In just the few months she has served as interim director of Rhode Island’s Division of Developmental Disabilities, Jane Gallivan has been instrumental in changing the state’s approach to providing services for individuals with intellectual challenges. On the most concrete level, she has set plans in motion to adopt an improved version of a controversial assessment – the Supports Intensity Scale (SIS) – to more accurately determine the needs of clients.
With help from the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, Gallivan also has shifted strategies for presenting the division’s budget so that the state Budget Office and the General Assembly better understand what it means to support individuals with developmental disabilities.
The initiatives Gallivan has begun, and the tone she has set, are expected to continue after her role changes Friday, Sept. 30, to that of long-distance consultant.
By Gina Macris
Jennifer Wood, Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Services, the top aide and top lawyer to Secretary Elizabeth Roberts, and a former chief of staff at the state Department of Education is orchestrating an effort to usher in a new era for Rhode Islanders with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
And she’s creating a brand new management team to help her do it, including Brian Gosselin, a veteran of former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick’s administration, to serve as Chief Strategy Officer.
Since January, when a federal judge agreed to oversee Rhode Island’s compliance with a consent decree, Wood has emerged at the forefront of the state’s response to the court case.
By Gina Macris
When she became director of Rhode Island’s developmental disability agency in February, 2015, Maria Montanaro inherited a budget with no relation to actual costs that was destined to run a deficit.
She had to work with a state-run system of group homes resistant to change, which she said exists to preserve jobs and not to serve clients.
And she had virtually no high-level staff to form the leadership team necessary to move forward on compliance with the 2014 federal consent decree that requires Rhode Island to transform its services for adults with disabilities from segregated programs to integrated, community-based supports.
By Gina Macris
Rhode Island’s developmental disability budget for the next fiscal year includes assurances that a total of $9.1 million in Medicaid money will be spent to raise pay for direct support workers and to begin transforming the state’s system of services for those with intellectual challenges.
Shortly after 1:30 am on Saturday, June 18, The Senate approved total developmental disability funding of $246.2 million beginning July 1 in concurrence with the House vote taken Wednesday. That total, almost all of it state and federal Medicaid funds, is nearly $15.4 million more than the General Assembly approved last year at this time for the current budget, which closes on June 30.
Developmental Disability News is a RI website that covers the long-term impact of the 2014 Consent Decree between the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the State of RI, as well as a related Interim Settlement Agreement between the DOJ and the City of Providence signed in 2013.
Gina Macris is a career journalist with 43 years’ experience as a reporter for the Providence Journal in Providence, RI. She retired in 2012. During her time at the newspaper, she wrote two series about her first-born son, Michael M. Smith. Both series won prizes from the New England Associated Press News Executives Association.
Ms. Macris is an excellent writer who has taken the initiative to develop this News articles to provide information on the status of implementation of the Consent Order in RI and other related interesting topics that people should know about. She has written a number of articles so check the website frequently to keep up to date!
Check out Ms. Macris’ Developmental Disability News Blog Updates at: