Friday, April 26, 2013

Creating a future that's mission-focused

By Marisa Geitner, president & C.E.O. of Heritage Christian Services

Any time your budget is tied to government funding, there will be fluctuations in funding.

This year we’re facing a budget cut, and our reimbursement rates haven’t been adjusted for inflation in several years. We’re also figuring out how to adapt to a Medicaid system that’s being completely redesigned, meaning how care is coordinated– and what it will pay for – will be vastly different than what we’re used to. Plus, the state is working on standardizing its reimbursement rates. So, for example, an agency that provides the bare minimum in its day programs and an agency that enriches its day programs will be paid the same.

It’s natural to have concerns about changes in our funding. It’s healthy to wonder. But we need to focus on the task at hand – creating a future that’s as much about our mission as it is about the numbers.

  • We have many people in need; we must create supports and services that remain relevant as the system changes.  Our services must be individualized, flexible and affordable.
  • We are collaborating differently with similar agencies to prepare for the Medicaid redesign and may begin to share services as a means of directing even more dollars to our care.
  • We’re fortunate we have employees whose high quality of care makes it possible for the Heritage Christian Foundation to continue to grow.  That money, a savings account of sorts, is a resource for the agency now and will steady us in the future.
  • We will continue to invest in those employees because they create the culture that is the Heritage Christian difference.
Employees at Heritage Christian often support people as they build relationships and volunteer in the community.

Our competitive advantage is the power of prayer and commitment to a common purpose. Together – with God’s guidance – we’ll weather this change and thrive as we meet the demands of those in need with the highest quality supports and services.

Any ministry that’s not constantly reforming isn’t living up to its full potential. And we won’t settle for anything less.

Monday, April 1, 2013

What Really Matters


Heritage Christian is proud to announce it has earned a national accreditation for Person Centered Excellence from The Council on Quality and Leadership. As part of that accreditation process, a group of people invested in the success of the agency – including self advocates, direct support professionals, families of people served by HCS, various community partners and agency leadership – gathered to explore how people could have more authority to plan and pursue their personal vision for their lives.
The group focused on creating a plan called “What Really Matters.” The plan identifies four key areas to focus on: making sure individuals have easy access to their money; working to improve transportation options so people’s rides can be available when and where they want them; offering opportunities to participate in community experiences so lasting, natural relationships can form; and advocating so people can have greater control over choosing their service providers.
Bobby Terry, a self advocate, talks about the importance of focusing on the things that matter most:
Hi everyone. My name is Bobby Terry. I'm going to talk about people having more access to their money and how they spend it and how – as an agency – we can make service better for the people that we support by listening differently to the things that matter most to each person.

For me, it’s important that I be included more in the banking process, so I can go the bank with or without my support person. I also need easier access to my own money. I think that is what we mean when we say having money when we need it or want it.
The last thing I want to cover is helping people getting to and from places no matter how many staff members are working that day.  

These are some of the things that matter most to me and that’s why I advocate for them to improve, but I’m glad the agency is focusing on what matters to each person so each person is valued. All these changes I think will help people understand what’s happening in the agency and also let them know their voices are being heard and help them see they make a difference.

About The Council on Quality and Leadership
CQL works with organizations across the country to help improve the quality of life for people with disabilities, mental illness and older adults. CQL helps organizations focus on the person served, ensuring that the person defines the outcomes that are most important to their life.