I had an excellent first meeting with the new Secretary of the Dept. of Human Services
Jim Dimas. Jim and I were also joined by Special Advisor to the Governor Greg Bassi.
After introductions, I walked Jim and Greg through our Community Integration Makes
Sense Toolkit which is a wealth of data and information on the benefits of community
supports and services. As you know, The Arc and the Going Home Collation are calling
for the closure of six of the seven fully operational state institutions. The Secretary is
very much driven by data and outcomes. We can expect great emphasis on that similar
to his work in Illinois under the Casey Foundation and with DHS Secretary Howard
|Peters. I think we will have a very productive relationship with the new Secretary.
I did express my concern about the Secretary’s recent visit to a state institution and a
statement made in the press about the future of the state institution in Centralia. The
Secretary clarified for me that his statement was, “While there is no closure list that
does not mean that the status quo is sustainable. As we begin to move forward and
make decisions for the future of the Department and all of our programs and facilities,
we will be working across all IDHS’ divisions and programs to define a path forward
that is sustainable and fiscally responsible.”
I look forward to working with the Secretary and his team at the Dept. of Human
Today, The Arc Board of Director’s meets to elect new officers and board members!
Tony Paulauski Executive Director
The Arc of Illinois
20901 S. LaGrange Rd. Suite 209
Frankfort, IL 60423