Five NCDHHS Employees Honored with 2021 Richard Caswell Award for 45 Years of Public Service

Friday, April 30, 2021

Five NCDHHS employees were recently honored with the 2021 Richard Caswell Award for 45 years of public service. The NCDHHS employees join 12 other state employees in the honor and collectively make up more than 765 years of public service.

The honorees were celebrated in video messages from Governor Roy Cooper and NC Office of State Human Resources Director Barbara Gibson. “Collectively, these five individuals have given hundreds of years of service to North Carolina and the Department of Health and Human Services, and I am so grateful for everything they have done to serve the health and wellbeing of our state in that time,” said Secretary Cohen in her weekly message to DHHS staff. “Join me in congratulating these five outstanding members of our Team.”

Richard Caswell was a Maryland native who dedicated most of his adult life to North Carolina. He was the first Orange County clerk of court before taking up arms during the Revolutionary War. He later became a member of the colonial assembly, where he was a champion for free public education.

With our young nation’s independence from Britain, Caswell became North Carolina’s first governor, serving from 1776-1780. He next served as state controller, returning to the job of chief executive from 1784-1787. Caswell also was a delegate to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in 1787, then served again as a state senator.

For more information about OSHR, or to learn about opportunities to work for the State of North Carolina, visit the OSHR website.

Learn more below about the NCDHHS Caswell Award recipients’ careers and the advice they would give others just starting out their careers in public service.

DHHS employee Maude Body

Maude Body has spent her entire state career with NCDHHS. She started in 1976 at the O’Berry Center as a licensed practical nurse and later became a licensed physical therapy assistant. In 1984, Maude transferred to Cherry Hospital.

What’s one of the most memorable/rewarding experiences you have had as a state employee?
Although it can sometimes be a little challenging working with the patients, it is very rewarding to see them improve mentally and physically to the point they can be discharged to the community. Also, meeting co-workers who become friends is a blessing.

What advice would you give to a new state employee starting out in their career?
Do your job to the best of your ability. Expect and accept changes; they will come. Strive to be a good example and always treat people the way you would like to be treated. Working together improves patient care, safety, and recovery.    

                          

DHHS employee Connie Dixon

Connie Dixon worked for local government in Lenoir County for 30 years, and spent the rest of her career at NCDHHS, in the Office of Rural Health and Community Care, NC Families Accessing Services through Technology, and the Division of Social Services.

What’s one of the most memorable/rewarding experiences you have had as a state employee?My most memorable experiences are seeing frowns becoming smiles, tears disappearing, needs met, food on the table and cold dwellings heated for the numerous citizens whose lives I have impacted directly and indirectly across this great state.

What advice would you give to a new state employee starting out in their career?When working with staff and citizens in North Carolina, be willing to walk more than a mile in the other person’s shoes.

   

            

 

DHHS employee Judy HinsonJudy Hinson has worked in residential services at Caswell Developmental Center throughout her entire career.

What’s one of the most memorable/rewarding experiences you have had as a state employee?
We used to have groups come here and square dance and we would have parties. There was one event where staff had to dress up in formal wear.

What advice would you give to a new state employee starting out in their career?
A motto that has guided my career is: “Treat others how you want to be treated!"

       

      

            

Patricia Hovis

Patricia Hovis worked as a supervisor of family and children services at both Lincoln and Gaston Counties’ Departments of Social Services for more than 30 years, and now works for the NCDHHS Children’s Developmental Services in Shelby.

What’s one of the most memorable/rewarding experiences you have had as a state employee?
One child, in particular stands out. He was born with a rare condition that left him challenged in almost every area of his development. He was blind. He had minimal flexibility in his body so could not sit, walk, roll over, and he was nonverbal. He was tube fed and required in home nursing care. His mom had let prior workers go because she did not see the need for early intervention services. Then, I arrived on the scene. The first thing I did was ask that he be disconnected for a short time from all the wires and tubes that limited his world, and threw him up on my hip, and we started exploring what was beyond that room. His mom's mouth dropped open, ended in a smile and our bond was made. I loved that boy and he grew to recognize my voice and anticipate the adventures we would share. I miss him, and his mom.

What advice would you give to a new state employee starting out in their career?
Don't expect to make a sweeping change in the world by your status and beliefs. Take it one child, one family at a time. They will add up.

 

DHHS Employee Pink Moore

Pink Moore has worked as a health care technician supervisor and a teaching parent, during his employment at J. Iverson Riddle Developmental Center. In 1993, he joined the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services (DVRS) and was hired as a vocational rehabilitation counselor and is presently working as a community employment program manager at DVRS.

What’s one of the most memorable/rewarding experiences you have had as a state employee?
I feel that all my working experiences have been rewarding because I have allowed myself to grow and embrace challenges.

What advice would you give to a new state employee starting out in their career?
Practice integrity, accept responsibility, observe your co-workers in how they perform their job duties, and ask questions. Reserve judgment of others, but understand that judgment sometimes requires one to make decisions, and to ensure that all pertinent and available information has been reviewed and considered before you make your decision. Try not to become discouraged in accepting constructive criticism from management and sometimes from your co-workers.