ANCOR Names Sue Beythan 2018 Direct Support Professional of the Year for Michigan

Honor recognizes support of community living for people with disabilities

Frankenmuth, Mich. – Sue Beythan, a direct support provider with 19 years of service to Bethesda, is the American Network of Community Options and Resources (ANCOR) 2018 Direct Support Professional of the Year for Michigan. Beythan won, in part, for developing an exercise program for people she supports, empowering them to achieve their best possible health.

“We at Bethesda are so proud of Sue. This honor from ANCOR shows the dedication and passion Sue has to support people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and reflects the quality of services provided by Bethesda,” said Ann Finta, area director for Bethesda in Michigan.

ANCOR’s Direct Support Professional Recognition Award is given to those who personify the values of ANCOR’s National Advocacy Campaign, which works to ensure a well-trained and sustainable direct support workforce. Nominees are judged on the work they’ve done to build social networks, substantive community participation and advocating for the people they serve.

“The work that DSPs do makes a difference, not just to the people with disabilities they support, but also to the full community they participate in socially and economically,” said Angela King, president of ANCOR. “DSPs like Sue deserve recognition for the difficult but meaningful work they do every day.”

Direct support professionals or DSPs – also referred to as caregivers, personal care assistants, direct care or homecare aides – provide a rich mosaic of daily support services for the many Americans with disabilities. DSPs are integral in supporting people with disabilities to participate in their communities and lead full and independent lives. Since 2007, ANCOR has honored exceptional direct support professionals with the Direct Support Professional Recognition Award for exemplary work in furthering community inclusion and full participation for the many Americans living with intellectual, developmental and other disabilities.

As outlined in her nomination, Beythan volunteered to facilitate a rewards program to encourage people she supports to exercise as part of their daily activities. Outcomes have been observed in positive attitudes, pride in accomplishment, and weight loss.

“I am humbled to be given an award for a career that has blessed my life beyond my expectations,” said Beythan, who began with Bethesda as a DSP, served 15 years as a program manager, and retired from management to become a DSP once again. “With God’s help, I have learned more about compassion, love, trust, heartache, perseverance, strength, joy and hope, than I would ever have imagined. God has used the people I work with and for to influence me more than I could ever influence them. I began working for Bethesda, with an expectation I would try this work for six months. Now, 19 years later, my heart overflows with gratitude.”

Beythan is part of a team of DSPs in Michigan who, since 1977, have helped people with intellectual and developmental disabilities live the lives they want in Caledonia, Frankenmuth, and Saginaw.

“When it comes to supporting people with disabilities in the choices they make and being included in society, DSPs are the frontline workers we rely on,” said Barbara Merrill, CEO of ANCOR. “These awards are just one small measure of saying thank you to individuals like Sue.”

Award winners from across the country will be recognized at an April 17 event in their honor. The complete list can be found here.

About Bethesda
Bethesda is a national Christian organization, providing homes and other services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. We help people live the lives they want through more than 300 programs across the country. Learn more at

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