Superintendent Update

November 3, 2021

Over the past 18 months we have seen a lot of changes, not only with this agency but in the world as a whole.  The pandemic has left us all in a wake of disarray and a constant feeling of unsettledness that no one could have predicted, let alone planned for.  I am thankful every day that we have such a great team of employees that are dedicated to ensuring the people we support continue to receive the services and supports they need in spite of everything else that is going on.   The extreme staffing shortages have continued to impact this agency as well as our provider partners across the county.    We have tried to come up with new and creative ways to attract new employees and to maintain our existing workforce throughout this crisis and will continue to do so until we have a sufficient workforce.    If you know of anyone that wants to work for Newhope, please send them our way (current employees can take advantage of our referral bonus program).   

This was a big strategic planning year for the agency.  With the help of the Impact Group we have gathered information from individuals, families, staff, providers and community members.  Based on the feedback received, we have developed our strategic goals and objectives for the next three years that focus on seven primary areas; Individual Needs and Services; Provider Development and Support; Staff Recruitment, Retention and Development; Facilities, Infrastructure and Safety; Operations and Fiscal Accountability; Technology; and finally Facilities.  The final plan will be disseminated and made available for the public pending Board approval. 

Additional Updates:

Special Olympics have been slow to restart, but at least some of the athletes were able to compete in competitive events this summer.   Information about fall and winter sports will be shared as it is made available. 

We are full steam ahead on our Raintree renovation project.  Information has been gathered from individuals, family members and staff and we have come up with a design that will meet everyone’s needs.  As soon as the architect completes the final designs they will go out to bid with a projected start of spring 2022.

If you need assistance getting a vaccine or a booster please reach out to your Individual Consultant or Service Coordinator and they will help connect you with a vaccine location in this area.

Unfortunately, due to continued concerns with COVID and joining in large group settings, we have canceled this year’s 2021 Christmas Party. We are hopeful in 2022 to get back to having our annual Christmas Party!

I want to wish everyone a safe and healthy holiday season!



Michele L. Giess


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Richland County Board of Developmental Disabilities
314 Cleveland Avenue
Mansfield, Ohio 44902

Phone: 419-774-4200
Fax: 419-774-4207

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