Culture of service Featured

8:00pm EDT May 26, 2010

As an organization that provides specialized services to people with disabilities, Hattie Larlham exists for the sole purpose of meeting the needs of those it serves.

But in order to meet those needs, Hattie Larlham — led by CEO Dennis Allen — needs a unified work force that is focused on the mission at hand.

The organization places a strong emphasis on employee wellness. The philosophy is that healthy employees are better able to provide a high standard of care that Hattie Larlham prides itself on. In addition to holding an annual wellness fair and offering free mammograms to employees, the organization retains a staff dietician that distributes healthy eating tips to the staff. The organization has also held a walking club each of the past two years.

As a whole, the employee wellness initiatives have benefited the physical and emotional health of Hattie Larlham’s employees, has saved the organization money, and has helped to maintain a high level of service to those who seek the organization’s assistance.

Hattie Larlham’s employees help administer a number of programs that help enrich the lives of the people whom the organization serves, including a creative arts program that enlists the help of professional artists to work with program participants, allowing people with disabilities to express themselves through art.

Paintings from the program have sold for as much as $1,000, and the proceeds go directly to the artist.

It’s a part of an overarching philosophy on serving people with disabilities: treating individuals as people, not patients. Hattie Larlham makes it a priority to address not just the physical needs of people with disabilities but also their emotional needs.

Hattie Larlham strives to bring comfort, joy and achievement into the lives of the people it serves. It’s the organization’s philosophy that those are among the most fundamental principles of a fulfilling life.

How to reach: Hattie Larlham, (330) 274-2272 or