Friday, March 19, 2010

Sinergia bids a fond farewell to OMRDD's Katherine Broderick

On the evening of March 11, Executive Director, Myrta Cuadra-Lash and Deputy Executive Director, Michael Mitchell attended the retirement party of New York State Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Associate Commissioner, Kathleen Broderick. Ms. Broderick, who worked for OMRDD for more than 30 years, will long be remembered for her depth of caring for individuals with disabilities, her incomparable work ethic and her dedication to everyone involved in making the lives of those with disabilities better. Ms. Broderick is also know for her sense of humor and endearing penchant for calling individuals “cherubs”.

For many years, Ms. Broderick was on the front line of positive change for people with disabilities and was instrumental in the development of Individualized Residential Alternatives (IRAs) as a more humane way of providing residential services to people with disabilities. She worked tirelessly to help reduce the number of institutional Developmental Centers and large 12 and 14 bed Community Residences (CRs) in order to make it easier to provide person centered services to those with disabilities. Kathy was known for her constant availability, her long hours, her astounding memory for faces and for her habit of showing up at residences on holidays, weekends and evenings to just say hello to the individuals living there. She is also well-known for her affection for her staff and respect and compassion for those working in direct-care.

Kathy’s dinner at the Marina Del-Ray in Throgs Neck was attended by more than 650 people, and speaker after speaker attested to Kathy’s dedication, warmth and unrelenting advocacy. Many of the speakers and attendees spoke of how much she will be missed and wondered how she would ever be replaced. Kathy Broderick knew well of Sinergia and the services we provide. We wish her best of luck in her retirement and consider her a lifelong friend of Sinergia.

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