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Providers' Council features Karen Pellissier; Pyramid staffer recognized in “Saluting the Careforce”

Updated: Jul 10, 2020

Editors Note: Providers’ Council recently asked VIABILITY to participate in “Saluting the Careforce,” a feature that recognizes an individual who embodies the mission and is a positive influence. Karen Pellissier was featured. Providers’ Council is a Massachusetts-based nonprofit organization that acts as an official voice for the human services industry to best represent the needs and concerns of private providers.

Karen exemplifies VIABILITY’s guiding principle: the people we serve are the driving force for everything we do.

Karen Pellissier epitomizes the mission and vision of VIABILITY. For the past three decades, the rehabilitation supervisor at Pyramid day habilitation program in Springfield, Massachusetts, has been enriching and empowering the lives of the individuals we serve.

VIABILITY’s mission is to help build a world in which individuals with disabilities and other disadvantages realize their full potential within the communities of their choice. Our vision is to be a positive disruptive force in the human service industry leading innovative designs of future service delivery.

VIABILITY’s Pyramid day habilitation program offers a caring and friendly environment where individuals with developmental disabilities can enhance their physical, cognitive, and social competencies through participating in various movement centers. Activities are designed to help promote the individual’s personal growth and enable them to gain the confidence they need to adjust to the community and transition to a least restrictive environment.

Karen’s role includes overseeing the day-to-day operations, such as curriculum development, training, support, and evaluation of the participants in the day habilitation program. She assigns staff and participants to the various centers, ensuring the people we serve have appropriate activities and are engaged. Karen additionally creates business partnerships on the corporate and local level and works closely with directors to ensure program objectives are met and operated within budgetary limits.

“Karen has more energy than anyone I’ve met. She exercises in the gym and dances in the art room. She bounces around from place to place. It’s contagious for staff and the people we serve,” said VIABILITY Vice President Pattie Robinson. “She’s a role model for anyone coming in the door and it’s all genuine. When one of the participants gets hurt, she’ll cry. I wish I had 10 more employees like her.”

Karen has a master’s degree in education from American International College in Springfield and brings an exuberant personality and attitude with her to Pyramid. The people we serve are quick to speak her praises: Phenetta M. and John M. describe her as “awesome” and “cool.”

Carrie B. adds, “I love her. She’s my friend.”

Pattie commented on Karen’s commitment to VIABILITY’s paricipants. “Karen is probably the most individual focused person I have ever met,” she said. “Everything she does starts with the people we serve. She’s always taking into consideration the participants’ feelings, needs, and goals.”

Pyramid Program Director Bradley Pellissier, who shares a last name with Karen but no relation, agreed.

“Karen has developed a close bond with our participants, who frequently seek her out for her help with problems, or to find a kind word,” he said. “Families trust her as well, knowing they can reach out to her with questions or concerns and are confident that she will help them.”