Dec 21, 2017

Reflecting on 2017

A picture of the superintendent, Alice Pavey, with the words From the Superintendent with the Hamilton County Developmental Disabilities logo on a blue background.
As 2017 comes to a close and we look forward to the year ahead, I’d like to highlight the great work we’ve accomplished as an agency this year and consider how we can build on this year’s success in the future.

This year we completed several major initiatives, including the transition of our adult centers to Active Day in May. It was the culmination of a long process to comply with federal mandates and proceeded as smoothly as we could have hoped. I’m grateful to everyone who contributed to making that difficult change a success.

This spring, our SSAs and funding staff relocated from Queensgate to the new Kingsley office in Madisonville—a significant undertaking that required much work, dedication, and flexibility to complete. I’m proud of our team who coordinated all the moving parts to make this project a success. I’m also proud of all of our staff who displayed great flexibility and dedication by not letting the disturbance of the construction or the move get in the way of their daily work.

In June we launched the Future is Now planning series to support older caregivers of people with disabilities, thanks to a grant from the Ohio DD Council. In 2018, we’ll continue to focus on this incredibly important issue through partnerships and additional sessions to empower the growing number of older caregivers in our community.

In July we launched a new provider search tool to make it easier for families to find provider options that fit their needs and help providers get information to families. We also partnered with the Ohio Provider Resource Association on a website to help providers recruit qualified direct support staff. Next year we have exciting initiatives planned to continue to empower providers, build capacity, and connect families to the right providers for their needs.

In late summer, we completed our refinancing initiative to make better use of local levy dollars by funding services through waivers—a critical tool to support people. We also began the process of enrolling more than 200 people on waivers using funding we saved from operating the adult centers. This is helping us reduce the number of people on the waiting list as we continue to meet the immediate needs of those still on the waiting list. Supporting people on the waiting list is a priority we’ve committed to continue addressing next year.

Throughout the year we paid particular attention to engaging our stakeholders. In February we held focus groups to better understand how our stakeholders view our agency and how we can better connect with them. The thoughts, feelings, and ideas they shared informed much of our work throughout the rest of the year, including our new branding guidelines. This summer and fall, we also focused on engaging parents, teachers and others to discuss how we support students with disabilities in Hamilton County. This feedback gave us better information and a better understanding of our stakeholders’ needs as we plan for the future. Next year we will expand these efforts so we can better support families in our community.

Highlighting accomplishments from the previous year brings me joy, because it shows how the dedication of our employees, providers, and community are improving people’s lives. I know this list doesn’t come close to encompassing everything, but I wanted to share some of our proudest achievements. I want to thank all our staff for their wonderful work this year, because it makes a difference in the lives of the individuals and families we support. I look forward to building on our work in 2018.

From all of us at Hamilton County DD Services, I wish you and your families a wonderful holiday season and a joyous new year.

Sincerely, 

Alice C. Pavey
Superintendent
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