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National Disability Provider Association Names Keaton Pease Recipient of 2024 New Hampshire DSP of the Year Award

Recognition honors professionals exemplifying workforce that empowers community inclusion for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.


Hampton Falls, NH –ANCOR, the leading voice in Washington for community-based disability services providers, has announced that Keaton Pease, a direct support professional at LifeConnections Specialized Support Services has been named the recipient of the 2024 New Hampshire DSP of the Year award. Pease joins 54 other honorees in the 2024 edition of ANCOR’s annual Direct Support Professional of the Year Awards program. This year’s awards garnered a record-breaking 492 nominations.

“It’s hard to put into words how proud LifeConnections is of Keaton. We are thrilled to celebrate his award, but more importantly, we recognize that his dedication is powering true community inclusion for the people we support” said Jennifer Cordaro, Executive Director “We cannot think of anyone who more clearly demonstrates the transformative power of community-based supports, and we’re so grateful that ANCOR has recognized Keaton with this national honor.”


Since 2007, ANCOR’s annual DSP of the Year awards recognize outstanding direct support professionals (DSPs) who deliver long-term services and supports to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). The awards celebrate the important role DSPs play in ensuring people with I/DD have what they need to thrive and be included in the community. These awards also seek to raise awareness about a direct support workforce in crisis. Inadequate investments in this essential workforce have led to a decades-long severe shortage of DSPs, which has only been amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic and has accelerated into a crisis that threatens access to critically needed services.


“Each year, we are seeing more nominations, and more compelling nominations, for ANCOR’s DSP of the Year Awards,” said Diane Beastrom, president of ANCOR’s Board of Directors and vice president of transition for Ohio-based I Am Boundless. “But Keaton’s nomination just blew us away. I cannot think of a more deserving professional to honor, as they truly exemplify what it means to see, appreciate and value the people we are fortunate enough to support.”


Barbara Merrill, chief executive officer for ANCOR, added: “DSPs really and truly do it all, and it’s no exaggeration to say that this year’s of class of honorees deliver transformative and sometimes life-saving supports to the people who accept their services. People like Keaton all 55 of the 2024 honorees are perfect reminders of why ANCOR works tirelessly to advocate on behalf of the direct support workforce and the incredible work our DSPs do to support people in community.”

The awards ceremony where Keaton and the other 2024 honorees to be recognized will take place in Santa Fe, N.M., on Wednesday, April 10 at 8:30 am MDT during ANCOR Connect ’24, the association’s annual conference. Members of the press interested in attending the awards presentation should contact Sean Luechtefeld, ANCOR’s vice president for membership and communications, at sluechtefeld@ancor.org or 571.207.9108.


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About ANCOR

For more than 50 years, the American Network of Community Options and Resources (ancor.org) has been a leading advocate for the critical role service providers play in enriching the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). As a national nonprofit trade association, ANCOR exists to advance the ability of its nearly 2,500 member organizations to support people with I/DD to fully participate in their communities.


About LifeConnections Specialized Support Services

From the Florida beaches to the mountains of Maine, LifeConnections provides a wide range of specialized support services to people of all ages and abilities. LifeConnections is a subsidiary of Becket Academy, Inc (www.lifeconnectionsusa.org) and is known for creating individualized service options for people with complex behavioral health and/or medical needs who may be at risk of moving out of state or to higher levels of care.

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