Our Outstanding Employees’ Awards and Milestones
Join Our Team
Saratoga Bridges is very proud of its hard working, conscientious staff! We celebrate them with a variety of activities every September during Direct Support Professionals Week and at our Employee Recognition event to praise their achievements and exemplary service. Both opportunities give us a chance to share our utmost gratitude for their dedication, compassion, understanding, kindness, patience and flexibility! The Employee Recognition Day features a catered meal, games, prizes and a presentation of awards that include certificates and monetary awards including:
2020 Employees of the Year:
Patricia Baldwin, Office Manager – Wilton Day Program
Jennifer Ball, Direct Support Professional 2
Patricia Boyle, Bus Driver – Transportation
Donna Giffune, RN – Medical Trainer – Administration
Gabriella Mead, Direct Support Professional 2
Vanessa Rose, Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant – Clifton Park Day Program
Amanda Schermerhorn, Residential Program Coordinator
Kathryn Sowle, Assistant Residence Manager – Stone Church Road
Rookie of the Year — Jenna Dietz, Direct Support Professional 2
Years of Service:
Audrey Della Ratta
Safe Driving Awards
Robert Harrington – 26 years
Philip Ellsworth – 12 years
Melissa Rafferty – 9 years
Woody Turenne – 5 years
Patty Boyle – 4 years
Robert Williams – 3 years
Ed Beam – 2 years
Robert Bellamy – 2 years
Joe Gabel – 2 years
Tina Licata – 2 years
Mike Marino – 2 years
Mark Roberts – 2 years
Maryann Bates – 1 year
Donna Diaz – 1 year
Steve Lloyd – 1 year
Joe Maloney – 1 year
Howard Meyette – 1 year
Eric Statechnyi – 1 year
Supervisor Program Graduate
Richard Varney – Lead Custodian
Saratoga Bridges is most fortunate to be able to award scholarships to our dedicated staff members. They provide a wonderful mechanism to enhance their educational opportunities whereby they can enrich their own service delivery skills for our individuals.
The 2021 J. Michael Fitzgibbons Scholarship was awarded to Courtney Jones, one our Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants. Courtney is applying the $500 towards the tuition at SUNY Empire for a Bachelors in Allied Health. She aspires to pursue her studies further and obtain a Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy with hopes of continuing to provide support for people with disabilities. Proceeds from our annual J. Michael Fitzgibbons Memorial Golf Classic benefit the Scholarship Fund and the agency. Michael was our long-time Board Member who passed away unexpectedly in 2005. We proudly host the event to keep Michael’s memory and indomitable spirit alive and are exceedingly grateful for the support we receive from the Fitzgibbons’ family and friends.
The 2021 Donna Wright Scholarship was awarded to Shivanie Prasad, a Direct Support Professional. Shivanie was very thankful for the financial assistance as she is applying the $500 towards the tuition at SUNY Schenectady to obtain an Associate in Science degree. Shivanie is pursuing her studies in psychology, physical therapy or occupational therapy with hopes of continuing to provide support for people with disabilities. Shivanie’s dedication to and for the people we support has been recognized and commended. The scholarships are given to honor Donna’ who was a beloved individual who is truly missed. This scholarship continues to keep her memory in our
Saratoga Bridges is extremely proud of the programs we have been providing to children
The College of Direct Support Professionals
We have numerous recent graduates of The College of Direct Support. Sponsored by The New York Alliance for Inclusion and Innovation (NY Alliance), The College of Direct Support provides a validated and specialized curricula to enhance and develop a skilled Direct Support workforce throughout the United States.
Every graduate receives a Certificate of Completion from The College of Direct Support and will have their names listed on a permanent plaque located in the foyer of our Administration Building.
Saratoga Bridges Leadership Institute began in 2009 to strengthen our workforce, build internal leadership capacity, foster long-range individual growth, ensure stability and develop a group of highly knowledgeable staff. highly knowledgeable staff. Selected staff meet monthly with coordinator to receive training on the fundamentals of leadership. The Institute provides an opportunity for the member to experience the agency mission and familiarize themselves with each department’s activities. Their training focuses on topics that include supervisory strategies, communications, human behavior, self-analysis, presentation skills and others. Working with mentors, the Leadership Institute members develop a project that will benefit the agency and the people they support. The mentors guide the candidates until he or she is ready to successfully demonstrate their knowledge base to a graduation panel of executives and peers. Upon graduating, they can become mentors for co-workers in the Leadership Institute program, serve on future graduate panels and use their training for agency-wide task forces and committees.
Direct Support Professionals Week
For the past 13 years, Saratoga Bridges has designated Direct Support Professionals (DSP) week each September. We acknowledge our dedicated workers who are often unrecognized. Along with the New York State Office of Persons with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD), we celebrate staff who provide support to the people we serve every day, 365 days a year. Our team is responsible for the health, safety and emotional well-being of individuals they work with by encouraging them to live more meaningful, dignified and productive lives. Our DSPsThey promote inclusion and independence within the community.
Our celebratory week includes distributing gift certificates, Saratoga Bridges garb, Creative Endeavors artwork and more to recognize our outstanding employees. Also, we had staff featured on television, radio and newspaper articles.