Envision Unlimited CEO
Raymond V. Janutis
For nearly 50 years, the caring community of Envision Unlimited has been enhancing the lives and expanding the future for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. In this new year, I look forward to building on our reputation as a leader in innovative, accredited programs that provide highly individualized care to all of our clients and their families.
Our success—and our clients’—has always depended on the quality and creativity of our program staff. We are fortunate to have both strengths on our executive “bench.” Betty Jackson, our chief operating officer, is extremely talented, as are Donna Ennis, our division director for community living, and Susan Gardner, division director for our day and employment program. All three have extensive knowledge, real commitment to the work, and a wealth of ideas for moving Envision from “better” to “best.” Betty and Donna are also Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) surveyors, a role that gives them a close-up view of the work being done at agencies around the country. The insights they bring back to Envision consistently improve the quality of what we do.
Our ties to the community and its needs also have served us well. As we move forward, it will be important to establish even deeper connections with community leaders and to collaborate more in community activities, particularly in those neighborhoods from which we draw our clients. Doing so will enhance both our effectiveness and our visibility. Both are key to our growth and development as an agency.
Funding, of course, is critical. Like all agencies that depend primarily on public dollars, we have faced our share of challenges in the past few years. Realistically, I believe the biggest challenges are still to come. Beyond budget cuts, we are going to see fundamental changes in how funding works. Medicaid rules, for example, are already under review in order to redirect how resources are being utilized.
Simultaneously, the state’s Blueprint for System Redesign calls for better integration of developmentally disabled citizens into the community. Large-scale facilities such as Jacksonville Developmental Center are being eliminated in favor of living arrangements with no more than four and as few as two individuals. The move toward better integration will affect Envision as well; currently, our community integrated living arrangements accommodate from six to eight clients.
It’s not yet clear how the state is going to cover the cost of these changes, but I think we can be sure they will not be doubling the amount they spend on care. In response, we will need to change our economic model and experiment to find new ways of providing services. This model might include the creation of living arrangements that allow for some “cost recovery” by including rental units for residents who are not disabled.
I look forward to implementing our new strategic plan. The process will involve all of us here at Envision, from stakeholders to directors and managers. Our multiple perspectives will enrich the dialog; our many-faceted areas of expertise will contribute to a final product that is both a practical plan and a renewal of our shared purpose.
That last is important. Because whatever else changes at Envision, that shared purpose will not. Our mission will be the same in the years ahead as it has been since our founding: to expand the capacity of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities—across all ages, abilities, and backgrounds—to learn, live, and thrive in their communities.
Empowering people. Creating possibilities. We are Envision.