Moving Mountains Best Practices
2003 Award Winner Two

Mid-Hudson Coalition, Inc.

For Excellence in Direct Support Professional Education, Training and Development 
The Mid-Hudson Coalition for the Development of Direct Care Practice, Inc., was created in 1992 as a working partnership of governmental, educational and private institutions, individuals and international affiliations. MHC is a membership organization consisting of DSPs, students, consumers and organizations from the Hudson Valley region of New York State. It currently has 32 member organizations, one hundred individual members and six colleges/universities. The coalition is founded on the principle that quality care is a responsibility shared by all citizens. MHC is committed to improving the quality of life for consumers through an educated and competent workforce.

The MHC’s panoramic vision of the future forecasts a society where services are readily accessible through the aid of a professional direct care worker whether in the home, the community, a residential center or via a public assistance program. Such a caring society is built upon effective partnerships among specialists, direct care workers and persons with special needs.

To meet this mission the Mid-Hudson Coalition works collaboratively across organizations and communities to –

  • Develop new higher education programs for the direct support workforce;
  • Provide scholarships for tuition and books to direct support employees who are enrolled in an approved, participating educational program – paid for with membership dues, conference proceedings and other donations and secured resources;
  • Establish effective methods of direct support practice representing the diversity of direct care work in the Hudson Valley (across human service types and populations);
  • Sponsor forums for DSPs throughout the year as well as an annual forum for executive directors and human resource personnel – the purpose of the forums is to offer relevant training and offer networking and support opportunities for attendees;
  • Coordinate an annual conference for direct support workers in order to provide an opportunity to promote and explore best practice in service delivery – over 300 direct support employees attend this conference each year;
  • Provide a newsletter for members designed to keep them connected with the coalition and its activities; and
  • Offer leadership roles for direct support employees within the organization and respond to the needs expressed by direct support employees in the Hudson Valley region.

This organization has proven that through commitment, collaboration and a common mission, DSPs can and will become better educated and more committed to the field of community human services work. Organizational members within the Mid-Hudson Coalition have remarkably low annual turnover rates of direct support staff when compared to other organizations in the region and state. Their leaders are committed to improving the working conditions and public image of direct support employees. Most have found ways to build career paths within their organizations and t pay competitive wages to their employees.

For more information log onto or contact Mid-Hudson Coalition, Inc. at 36 Violet Avenue, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601; (845) 452.5772 ext. 119.