The Greater Richmond ARC knows that its staff is superb, but it is nice when others recognize it as well. Cara Coffman and Kathy Poffenberger, developmental specialists in The Greater Richmond ARC's Infant and Child Development Services (ICDS) program, were recently honored by Richmond's Children's Hospital with their Spirit of Advocacy Award. This honor is given annually to a person or persons who have used their professional knowledge to enhance the lives of children in the community.
"Cara and Kathy have worked with hundreds of children and continue to make the lives of those they serve better," read the nomination. "They actively advocate for the needs of all children with disabilities and influence services through a solid commitment and dedication to infants and toddlers and their families."
"We are proud of the work and level of commitment that Cara and Kathy bring to our program," said Lisa Cox, head of ICDS. "In their roles as developmental specialists, they are constantly thinking of the needs of children in the community, and as representatives of our organization, are truly ARC advocates.'
The Spirit of Advocacy awards were created by Children's Hospital in 2004 to formally recognize a family or family member of a Children's Hospital patient for their efforts in advocating for the health care needs of their child or the broader needs of children in the community. In 2005, a Community Partner Award was added to recognize the efforts of professionals who use their position and skills to advocate for children's health care. Criteria for both awards include taking a positive action in regard to some aspect of advocating for legislative or safety initiatives, influencing funding sources or new program development, obtaining health care services for children, influencing improvements to the community for children with special health care needs, and/or suggesting improvements to health care services.