have Developmental Services available in Northwest Kansas.” The Houfeks expressed their thankfulness for opportunities Margo has had through DSNWK and that she has found her home. David said the whole point of the Houfeks moving to Hays was to find a place that could be Margo’s home for the rest of her life, and they have found that with DSNWK.



04/01/2022

Living with Purpose by Paying it Forward


Rhonda Whisler, hair stylist at Mane Attractions in Hays, has been helping persons served by DSNWK feel their best for over thirty years. Rhonda started in a different career path, but said that getting into hair styling has been the best thing she’s ever done. Rhonda met many clients who also received services from DSNWK while working in the JCPenney salon. When Rhonda moved to Mane Attractions, the clients stayed with her. About the relationships she has built over several years with those clients, Rhonda said, “They’re my people. They never say anything bad about anybody. They always have a positive attitude. How could you not want to be around them?” Rhonda said when her DSNWK clients come to see her, it’s like having a sister walk in. It is evident in Rhonda’s stories about client transformations over the years that both she and her clients benefit from not only her services, but the long term friendships they have made. One story Rhonda shared was of a client who had long hair, and once they agreed to cut it short, the client’s personality changed as she felt more like herself with the new cut. She often advises clients and helps them find their perfect style. Sometimes they bring in photos of one style, but once Rhonda talks to them about the upkeep, the styling, or the feeling of the cut, and helps them find something that would better meet their lifestyle needs. Rhonda said she can always expect a hug when a DSNWK client comes to the salon, and sometimes a picture drawn just for her. She and her clients have shared both joyful and grievous times in life. Rhonda said that in her profession, her clients feel comfortable sharing their lives with her, so she also shares with them. Rhonda said, “Living with Purpose” means you “pay it forward” every chance you get. She has always tried to pay it forward in every situation because many people have done so for her and her family in difficult times in the past. Rhonda has certainly impacted the lives of many DSNWK clients in how they feel about themselves, inside and out.



04/06/2022

Midwest Energy grant supports DSNWK’s Kid-Link program


Developmental Services of Northwest Kansas, was recently awarded a $500 grant from Midwest Energy, Inc. The grant will be used in DSNWK’s Kid-Link program to purchase books for families and children. These special books help the child to learn and grow as they reach developmental milestones. “The support to our Kid-Link program and to children and families in our communities by Midwest Energy is greatly appreciated”, said Jerry Michaud, CEO and President of DSNWK.


The DSNWK Kid-Link Early Intervention Program provides a system of services to help infants and toddlers from birth to age three who have a developmental delay, diagnosed disability, or are at risk for a developmental delay including vision and hearing impairments. These services are provided in the child’s natural living environment. Kid-Link covers six north-central Kansas counties: Norton, Osborne, Phillips, Rooks, Russell and Smith.


For more information about DSNWK’s Kid-Link program contact Tammy Dreiling at 785-625-5678 or tammy_dreiling@mydsnwk.org.



03/23/2022

Esther McMurtrie Golf Tournament Set

DSNWK is excited to announce that the date has been officially set for the Esther McMurtrie Memorial Golf Tournament. The tournament will be held on Friday, September 30th at the Ellis Golf Club. This is a four person scramble beginning at 9 a.m. and will once again benefit the group homes of Developmental Services of Northwest Kansas.




03/22/2022

PDC Receives Grant from Second Century Fund


Developmental Services of Northwest Kansas is pleased to announce a grant award of $1783.00 from the Second Century Fund for an automated external defibrillator (AED) for its Plumb Street home in Atwood that serves people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.


The AED will allow DSNWK staff to be better equipped for cardiac arrest-type situations should they occur. Having AEDs in all DSNWK locations helps increase the ability to implement EMS advice on-site to save the life of someone as they wait for an emergency responder to arrive on scene. All DSNWK staff are trained to use the AED devices through its staff training program.


“DSNWK hopes never to be put into a situation where an AED is needed,” states Jerry Michaud, DSNWK President. “With them we are better prepared for these time sensitive situations with the right equipment to ensure the best care and response, especially as our population continues to age.”


DSNWK would like to thank the Second Century Fund for its continued support and generosity of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.


DSNWK is a 501c3 nonprofit serving 18 counties in northwest Kansas with a mission to advocate for persons with disabilities and those who care about them by planning and supporting a life of dignity, interdependence, and personal satisfaction in the community.


03/14/2022

DSNWK receives grant from The Pete Henry Foundation


Developmental Services of Northwest Kansas, Inc. was recently announced as the recipient of a $3,873.00 grant from The Pete Henry Foundation. This grant award will be used to create a storm shelter at DSNWK’s developmental center at 733 9th Street in Hoxie. A storm shelter is critical to the safety of people at the Hoxie Developmental Center in case of severe weather that could threaten the primary structure and well-being of both those individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) we serve and the staff who support them. In past years, the facility in Hoxie has experienced severe storm damage from high winds, indicating a serious need for this shelter. The storm shelter is the final piece of a special renovation project for the Center. This renovation project was able to create a more functional, accessible, and community focused location to serve those with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) in Sheridan County and the surrounding area. This developmental center, which was built in 1972 and opened by DSNWK in 1995, is home to DSNWK’s College for Living program. The College for Living provides structured learning opportunities for individuals on life skills and opportunities to participate in classes and subjects

that interest them. DSNWK is a 501c3 nonprofit organization serving 18 counties in northwest Kansas with a mission to advocate for persons with disabilities and those who care about them by planning and supporting a life of dignity, interdependence, and personal satisfaction in the community.


03/08/2022

DSNWK benefits from the support of the United Way of Ellis County and the CARE Council


Developmental Services of Northwest Kansas is proud to announce that The United Way of Ellis County has allocated $25,600 for the Job Placement Follow-along program for 2022. Follow-along services are provided to all individuals who complete DSNWK's Job Placement Program for support to maintain employment, and for additional training in the future. DSNWK’s Job Placement Follow-along program can intervene before the individual loses his or her employment, and reduces the dollars spent on job procurement, training new employees, and unemployment or disability payments.


ACCESS Public Transportation was informed by the CARE Council of Ellis County that they have recommended an allocation to the Hays City Commission for an award of $77,732.50 for transportation services from the City of Hays Social Service Funds for the 2022 budget. ACCESS provides general public transportation services to the people of Hays and Ellis County.


DSNWK would like to thank the United Way of Ellis County for their continuous support of people with developmental disabilities and to the Care Council for recommending an allocation to the City of Hays for ACCESS general public transportation. DSNWK would also like to thank all those in the Ellis County community who supported the United Way with their contributions during their annual campaign.


DSNWK is a 501c3 nonprofit serving 18 counties in northwest Kansas with a mission to advocate for persons with disabilities and those who care about them by planning and supporting a life of dignity, interdependence, and personal satisfaction in the community.



02/25/2022


DSNWK hires Berges as Major Gifts and Planned Giving Officer


Developmental Services of Northwest Kansas is pleased to announce the hiring of Michael Berges as it’s Major Gifts and Planned Giving Officer. Berges began his duties with DSNWK on February 1st. Michael brings an enthusiasm to the position of charitable giving by engaging, educating and inviting others to join support of the life-enriching work which is the mission work of DSNWK.


As the Major Gifts and Planned Giving Officer, Berges will be responsible for the development and cultivation of prospective donors for major gifts, capital campaigns, endowment contributions, and donor relationships. He will also oversee the development, implementation, and administration of the Planned Giving Program.


If you have any questions or would like more information, you can contact Michael at 785-625-5678 or email him at michael_berges@mydsnwk.org.