Name the Communication Bulletin
As I wrap up this busy week, I want to once again ask for your suggestions and input
on a name for our Communication Bulletin. This is the time to put your creativity
talents to the test! The Division will be accepting suggestions via the following email
address- firstname.lastname@example.org. Start submitting your entries right away.
Suggestions will be accepted through June 10, 2015. Please send us your ideas –
and yes, you can send in more than one suggestion. As soon as possible after June
10, we will winnow down the list to a “Top Ten.” The winning entry will be chosen
from a random drawing, and the employee who submitted the winning entry will
Priority Areas of Focus
In our May 8, 2015 issue I mentioned that senior staff developed a list of seven
priority areas we would like to focus on over the next few months. These focus areas
are in addition to the many initiatives and projects currently being managed by our
talented and hard-working staff. I thought it might be useful to provide more detail
on each of these priority areas in these bulletins, and have chosen “succession
planning” as the first of these topics. In very simple terms, succession planning
helps an organization prepare for the future loss of key staff by identifying and
developing tomorrow’s leaders.
A few years ago, we initiated the process of succession planning at the state
operated developmental centers. Our initial focus was on planning for the potential
loss of staff in four key executive positions, developing our bench strength, and
identifying leadership gaps. We identified key critical positions and then conducted
a position analysis. The results were rolled into a succession plan for each center
and we have continued to monitor, evaluate and revise. Each of the seven centers
engaged in this exercise, and the results enabled us to quickly fill vacancies as they developed. Recently, we began a shift from succession planning to “succession
management.” While these terms are often used interchangeably, I believe
succession planning focuses on establishing lists of potential replacements, while
succession management seeks to identify and develop leaders in order to ensure a
steady stream of staff with leadership potential.
It is imperative that we build leadership capacity at every level of our organization,
including capacity at the middle management level. In a survey conducted by Ernst &
Young in 2007, 41% of employers reported that their middle management ranks
would be the hardest hit by mass retirements. While succession planning helps
management, it also helps employees. It encourages staff development and sends a
message that management is serious about developing people. It can also aid in
employee retention because employees don’t feel they need to look elsewhere for
In order to advance the succession management process beyond the developmental
centers, I have asked senior staff throughout the Division to follow the following
Identify Leadership Gaps/Potential Gaps – as a result of expected retirements,
staff who are retirement-eligible, internal promotions and the unexpected loss of staff
in positions considered to be highly critical to mission objectives.
Assess the Readiness of Current Staff to assume Critical Leadership Positions – by
conducting regular assessments of our “bench strength”.
Identify and Select High-Potential Employees – by developing a process that ensures
that every employee with leadership potential is fairly and thoroughly considered for
Selecting and Implementing Strategies for Accelerating Development – including
Mentoring Programs, Developmental Assignments, Formal Training, and Skill
As always, I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this important area for you and
DD’s Human Resources “Resource”
In an earlier communication bulletin, I referred to Senior Advisor Bronwyn Rains taking
on the responsibility for Human Resources in Central Office. The importance of having
someone like Bronwyn in this position has quickly become apparent. Bronwyn holds a
Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Clinical and School Psychology. For 24 years she
worked for the Bureau of Disability Determination Services as a contract psychologist.
Very early on in her career, she served as a Disabilities Claim Adjudicator for that
Bureau. Prior to joining the Division of Developmental Disabilities in early 2014, she
was the Director of The Autism Program in Springfield. All personnel and human
resources issues should be initially vetted through Bronwyn. These include assisting
supervisory staff to resolve workplace problems, e.g. conflicts between staff, staff
inability to perform essential functions of job, and poor performance. She is also
ideally suited to assist all staff in navigating through issues with supervisors or co-
workers, secondary employment, leaves of absence and similar areas of concern.
Depending on the issue and our IDHS administrative directives, Bronwyn may involve
others from our agency; however, supervisors should be consulting Bronwyn as soon
as practicable after becoming aware of a potential Human Resource issue.
Critical Incident Reporting and Analysis System (CIRAS)
CIRAS, the Critical Incident Reporting and Analysis System is an initiative “in the
works” which may be unfamiliar to many readers. CIRAS calls for our community-
based provider partners, beginning on a date to be determined, to report additional
critical incidents via a web-based application. CIRAS will then automatically forward all
of the reported incidents electronically to the current Individual Services and Supports
Advocacy (ISSA) agencies assigned to the individual(s) named in the incident report.
