As 2022 begins, I look back at the past year and I am grateful for the strides Mainstay has made to help people with developmental disabilities to live their best life, and I am excited for what is to come.
During 2021, despite the ongoing challenges of the pandemic, we remained committed to our mission of providing life-long, high-quality support services, ensuring that people with developmental disabilities lead fulfilling lives and realize their vision of a desirable future. A few of the highlights that kept us steadfast to our mission included:
- Technology First Accreditation: Mainstay is committed to harnessing the power of digital connections to enrich lives and unlock potential. This includes expanding access to technology that enables people to live – and thrive – in their community. Our commitment led us to becoming the first Pennsylvania provider to receive the Technology First Accreditation from Shift. We are extremely proud to have achieved this honor!
- StationMD and Wellbridge: these collaborations are key to our efforts to closing gaps in healthcare and service for people with disabilities. Both are helping the persons we serve to have access to medical support and coaches that help them to avoid unnecessary visits to the ER or doctor and supports their whole-person wellness.
- New homes/renovations: last year we opened a new home for a young man with Prader-Willi Syndrome. Zach is thriving in his community! Other homes were renovated to be more accommodating for the people who live there, and to be nicer places to work.
- Expansion of services into surrounding counties: as we continue to grow our footprint in Washington and Westmoreland counties, we are thrilled to also have expanded services and supports – including lifesharing and employment services – in Beaver, Indiana, and Armstrong.
- Enhanced professional development opportunities: we expanded our employee tuition reimbursement benefit to include all degrees and majors, supported professional certifications such as NADD and Enabling Technology, and provided paid internships. Many employees also attended State and National conferences. We will continue to provide opportunities for staff members to develop skills and further their learning.
- Vaccines: we are so grateful for the response of our staff members to the vaccine mandate which made our workplace and communities safer. I continue to advocate for vaccines and booster shots so we each know we are doing everything in our power to put this pandemic in our rearview mirror – for ourselves, our communities, our country, and our world.
As we move ahead in 2022, Mainstay remains focused on the pillars of our strategic plan:
Growing Services Growing Resources Growing Talent
We also remain 100% committed to fostering an inclusive workplace where people feel respected and valued and can do their best work.
We also remain 100% committed to fostering an inclusive workplace where people feel respected and valued and can do their best work. Throughout the year we are offering opportunities to share with and learn from one another, and to participate in the diversity, equity, and inclusion trainings.
Some additional areas for focus for Mainstay in 2022 include advocacy and innovation.
- Advocacy: for people within and outside of Mainstay, I encourage you to know who your state and federal legislators are and to be a consistent voter. When issues arise that are of importance to you, reach out to them. This is extremely important for Mainstay, and I hope you will speak to your legislators on topics of importance to developmental disability and autism services and supports. Please contact Dorothy Gordon at firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to our advocacy distribution list.
- Innovation: We are continually looking at ways to enhance and adjust our services to respond to the environment in which we operate. We are – and must remain – a nimble organization committed to quality, with a vision to be the region’s provider of choice for individuals and families seeking services, and the region’s employer of choice for qualified and committed professionals.
I am extremely grateful to the people we support, our Board of Directors and our staff members for their perseverance over the past year, and I am excited to see what 2022 will bring!