This letter is to clarify an article that appeared on the front page of the Tribune on Saturday entitled “State-ordered efficiency audit suggests closing of Tri-Valley.” I have been asked by hundreds of people if we are closing and the answer is no, Tri-Valley is not closing. I repeat, Tri-Valley is not closing. Tri-Valley has been in existence for over forty years and the plan is to be here for many more.
Tri-Valley is made up of two separate and distinct parts: the Community Service Provider and the Community Developmental Disability Organizations (CDDO). The Community Service Provider employs 140 people and provides services to over 150 people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Those services include residential, employment, case management, vocational, nursing, transportation, etc. The CDDO provides administrative oversight to the 26 Community Service Providers in Allen, Bourbon, Neosho and Woodson counties. It employs two people and does quality assurance, eligibility determinations, completes assessments, etc.
Last week, Alvarez and Marsal, a consulting firm hired by the state to find efficiencies, completed their $2 million report and one of the recommendations (they made a total of 105) was for the state to eliminate seven of the 27 CDDOs. Their recommendation was based solely upon a 2012 study by Wichita State that looked at “projected population trends for the state.” Not population trends by disability, but overall projected population trends. They did not look at cost analysis, quality measurements, case workloads, longevity of employees, knowledge base, etc.
If the TVDS CDDO is eliminated, as this efficiency study recommends, it will mean the loss of two employees, loss of local control over all issues (quality assurance, eligibility, etc.), loss of control over local funding (county mill levy), and whoever would be assigned to our catchment area would not be as knowledgeable about the clients as our current staff. I plan to advocate against this recommendation.
For those of you wondering why there is a “For Sale” sign at our Community Service Provider administrative building on South Santa Fe, we plan to consolidate two buildings into one in order to save money. The employees who are currently housed at the building on South Santa Fe will be moving into the TVDS building at the corner of Johnson Road and 35th Street once renovations are completed. In fact, we are beginning renovations this week and hope to have them completed in three months.
I hope this clears up any confusion about the article and if anyone has any questions, please feel free to contact me at Tri-Valley. The important point to remember is that we are not closing and plan to continue to provide quality services to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.