Pennoyer MD Is Proud to Be An Inclusive Employer

This article originally appeared at BeanZ & Co.

Inclusive Employment Makes Us A Family

Dermatologist Jennifer Pennoyer, M.D. becomes an inclusive employer and says the benefits are far greater than she expected.

My BeanZ & Co. journey began in 2015 when I was looking to create a new role in my office. I am a dermatologist in the Hartford, Conn. area with a large volume practice. We were converting to electronic records and with the added work, my staff told me they barely had time to get the next patients to their rooms. At the same time, I often heard from patients and friends who had children with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) about how their kids couldn’t find a job when they finished school.

There was an opportunity here.

I talked to one of the parents about creating a new position where the employee would be responsible for transporting patients from the waiting room to the exam room. That person connected me with Favarh, Inc. a local agency that provides support for people with IDD. And not long after, I hired a young man named Danny. I had concerns in the beginning, as did his parents, all of us wanting this to be successful. We agreed to have an open line of communication.

We’ve leaned on the advice of the Favarh job coach working with Danny and have learned he has his order of tasks and that one check-in person is all he needs. Danny’s responsibilities have expanded in the past 5 years. He calls each patient by name, transports them from the waiting room to the exam room, pushes up a flag indicating which patient is next, and gives them a gown. After the patient leaves, he adjusts the exam table in an upright position, swaps out the paper and puts the gown in the laundry.

Danny is taking a leave of absence during Covid-19. He’ll return in the summer once everyone is vaccinated. We all really miss him. Danny has an incredible ability to make us a family. We get into the nitty-gritty of the job and he helps us remember we’re all cared for and loved in the office. While hiring someone with IDD has had a learning curve, the benefits are far greater than I expected. There is an immeasurable feeling in the office among our staff and our patients that didn’t exist before. It’s just so, so good.

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