John Mortensen 2021 Exceptional Service Award Recipient
Assistant Clinical Director
May Center for Adult Services
Orange Park, Florida
John is one of the most reliable, even-keeled staff we have in Florida. He is dedicated and devoted to all the individuals we serve at our seven group homes and our Adult Day Program. He embodies the term “team player” and is always willing to go above and beyond to help any of the Florida staff, even if the help offered is outside the scope of his job description. John frequently performs his job at a high level, while assisting wherever he can.
Over the past years, John has dealt with the difficult task of maintaining the clinical department during instability and transition. He has worked well with the new Clinical Director in developing processes, even in light of challenges such as COVID and staffing emergencies. He also maintained excellent communication with the Executive Director and built a stable relationship with the state clinical oversight department. These efforts helped keep the clinical department moving forward and in compliance. This was not the first time John has needed to maintain this effort during a difficult transition, and each time he does so with professionalism and a positive attitude.
John is willing to go above and beyond no matter what the circumstances. He frequently works an excessive amount of direct staff coverages in homes, assisting with medication, transport, and behavioral challenges whenever needed during our period of staffing issues. John does this with a great attitude and a smile.
John also has a great reputation with our Waiver Support Coordinators, parents, guardians, and local Department of Children and Families personnel. He has been a trainer for both Safety Care and Behavior Assistance training for many years, helping to shape the attitude and aptitude of countless employees through the years.
All of these things alone would be enough reason to recognize him with this award, however what sets him apart is his personal connection to the people we serve. Where he really shines is when he goes the extra mile to enrich the lives of the people we serve. It is hard to describe the way John interacts with the individuals on a daily basis. He is always attentive to them when they are in the office or at the program, always willing to step in when needed to deaccelerate a behavior and redirect with a specific action or word that fits with that individual’s unique personality.
He has also gone out of his way to plan and accompany individuals on outings way above and beyond his job description prior to the limitation of the pandemic. He knows everyone’s likes and dislikes. He has personally taken individuals on their favorite outings such as movies, shows, and camping. These are not things that are on his job description. They are activities he chooses to do because he enjoys seeing the happiness they bring. He is always involved with every group party or celebration planned for our folks. His starring role for years has been our Santa Claus, complete with full costume, even in the Florida 90+ degree heat in December, delivering a gift, hug, handshake, and smile to each and every person in our program. The individuals look forward to his enthusiasm and holiday spirit every year.
John has been a steady, trusted, and dedicated member of our Florida team for many years and is so deserving of recognition for all his efforts and contributions to our program.