April 14, 2016:
The community vision for the future of the Sonoma Development Center (SDC) is rooted in the Center’s legacy of care for people with developmental disabilities. The state’s plan for closing the facility by 2018 as a residential care hospital has left hundreds of families struggling with life-changing decisions about where to move loved ones, and where to find adequate health care services outside of SDC.
The SDC Closure Plan promised that no residents will be moved from SDC “until appropriate services and supports identified in their Individual Program Plan (IPP) are available in the community.” For decades SDC has provided a completely integrated care model for its residents. The stark reality is that there is a vast gap in the type and extent of “appropriate services” currently provided by SDC versus those available in the community care system.
Since the formation of the SDC Coalition, Supervisor Susan Gorin and Sonoma County have provided outstanding leadership to our community, and multiple county agencies have dedicated significant staff time to the Transform SDC Project. In particular the Sonoma County Department of Health Services has taken the lead in developing a ground-breaking concept for a new service model that is community-based; developed through public-private partnerships; and is able to serve as a regional-hub providing high quality health care services to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
After several months of research and discussion with key stakeholders, the SDC Coalition is pleased to announce the release of a proposal for the creation of a “Health Disability Resource Center” that would ideally be located on the SDC campus. As the proposal states:
“The overriding priority of the State, the County, the SDC Coalition, and the guardians and families of those who live at SDC is the health and well-being the SDC residents. Ensuring a system of care is in place to care for SDC residents as they are transitioned into the community is a commitment that is articulated throughout the State’s Closure Plan, unanimously voiced at every public meeting, steadfastly supported by the County and SDC Coalition, and most importantly, is a commitment we all share. The development of a Health Disability Resource Center does not run counter to this commitment, but supports it – designed to ensure that before those who have been cared for most of their lives in a state-run facility, will be cared for when they move into the community. By following this strategic plan, together we can build a Health Disability Resource Center that will support and serve individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.”
The Health Disability Resource Center concept is forming the basis of our advocacy efforts in Sacramento for 2016, and we will continue to provide briefings on the progress of this effort in the coming months as the Legislature makes a final decision on approving the SDC Closure Plan, and approving budget appropriations to implement the Plan.
Additional information on the Health Disability Resource Center provided below.
SDC Transition Plan – Health Disability Resource Center Summary
SDC Transition Plan – Health Disability Resource Center