|Wood Lane audit perfect|
|Written by HAROLD BROWN Sentinel City Editor|
|Saturday, 14 December 2013 09:29|
There was no reason to save the good news for last Thursday afternoon at Wood Lane because there was only good news.
A five-year compliance review covering hundreds of regulations had turned up no citations.
"Your staff made us welcome, was very open with their responses. With all of the information we looked at, there are no citations. That's very rare and pretty-much unheard of. Congratulations," Beth Chambers, compliance manager with the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities, told a large gathering of staff.
Chambers said it was evident to the six-person review team that Wood Lane staff members do what they do every day and don't just gear up for a review. "It is not a short-term thing here." She said the DODD conducts reviews in all 88 counties and sees all types of operations.
"My team is rejuvenated. We just had the best visit. Be very proud of what you do," Chambers said.
The review looked at Wood Lane Industries, the operations for Wood Lane, the early-intervention program, Community Employment Services and transportation. It did not cover Wood Lane School and Wood Lane Residential Services, which undergo separate reviews.
Wood Lane Superintendent Melanie Stretchbery said the review five years ago included a few citations. She said a low number of citations, best practices and national accreditation are the things that have Wood Lane on a five-year review schedule. Lesser compliance could result in more frequent reviews.
"We have great leadership from the county, the commissioners and the community. They give us the support to do the right things. This is an amazing county to help us to be able to do what we need to do," Stretchbery said.
Chambers ran through a long list of areas reviewed, citing service plans written for consumers, the size of caseloads, built in support systems, medication administration, behavioral support, money management plans, service delivery, ability to overcome personnel changes, transportation, having aides on all buses and being proactive to build and maintain support in the community. She said despite the high marks "there is always room for improvement."
"In our individual interviews we found that staff felt supported, confident and empowered. People know who to talk and people are at ease," Chambers said.
She said families seem happy with early-intervention efforts and said adult day services and community employment provide "lots of options and choices. People are proud of the work they do."
Strechbery said the staff "has a sense of ownership. This is how we serve. This is an incredible moment for us. We have worked long and hard for this.
"We know we are good but this is not as good as it gets. The taxpayers should know that their money is being spent wisely, especially since we just got that levy approved."
Stretchbery told the review team the only 'complaint' she had heard from the staff was a "wish to be able to spend more time talking to a state regulator." She assured the board that the achievement "is a big deal around here and it's the real deal."
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