Local woman awarded ND Direct Support Professional of the Year award

Sammie Haider of REM North Dakota, a part of The MENTOR Network, was named North Dakota Direct Support Professional of the Year.

The award, recognizing one frontline professional in each state for his or her outstanding contributions to the individuals they support, is given by the American Network of Community Options and Resources, a national trade association for community providers of services for people with disabilities.

Haider works at REM North Dakota’s program in Minot. She has been a direct support professional for over four years. Haider is known for the innovative ways in which she helps the individuals in her program thrive. She created a game to help an individual safely and efficiently stack sodas – a core responsibility of the job he was training for. After playing the game for a week, the individual improved his skills by leaps and bounds and was able to excel at work and increase his self-esteem.

“On behalf of all of us at REM North Dakota, I would like to congratulate Sammie for being named DSP of the Year,” said Brenda Niess, state director of REM North Dakota. “DSPs are the lifeblood of our work and mission. They are an essential workforce, especially now during the COVID-19 pandemic. DSPs are on the frontlines of care and are hidden heroes of the pandemic.”

According to American Network of Community Options and Resources, more than one million individuals with disabilities rely on the services provided by direct support professionals to live in their communities, and the demand is growing. Direct support professionals like Haider continue to provide essential services to some of the nation’s most vulnerable populations.

REM North Dakota provides essential, community-based services to adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. A part of The MENTOR Network, REM North Dakota offers an array of innovative services and supports to help individuals live as independently as possible in the communities they call home.


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