November 15, 2022 – Blossom Hill, Inc. was proud to recognize Tabitha Wachenschwanz, Activities Coordinator, and Christine Oehlstrom, LPN, Nurse Supervisor, at the Ohio Health Care Association’s IDD Excellence Awards Ceremony in Columbus this week. Both Tabitha and Christine work at Blossom’s Center Ridge House. The ceremony featured 14 award-winners from all over the state.

Christine’s nomination: ‘”Unflappable,” a rare and desired trait for nurses, perfectly describes Christine Oehlstrom, the Nurse Supervisor at Blossom Hill’s Center Ridge House. She responds to each crisis patience and calm, which puts the individuals at ease but will then advocate urgently and fiercely with medical teams on the other end to make sure the individuals receive the best care possible. When an individual is in the hospital or needs specialized care, she is the first one on the phone or at the hospital/facility informing the medical team how this person needs to be treated.

She works all shifts – sometimes multiple doubles in a row. She is a wealth of information about the individuals as she’s been there for over 6 years. As the parent of a son with developmental disabilities, she treats each of the individuals like her own children.

In addition to her clinical expertise, she has a wonderful sense of humor and is a great coworker and mentor to new staff.

Tabitha’s nomination: “Ask anyone at Blossom Hill Center Ridge House – staff, individuals, family members – and they will tell you that no one works harder than Tabitha Wachenschwanz. As the Activities Coordinator, she works tirelessly to plan person-centered outings and activities. You can find her there at 6 am or 10 pm ready to drive an individual to an appointment or drive a group to the zoo lights during the holidays.

On top of picking up shifts when she can to work on the floor, the plans amazing celebrations to thank the DSPs during “DSP week,” including custom shirts that she makes with her CRIKIT. In July, she already has Christmas lists ready for the individuals so that they get what they need and want for Christmas. She also planned a “Christmas in July” celebration and wrapped special gifts for each of the individuals to open.

In addition to the big events that she tirelessly plans, she also does small things with the individuals that truly make a difference. For example, every Friday morning, she paints all the females’ nails, and they look forward to it every week.

She is the definition of “above and beyond.”