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A Word from the President
December 13, 2011
Change Brings New Opportunities
Keystone Human Services is entering a new phase which presents us with both a great challenge and a great opportunity to continue to provide quality services for men, women and children with disabilities in the community. Recently, all Pennsylvania providers were notified by the Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) of a series of retroactive and prospective rate cuts. By our estimation, Keystone will experience nearly $6.5 million in funding cuts for this fiscal year.
This is one of the biggest challenges we have faced since the inception of Keystone Human Services. These cuts are devastating and may put many people at risk of being returned to state institutions. Despite these cuts, we are fully committed to continuing to support the men, women and children who use our services. With strong leadership, creativity, flexibility and the ability to change, we will endure and will provide a leadership role in the development of new models and structures. We now have the opportunity to strengthen our organization so we can honor our commitments for the long term.
Keystone has created a divisional structure to better align our focus on the areas in which we provide services. We are now divided into three divisions: Intellectual Disabilities Services, Adult Mental Health Services and Children and Family Services. Each division is under the leadership of a director who is an expert in their field. Intellectual Disabilities Services is further divided into three regions: the East Region, the Central Region, and the North Region, with each being led by a regional director.
We will continue to provide Autism Services in Pennsylvania and Delaware through Keystone Autism Services, as well as services in Connecticut through Key Human Services and our international services through Keystone Human Services International.
Aligning our services under Intellectual Disabilities Services, Adult Mental Health Services and Children and Family Services will bring consistency and ensure that all of our services are easily recognizable as distinctly Keystone. With each service division under the leadership of one experienced director, our professionals will be better able to share ideas, knowledge and best practices.
With change of this magnitude, many difficult and painful decisions were made that have not been taken lightly. We are continuing to appeal the funding cuts to the Department of Public Welfare, and we are actively engaged with our professional and advocacy organizations. We continue to encourage families and friends to advocate for their loved ones by writing, emailing and calling their elected officials. These efforts will continue over the coming months.
However, the reality is that there is no guarantee that these actions will provide relief from the funding cuts. By realigning our focus on the services we provide, we can ensure that our mission of creating opportunities for individuals to grow, make meaningful life choices and be valued, contributing members of their community continues into the future.
Pennsylvania is confronting exponentially increasing needs in aging, long-term care, autism, and intellectual disabilities, and it is incumbent on all of us to make the best use of the resources available to us. Disability is an inherent part of the human experience that will touch all of our lives at some point. It is important for Keystone and other providers to be there when you or your family members need us. Under our new structure, we will be able to provide a diverse array of relevant and effective formal and informal services that make maximum use of our professional resources and the community, ensuring that we endure and continue to advance the human spirit of all people.