The Division will also automatically receive incident reports in selected categories.
Note: Providers will continue to report allegations of abuse, neglect and exploitation
(and most deaths in funded programs) using current procedures as required by the
IDHS Office of the Inspector General, Department of Children and Family Services,
Department on Aging and Department of Public Health.
This important initiative has recently been identified for renewed attention. Five
community-based providers are in the pilot project along with two ISSA agencies. The
Division will continue to work with these five providers as they submit reports on actual
incidents. The incident categories with abbreviated definitions currently in use for the
pilot project are:
Death (of individual who received services while living in their own or their family’s
Law enforcement (incident with involvement of law enforcement)
Peer-to-peer act (generally identified as abuse with intent to harm, intimidate, harass,
Unknown injury (requires treatment that only a physician, physician’s assistant, or
nurse practitioner can provide)
The Division will work with the pilot agencies, IDHS’ MIS, advocacy groups and others
to validate the work of the pilot project group, clarify definitions, determine whether any
categories of incidents should be added, identify and develop standard reports,
develop a CIRAS provider manual, establish data analysis parameters, create a training
program and generally work on all aspects of the initiative leading to a system-wide
roll-out in the future.
Medicaid Waiver Status
Two of the Medicaid Waivers operated by the Division of Developmental Disabilities are
scheduled for renewal this year. These two Waivers are:
The Children’s Support Waiver that secures federal matching funds for the Children’s
Home-Based Support Program for children, adolescents, and young adults ages 3
through 21; and
The Children’s Residential Waiver that secures federal matching funds for the Child
Group Home Program
Both Waivers expire on June 30, 2015; however, the federal Centers for Medicare and
Medicaid Services (CMS) has granted three month extensions in order to give the
State additional time to secure and incorporate public comment.
Draft renewal applications for both of these Waivers are now posted on the Division’s
website at http://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=45915. In addition, individuals
unable to access the Internet may view copies of the two renewal applications at their
local Independent Service Coordination agency.
The public comment period is for 30 days from May 29, 2015 through June 28, 2015.
Those interested in providing input are asked to email feedback to the HFS web portal
email address: HFS.SWTransitionPlan@illinois.gov; or mail their input to the Illinois
Department of Healthcare and Family Services, ATTN: Waiver Management, 201
South Grand Avenue East 2FL, Springfield, IL 62763. All comments will be compiled
by HFS and shared with the Division of Developmental Disabilities.
From the Bureau of Clinical Services
An Important Note on Rule 116 – As you may be aware, Rule 116 – the State’s
Administrative Rule that governs medication administration in community settings is
pending future changes. PLEASE NOTE THAT RULE 116 CHANGES ARE PENDING
AND NOT IN EFFECT AT THIS TIME. Currently, the Division is collaborating to enact
amendments to the Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Administrative Act;
and this includes coordinating specific training programs, and assisting in having the
proposed changes promulgated by the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules. The
forthcoming changes in part will allow the accommodation of trained and authorized
staff to administer medications and therapies that currently remain limited to only
appropriately licensed staff. In the future, staff that are appropriately trained and
authorized will be able to administer insulin via manufactures’ pre-filled pen; and
rectal and vaginal creams and suppositories.
From SODC Operations
Thirty individuals from the Murray Developmental Center enjoyed a night of fun at the
ball park on Friday, May 29. Everyone was able to be on the field prior to the start of
the St. Louis Cardinals game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, and one lucky
individual was able to throw out the first pitch! To top it off, the Redbirds won the game
3-0. Thank you to the Murray Parents Association who helped to make this evening
The Office of the Auditor General (OAG) conducted an entrance conference on
Tuesday, June 2, 2015 to discuss the Financial and Compliance Audit for State
Facilities operated by the Illinois Department of Human Services. The Secretary,
management staff from the SODC facilities and central office staff were present. The
purpose of the meeting was to discuss the scope of the audit; identify the key contacts
within the Department, identify facilities for on-site reviews; review additional
procedures for general inventory and pharmacy; discuss coordination issues among
the auditors, facilities and central office/ review process for requesting and handling
documents; and describe the field exit conferences and final report format. We are
proud to note that the OAG staff sincerely complimented the facilities on their level of
cooperation in past years’ audits. The Secretary noted these comments and expressed
the Department’s commitment that this level of cooperation would continue.
