As the year 2016 closed and turned the page to 2017, I extend my personal thank you to all of you for your partnership on behalf of the people we serve and the staff we employ. We have a great team of staff and great partners in families, loved ones, donors, board members, case managers, community partners and many others who make this a wonderful organization for the people we serve.
At this time of year we often reflect on what has happened over the last year and what we are thankful for. In Board Chair, Joan Purrington’s column, she does an excellent job of summarizing our year, touching on a few plans for the future and graciously offering her personal thanks for all that you do. Thank you also to Joan and the rest of the Board of Directors for their commitment and leadership!
We do have an exciting year ahead for 2017 including the planning for new administrative office space, and new space for the adult day care and extended day programs. As I have mentioned previously, we will also be launching an on-line newsletter. As part of this we will be highlighting staff and people we serve on a monthly basis.
We continue to advocate for the people we serve through person centered planning, through Olmsted implementation, through better and increased rates as these are very important pieces of our work today and will continue into the future. While we await the state and federal governments directives on the Olmsted plan and how it may impact us as providers of services to people, we are continuing to provide education and opportunities on person centered planning, leadership and management.
The legislative session begins in January and as always, we look forward to and ask for your involvement in contacting the legislature to inform them of the need for rate increases for the staff. With many new elected officials this year, there will be some education needed and who better to do this educating than you! Please go to http://www.gis.leg.mn/iMaps/districts/ to find out who represents you. This list will change officially when the new members are sworn in on January 3, 2017. Once again we have learned that the state has another somewhat sizable surplus and the Advocacy Committee will be planning activities around contacting our legislators and educating and persuading our elected representatives and senators as well as the Governor the need for investments for people with disabilities.
I want to wrap up 2016 by highlighting work of our board and staff. Recently Board Member, Ann Tulloch gathered a group of staff and board members together to ask “what is Northeast Residence?,” the results of that exercise were very fun and important. I took that one step further and asked our management staff to also tell us “what is Northeast Residence?.” I encourage you to review the picture above this news article to see what the responses were to this question.
Have a very Happy New Year! Thank you again for your support and partnership and let us look forward to a very successful 2017!
Heidi Holste, Executive Director