2021 Annual Report

Superintendent's Message

2021 proved to be a year full of innovation and successful collaborations, and we have many reasons for optimism as we look back over a challenging but productive year. Despite the continued uncertainty of the pandemic, we found new ways to support people. One of our most significant achievements was the COVID-19 vaccine clinic we operated from January to May. At a time when vaccines were scarce and families looked to us for guidance, our incredible team delivered a smooth experience for the people we support, direct support professionals, and caregivers—administering nearly 4,200 vaccine doses.

Our provider community also showed incredible creativity, determination and commitment over the past year. Despite stricter safety requirements, decreased revenues and an unprecedented workforce shortage, they have worked hard to continue to provide vital services safely. To support their efforts, we invested nearly $5 million in our providers through innovative programs like sustainability grants and reimbursements for extraordinary costs. We recognize a successful partnership with our providers is crucial to continue to meet the needs of the people we serve and their families.

We’re also proud of the support we provided to individuals and families. Our school services stayed in-person throughout the year, and in the summer, we returned more fully to providing in-person services agency-wide. We’ve learned lessons from the pandemic and continued to offer virtual service options to those who prefer them for added flexibility. In June, we were able to open Alice’s House and Bramble House, two new developments that provided much-needed options for housing and respite. It was exciting to celebrate these grand openings with our community partners, elected officials, and others.

This fall we launched My Life, a new quarterly magazine created by and for people with developmental disabilities. My Life shares success stories, empowers people with independent life skills, and promotes opportunities for advocacy and making connections. So far, we’ve had a fantastic response and look forward to growing the magazine.

Finally, as we wrapped up 2021, we successfully transitioned the service coordination component of Early Intervention from Lighthouse Youth & Family Services to HCDDS. Our close collaboration with Lighthouse meant families did not experience any disruption in services though it was a significant undertaking for our newly expanded Early Intervention team. This change will ultimately result in a more efficient and streamlined process.

Our accomplishments in 2021 would not be possible without the dedication of HCDDS employees, our volunteer Board, our providers, our local partners, and all of the people and families we connected with throughout the year. I’m proud of our work over the past year and hope you enjoy the highlights in our 2021 Annual Report to the Community. We look forward to building on these successes as we start implementing our newly updated long-term strategic plan in the year ahead!