Employee Spotlight Series: Darlene Hambel

In our 2019 Employee Spotlight Series, we are creating space to highlight the 62 employees of Buckeye Hills Regional Council. Every year, we celebrate as a region the tremendous impact of our programs and services - an investment of nearly $1.3 billion into southeast Ohio since our inception in 1968 - but it’s our employees who work hard every day to breathe life into our mission and pour out into the eight-county region we serve.

Follow along as we feature three different employees every month!


Darlene Hambel

Darlene is an Assessor for Buckeye Hills Regional Council and has been a part of our team since July 2003.


  • What led you to your current position at Buckeye Hills?

Darlene: I graduated from Hocking College School of Nursing. After gaining experience as a “hands on” nurse, I decided that I would like to take those skills that I learned and utilize them in a different way. I began my career at BHRC as the Coordinator for the Caregiver Advocacy Program.

  • How would you describe your job to someone who is completely unfamiliar?

D: I wear several hats at BHRC. My primary position is Assessment Referral Unit in which I set up PASSPORT Waiver Services for newly enrolled participants in the PASSPORT program. I am also back up for the Caregiver Advocacy Program, which provides supports and services for caregivers in our region. I am also the Transition Coordinator for Home Choice, a program that assists individuals who live in nursing homes to move back into the community.

  • What do you find most rewarding about your position?

D: It is very rewarding for me to know that I am assisting individuals with getting the services in their home so they can remain in their home in the community.

  • Why do you think the mission of Buckeye Hills is important to our region?

D: Being such a rural area, I think it is so important as we advocate for the needs of communities and promote programs to help all individuals, but especially those who may be more vulnerable.

  • What is one thing you wish more people realized about Buckeye Hills?

D: There are so many programs that are coordinated by Buckeye Hills. I think sometimes that people don’t realize that we have so much to offer.

  • If you had to choose a favorite program, service, or initiative of Buckeye Hills, which would that be and why?

D: I would have to say that Project Lifesaver is my favorite program. Project Lifesaver assists individuals and caregivers of those who tend to wander due to dementia, autism or other related illnesses by placing a transmitter on the individual. If they do become lost, BHRC has partnered with local law enforcement to use equipment to track the transmitter signal and locate the missing loved one. The peace of mind that it gives the caregiver is invaluable and it greatly increases the odds of the individual being recovered safely.

  • What are you looking forward to most in your position this year?

D: I am looking forward to continuing to work with the Assessment Referral Unit and getting the needed services set up for PASSPORT participants as quickly as possible and also potentially spending more time with the Caregiver Advocacy Program.