Office for People With Developmental Disabilities

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Acting Commissioner Announces Transformation Panel


Dear Friends and Colleagues:

As we begin the new year, I am writing to tell you about some important work OPWDD is undertaking over the next few months as we work together to navigate the challenges of change.   

We are clearly at a critical juncture of transformation in our field. The central question we are all asking is this: how do we build our system to better support people with intellectual and developmental disabilities now and into the future and make our system sustainable for years to come?   

There is nothing simple about this question.  We have come a long way through the first phase of our Transformation Agenda and we also know we need to go further.  We have heard, and share, the concerns you have raised. The Transformation Agenda, and the panel of experts I am calling together to help guide its implementation as outlined below, are crucial steps toward new and sustainable supports. 

If there is one certainty in this fast changing time, it is that we are all in this together.  In fact, in partnership with you, we can report progress on the most important task at hand, which is improving lives for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. In the last several years, we have helped more than 650 people leave institutional settings, accomplished a three-fold increase in the number of people self-directing their services, and helped hundreds of individuals become employed. 

These developments are both heartening and, of course, only steps on a journey. But if you also consider the real progress made toward a simpler, more effective and more user-friendly Front Door process and offering managed care in our service delivery system, we are well on our way to a system that truly supports people living the lives they want to live with the services and supports they need.  

It is critically important at this point in our transformation that we call together a panel of experts who can provide a combination of expertise and deep passion for our system. Their task will be challenging, but vitally important: they will be charged with examining the challenges we face in implementing the Transformation Agenda, offering managed care in our system and ensuring its long-term fiscal sustainability for people currently receiving services and those who will need to access our services in the coming years. I will be leading this panel and I am asking the panel, as one of its priorities, to review how OPWDD proposes to offer managed care prior to our formal request for federal approval to implement managed care in our system. The panel will be asked to shape clear and actionable recommendations within the next several months to guide our path forward.

As part of the work of the panel, we will engage people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families, advocates and providers before deciding on the recommendations and finalizing an implementation plan. Realizing that working together and getting input from all of our stakeholders is more important than ever, we plan to create forums for participation statewide to promote meaningful dialogue, discussion and input. 

It cannot be said too often: we are in this together and together we will navigate these changes.  None of us has all the answers; the perspectives and ideas of all of us in this process can only enrich the lives of the people we serve. 

Below you will find a list of panel members.  I will be keeping you informed about the progress of this panel, and your opportunity to help shape its recommendations, in the coming months. 

Kerry A. Delaney

Acting Commissioner 


Charles A. Archer, Evelyn Douglin Center for Serving People In Need, Inc. (EDC-SPIN)

Gerald Archibald, The Bonadio Group

Nick Cappoletti, Developmental Disabilities Advisory Council Chairperson, Parent

Donna Colonna, Services for the Underserved

Susan Constantino, Cerebral Palsy Associations of New York State

Barbara DeLong, Parent

Stephen E. Freeman, Freeman and Abelson Consulting

Ann Hardiman, New York State Association of Community and Residential Agencies

Steve Holmes, Self-Advocacy Association of New York State, Inc.

Steven Kroll, NYSARC

Clint Perrin, Self-Advocate

Peter Pierri, Interagency Council of Developmental Disabilities Agencies

Michael Seereiter, New York State Rehabilitation Association

Seth Stein, Moritt, Hock & Hamroff

Arthur Webb

Transformation Panel