DDI’s Children’s Residential Program (CRP) is playing a key role in setting new standards for the care of children in residential settings across the State. DDI’s CRP is one of three programs in New York officially designated as a Center of Excellence for children with complex disabilities. The press release from the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) describes some of the goals of this grant.
OPWDD Announces Centers of Excellence
in the Care and Treatment of Children with Complex Disabilities
A Partnership to Improve Information Gathering and Provide More Timely and Cost Effective Approaches in the Care of Children with Autism and Other Neurodevelopmental Conditions
The Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) today announced a partnership between three not-for-profit agencies, The Center for Discovery (TCFD), Developmental Disabilities Institute (DDI), and Upstate Cerebral Palsy (Upstate CP), in the creation of the Centers of Excellence which will address the care and treatment of children with complex disabilities, such as autism and other neurodevelopmental conditions. This partnership is made possible through an award of federal Balancing Incentive Program (BIP) funding administered through OPWDD, in coordination with the New York State Education Department and the New York State Department of Health.
The goals of the Centers of Excellence are to launch an intense and coordinated effort aimed at identifying best practices for intervention, conducting research, and developing new treatments and strategies to support children with autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders in the most integrated setting. The three separate Centers of Excellence will benefit from the collective intelligence and insights of each member organization and, in turn, work with New York State agencies and other providers.
“Now that we are better able to identify children and families who need support, we need to better address the supports and systems available and make sure we are better able to meet their complex needs,” said Kerry Delaney, Acting Commissioner of the NYS Office for People With Developmental Disabilities. “This innovative project will address the urgent and fast growing needs of children with autism and other intellectual disabilities and define more effective supports for children and their families. We look forward to working with the three agencies involved in the Centers of Excellence partnership to ensure that more effective and seamless approaches to care are achieved across New York State.”
“This initiative supports and nurtures the cutting edge clinical practices that our Centers have and will develop to support children with complex needs and their families,” said Patrick Dollard, President & CEO of The Center for Discovery.
While progress has been made in identifying children and families who need support, there has been a need for a coordinated effort to provide care and education. The Centers of Excellence will develop an interactive database and other tools to improve information gathering and sharing with federal, state, and local agencies in an effort to provide more timely and cost effective approaches to care.
Developmental Disabilities Institute Executive Director John Lessard noted, “The funding under this grant is giving our Centers the ability to take current systems supporting our children to an exciting new level, one that will have a significant positive impact on their quality of life and the quality of life of their families.”
“The opportunity to share best practices with our colleagues in other parts of the State as we work toward streamlining our processes is unprecedented in this area, and the staff at all three Centers have been inspired and excited by the possibilities this project presents,” said Louis Tehan, President & CEO of Upstate Cerebral Palsy.
The efforts of the Centers of Excellence will be coordinated through the Cerebral Palsy Associations of New York State.
As part of DDI’s on-going efforts to attract new prospective staff, the workforce development committee came together to create a solution.
The solution had multiple objectives.
Developmental Disabilities Institute’s Children’s Residential Program (DDI's-CRP) was welcomed last week by students from the Commack School District. They came with their arms full of handmade pillows and bean bags for the children in the CRP.
DDI announced the election of Kevin Long of East Setauket to Board Chairperson. Mr. Long joined DDI's Board of Directors in May 2008. In addition to the election of Mr. Long, four new Board appointments have been announced. Dr. Larry Boone of Westbury, Dr. James Fogarty of Babylon, Joseph Napolitano of Wantagh, and Joseph Schmidt of Wantagh will help to oversee the agency that supports nearly5,000 children and adults with autism and other developmental disabilities.
Mr. Kevin Long has extensive experience in employee communications and engagement. He is currently consulting with a number of Fortune 500 organizations to improve performance and retain talent through strategic communications that align employees with organizational strategy, mission, vision and values. Previously, Kevin held senior communications and HR positions at Accenture, CA Technologies and Insidedge. He has an M.S. in Human Resources Management and Labor Relations and a B.S. in Technical Writing from the New York Institute of Technology. He currently chairs DDI's Human Resource Committee and has been an active board member on the DDI Foundation since 2005. He currently chairs the Strategic Planning Committee in addition to the HR Committee. Kevin has a son who previously attended DDI's early education programs.
“DDI is fortunate to have Mr. Long serving as the Board Chairperson. Mr. Long brings with him a wealth of valuable experience and has beena great asset to DDI,” commented John Lessard, DDI's Executive Director. "Additions to the DDI family, like Dr. Boone, Dr. Fogarty, Mr. Napolitano, and Mr. Schmidt enable us to advance our mission to help children and adults with autism and other developmental disabilities experience personal growth and fulfillment."
Dr. Larry Boone has been associated with St. John’s University for the past 28 years, most recently as Associate Professor of Management at the Tobin College of Business its Executive-in-Residence Program, which joins businesses with students for their development. While at St. John's he has held various positions including Assistant Provost, Acting Dean of the Tobin College, Editor of the "Review of Business" publication, Faculty Athletics Representative to the NCAA and Senior Fellow of the Vincentian Center for Church and Society. Dr. Boone has a BS in Industrial Engineering from Lehigh University, a MS in Industrial Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh and a Ph.D from the Katz Graduate School of Business at the University of Pittsburgh. He is very active in the Brooklyn and Rockville Center Dioceses of the Catholic Church serving on advisory committees and instructing and consulting on Parish strategic and financial planning, management skills, Parish demographics, and decision making among other management topics.
Dr. James Fogarty has a Doctoral degree from Nova Southeastern University, Master’s Degree in Special Education from Adelphi University as well as a Certificate of Advanced Study in Administration from Hofstra University. Dr. Fogarty worked for Eastern Suffolk BOCES from 1983 through 2000 administering their special education programs as well as all other instructional programs and, more recently, has been providing consultation services to various school districts. James has previously been on the DDI Board of Directors from August 2003 - December 2014 and served as Chairperson of the Certification Review Committee.
Joseph Napolitano is Senior Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer for Acadia Realty Trust (AKR). He is accountable for managing the company’s property and risk management, human resources, marketing, and information technology disciplines. Mr. Napolitano holds a Bachelor’s in Business Administration from Adelphi University, and is a Master Human Capital Strategist (MHCS) as certified by the Human Capital Institute, is a Certified Property Manager (CPM) by the Institute of Real Estate Management, and is a Real Property Administrator (RPA) by the Building Owners and Managers Institute International.
Joseph Schmidt has been on DDI’s Foundation Board since 2004 currently serving as Board President, while previously holding Vice President, and Secretary positions. Joe is a member of the DDI Golf Tournament Committee and has been the co-chairperson for the last seven years. He is a Senior Partner of the law firm, Carter Deluca Farrell & Schmidt, of Melville, N.Y. Joe holds a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and received his J.D. from St. Johns University. He lives in Wantagh, N.Y. with his wife Terri, and is also active in his community having served as a Board Member for the Wantagh Little League for at least ten years. His son, Bobby, receives services in our residential and Day Hab programs.