Paula Moore, 2011 Trustees’ Fund Awardee

Program Coordinator
Dillon Drive Residence
Florida Division
Orange Park, Fla.

Paula started as an overnight direct care staff seven years ago, and subsequently joined the Adult Day Training (ADT) program. Soon, she was promoted to Team Leader, and did a phenomenal job supervising staff and helping grow the ADT. Recently, she became a Program Coordinator for a young boys’ group home.

Paula truly loves her job and cares deeply for all the individuals she serves. Shortly after starting at the ADT program, she was involved in a remarkable incident that illustrates her professionalism and compassion. One morning, Paula and another staff member were returning from a doctor’s visit when “John” – a 6’2”, 220-pound man – became extremely aggressive. Paula swiftly moved in and tried to redirect him. When redirection did not work, Paula informed the other staff member that they needed to implement a two-person protective hold.

Unfortunately, the other staff lost her grip on John and he bit Paula on her thumb. As blood spattered everywhere, Paula quickly switched to a one-person protective hold while her colleague called for help. Despite being seriously injured, Paula maintained the hold by herself for 10-15 minutes.

The most remarkable aspect of this story was not Paula’s calm, cool, and collected demeanor, nor her amazing ability to use a one-person hold on a large, angry person, or even the fact that she did all of this while losing a lot of blood. The most touching part of this story took place the next day when Paula stopped by the office to drop off her medical paperwork.

Because of his disability, John did not remember what had happened the day before. When he ran up to Paula to give her a hug, ADT staff blocked his way. But Paula smiled and said, “It’s OK.” Later she explained, “If he didn’t have behavior problems, he wouldn’t be in our program.”

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