Friday, July 5, 2019

Andy, You Need a Plan

If you took the time to read through the Post yesterday you saw this article: concerning DDS’ cancellation of the contract with the Georgetown University Center ( for medical services.  My son has not had a need for these services as yet, but I can well understand the concerns of people for whom such supports can smooth the path from hospital to home.   At a more fundamental level, what I see here is another example of DDS springing a surprise on the disability community rather than engaging with its partners and stakeholders about the directions it is taking and its forward planning to meet future challenges.  I wrote about this early last month, and invited my readers to contact Andy and others in the senior DDS management – have you done that?  DO IT TODAY!  Here are those addresses again:

Andrew Reese, DDS director

Jared Morris, DDS chief of staff

Winslow Woodland, DDS/DDA deputy

Erin Leveton, DDS deputy, quality and performance
(she’s not gone until July 19!)

Darryl Evans, DDS/RSA deputy

It’s well past time for Andy and other senior managers to take some time to get real with stakeholders on DDS strategy, and to invite a dialogue (no, a series of dialogues) on how best to address core challenges.  Continuing to launch surprises is not the way to sustain support in the community. 

And before closing – I promised the information on the time and place of the hearing in the House of Representatives on DC statehood on July 24.  The time is 10:00 a.m. at the Rayburn House Office Building (Room 2154).  Mayor Bowser has declared this month DC Statehood Month in honor of this historic event:  PLAN TO BE THERE!


  1. Carol,

    First let me say that there is no cause for your concern about the availability of services currently provided by Georgetown should your son ever need these services. Although Georgetown’s contract is ending, the mechanism for providing these services may change, however, no services that are currently available to people we support are being terminated. DDS will continue to ensure that people we support receive high quality, innovative services that enable them to lead meaningful and productive lives as vital members of their families, schools, workplaces and communities in every neighborhood in the District of Columbia.

    DDS looks forward to engagement with the community. As you know we have a number of ways that we communicate with the community, including our periodic HCBS Advisory Committee meetings, Family Support Council meetings, Supporting Families Community of Practice, many staff attend the regular Project Action Meetings, among others. At each of these we have been discussing these proposed waiver changes. These discussions occur before the new policies and regulations are finalized and a formal comment period initiated.

    In addition to these opportunities, in April 2018, we invited stakeholders to join with us in the process DDS began in March 2017, to become a person centered organization. This process has engaged staff at all levels in developing practices that will ensure that the agency becomes more person centered in its approach to the people we support. We reached out to people we support, their families and advocates, and our partners to invite them to work with us in this process. These are bi-monthly meetings where we come together to listen to each other, plan together, and evaluate our progress. Most recently we have established three working groups to look at provision of residential services, strengthening our quality system and improving access to technology to support people with disabilities. In addition, we are currently working with stakeholders to develop a tag line that will clearly and concisely communicate the agency’s vision of ensuring that people with disabilities are able to realize their full potential and be fully included in their community. As we roll out this tag line (hoping for September 2019), I will begin monthly conversations with stakeholders to talk about how we realize this vision.

    We would welcome additional stakeholder involvement. Our next PCO meeting is from 9:30 – 4:00 on August 14, 2019. If anyone is interested in joining, they should contact Phillip Williams at


  2. Phillip's correct email above is


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