Read letters from Board President Nestor Melnyk and Superintendent Leia Snyder
Despite the unprecedented disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Hamilton County Developmental Disabilities Services can be proud of our agency’s extensive accomplishments. As we made difficult decisions in response to rapidly evolving situations, our team remained focused on ensuring the health and safety of the people we serve, their families, and our staff.
In addition to the challenges posed by the pandemic, 2020 marked a transition in the leadership of Hamilton County Developmental Disabilities Services with the retirement of Superintendent Alice Pavey. As superintendent, Alice prioritized families and advocacy work. She leaves a legacy of listening to people we serve and empowering them to speak up. Alice guided HCDDS through a long list of accomplishments that are improving the lives of people with DD in our community, many of which you’ll see in our 2020 Annual Report to the Community. As a result of Alice’s leadership, we are in a strong position for the future.
At the end of the year, we welcomed Leia Snyder as the next superintendent of Hamilton County Developmental Disabilities Services. Our Board received numerous applications and interviewed many excellent, well-qualified candidates from across the state of Ohio. The superintendent position requires a unique combination of executive management skills and a heart for our mission. As a board, we weighed this important decision carefully, and Leia truly impressed us with her genuine and personable leadership style. She’s done a wonderful job guiding HCDDS through the next stages of the pandemic, including the distribution of vaccines, and we look forward to the direction she’ll lead us in the future.
Throughout our Annual Report to the Community, you’ll find relevant data highlighting our services, financial figures showing how we are responsible stewards of taxpayer funding, and inspiring success stories of how we responded to the challenges of the pandemic. 2020 was a difficult year for many of us, but we’re proud of our team’s incredible passion, dedication and focus on our mission of supporting people with developmental disabilities in our community.
Since starting as superintendent, I have been inspired by the incredible team at Hamilton County Developmental Disabilities Services. Throughout the course of the pandemic, our staff members have gone above and beyond to keep people safe while continuing to provide essential supports. Thanks to the creativity and commitment of HCDDS employees, we have been a source of reassurance and stability to the people we serve, families and our partners.
As you can see in our 2020 Annual Report to the Community, we found innovative ways to respond to and successfully navigate new challenges. We adopted comprehensive safety measures, completed outreach to ensure people had needed food and supplies, provided personal protective equipment such as gloves and masks to providers, leveraged technology to safely support people and their families, ensured access to vaccines, and worked collaboratively with community partners to ensure everyone had what they needed to thrive.
We learned valuable lessons during the past year that will forever alter how we do our work and support people with developmental disabilities. We are committed to incorporating these lessons into our long-term plans to help us work more efficiently and offer better flexibility for the people we serve and their families. Additionally, we strengthened relationships within our provider community, deepened partnerships with other local organizations, and developed new connections throughout our community.
HCDDS has a strong record of success built on the foundation of putting the people we support at the center of our actions and working closely with families and partners in the community. I look forward to working with all of you to honor that tradition by continuing our commitment to people with disabilities, families, providers and other partners as we move forward together.