On November 9, Arrowhead West, Inc. (AWI), an agency serving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities or delays, celebrated 45 years of support in western and central Kansas.
âWe serve almost 1,000 per year across the agency and in the Pratt area, approximately 145 children 0-3 years old in our Infant and Toddler Services program and 102 adults (18+) in our adult services program, âsaid Nadine Lampe, AWI Development. Director.
Don Pendergrast founded Arrowhead West, which was incorporated in 1976 to serve the counties of Ford, Gray, Hodgeman, Edwards, Clark, Kiowa and Comanche with preschool programs and vocational training opportunities for adults. Residential Services was established in 1979 with the opening of two group homes.
In 1980, AWI received national accreditation through the Rehabilitation Facilities Accreditation Commission and has continued to maintain its accreditation to this day. In the early 1980s, Ness and Meade counties joined the agency.
In 1986, new assisted living and employment programs were launched. Five more counties joined the agency in 1989 when Community Living Services, Inc. and the Chikaskia Area Training Center merged with AWI. These counties were Sedgwick, Barber, Harper, Kingman and Pratt.
Infant and toddler services and adult life skills retirement programs were improved and expanded in the 1990s as buildings in Dodge City and Pratt were purchased, constructed, or upgraded.
The Wichita Day program building was completed in 2009 and shortly thereafter AWI purchased the homes from Bethesda Lutheran Communities, Inc. September 3, 2013 marked the first day of services at a new service program building. Pratt day.
Don Pendergast from her leadership role in 1998 and Lori Pendergast took on the role of president of the organization, a role she continues to hold today.
AWI currently operates day services at six sites, community jobs and over 45 residential sites, as well as home care services for infants and toddlers at offices in Pratt and Dodge City. Their goal continues to empower people to live meaningful and productive lives.
To celebrate 45 years of service as AWI, parties and picnics were held at each location.
At Pratt, the Mid-Kansas Division celebrated with customers, staff, family and friends. Everyone enjoyed the lasagna for lunch, socialized, sang karaoke, and danced.