Executive Director Edna Sutton is, on many levels, a non-traditional entrepreneur. She established Compassions in 2006 after more than 25 years as a client of the home health care industry. Edna was thrown out of a second story window at the age of 24 during a domestic violence incident. Her injuries resulted in quadriplegia; Edna spent the next year in a hospital and the following two in a nursing home.
Determined to live independently, Edna obtained her GED and later enrolled at the Ohio State University where she majored in Accounting. She worked for the Alzheimer’s Association and Rehabilitation Services in Mansfield, Ohio. She also volunteered at the Mansfield Memorial Park Nursing Home, her former residence before moving back in 1995 to her birth home of Cleveland Ohio.
She has always had a special concern for those in need whether it was the elderly residents at her former home Mansfield Memorial Park Nursing Home or anyone she felt was in need of her assistance. Edna remained dependant on the Home Health Agencies and the home health aids that were dispatched to for her home for her daily care. She was abused and some times left with no care at all when aids neglected their shifts. Her kitchen had caught fire several times when her aids attempted to cook. There were incidents when those who were sent to care for her dropped her on the floor her clothes damaged due to the lack of training. Although there are some good home health aids the bad ones seem to carry more wait.
Edna was featured on a 1996 News Channel five investigative report that exposed the inadequacy of her care by placing hidden cameras in her home. Edna soon grew frustrated with the lax standards of home health agencies and the home health aids that were dispatched to her home. Realizing that she was not an icesolated case and that others also continue to fall victim to the laxest and poorly trained home care workers she has become a committed advocate for home care workers and those dependant on their services.
Edna founded Compassions Training & Awareness Center in 2005 at her home in Cleveland Ohio. She began to train the home health that were sent to her home in order to fill the void she experienced in her own day to day care. She taught the home care aids how to prepare meals there was also instruction in housekeeping; laundry, grooming and wheelchair transfer techniques. She stepped outside of the normal allowing males to provide care for her giving others equal opportunity for training she has provided successful job placement for the aids trained in her home. Edna is said to be by family and friends someone who always puts the needs and concerns of others above her own.
The goal of Compassions in to offer outstanding training and support to extensively prepare those caregivers who want to care for persons with special needs. Edna’s efforts have gained Compassions its 501c3 Tax Exempt Status. To date Edna is a volunteer with the Cleveland Domestic Violence Center, volunteer Peer Support person with (SIL) Services for Independent Living. Edna is also the 2010 Minority Leadership Award recipient. Compassions held it’s first annual “Dance Like No One is Watching Fundraiser” It was held at the downtown Cleveland Ritz Carlton with special guest such as Councilman Jeff Johnson and radio personality Kim Sellers of 93.1 Fm radio.
Edna has always been one who holds a deep concern for others. She has build relationships with countless others such as Representative Barbara Boyd who assisted Edna when she wrote a Bill to have extensive caregiver training to become mandatory and crimes against the elderly and individuals living with limited mobility to become felonies. The Bill is noted as House Bill 249. To date Compassions has received the necessary funding to acquire office and training space to expand her program.