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Rosewood earns excellence award
biz deh rosewood award pic
Vicki Schmitt, Rosewood Services senior director, Governor Mark Parkinson, Tammy Hammond, Rosewood executive director and Sandy Smith, Rosewood Furniture Gallery manger attended the recent Governors Excellence Awards Ceremony in Topeka. - photo by COURTESY PHOTO

In establishing his Excellence Awards by Executive Order in August of this year, Governor Mark Parkinson made it possible for outstanding service providers for individuals with disabilities to be nominated and recognized. Rosewood Services and Sandy Smith of the Rosewood Furniture Gallery were thus recognized in a recent celebration in Topeka.

Governor Parkinson noted in the formation of his awards that the 2008 Census reported nearly 16 percent of Kansans reported having a disability, that 30 percent of Kansans over the age of 65 and 51 percent of those over the age of 75 reported having a disability and that approximately 66,000 children participate in special education in their local schools. He further noted that Kansas has had a long and progressive history of trying to meet the needs of its citizens with disabilities, encouraging consumer-focused, community-based programs that ensure that each person has the opportunity to live in the setting of their choice. This history resulted in a state-wide network of thousands of provider organizations and individuals committed to empowering individuals to live independent, active and fully-engaged lives.

Rosewood Services was nominated under the category of "an agency providing services, demonstrating a strong ability to assist individuals to remain in their homes and communities and to achieve self-sufficiency through individualized employment and independent living skills." Smith, manager of the Rosewood Furniture Gallery, was nominated under the category of "an individual direct-service professional that currently supports person/s receiving disability services and has demonstrated extraordinary commitment to the provision of high-quality person-centered services."

Executive Director Tammy Hammond, Senior Director Vicki Schmitt and Smith attended the award ceremony held at the Statehouse, as did Mark Hinds, director of SDSI, the CDDO that works with Rosewood and other service providers in the area. Hinds said "we are proud that an agency in our 18-county area was nominated for this award. I wanted to be at the presentation. We have enjoyed working with Rosewood since becoming the CDDO in 2004." Hinds is based out of Garden City. Secretary of Social and Rehabilitation Services Don Jordan said "Kansas has developed a statewide network of provider organizations and individuals committed to the state’s vision of community and home-based care and support of individuals with disabilities. The honorees represent the finest of this commitment which empowers those with disabilities to live active, independent and fully engaged lives."

Rosewood Services was founded in 1998 with the goal of creating an agency of excellence for people with disabilities. Hammond, Rosewood’s founder, said "we are absolutely thrilled to have been nominated for such an impressive award. And, having Sandy Smith from our Rosewood Furniture Gallery nominated, as well, is a great tribute to our agency. Sandy embodies the very best qualities we see in our talented employees. It was an exciting day in Topeka."

Governor Parkinson established the Governor’s Excellence Awards to be awarded annually through his Executive Order 10-09. The secretary of the Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services received all nominations before submitting them to the governor for a final decision.