As I look back on 2019, I’m struck by the number of major accomplishments we had as an agency. I think it’s important to reflect on our achievements to appreciate the great work that’s been done and continue to build on these successes.
In a clear sign our community recognizes and values HCDDS, 76% of voters approved our levy in November – the highest margin of approval in the 45-year history of the levy. As part of that process, we successfully completed an audit by MCM CPAs & Advisors that was highly complimentary of our work and found only minimal room for improvement.
In 2019 our entire agency worked to connect with families in their communities. This included advertising campaigns on television, radio, billboards, and social media to share information about our services, remote support technology, and the need for direct support professionals. Likewise, we partnered with Local 12 on a job fair highlighting people with disabilities. We also shared information at more than 30 community events and hosted many events for people we support and their families including Project STIR, Future Is Now, “Your Money, Your Goals,” and the first Advocacy Summit.
We also achieved other significant milestones in 2019. We recruited more than 20 new businesses to hire people with disabilities. We completed more than 75% of waiting list assessments, putting us well ahead of the state’s mandated schedule. We launched Home Think Tank’s Housing Options Guide on our website to help families find creative solutions to provide housing for their loved one. We also extended early childhood supports to children ages three to five.
We spent much of 2019 focused on technology, including partnering with neighboring county boards of DD to open a model smart home and hosting a technology fair at Kennedy Heights Arts Center. These efforts resulted in hundreds of families touring the smart home and an increasing number of people using remote support technology.
For all of our outstanding work in 2019, it’s no surprise that some of our teammates were recognized with awards. Jen Meadows, director of the HCDDS Office of Medicaid, Contracts, and SSA, won the Partners in Excellence Award from the Ohio Association of County Boards of DD for her roles on numerous statewide workgroups. Our Community Relations team was recognized by the Cincinnati chapter of the Public Relations Society of America with six awards, including Best in Show and top honors in three categories.
I’m overwhelmed by the magnitude of what we accomplished in 2019. We could not have done this without the dedication of each and every one of our wonderful staff, and I’m truly grateful for everything you do. I want to thank our entire team for a fantastic 2019.
Alice C. Pavey,