As the new year fast approaches I wanted to take this opportunity to communicate some exciting happenings within the Division.
SHORT-TERM STABILIZATION HOMES
Since 2016, DDD has funded four Short-Term Stabilization Homes (SSH) operated by Envision Unlimited and Individual Advocacy Group (IAG). The goal of the SSH program is to stabilize adults with developmental disabilities who may be in jeopardy of losing their community placement. The program works to stabilize the individual in the short-term stabilization home and then have them return to a community-based placement. Since inception, 70 individuals have participated in the SSH program and over 93% have successfully returned to community providers.
We are pleased to announce the expansion of the SSH program with our current providers. Both Individual Advocacy Group and Envision Unlimited will each open an additional two Short-Term Stabilization Homes. IAG will expand in the Springfield area and Envision will expand in the Chicagoland area. They will be able to build on their existing infrastructure to quickly expand in the second half of FY20. We are incredibly pleased to build on this impactful program that works to keep individuals in the community!
DDD EXECUTIVE TEAM EXPANDS
I am pleased to announce that Jennifer Gentile, LCSW, will be joining the Division as the new Deputy Director of Clinical Services. Jen is a licensed clinical social worker and has a master's degree from Loyola University in social work, with a special focus on administration. She most recently served as the Vice President of Programs and Interim Co-CEO at Orchard Village. Jen will oversee nursing, behavior and medical services and staff. She will also take a lead role in developing therapeutically sound policies, practices and procedures to better meet the needs of individuals receiving waiver funded services.
Other members of the Executive Team include:
- Kathy Ward, Assistant Director & Chief of Staff
- Tiffany Bailey, Acting Deputy Director of SODC Operations
- Bobby Gilmore, Bureau Chief, Reimbursements & Program Support
- Maureen Haugh-Stover, Bureau Chief, Community Services
- Mike Vespa, Supervisor, Program Development
- Andrea Medley, Supervisor, Strategic Planning
- Derek Hedges, Supervisor, Medicaid Waiver Unit
We hope to have the announcement of our Bureau Chief, Quality Management soon!
The State Employment Leadership Network team was on the ground here in Illinois December 4th and 5th. We had several great listening sessions that included feedback from our associations & advocacy groups, our ISC Agencies, governmental leaders, 14c/CDS providers & employment providers. SELN will now take this information, coupled with information the Division has relayed and work by Employment & Training Subcommittee of the Ligas Rates Committee, to create a report in the next 60 days with recommendations on ways to expand competitive integrated employment. To reiterate, the Division's goal is to expand opportunities for individuals with I/DD who want employment as well as support community providers with resources and tools to help develop supported employment programs. We also hope to increase our collection and use of employment data!
Wishing everyone a happy new year! Be well.