Posted on December 16, 2022
It’s interesting to me that there are parts to every year that feel similar to the last and yet each year is so fundamentally different than the one before.
The COVID years took us to a whole new level. So many decisions were adapted to the vagaries of the pandemic. And while it’s important to keep an eye on that experience, it’s definitely time to move on and look forward.
I’m happy to say that we are now in a good place as an organization. Our team knows what the challenges are and we are addressing them with a number of strategies to help us do better where needed.
We’re confident that the programs, advocacy and activities we have in motion right now will give us the strong platform we need to build a successful 2023.
There have been many changes in the past few years as to how we are regulated and paid but I see these areas as being somewhat normalized now.
Staffing remains a challenge but we have a good handle on what we need to do strategically to resolve this.
You may recall that we introduced our “Belonging” initiative in the late summer to help us get an accurate picture of what is going on in our organization from the perspective of our team members.
The first phase of this three-part venture was a discovery process that involved sending questionnaires out to all employees to gather their feedback on a variety of work-related issues. We had a 70 percent participation rate and are currently reviewing all of the responses.
I would be concerned if I thought we were trying to go from a 2 to an 8 improvement rating but from the responses so far, we are more likely looking at a 7 to 10 leap.
Our team is committed to ensuring a posture of learning and understanding on this journey and we recognize that while this work is not easy, the right attitudes with a strong dose of humility will make us all better.
To stay true to our mission to work more effectively, it’s important for us to continue to learn and grow together and respect all the differences among us.
Change is not always about just fixing bad things but more often than not about improving on things that could be even better.
It is my personal goal that everyone at Penn-Mar feels free to contribute fully to this process and knows they are valued.
To ensure that we are continually able to expand and enhance new and existing services at Penn-Mar, we launched our largest-ever fundraising endeavor this year, a $7.5 million Building Bold Futures Campaign. We are coming down the home stretch and fully expect to cross the finish line at our 31st Annual Gala in March.
There are just so many good things happening throughout the organization right now including our laser focus on person-centered processes, the recovery of the employment market with many more work opportunities for people with disabilities, and the improved lines of communications and understanding with our families.
Our Consulting Group is now serving clients in six states with their training and technical assistance programs for providers. They are also speaking at national conferences, positioning Penn-Mar as a leader in the field. All this at no additional expense to the organization.
In the coming year, I am very excited to work with our new Board Chair, William T. Yanavitch, II, and thank outgoing chair Doug Rein for supporting the team and me with steady leadership and clear thinking in the midst of the pandemic.
I look forward to engaging with our entire team in 2023 and welcome your counsel to help us chart the organization’s next steps towards an even greater New Year.
My very best wishes for a happy, healthy holiday season.