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GROTON — Seven Hills Pediatric Center’s Beth Atkinson took center stage at the recent Massachusetts Council of Human Service Providers’ 39th annual conference to receive the Advocate of the Year award in front of 2,000 of her peers at the Boston Marriott Copley.

The Ruth M. Batson Advocate of the Year Award is given each year to an advocate who work tirelessly to secure the funding, services and supports that are necessary for individual consumers to reach their greatest potential. This award is given to an individual for his/her conviction, devotion and tenacity in fighting for necessary resources.

Atkinson, a resident of Townsend, has worked with the pediatric center since starting as a teacher in 1986, and since 2010, as the director of person-centered living.

“In Beth’s role promoting person-centered support at the Seven Hills Pediatric Center, she defines dignity every day through her unwavering compassion for the children and young adults with profound cognitive disabilities and medical needs in her care,” commented Holly Jarek, vice president of Seven Hills Pediatric Center.

In her role at SHPC, Atkinson ensures that meaningful inclusion and community access are part of each person’s care and helps all staff members to consider access when adapting activities or community trips. She works with the staff at SHPC on active treatment and on caring for each individual through a holistic approach. Her tireless advocacy and compassion have helped position Seven Hills Pediatric Center as one of the top skilled nursing facilities in the country, while helping improve the quality of life of hundreds of children and young adults over the last 20 years.

Located in Groton, the Seven Hills Pediatric Center, an affiliate of the Seven Hills Foundation, is an 83-bed skilled nursing community for children and young adults unlike any other. The professional staff provides coordinated, integrated long-term care to children with profound developmental disabilities that also require complex medical care, need short-term respite services or who are in need of short-term post-hospitalization care.

With its corporate office in Worcester, the Seven Hills Foundation, which was founded over 60 years ago, currently offers program sites at 170 locations. Seven Hills Foundation offers a continuum of support and services to 28,000 children, adults and seniors with disabilities and other life challenges.