A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

New Perceptions works with individual employer partners to help adults with disabilities find careers

New Perceptions provides children and adults in Northern Kentucky with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities and other barriers with services to reach their maximum potential.

New Perceptions, works with 250-plus individual employer partners in the area through its Project Employ Program, which helps to set up adults with careers in which they can thrive. St. Elizabeth Hospital has been one of those partners for 20 years. 

More than 500 adults with developmental disabilities are served annual through New Perceptions’ Work Center, Supported Employment and Learning Center programs.

One of the success stories is Cody who is thriving at St. Elizabeth Healthcare. After suffering severe head trauma in a school bus accident when he was 12, he’s gone through numerous rehabs, tried college and has even traveled to universities such as Notre Dame to spread the message about his journey.

At St. Elizabeth, he found a home. He was hired into the Laboratory department in December 2014 and quickly became a mainstay, handling most of the inventory orders for the main lab. He’s known for his strong work ethic, attention to detail and leadership skills, which he shows by training many of the lab’s high school volunteers. 
Mary Springelmeyer, Supervisor of Lab Support Services at St. Elizabeth, hired Cody, “To this day he is one of the best employees I have had the pleasure to supervise. He is always pleasant and does not know a stranger. There are times I am walking down the hall with Cody and he is greeted by everyone. I can hear him giving compliments all day long to other employees and you can tell he has brightened someone’s day. He has a great sense of humor and dresses up for almost every holiday. Mostly funny hats or t-shirts and at Christmas, he alternates his collection of suits. I couldn’t imagine our inventory room and our laboratory without Cody. He truly is a blessing.”

Shawn Carroll

Trish Nortman, System Director of Laboratory, concurs, “What a gift he is to all of us. We are blessed to have him in our Lab family.”
Cody was offered his position at St. Elizabeth through New Perceptions’ Project Search Program, of which he had been a part of since 2013. Project Search, which started in 1999, gives people with disabilities the opportunity to volunteer at local businesses which can lead to a job offer after this trial period.

New Perceptions serves 761 individuals from Boone, Campbell, Carroll, Gallatin, Grant, Kenton, Owen and Pendleton counties annually, and for Shawn Carroll, Executive Director at New Perceptions, the partnership with St. Elizabeth as an ideal fit, “The American College of Healthcare Executives wanted to increase opportunities for individuals with disabilities for employment. St. Elizabeth was the sole pioneer of these opportunities for those we serve. We partner now with numerous companies that are given the opportunity for individuals with disabilities that like to come to work. The sense of purpose resonates with those that we are so fortunate to serve. We have currently approximately 30 individuals like Cody in the St. Elizabeth Healthcare system.”

For St. Elizabeth, the feeling is mutual. Over the 20-year partnership, more than 80 associates have been hired through New Perceptions, including 30 current alumni.

Brad Arthur, Director of the Business Office at St. Elizabeth, is now the President of the Board of Directors at New Perceptions, “I am humbled to play a small role in the organization. As a group, we support several non-profits around Northern Kentucky. New Perceptions is on the list each year. Every spring, a group of associates from St. Elizabeth’s Revenue Cycle gets to spruce up the patio at New Perceptions. We invite all the New Perceptions participants to join us. We plant flowers and vegetables, paint fences and pots, mulch, clean and make it a place where the participants can have a nice place to have a break or eat lunch. There are a lot of smiles on this day each year and we are proud to be a part of it.” 
He also added, “There is a saying we use at New Perceptions and that is, ‘if you are ever having a bad day, come down to New Perceptions.’” 

Related Posts

Leave a Comment