June 20, 2016

MONTGOMERY – Ms. Suezette Hatten, a social worker with Coffee County Department of Human Resources (DHR) who investigates and arranges services for adults at risk of abuse, neglect, and/or exploitation is the recipient of the 2016 Alabama Spirit of Adult Protective Services (APS) Award. She received the award from DHR Commissioner Nancy T. Buckner, at a ceremony in Birmingham on June 10, 2016. Commissioner Buckner recognized the outstanding accomplishments of Ms. Hatten and presented her with a plaque honoring her as the recipient of the 2016 Alabama Spirit of APS Award.

The award is presented annually to a frontline worker who, through his or her own initiative and ideas, makes significant contributions to the growth and development of the APS program. As the Spirit of APS Award winner for Alabama, Ms. Hatten will be nominated for the National Spirit of Adult Protective Services Association (NAPSA) Award, which will be presented at the 27th Annual conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in August.

Doris Ball, Director of APS for the Department of Human Resources, stated “Ms. Hatten represents APS workers across the State.  She is dedicated to investigating abuse, neglect, and exploitation of adults and arranging services to protect vulnerable adults.  She exemplifies a high professional standard with compassion and respect for those who need her help.”

Coffee County DHR Director, Deana Stinson added, “There are countless ways that Ms. Hatten goes above and beyond the call of duty. For many years, she has coordinated Coffee County’s local DHR Christmas drive as well as the Thanksgiving meals. She has labored alongside APS clients as they sifted through belongings and moved them to more safe environments while respecting the client’s feelings and the significance of their material possessions.

Ms. Hatten has provided consistent quality services to the elderly and disabled adult population in Coffee County for six years. Ms. Laura Coggins, Coffee County APS Supervisor, states that, “throughout this community, Ms. Hatten is contacted for guidance and advice. She understands the need for APS clients to have self-dignity no matter their circumstances.”

In addition to the nominations made by  Coffee County DHR staff, there were also many letters of support received for Ms. Hatten from the Circuit Judge, local attorney, and law enforcement, making this a very special recognition for the entire Coffee County community.

The mission of the DHR Adult Protective Services Division is to support and enable County Departments to protect elderly and disabled adults from abuse, neglect, and exploitation and prevent unnecessary institutionalization.

NAPSA is a national organization representing the interests of Adult Protective Services programs and has members in every state. The organization is a leader in developing national policy recommendations and providing advocacy, training, research and innovation in the field of Adult Protective Services.