Janelle Kelly is a valued Monument Health employee. She also happens to be a person with a disability. With this blog, we celebrate Janelle’s contribution to the Monument Health workforce and, we also celebrate Monument Health for being a “Proud Employer of People with DisABILITIES!”
“It starts with heart.”
That’s how Monument Health’s Vision Statement begins, and it is what employee Janelle Kelly brings to her job each and every day.
“Janelle represents so very well Monument’s culture and goals,” said Linda Johnson, Executive Assistant. “She is so conscientious, polite and friendly. She takes her duties very seriously. She’s an awesome young lady.”
Janelle is supported by Black Hills Works, a nonprofit organization supporting more than 600 people with disabilities in Rapid City.
She has been a Monument Health employee for almost three years. Her primary role is “policing,” which means making sure that her area, which includes the Cancer Care Institute, is clean and stocked.
“She is so efficient,” says Linda. “She’s a ‘goer.’ She doesn’t waste time and practically runs when asked to help.”
Carol Fousek, Environmental Services Manager, and Janelle’s Supervisor, wholeheartedly agrees.
“She brings a positive attitude to work,” said Carol. “Janelle is always willing to do anything we ask, which is so helpful given how fast-paced this environment is. She fits in perfectly.”
“It makes me proud to be able to help out like I do,” says Janelle, who loves her job. “My co-workers are very nice and supportive.”
Prior to joining the Environmental Services team, Janelle worked at Monument Health as part of the Project Search program, a program offered through Vocational Rehabilitation and through the Rapid City Area School District. Project Search helps teens with disabilities gain important on-the-job training and skills development.
“Janelle is always looking for ways to grow and improve as employee. Project Search was a great fit for her, and it is no surprise that she was brought on as an employee. She has an incredible work ethic,” said Sara Renton, her Employment Support Specialist at Black Hills Works.
“Recently, Janelle even completed a year-long course to earn her Pharmacy Tech degree,” Sara added. “This has been a dream of hers for a long time and an achievement that she hopes will open up future opportunities at the hospital.”
Monument Health currently provides employment opportunities to nearly 30 people with disabilities. In recognition, Black Hills Works presented Monument Health with its “Proud Employer of People with DisABILTIES” seal, with Janelle alongside to help celebrate the recognition.
“We are so grateful to Monument Health and employers across our community for seeing the value of employees with disabilities, like Janelle,” said Heather Jansen, Black Hills Works’ Director of Employment Support.
“Our Proud Employer seal program is a way we can publicly celebrate this contribution, and educate other employers about what’s possible.”
“Monument Health has long counted on Black Hills Works, who has helped identify great workers for our warehouse and in the hospital, where, like Janelle, they work directly with staff supporting our patients,” said Dan Daly, Monument Health’s Communications Specialist. “At the end of the day, we are all just one team contributing to the mission of Monument Health, for the benefit of our community.”
When not at work, Janelle is making a difference in our community as an active volunteer at area nursing homes, the YMCA, Feeding South Dakota and the Humane Society. She is also a member of the A-Team, an advocacy organization for people with disabilities and their families.
Janelle’s servant heart and work ethic no doubt stems from her early experiences. She was adopted just a few days shy of her 14th birthday from a China orphanage, where she was often tasked to take care of other children. Upon adoption, she joined a family of 11, including seven girls, all of whom were also adopted from China.
“We celebrate ‘gotcha day’ on June 28,” said Janelle with a smile, which is the day she was adopted.
Although Janelle enjoys her downtime connecting with friends, playing games, doing cross stich, and hiking, she is also very grateful to Black Hills Works and Monument Health for the support and employment opportunities they have provided.
“I am able to work and achieve my goals of living independently. I have made friends. I am learning to speak up for myself and my needs,” she says.