Patrick Flagg, Medication-certified Direct Support Professional and United Helpers Behavioral Health and Life Skills' employee has been selected by the Society of the United Helpers as the 2020 Wayne N. Ladouceur Award recipient.

Best-selling author and motivational speaker Simon Sinek authored a book titled “Leaders Eat Last,” detailing a philosophy that “real leaders” care about the well-being of others over themselves.

That’s a philosophy that quite literally, whether he knows it or not, this year’s Wayne N. Ladouceuer Award winner Patrick J. Flagg, of Ogdensburg lives by.

United Helpers Behavioral Health and Life Skills Program Leader Isabelle Gates-Shult, who nominated Mr. Flagg, explains, “There was one time when Pat and some other staff members brought a couple of residents out for some shopping and lunch. After shopping, staff realized there wasn’t going to be enough money to cover the cost of all the lunches.”

In stepped Mr. Flagg. She continued, “Pat gave his money to the residents so they could enjoy a nice lunch out and Pat did not eat lunch that day, as he did not have enough money for both himself and the residents.”

Mrs. Gates-Shult concluded the story, “This doesn’t surprise me at all coming from Pat. It’s just what he does, he helps people who need it and it doesn’t matter when it is or who you are.”

Criteria for the Ladouceur award includes giving generously of one’s self, the ability to see beyond one’s own needs, a strong personal drive to provide the utmost in care, the ability to feel and express empathy, and exuding a love for life.

Mrs. Gates-Shult, who nominated Mr. Flagg for the honor said those are all areas where he excels.

“Pat is always the first to volunteer to stay, even if it’s not his turn. He will ride with someone in an ambulance or accompany them to a doctor’s appointment at 2 p.m. even if his shift ends at 2:30 p.m. and he will not get home until much later. He never complains and always maintains his smile throughout the entire shift,” she said. “Pat is beyond self-motivated, and his initiative and drive are infectious to all who work with him.”

Mr. Flagg is a medication-certified direct support professional and participant in the DSP apprenticeship program. He currently works at both the Kendrew and Flackville IRAs. He lives in Ogdensburg with his daughter whom he is raising as a single father.

“He has a genuine soul, a love for life, and a raw talent in just about everything he engages in. Pat is a strong employee who has chosen a path not only to better himself, but to also better the people we serve and his family, so he can continue to support and care for them the way he feels they deserve to be supported,” she said. “He is everything a human should strive to be. United Helpers needs more people like Pat Flagg. He is the future of our company.”

Mr. Ladouceur’s wife, Cheryl, chose the criteria for the award as those were all traits exhibited by her husband and things he was known for, not just in the United Helpers family, but also across the entire city of Ogdensburg.

Each nomination must also include an additional letter of support from someone other than the nominee. Mr. Flagg’s letter of support came from United Helpers Behavioral Health and Life Skills Vice President of Operations Michele M. Montroy.

In her letter she wrote, “Having known Mr. Ladouceur personally, I can say that Wayne’s unselfish commitment, dedication, and caring for United Helpers residents and staff are exemplified in Pat Flagg.”

The Wayne N. Ladouceur Award was created in memory of and in honor of Mr. Ladouceur, a longtime United Helpers volunteer, board member and former board president. The award is funded through an endowment created by Mrs. Ladouceur and more than 80 other friends and family members. 

Note - Pat was to be presented with the award on Friday, February 7th at 4 pm at the Behavioral Health and Life Skills Complex, however, this ceremony was postponed due to weather. Details will be released when the ceremony is rescheduled.