What is the Communitas LifeSaver Award?

The LifeSaver Award Program is part of the Employee Appreciation Committee’s efforts to recognize and highlight people who work for, or are affiliated with, Communitas.  You may wish to nominate a co-worker who has been creative in working through an issue, or exceptionally helpful in some area.  Or you may wish to nominate an individual who has been working hard toward a personal goal.  Perhaps a family, vendor or other stakeholder has show exceptional commitment during a difficult time, or who has taken on an additional task.  All of these would be excellent reasons to nominate someone for a LifeSaver Award.


Congratulations to our 2021 3rd Quarter LifeSavers!


Cynthia Bradley – Wakefield Transportation

Cynthia loves her job transporting individuals to and from the Day Hab program. Everyone can see how much she really cares for all the individuals.  She is attentive to the people in her van, while also keeping her eyes open around her.  Recently she noticed a concerning issue with an external vendor.  Cynthia took charge and notified her supervisor. The issue was swiftly resolved, because of her quick thinking.  Thank you, Cynthia for caring and acting when seeing something was “not quite right!”

Marie Alette – Water Street Direct Support Professional

Marie’s help has made such a difference! Water Street was down a Program Coordinator, Director and Assistant Director all within two weeks of each other. Marie had a vacation planned and instead of leaving for her vacation, she pushed her vacation back until staffing was more stabilized. Marie picked up many extra shifts and made sure all the ladies and the program were taken care of! Thank you, Marie, for all you do for the program and all you have done over the many years you have been with us! 

Adrienne Hayden – Woburn Day Case Manager

Adrienne has been a rock at the Woburn Day Program.  She is always checking in on participants and coworkers. Adrienne uses her amazing sense of humor, caring, respect, and experience to guide us all through tough times.  Thanks Adrienne!

Debra McNeil – Family Support Billing Specialist

Debra creates and maintains DESE reimbursements, in conjunction with our Accounts Payable Department. She creates a weekly financial report to help keep the Family Support Coordinators and families up to date on their spending. Working creatively with the coordinators, she often has great ideas for saving funding, and often shares opportunities and programing that may benefit families. Not only that, her computer skills are often called upon throughout the Family Support team. Most recently, she supported the DESE team with all the new fiscal year paperwork and prepared all the budget summaries. She is extremely valued, and we are so grateful to have her as part of our team!

Emmi Smith – Wakefield Career Services Skills Instructor

Emmi is one of our new staff, and she has just done an amazing job learning the program, the individuals and job sites. Emmi runs wonderful and engaging groups. Moreover, it looks like she’s been here for years! We are thrilled with how hard she works and are so happy she is on our team!

Kathy Custer – Program Systems Specialist

You know those time you don’t know the answer to something and are really stuck? Chances are Kathy will know how to help and is always willing to do so! Thanks for being a LifeSaver!

Christine Spelman – Wakefield Day Hab Physical Therapist

Recently, an individual was having a difficult time coping with a conversation he’d had at breakfast.  They arrived at program very agitated, and it progressed.  During this period, Christine stopped her own work and assisted with the individuals in the group. She took them for a walk and helped other staff find a quiet place to wait and continue with their day.  Christine supported the individuals, likewise she supported the staff.  She is always willing to jump in and lend a hand whenever the need arises!

Laura Conte – Beverly Day Skills Instructor

Laura is one of our newest staff in Beverly, but the relationships she’s been able to form with our individuals makes it feel like she’s worked here for years. All our participants get excited when they see her and already feel comfortable confiding in her as a staff.

Gia Smith – Wakefield Career Services Assistant Director

Gia is a LifeSaver because not only is she the Assistant Program Director but also our zoom gal extraordinaire!  Filling in anywhere needed, she does it all with a smile and a positive and happy attitude. She is the bright ray of sunshine we all need. Thank you, Gia, for all you do!

Katie Skarzynski – Beverly Day Health Care Coordinator

Katie comes into work every day with a smile and a calm energy that puts us all at ease. She works hard to keep up with paperwork while still taking the time to connect with our individuals and form relationships with staff. We are so lucky to have her as a part of the Beverly Team.

Robin Kiwacz – Beverly Day Skills Instructor

Robin has gone above and beyond as a skills instructor since we’ve reopened. She is constantly taking the lead on tough days while still managing to create a fun, meaningful and safe plan for her group. Recently, Robin was able to help a client who’d had two choking incidents adjust to their new dining protocol and took the time to train the entire team on it. Robin is a true LifeSaver.

Kristen Brogna – Wakefield Day Hab Nurse

Kristen arrived at Day Hab ready, willing, and able to help in any way she can.  Staff are being asked to step up and take on rolls they may not be used to doing, such as hosting Zoom sessions.  Kristen has embraced filling in and hosting any Zoom sessions needed. She always has interesting content and makes the sessions interactive. Recently she was able to get an individual who always declined joining Zoom sessions to try one, since that one, they have been back every day!!


Who is eligible?

Any employee, volunteer, individual we support, family member, vendor or any other person or organization affiliated with or doing business with Communitas.  Basically, anyone who is part of our Communitas family is eligible for nomination!

How can I nominate someone?

To nominate someone, simply write a short statement (one or two paragraphs) which explains why you feel they should receive additional recognition and send it to the Employee Appreciation Committee, LifeSaver at CommunitasMA dot org