One Year Later
As of February 1, I have been at Hillsides a year. Though I may not be the new CEO any longer, I am still the rookie given the longevity of so many of our staff members. A year ago there were many external factors that created challenges for Hillsides. At that time, although the reimbursement for the residential program had improved, mental health funding was the subject of a “transformation” in order to account for a short fall in public revenues. Throughout this period, our education services continue to be underfunded. All of this, together with the uncertainties that come with the introduction of a new executive, provided for significant change unlike anything that Hillsides has experienced in many years.
A year later the agency has seen its financial position improve, its capacity to address the needs of staff restored, and services strengthened. Today, the specific challenges have changed, but continue to be mostly related to inadequate funding. The agency is nevertheless well equipped to address these challenges and, as we have in the past, continue to provide extraordinary care to very vulnerable children and their families.
As I look back on the accomplishments of the last year, the one that stands out is our ability to maintain quality care in spite of the financial constraints within which we labor. This accomplishment is a testament to the dedication and resourcefulness of the organization to never lose sight of our ultimate goal: creating safe places for the children and families we serve.
What has been accomplished is not only a reflection of my leadership, but rather the result of the successful partnerships that advance our mission–partnerships with dedicated staff, with struggling families, with underfunded public entities and, as always, with a generous and faithful donor community.
As I begin my second year at Hillsides, I am grateful for this extraordinary opportunity and continue to count on so many allies to fulfill our historic mission. Thank you!