SETWorks’ “Inspiring Progress – Celebrating Success in Disability Services” awards shine a spotlight on the exceptional work of disability service providers who consistently go above and beyond to improve the lives of those they serve. These awards not only acknowledge their accomplishments but also emphasize their impact on individuals with disabilities, the DSP community, and society as a whole.
Recognizing that there are many different definitions of success, there were three types of awards open to any SETWorks client: Achievement, Innovation, and Transformation. The final category, Transformation, celebrates agencies that have made major changes to their processes, services, or techniques that have had a positive impact on outcomes over time. Winners will receive prize funds that can be used to further their initiatives, support professional development, or enhance the quality of their services.
Below are this year’s winners in the Transformation category:
Transforming a single program or service can be impactful. But transforming an entire agency from a for-profit to a nonprofit entity? That’s revolutionary.
Under the leadership of founder Jennifer Kuntz, Greenleaf Job Training Services provided vocational support to Ohioans with disabilities for 25 years — but her retirement marked a pivotal moment in the agency’s evolution. Recognizing that becoming a nonprofit would open new avenues for funding and collaboration, the decision was made to pursue nonprofit status.
Greenleaf applied for and was granted nonprofit status in October 2021. Over the following year, the agency undertook several initiatives for transformation. They appointed their first board of directors, prioritizing diverse representation reflective of their community, and expanded their management team for future growth. They also launched a robust employee benefits program, along with a successful fundraising campaign that raised over $30,000 for Greenleaf’s future.
While by no means easy, this bold decision has had a tremendous impact on the organization’s financial stability and community engagement. Staff longevity has increased by 21.6%, leading to an increase in stakeholder satisfaction with services. Greenleaf also saw a 26-fold increase in diversification of funding, receiving philanthropic support from over 130 individuals, corporations, and foundations in 2022. The transition to nonprofit status has also opened the door to partnership opportunities with organizations like the Ohio Association of Nonprofits and the Human Service Chamber of Franklin County, which will further enhance Greenleaf’s growth and strengthen community ties.
“Greenleaf Job Training Services is delighted and grateful to have been selected as an Inspiring Progress Award Winner,” says Greenleaf CEO Kristin Schaub. “Our dedicated team members demonstrate unwavering commitment each day, driven by the belief that everyone has value in the workplace, no matter where they’ve been, where they want to go, or what obstacles they face. With our recent transition to a nonprofit organization, we have successfully amplified our influence, allowing us to better cater to the needs of our participants and make a greater impact.”
Like most disability service agencies, Trillium faced significant administrative challenges in growing its operations. Determined to uphold quality while scaling to new geographic areas in Washington state and adding new services, Trillium strategically harnessed the power of SETWorks to transform the organization’s overburdened administrative processes and empower staff to focus their energy on service delivery.
By automating tasks like tracking staff training, client documentation, and outcome reporting, the SETWorks platform has revolutionized Trillium’s workflows and enhanced staff efficiency. This shift has paved the way for expansion and innovation without compromising service excellence: Since implementing SETWorks in 2018, Trillium has grown its client base by 150 with a mere 0.5 administrative full-time equivalent (FTE) addition.
Trillium’s digital transformation aligns with the organization’s core values of equip, listen, and improve, demonstrating how technology can support and enhance these values. For them, SETWorks is much more than a technology system — it’s a tool that helps them better serve their community and promote inclusive opportunities for all.
“Being chosen as an Inspiring Progress Award Winner is a significant affirmation of the impact Trillium’s mission has on our community,” says Trillium Systems Coordinator Emma Armstrong. “This recognition highlights how our commitment, combined with the transformative use of SETWorks, is driving positive change and fostering inclusivity in our pursuit of promoting community and employment opportunities.”
Rising medical costs are forcing disability service agencies to make tough decisions about healthcare coverage for their employees. Confronted with the challenge of controlling expenses without compromising the quality of health coverage for their employees, California-based Adjoin reimagined their health benefit plan and emerged as a remarkable example of transformation.
After weighing the pros and cons of different types of plans, Adjoin made the decision to switch from a traditional, fully-insured group health insurance plan to a self-insured health plan. Collaborating with a knowledgeable broker, the agency developed a roadmap for a seamless and effective transition. Adjoin’s human resource department also crafted a comprehensive communication plan to ensure employees stayed informed and engaged throughout the process.
Adjoin’s strategic and determined efforts have paid off in more ways than one. In addition to reducing employer costs, the new self-insured plan has allowed Adjoin’s employees to experience a newfound level of autonomy and choice. Rather than restricting members to doctors or hospitals within a network, Adjoin’s new plan uses Fair Market Pricing (FMP) — a game-changing approach that empowers employees to choose any healthcare provider without facing financial penalties. This innovative approach aligns with Adjoin’s commitment to offering richer health care benefits for its employees, and has resulted in improved employee satisfaction as reflected in their benefits survey.
“Adjoin is thankful to be chosen as an Inspiring Progress Award Runner Up,” says Adjoin Chief of Operations Claudia Hutchinson. “This recognition serves as a testament that our work has had a positive impact on our team members’ health benefits! We are hopeful that our journey may inspire other SETWorks Disability Service Providers to pursue quality benefits outside the traditional healthcare system for all deserving Direct Support Professionals.”
From reimagining employee benefits to leveraging technology to scale services, this year’s Transformation award winners continually strive to redefine the possibilities in enhancing the lives of those they serve. Their transformation stories serve as a testament to their commitment and vision, and offer inspiration for disability service providers everywhere.
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