A public servant who listened, cared and acted

The Examiner

I recently heard that Bev Mosnick passed away. For those who don’t know Bev, she was an extraordinary Missouri state director.

In fact, for over 35 years, she worked for a few state departments.

Diane Mack

But, most importantly, to our family, Bev worked within the Department of Health and Senior Services.

I cried when I read her obituary online. I cried even more when I read the comments on her Guestbook.

“I appreciated her stories, her sincerity and her ability to see people as people and not just a case file.” 

“She was always selfless and giving. Helping people was more important to her than honors and recognition.”

“By knowing Beverly, you could tell she was very dedicated to the clients that she served. Beverly was a wonderful person.”

“I will remember Beverly for her special traits of openness, forthrightness, and sense of humor. She would be in line first to lend a helping hand.”

When we moved to Missouri over 20 years ago, I applied to the Department of Health and Senior Services for in-home care giving for my special-needs daughter, Kelsey.

We had moved from a state where parents could be paid caregivers for their adult children with disabilities.

In fact, we had lived in four states where parents could be employed as their child’s caregiver.

But, oh no ... this would never occur in the Show Me State ... because Missouri was a whole ’nother story.

Anyway, my daughter was actually eligible to apply for support programs within three state departments. And all three focused more on placement of the child in state facilities than in allowing the child to live at home with the same services.

I’m starting to get worked up. I may even hyperventilate. Let me move back to Bev Mosnick at DHSS.

At our first DHSS appointment, I immediately asked for the program that would allow me to be my daughter's in-home, paid caregiver.

I thought this state employee was going to pass out. She said “No, we don’t offer that in Missouri.”

Well, I couldn’t take “no” for an answer. Therefore, the department finally pushed me to the top of the totem pole, their boss.

Whether you have any history of your loved one’s neglect or abuse from an agency or a state facility, or have read the newspaper recently about nursing home care, you know how important it is to protect your child.

Enter, Bev Mosnick, an amazing lady who listened and answered my prayers. Using her creativity, and desire to do what we needed, Bev made a state regulation work for my daughter. I could work as her caregiver

Years before, we had experienced agency staff (underpaid and overworked) who were neglectful and abusive to Kelsey.

We were not going back there.

Bev assigned herself to be Kelsey's coordinator. She went out of her way to come to our home for monthly appointments. She did everything she could to make this work, without any glitches.

Bev respected our wishes and protected my daughter and her choice.

Kelsey’s program ran very well, with me, and others, as her caregivers.

We finally arrived at the time to move onto the department that provided 168 hours per week of care. At that point, we said goodbye to Bev.

Bev was an amazing woman, in so many ways. But the greatest part was she listened, and made it work.

A short while ago, I heard the state was holding a 35-year retirement party for Bev. We planned to attend. During the gathering, we had the opportunity to take the microphone and express our thoughts to Bev.

I cried while I thanked her.

However, the best comment was given by my daughter, as she shouted "I love you, Bev."

Actually, our whole family loves you, Bev.            

Diane Mack is coordinator of Putting Families First, Jackson County's Family Week Foundation. Email her at Director@jacksoncountyfamilyweek.org.