November 1, 2016
A Vision for the Future
One of the most powerful statements in Keystone Human Services’ vision statement is our commitment to act as a change agent and share our experiences with others. As I step into the role of President and Chief Executive Officer of Keystone Human Services, that commitment to change agentry particularly resonates and will continue to guide us into the future.
Keystone has a strong history of supporting men, women, and children to live full lives in the community and participate in everyday lives. Although Keystone’s leadership is transitioning, our dedication to our mission and vision remains the same. We deliberately designed our Strategic Plan to span this transition in leadership and ensure that we keep moving forward along the same path we’ve been heading down since 1972.
The Strategic Plan outlines five key areas for Keystone’s growth: global leadership and advocacy, capacity and service impact, financial strength and capital base, workforce and leadership development, and infrastructure and technology. All of these areas together ensure that Keystone will continue to deliver on the promise we’ve made to people—that we will be there for a lifetime, should people need us.
Advocacy is going to play a huge role in Keystone’s future as we confront funding issues. This is not just about advocating for better funding to support our programs and the people we support. It’s about advocating for better funding to support our employees, so that all of our employees who walk beside the people we support every day are able to continue to live out our mission.
Keystone provides a broad array of services and supports for people, including mental health services, intellectual disabilities services, autism services, and children’s services, and that diversity gives us strength and opportunities for service innovation. We are continually thinking of how we can support people in the community in better, less complex ways. As a global organization, we have the opportunity to both share our expertise and learn from other service models around the world.
Over the years, Keystone has supported many individuals to leave the institutions— whether it’s Pennhurst, Southbury Training School, Harrisburg State Hospital, the institutions at Orhei and Hincesti in the Republic of Moldova, or countless others—and find a home in the community. That idea of home and belonging is an important part of our work, and it’s one of the reasons we developed a new website, AdvancingtheHumanSpirit.org (external website), to share the stories of the men, women, and children who have made their way in their communities, and invite others to join our mission.
Keystone Human Services is a team effort and it will take all of us to effectively advocate and make change. Since I joined Keystone over 20 years ago, I have seen significant growth, and we now have many great opportunities in front of us for more personal growth and greater inclusion for ALL people.
I’m pleased to serve as the President and CEO of Keystone, and I look forward to working together to continue advancing the human spirit.
Charles J. Hooker III
President and CEO, Keystone Human Services