Hope everyone had a good week. Below, are various items I’d like to share:
Our first luncheon for persons served was held January 31st in Central Office. Participants from Buffalo River Services and Independent Opportunities (IOI) came and spent time with me and a few other DIDD employees. Over the course of a couple hours, there were great conversations and much laughter. Please view attached pictures. On behalf of my team, I can say it was truly an unforgettable experience and we are looking forward to having more persons participate in subsequent luncheons. Beverly Matthews, IOI Jamestown Director, commented it was very informal and time spent revolved around chatting and getting to know everyone. Persons served received gifts and an autographed photo of Governor Haslam. A special thanks to both agencies and participants for their time. I strongly encourage those who haven’t yet submitted names, to please contact Felicia Thompson at firstname.lastname@example.org. The next date is set for February 28th.
I am happy to report the Governor’s Recommended Fiscal Year 2012-2013 budget for DIDD is $206.5 million and includes the following:
*$4.5 million in recurring funds to continue the Family Support Program
*$6.7 million for projected growth of 105 people in Home and Community Based waiver services
Reductions to the Department’s base budget are $2.6 million. No reductions to waiver services or to provider reimbursements are included. A total of 18 positions were eliminated.
The Council met this week and received updates on such issues as DIDD reorganization, the Fiscal Year 2013 budget, and our status of moving from the Inventory for Client and Agency Planning (ICAP) to the Supports Intensity Scale (SIS) assessment tool with some DIDD modifications.
Today, I attended an Employment Initiatives meeting in Knoxville where discussion centered on obtaining employment rates of at least 20% by Fall 2012. This was a challenge issued to all providers several weeks ago. This afternoon, I also accompanied Senator Overbey and Representative Faison on a tour of the Douglas Cooperative Newport Center. I’d like to extend my special thanks to both for their invitation and to Douglas Cooperative’s Executive Director Paula York, Cocke County Director Keith Fine, and the Board Members for their time, hospitality, and assistance in organizing the tour.
Have a great weekend!