Baptist Hospital is a Perfect Fit for Young Man with a Disability

Daniel Joseph photo

Miami, FL Ė Daniel Joseph loves his job at South Miami Hospital. "I like sweeping the floors and cleaning the tables," he says. "I like working with everybody here. Iím enjoying meeting the people and setting the utensils in the rack." Daniel, who has intellectual and mental health disabilities, is a greeter/busser/utility person in the hospital cafeteria, and the patrons are very happy heís on staff.

"Heís a joy to work with, always smiling, always happy," says Tom Ferner, Operations Manager for South Miami Hospital. "Itís a treat to have him here and to work with him. Heís part of our family now."

Daniel, who is a customer of the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD), wanted to work so he came to Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) for help in finding a job. He met with his VR counselor, Raul San Jose, to discuss his options.

Baptist Health South Florida was offering internships for VR customers, and Raul felt that Daniel would be a perfect fit. Daniel did a 12-week internship with one of their hospitals, Doctors Hospital. During his internship, his job coaches from Henry Development helped show Daniel what was expected of him and his job duties, and how to get along with his co-workers.

When his internship was finished there were no job openings at Doctors Hospital for Daniel, but he had done such a good job they hired him to work part time in the cafeteria of South Miami Hospital. The first thing Tom noticed when he met Daniel was his great smile. He decided to give Daniel a chance to work in the front of the house so he could share that smile with the restaurantís customers.

After a few weeks of training, Tom was impressed with Danielís drive and determination. "Once you show Daniel something, heís like a machine," says Tom. "He doesnít forget it, and heís very thorough."

Raul is proud of Daniel and how well heís doing with his job. "Danielís case shows what teamwork is all about," says Raul. "We had APD, VR, Henry Development, and Baptist hospital staff all working together to help Daniel find a job that he is best suited for. And the job coaching makes such a big difference in helping Daniel learn what is expected of him so we can get him into stable employment in an integrated setting."

Daniel is very excited about working at the hospital and hopes to work there for a long time to come. He also enjoys listening to music, riding his bike, and he would like to get back to playing basketball. Daniel is thankful for Raul and VR. "It was nice working with Raul," says Daniel. "He helped me get the job. And he helped me with job skills and interviews." VR is there for anyone who has a disability and wants to go to work.

Floridaís Vocational Rehabilitation program is committed to helping people with disabilities become part of Americaís workforce. Our employer-focused website, FLJobConnections.com, allows businesses to search at no charge for employees who are ready to go to work, as well as to post available jobs. VR has 80 offices across Florida, and last year helped 6,523 Floridians with significant disabilities find or keep a job. For more information about VR and its services, call (800) 451-4327 or visit Rehabworks.org.