Monday, February 6, 2017

Developmental Disability Services Board Meets In Warren

Board members tour Warren Human Development center
The Arkansas State Developmental Disability Services Board held their February, 2017 meeting at the Southeast Arkansas Human Development Center in Warren on February 1st.  In addition to the board members, there were a number of HDC staff and the directors of all the state Human Development Centers on hand for the meeting.  Melissa Stone, the Director of DDS, was
also present.  Former Senator Randy Laverty of Jasper chaired the board meeting.

Reports were presented on the status of and activities ongoing at each of the HDCs.  Director Stone updated the board on pending state legislation that might affect the centers.  She indicated that recent approval of utilizing tobacco settlement money to serve families on the waiver list is
a positive move and will benefit those who have been waiting on services. This includes clients that are not in Human Development Centers.

Board member Darrell Pickney of Jonesboro, who is also involved with the Family & Friends of Care Facility Residents organization that supports the HDCs, told Director Stone that he strongly urges the department to carefully monitor any legislation that expands Medicaid at the expense of
the Human Development Centers.  There is concern that pending legislation might fund other programs by taking money away from the Centers. Other board members voiced their agreement with the comments made by Mr. Pickney.

After the meeting, a tour of the Southeast Arkansas HDC was conducted.  It was pointed out that residents are trained in various skills including recycling.  The Warren facility currently serves 95 clients.  It is operational and staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The State of Arkansas operates five HDCs:Arkadelphia, Boonville, Conway, Jonesboro and Warren
The centers care for the most vulnerable citizens of our state and their families.

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