Canton resident receives NYSARC service award
Wednesday, July 7, 2010 - 2:31 pm

CANTON – St. Lawrence NYSARC, ( a non-profit corporation dedicated to working for people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities, announced that Russel Backus, Staff Training and Development Instructor, was honored with the Paul Vanas Memorial Service Award.

The recognition was given during the 19th Annual New York State Third Age Providers conference in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

Backus has been a staff member at St. Lawrence NYSARC since 1985, beginning his career in a direct care position. Today, Backus works in the Staff Training Department and provides education to the staff of about 600 people.

As a member of the Agency's Aging Task Force, Backus has been the driving force toward development of a comprehensive program to assist people with disabilities facing issues related to aging.

"Russ has been a reliable, compassionate staff member and we value the variety of talents he shares throughout the Agency," said Daphne Pickert, St. Lawrence NYSARC Executive Director. "Russ continues to utilize innovative problem solving skills as a teacher, mentor, and friend to team members and program participants."

The Award is named after Paul Vanas, a New York State Office for the Aging staff member who was a crucial part of the State's development of services for people facing aging concerns.

The award was established after his death in 1993 to acknowledge people who put forth extraordinary effort to provide service options to older individuals with disabilities.

Those presented with this honor include service providers and staff members who have made a significant impact through programming designed to keep older people living in their communities.