NAQ: A Place to Learn, Connect & Share 

Congratulations to our Spotlight Award Winners!


Emily Unthank - November 2020 

Michele Phelps, Compliance Director of IDD Facilities, nominated Emily Unthank.  Emily is a QIDP with New Vista Oakwood in Somerset, KY.  

Emily has positively impacted the people she supports.  This year, she helped someone move this year from an institutional setting to community placement, assisted several individuals in learning how to use iPADS (which has helped tremendously during the pandemic), and provided personal care to an individual during their cancer treatments and advocated for their colostomy reversal, which was successful.  

Emily also spearheaded a project to improve treatment planning. She created a peer review tool for QIDPs to review each other’s treatment plans prior to submission and developed a review schedule. The peer reviews have helped improve the monthly compliance scores.  In addition, she collaborates with her team members to address challenging issues, including creating behavior modeling videos. Emily created training materials for IDT members to improve program writing and conducted refresher training. 

When the pandemic began, Emily revised active treatment strategies/schedules to account for COVID precautions. She took a lead role in ordering supplies, games, etc. to increase activity in the homes and in the outdoor areas, implemented home cooking programs and worked beyond regular hours to provide direct coverage. 


Meredith Mueller - October 2020

Lee Ann Kramer, Team Lead of Care Coordination of IDD Crisis Prevention and Response Services, nominated Meredith Mueller.  Meredith is a Care Coordination Team Member with NorthKey Community Mental Health Care Center in Covington, KY.  

Meredith Mueller is a case manager in the trenches daily working for the betterment of her client's lives.  Having worked in crisis case management for the past 5 years, Meredith has positively impacted the lives of hundreds of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  The majority of these individuals also have had co-occurring mental health diagnoses.  Meredith never knows what her day will hold, yet she comes in ready to face the day every day!  She hits the ground running early in the morning and doesn't stop until she knows that the individuals she serves are safe.  This may mean traveling great distances, working over a typical workday, going into homes that are not places anyone else would dare go, and/or working with people who others would think have no value.  She is asked daily to assume roles that are not hers to assume and she does so with ease. She works tirelessly with other agencies and the state advocating for the rights of her clients.  This has led to countless individuals receiving waiver supports in the Northern Kentucky region.  Meredith also advocates with agencies to better train their staff, work with other agencies as a team, and to strive for a higher quality of life for the individuals they serve.  She goes into heated team meetings and brings calm to the situation, helping teams to debrief and come up with an action plan that will bring about collaboration and success.  She is diligent in her efforts and those efforts definitely pay off for all involved.  

NAQ would like to thank Emily and Meredith for their dedication, innovation, and positive attitude.  After all, where would we be without outstanding disability professionals like them?     

Do you know a QIDP or case manager that consistently goes above and beyond – someone who deserves a little extra recognition for a job well done? If so, please nominate them for NAQs Spotlight Award - an honor given each month to an exceptional disability professional.  

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View Past Spotlight Award Winners



Featured Reading

A New Plan

A New Plan renews the promise of person-centered planning with powerful research-based positive psychology skills and tools. Authors Dykstra & Dykstra build on the foundation of historical contributions to advance their 10 Principles of Person-Centered Planning. They reflect on the reasons people don’t plan and stress the importance of addressing personal outcomes. A New Plan introduces the role of the Champion in the life of a person who has disabilities and includes a new implementation framework, along with the specific action steps needed to enable a person to flourish and live their best life possible.

The authors stress the importance of cultivating a positive organizational culture. The book includes the Organizational Inventory of Person-Centeredness that allows readers and providers to assess their person-centered efforts and find areas to address for continuous improvement.


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Food for Thought:

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails.  Explore, Dream, Discover.

Quote by Mark Twain