Rockbridge Area Occupational Center Receives Prestigious Award

Prestigious AwardRockbridge Area Occupational Center, an organization in Buena Vista that gives employment to adults with physical, emotional, or intellectual disabilities, is pleased to announce that they have been awarded a three year accreditation by CARF (Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities), an international accrediting body. This highest level of accreditation meets international standards both for quality and commitment in pursuing excellence. An organization that has received a three year accreditation has put itself through a rigorous peer review process and has demonstrated to a team of surveyors during a three day on-site visit that its programs and services are of the highest quality, measurable, and accountable.

RAOC’s Executive Director, Roy Funkhouser noted that “CARF International has surveyed hundreds of thousands of programs throughout North and South America, Europe, Africa, and Asia since it was founded as an independent, nonprofit accreditor in 1966. We feel that our work here in Buena Vista has been reaffirmed by receiving this highest of awards. The staff, the board of directors, and I have worked hard over the last year to achieve this honor and all of us now feel renewed energy in our effort to better serve our employees.

Board chair, Kathy Kvach, adds that when Funkhouser joined RAOC as its Executive Director a year ago, he quickly understood the needs of the organization and the requirements of CARF and just as quickly set about meeting those needs. She further stated that the board members Jennifer Balkey, Allan Somerville Brown, Maia Browning, Anne Riffey- Buckner, Ann Gruner, Kent Wilson, Debbie Stump, and Margaret Fletcher “should be recognized for the remarkable time and effort that they have invested in RAOC in achieving this award.. Staff members, Diane Burger, Gail Stayton, and Oakey Pruett should also be recognized for their wonderful efforts as well.” She added, “Everyone hears about the importance of team effort, and this group is an excellent example of that quality.”

Funkhouser stated, “We can’t forget about the people who are the heart of RAOC, the employees. They are hard-working people who simply want the chance to have employment, to be in a supportive and caring environment, and to have the chance to socialize and make friends. We work hard for them because we don’t want these fine people to be denied the opportunity to have a rewarding and meaningful life.

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