Hossam Maksoud, chairman of Community Care Rx; and Dawn Merced, honoree Vanessa Morgan and Alex DiMaio, all of Special Citizens Futures Unlimited. (Photo: Dominick Totino Photography)
Trade Winds

Community Care RX honors staff at awards event

Community Care Rx (CCRx), a Hempstead-based long-term care pharmacy, held its 2nd annual DSP & Support Staff Awards last month at the North Hills Club in Manhasset.

The event recognized the region’s best direct support professionals and support staff for their dedication to improving the lives and health of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The 38 honorees play a vital role in the missions of many of the organizations that CCRx serves.

“We want to congratulate and thank all of the DSP and support staff honorees for their tireless, compassionate service and the dedication they bring to the healthcare profession each and every day,” Hossam Maksoud, PharmD chairman and founder of CCRx, said in a company statement. “They play a vital role in helping individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities achieve greater independence, self-sufficiency and community inclusion.”

CCRx launched the DSP & Support Staff Awards program last year to recognize the selfless dedication of essential workers who risked their own health to care for their vulnerable clients throughout the pandemic. Because their hard work did not end with the pandemic, CCRx made a commitment to turn the awards into an annual program to highlight the important work that the caring and dedicated workers perform on an ongoing basis.

Here is a list of the awards and honorees:

Young Professional Award

Juliana Marquez – ACLD

Elijah Aaron – Rise Life Services

Healthcare Hero Award

Ana Ledesma – Partners Health Plan

Kenrey Shakes – Services for the UnderServed

Champion Leadership Award

Christine Mitchell – Block Institute

Ana Solorzano -Catholic Charities of Long Island

Christine Heinlein – Citizens Options Unlimited

Nadine Jackson – Constructive Partnerships Unlimited

Marica Fraser – EIHAB Human Services

Rose Monestime- Head Injury Association

Darlene Claus- Options for Community Living

DSP Excellence Award

Veronique Darelus – ACDS


Davelle Coleman – AHRC Nassau

Kathy Stillwagon – AHRC Suffolk

Jessica Dubinsky – Association for Neurologically Impaired Brain Injury Children & Adults Inc.

Soledad Gracia – Atlantic ICF

Jerry Javier – Care Design of New York

Ulrica Daley- Community Resource Center for the Developmentally Disabled, Inc.

Sharlene St. Louis – Creative Lifestyles

Katheryn Sorto- Developmental Disabilities Institute

Yalonda Gilliam- East End Disability Associates

Olayemi Sanusi – EIHAB Human Services of New Jersey

Marva Smith- Family Residences & Essential Enterprises

Zina Streeter- Federation of Organizations

Yvette Bruton – Independent Living Association

Juana Reyes – Human First, Inc.

Eboni Brown – Little Flower Children and Family Services of NY

Samatha Richardson – Lifespire

Claire Lubin – Marantha Human Services

Sonia Hyatt-Parkinson – Opengate

Jenny Nieves- Puerto Rican Family Institute

Latoya Darby – Queens Centers for Progress

Teresa Buckingham – SCO Family of Services/Madonna Heights

Vanessa Morgan – Special Citizens Futures Unlimited

Latarsha Banks – The New York Foundling

Nancy Robinson – Unique People Services

Deborah Thompson – United Cerebral Palsy

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Trade Winds

Trade Winds is written by journalists from the Long Island business community.