North GA – Babies Can't Wait (BCW), a vital program within the Women and Children's Health Services division of the Georgia Department of Public Health, is committed to providing comprehensive early intervention services to infants and toddlers with special needs, aged from birth to three years, as well as their families. As Georgia's Part C early intervention program, BCW focuses on empowering family members and caregivers to optimize children's learning and development through everyday opportunities.
At their recent statewide summit meeting held in mid-August, themed "Reimagining & Rebuilding Early Intervention in Georgia," the Babies Can’t Wait program proudly recognized and expressed deep gratitude to the exceptional staff in health districts who have made invaluable contributions to the children and families they serve. During the summit, awards were bestowed upon numerous staff members whose outstanding work truly embodies the spirit of the theme.
Several of the awards were presented to Babies Can’t Wait staff from the North Georgia Health District.
Lois Blockley, Early Intervention Coordinator (EIC) of the Year Award. This award goes to the Early Intervention Coordinator who has gone above and beyond the call of duty to provide outstanding services and support to Early Intervention staff and families.
Lois Blockley, Babies Can’t Wait Early Intervention Coordinator for the North Georgia Health District, has proven herself to be an exceptional leader, consistently going above and beyond to support her district, families, and providers. Lois's patience and unwavering support to her team have helped her colleagues grow and gain confidence in their positions. Her availability and responsiveness, often answering emails and phone calls within minutes, demonstrate her dedication to providing the support needed. With a genuine heart for the families served by her program, Lois goes the extra mile to ensure they receive the assistance they require.
Throughout the years, Lois’s strong and supportive leadership skills have remained constant. She consistently refers to policy when making decisions for the district, displaying confidence in her choices while also acknowledging and rectifying any mistakes. Lois's patience and teaching abilities shine through when training providers and new staff members, making her an invaluable mentor and Early Intervention Coordinator. Those fortunate enough to work with Lois can attest to the immense knowledge and growth they have gained under her guidance.
Susan Wright, Provider of the Year Award. This award goes to the provider who has gone above and beyond the call of duty to provide outstanding Early Intervention services to families.
Susan Wright is not only an intelligent and caring individual, but she is also an exceptionally skilled Physical Therapist for Babies Can’t Wait in North Georgia. Her caseload is consistently full, yet she always finds a way to accommodate one more child because she genuinely believes in their need for therapy. The families Susan assists speak highly of her, and she has earned a reputation as one of the best in her field. She excels at coaching and motivating her families to achieve success. In addition to her primary role for the North Georgia Health District, Susan has recently joined the eligibility evaluation team in the district and has proven to be highly proficient in that role as well. She is always available to answer calls and willingly offers assistance to anyone in need.
Kim D’Addario, Service Coordinator of the Year Award. This award goes to the provider who has gone above and beyond the call of duty to provide outstanding Early Intervention services to families.
Kim D'Addario has been with the Babies Can’t Wait program in North Georgia for many years, starting as an Occupational Therapist before transitioning into her current role as a Service Coordinator. She is known for her hard work and dedication to the North Georgia Health District, Babies Can’t Wait, and the families she serves. Kim not only excels in her own role, but she also mentors new Service Coordinators and participates in various projects and trainings. She is always willing to share her knowledge and support with others. Additionally, Kim's expertise extends beyond Service Coordination, as she has also stepped in to assist with eligibility evaluations and initial Individualized Family Service Plans when needed. She is highly regarded by both families and providers, and her impact is felt all throughout the health district.
Tania Beavers, Silver Lining Award. This award goes to the person who is most likely to keep things positive and see the best in a situation.
Tania Beavers is an exceptional individual who consistently brings a positive perspective to every situation. As the Early Intervention Specialist and leader of the North Georgia Health District’s Babies Can’t Wait team meetings, she exudes optimism and effortlessly reframes challenges into opportunities. Tania's helpful nature and unwavering optimism make her an invaluable asset in any circumstance. She not only provides hope during difficult times but also instills confidence and focus on everyone around her. Tania's ability to find the silver lining in every situation is truly remarkable.
McKenzie MacAllister, White Knight Award. This award goes to the person who is most likely to save the day.
McKenzie MacAllister is the lead Occupational Therapist of the Joy Therapy and Learning Center, where she joins forces with the Babies Can’t Wait program in the North Georgia Health District and North Health District 2 to consistently provide essential services to children in need. Going above and beyond her responsibilities, McKenzie tirelessly seeks out therapists who can cater to the unique requirements of these children. Moreover, she personally conducts evaluations and delivers services to children, even amidst her already demanding schedule, ensuring that they receive the necessary support.
In a time when provider shortages are an issue throughout the state, McKenzie and her team at Joy Therapy and Learning Center have truly exemplified what it means to go the extra mile. McKenzie's exceptional dedication and genuine concern for the children she serves sets her apart as she goes out of her way to ensure they receive the assistance they require.
We are proud of these dedicated public health heroes and of the remarkable strides they are making in their work with the children and families who need them.