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Provider expands services in Richland County

Provider expands services in Richland County

July 6, 2017

(Editor’s Note: The following is part of a series of stories about the provider partners that work with Richland Newhope who offer services for people with developmental disabilities in Richland County.)

One of the newest providers of services in Richland County is Statewide Transportation LLC.  Founded in 2015 in Ashland County, the company now serves about 29 people in Ashland, Wayne, Holmes, and, as of May 1, Richland County.

“We started initially doing non-medical transportation and HPC (Homemaker Personal Care) transportation,” says Co-Owner Heather Gentle.  “There’s such a need with a lot of things, and I guess with my background we decided to…add services.”

Gentle, who previously served for 13 years as a pediatric home health care nurse, says her company is now certified to provide a number of different services, including vocational and adult day habilitation.  However, its current focus is transportation, providing in-home services to some clients a few hours a week and, as of May 1, managing a home on Sackman St. in Mansfield where two ladies receive 24/7 services.

“The longer you can keep someone in their home, in their comfort level to maintain, that’s the best thing you can possibly do,” says Gentle.  “We are family-owned and operated.  Since we’re so small, your adult will become our family, too.”

She says the home on Sackman is a first for the company, which employs about 10 people.

“It was something we were looking to do down the road,” Gentle added.  “It’s kind of a unique situation with how it ended up being us.”

Cathy, one of the women who resides in the home, was fostered for many years by Gentle’s relatives. 

“Since her needs have changed, adult foster really wasn’t the proper service that she needed to get the most out of life,” says Gentle.  Because Statewide was licensed to operate a home, they decided to begin those services now so Cathy would have a place to live.

She says they soon hope to change the company’s name to Statewide Total Services, and plan to expand slowly so they can make sure the company is meeting all state standards.  Gentle noted that’s especially important to her step-father and the company’s chief executive officer, Michael McClure, who previously served as transportation director for both the Ashland County and the Washington County Boards of Developmental Disabilities. (His son, Tyler McClure, is the third partner in the business.)

She also stresses the importance of teamwork to deliver person-centered services.

“It’s the guardians working with the provider, working with the ICs (individual consultants), working with the doctors and the therapists,” adds Gentle.

While admitting the changes that are now happening in the developmental disabilities field in Ohio can be scary, she still likes the direction the state is headed.

“The push for community inclusion I think is great,” Gentle says.

For more information about Statewide Transportation Services, call 419-606-2046.

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