Holmes Board of DD survey to shape strategies

Holmes Board of DD survey to shape strategies
Dave Mast

Already blessed with a great staff, facilities and programs, the Holmes County Board of Developmental Disabilities wants to continue to strive toward becoming even better. The HCBDD currently has a survey out to seek input from the public on what people like and how the center can improve.


A few minutes of time can help the Holmes County Board of Developmental Disabilities carve out a better future for those who utilize the many services the training center offers.

The HCBDD is currently sending out a short survey to develop a strategic plan for the next three years. The survey will help give the board input from the community to help offer direction as to where the board will go moving forward.

“We would love to have as much community involvement as possible because it is always good to hear from people outside of our own circle,” said Marianne Mader, Holmes BDD superintendent. “It is a requirement for county boards to have a strategic plan, and we put one together three years ago and it is about to expire.”

Mader said the strategic plan took a different approach, working with Mennonite Health Services out of Kansas. Mader said staff and the board worked with them on developing a strategic plan, and it worked well, but with COVID-19 being so prevalent this year, they felt a survey would be safer and more convenient in getting input from as many people as possible.

Mader said she spent time sending the survey via email to as many people in her community circle she could think of, to various county agencies and to all of the families who utilize the services of the center.

Mader said she expects the information received from the families who use the facility will be much more detailed because they have a much better grasp on what takes place there and the many programs that are offered, but hearing from others also is valuable.

“There are a number of different tentacles throughout the community that we touch, and we would love to hear from all of them about what we are doing right and how they think we can improve,” Mader said. “That feedback is so critical to how we want to proceed.”

Mid-East Ohio Regional Council of Governments, which works with 18 different county boards in the state of Ohio, will work closely with the HCBDD to create a three- to five-year strategic plan.

According to Mader, MEORC will have two of its facilitators working closely with the HCBDD staff and board in the middle of February to sift through all of the survey data.

Mader said continuing some programs including school and the intervention programs will definitely be a part of the future. She said she expects some changes to occur within the adult program that will take place behind the scenes and the push to get the center’s adults who receive services connected with the community and the local work force.

With everything that has passed in 2020, Mader said this strange and different time is a good time to explore changes and improvements.

“I’ve been blown away by the support we have received in such an odd year,” Mader said. “We had the pandemic, and we had two levies that both passed. That is amazing. COVID has definitely caused us to take a close look at how we wanted to operate during this past year, and it has been difficult and challenging. For more than 50 years, this organization has been here for the community and supporting families, and that is not going to change.”

Mader said the board and staff recognizes they are providing a very integral number of services within the community, and those services are valued highly by the community and especially the families who utilize their services. At the same time, they know there are always avenues to improve, which is the reason for the current survey.

To participate in the survey, log on to the HCBDD website at www.holmesdd.org and find the link to the survey in the featured scroll at the top of the page.

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