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Current Hero

March Hero - Julie Nelson

atwood-200-280 Heroes of Long Term Care

OHCA's Heroes of Long Term Care program honors individual long-term care employees for their service to residents, the facility, and to their community. Heroes are nominated from long-term care facilities throughout Ohio.

Valley City Direct Support Professional Named March 2017 Long-Term Care “Hero”

The state’s largest organization representing long-term care facilities has honored a Valley City, Ohio Direct Support Professional (DSP) as its March 2017 “Hero of Long-Term Care.”

Julie Nelson, DSP at Transitional Living Centers (TLC), Valley City, Ohio has been selected by the Ohio Health Care Association (OHCA) as its Hero of Long-Term Care for March 2017. OHCA honors one long-term care employee each month for their service to long-term caregivers, residents and the community. 

Nelson will be featured on the OHCA website ( during the month of March, and will be recognized at the Association’s Annual Convention in Columbus, Ohio. 

Christa Deitrick, QIDP (Qualified Intellectual Disabilities Professional), says that "Julie is passionate about serving the facility’s residents and the community." 

"Julie has made an impact on all department at TLC," said Chelsea Pozderac, Program Director for TLC, "She is relentlessly and contagiously positive, and this positivity never wavers." 

Nelson has been with TLC as Direct Support Professional at Liljana House, one of the 13 TLC group homes, since December of 2013. She independently earned a certificate in American Sign Language, and holds her certification for both CPR and First Aid. She also acts as a Crisis Counselor in her community, offering support for those who need it. 

At TLC, Nelson is on the Safety and Quality Assurance Committees, and volunteers to participate with annual events including the Safety Fair and Job Fairs. She also helps mentor students from a local high school which participates in a pilot project to help at risk teens. 

“Julie is altruistic, giving more than is required because this is the type of person she is," says Nathan Pozderac, administrator at TLC. "This position is not merely a job to Julie; it is a calling to help people in need and she has passed on this dedication to the population we serve.” 

Nelson's son has also joined TLC as an employee. 

"Julie Nelson was nominated for this award because she truly deserves it," said Deitrick. The position of DSP is such difficult work, yet she makes it appear so easy. She loves what she does and puts so much time and effort into taking care of the individuals at TLC. She is our Hero of Long Term Care with no doubt!” 

Transitional Living Centers has been providing health care services to people with intellectual disabilities for over 50 years. The organization currently operates 13 group homes and their sister company Self-Directed Living (SDL) provides waiver services throughout Medina County, providing as independent an environment as possible to the people to whom they provide care. The main office is located at 6721 Grafton Rd., Valley City, Ohio, 330-273-5494. Additional information is available online at

The Ohio Health Care Association is a non-profit association of more than 900 skilled nursing facilities, assisted living communities, and providers serving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, representing nearly 90,000 individuals. Many OHCA members also provide a variety of home and community-based services.  OHCA is the largest long-term care association in the state, and the only chartered Ohio affiliate of the American Health Care Association, representing more than 12,000 long-term care facilities nationwide.