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Matheny PCA Accredited by NADSP

Brenda Hoagland feeds 16-year-old 
Matheny student, Aaron Turovlin

Brenda Hoagland, personal care assistant trainer at Matheny has been accredited as a Direct Support Professional-Registered (DSP-R) by the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP).  According to Colleen McLaughlin, training and consultation specialist at The Elizabeth M. Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities in New Brunswick, Hoagland is, “the first known New Jersey DSP,” to receive this national recognition.

Matheny’s patients need a maximum amount of assistance in many areas, including eating, transferring, bathing, dressing, oral hygiene and toileting.  These functions are carried out by PCAs, who play a unique role in providing for the most basic care of the patients. 

The NADSP’s mission is to promote the development of a highly competent human services workforce.  Its goals include enhancing the status of DSPs and providing better access for all DSPs to high quality educational experiences.  The Boggs Center is part of UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Department of Pediatrics.  It is also part of a national network of federally designated University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research and Service.

Hoagland began working at Matheny in 1977 as a childcare worker.  Through the years she has worked at a variety of jobs including PCA, PCA department manager, PCA trainer and community residence manager.  Now, in addition to her training responsibilities, she is coordinating the participation by Matheny PCAs in a special Career Path Pilot Program for DSPs via online courses at the College of Direct Support, an internet-based college.  Intent of the program is to provide incentives to people who want to remain in direct care, contributing to a reduction in turnover and the enhancement of professional skills.

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