Celebrating 2014: A Message from CEO Pamela Watson
With 2014 nearly behind us, I wanted to take this opportunity to thank all of our clients, partners, team members, friends, and families of Rimland. Without all of you, we would not be where we are today, doing what we love!
The past year has been both challenging and exciting. Most recently, thanks to the gift of a generous donor, we opened a new community-based residence earlier this December– our eleventh home in Evanston and our seventeenth overall. We’ve continued to raise the standard of accessibility and sustainability in all of our homes and made those standards consistent throughout our residences and facilities. In addition, we’ve worked with a registered dietician to ensure healthy and nutritious meals throughout our programs and residences.
We are proud to say that Rimland has forged ahead of local and state conversations about higher minimum wages in 2014 by expanding our merit-based pay system for Direct Support Professionals (DSPs). We have increased wages for DSPs with a bachelor’s degree or higher in the human services field. Moreover, we are raising the profile of the position by encouraging current DSPs to complete or pursue bachelor’s and advanced degrees.
Also this year, we’ve embraced the use of technology to streamline key administrative functions and to facilitate staff recruitment efforts. And we’ve strengthened partnerships with vendors, nonprofit organizations, and benefactors to bring more resources and services to our clients.
Beyond these successes, 2014 pushed us to become even better in supporting the unique needs of adults with autism. We have an experienced and capable team in place, along with some of the best partners to help us provide quality supports to the individuals and families who rely heavily on us. The experiences we tackled together made us even more prepared, and we look forward to doing it all over again in 2015.
In the coming year we will continue to focus on the well-being of the individuals we support by expanding our health and wellness initiatives and adding medical personnel as needed. We will increase participation in recreational programs to enhance quality of life, explore ways to engage technology in the delivery of services we provide, and expand community partnerships to supplement the already excellent support in all areas of Rimland.
Since 1971, Rimland has been committed to our mission to provide essential supports to adults with autism that reflect their desired conditions of living. In 2015 and beyond, we will continue to strive to deliver the high quality care and services our clients and families value.
The year ahead will bring its own challenges and opportunities, but I’m sure that by keeping focused on our priorities and putting our clients first, the Rimland family will move forward.
Best wishes for the New Year!
Pamela Watson, CEO