Monday, April 10, 2017

Open Horizons Holds 21st Annual Conference

Marc Wargo, Interim Superintendent of the Southeast Arkansas Human Development Center
A very good crowd gathered Thursday morning, April 6th in the Family Life Center of First Baptist Church of Warren for the 21st Annual Open Horizons Conference.  Professionals and employees from the Southeast Arkansas Human Development Center, other HDC's from Arkansas and non-profit providers were on hand to receive continuing education hours and to learn and network.

The opening welcome was given by Interim Superintendent of the Southeast Arkansas Human Development Center, Mark Wargo.  Mr. Wargo expressed his appreciation for all those in attendance and talked about plans for the Southeast Center and programs to benefit the clients.  He then introduced R. Gregg Reep, a member of the Volunteer Council of the SE Center who welcomed the attendees to Warren and talked briefly about the importance of the work of the Human Development Centers and the private providers.

Melissa Stone, Director of DDS on the state level addressed the conference and talked about plans to help the clients and attempts by the state to address issues of pay and morale.  Following Stone, Diane Keith, from the Jonesboro Human Development Center, talked about work ongoing at that facility.  Several workshops were held throughout the day.

During Melissa Stone's comments, she discussed the directive of Governor Hutchinson to save $232 million dollars from the Department of Human Services over the next five years.  She indicated that the Human Development Centers have been exempted from most of that directive, but it is important to work diligently to try and save money where ever possible.

Jimmie Sue Wade served as chairman of the conference and Sheila Smith handled registration.
Martha Reed and Sandra Witherspoon presented door prizes throughout the day.  The conference was held Thursday and a half a day on Friday, the 7th.
Martha Reed

Dana Harvey

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