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Commissioner's awards recognize human services leaders

Ecumen Pathstone Living
Minnesota Department of Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson honored seven programs from across the state for their outstanding contributions to human services clients. Recipients of the 2015 Commissioner’s Circle of Excellence Awards were recognized at a ceremony at the Elmer L. Andersen Human Services Building in St. Paul. Lt. Gov. Tina Smith joined Jesson in honoring the awardees. 
Jesson said winners in the fifth annual Commissioner’s Circle of Excellence Awards share the department’s commitment to supporting healthy people, stable families and strong communities. “These organizations are making a true difference in the lives of the people they serve. They are going above and beyond to improve the quality of life for those suffering with dementia, find caring families for children awaiting adoption and keep new families struggling with addiction together, employ people with disabilities, help struggling Minnesotans achieve economic stability, and improve health care and mental health services through innovation and integration,” Jesson said. “They represent the very best of many successful partnerships to help people live in dignity and achieve their highest potential, and exemplify all of the great human services work happening across Minnesota.”
 Ecumen was one of only seven organizations across the state receiving this prestigious award.
  • Ecumen Awakenings, an integrated, holistic care approach for patients with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia across Minnesota that emphasizes human connections and non-pharmaceutical therapies. The program, which started in 2010 to alleviate the use of psychotropic and other highly sedating drugs, has fundamentally changed the culture of care inEcumen skilled nursing facilities though collaboration of the entire nursing home care team with physicians, pharmacists, residents and their families. Currently, Awakenings is being implemented in Ecumen assisted living communities. The program has dramatically decreased the dosages or discontinued use of psychotropic medications and improved residents’ quality of life.
The other 2015 Commissioner’s Circle of Excellence Award recipients are:
·         Southern Prairie Community Care
·         Kid Connection
·         Zumbro Valley Health Center 
·         Community Action Duluth
·         Central Converting, Inc.
·         Pregnant Native American's Opioid Addiction Services Collaboration
DHS made a video about Awakenings, shown at the ceremony, which I urge you to watch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ljovYeTxW0&feature=youtu.be.  In just three minutes, the video captures the essence of what drives Awakenings — the passion and dedication of Ecumen staff. 

December 04, 2015
Contact: Katie Everist, Communications
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