From the Bureau of Transition Services
A Ligas Success Story
Doug Bone recently received a copy of CTF’s (Charleston Transitional Facility)
newsletter. One of the articles described an individual who resided in University Park,
IL who was very clear on the things he wanted in his life during the Ligas Transition
Service Plan meeting. He wanted to move back to the Charleston area with CTF, he
wanted to start public speaking (something he had done in the past) and he wanted to
teach other individuals how to advocate for themselves. On December 11, 2014, this
gentleman presented “Speak Up and Speak Out” to 75 members of the Eastern Illinois
University Student Council for Exceptional Children where he stressed that all
individuals with disabilities have skills and abilities that can benefit our community.
A critical priority for the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Disability Employment
Policy (ODEP), is to invest in system change efforts that result in increased
community-based, integrated employment opportunities for individuals with significant
disabilities. To address this need, ODEP has initiated the Employment First State
Leadership Mentoring Program (EFSLMP), a cross-disability, cross-systems change
initiative. EFSLMP is providing a platform for multi-disciplinary state teams (subject
matter experts) to focus on implementing the Employment First approach. Illinois is
one of 15 states involved in the EFSLMP. The goal of this transformation process is
to adapt updated service delivery systems that facilitate increase community based
integrated employment options for individuals with the most significant disabilities.
For more information, please contact Daryl Jackson.
On the Move
Rhonda Potts-Smith has announced her retirement effective June 19, 2015. Rhonda
began her state service in 1989 at SIU School of Medicine where she worked in
Pediatric Psychology. She joined the Illinois Department of Human Services in 2000
as an Executive Secretary II in what was then called the Bureau of Clinical Services.
Her professionalism and work ethic have been a constant over these past fifteen
years. Rhonda and her husband are looking forward to being able to use their
camper more often on longer trips – and possibly becoming “snowbirds” this winter!
She will also have the opportunity to pursue her pleasure of reading. Best of luck to
Tiffany Bailey has taken on additional responsibilities for the Division as Interim
Assistant Deputy Director, filling the position temporarily vacated by Jerry Stam, who
is serving in the dual roles of Interim Deputy Director and Interim Center Director at
Murray Developmental Center. While Tiffany will continue to serve as Interim Center
Director at Mabley Developmental Center, she will also be working closely with Jerry
and Kathy Ward on a number of projects and initiatives for SODC Operations. Tiffany
joined the Jack Mabley Center in 1994 as a Habilitation Program Coordinator and
progressed through the ranks to Social Worker III, Clinical Services Director, and
since August 2012 as the Interim Center Director. We are pleased that Tiffany has
agreed to fill this role within SODC Operations.
Open House for Don Moss
On Wednesday, I attended a memorial service for Don Moss, who passed away on
April 29th. At the “Open House,” I had the pleasure of meeting Don’s lovely wife,
Naydene, and to be in the presence of Don’s friends and colleagues, who shared
fond memories of Don and his many accomplishments over the years. I was honored
to say a few words and shared how saddened I was when I learned of Don’s passing,
but knew that Don would not have wanted us to focus on his passing, but rather on
what he accomplished while he was alive. I read the following poem which helped me
put Don’s passing into perspective:
by Linda Ellis
I read of a man who stood to speak
At the funeral of a friend
He referred to the dates on her tombstone
From the beginning to the end
He noted that first came her date of her birth
And spoke the following date with tears,
But he said what mattered most of all
Was the dash between those years
For that dash represents all the time
That she spent alive on earth.
And now only those who loved her
Know what that little line is worth.
For it matters not how much we own;
The cars, the house, the cash,
What matters is how we live and love
And how we spend our dash.
So think about this long and hard.
Are there things you’d like to change?
For you never know how much time is left,
That can still be rearranged.
If we could just slow down enough
To consider what’s true and real
And always try to understand
The way other people feel.
And be less quick to anger,
And show appreciation more
And love the people in our lives
Like we’ve never loved before.
If we treat each other with respect,
And more often wear a smile
Remembering that this special dash
Might only last a little while.
So, when your eulogy is being read
With your life’s actions to rehash
Would you be proud of the things they say
About how you spent your dash?
The way we keep Don’s memory alive is by following his example and sustaining in
our lives the very same spirit of compassion and commitment that Don showed to
those we serve.
The Arc of Illinois
20901 S. LaGrange Rd. Suite 209
Frankfort, IL 60423