Dear Friends and Colleagues,
OPWDD employs about 1,400 nurses statewide, which includes Licensed Practical Nurses, Registered Nurses, Infection Control Nurses, Community Mental Health Nurses, Nurse Practitioners, and Nurse Administrators, as well as temporary or part-time staff. Our nurses – as well as those who are employed at our not-for-profit provider agencies – work tirelessly to share their knowledge and skills, investigate new care strategies, and create healthy work places.
National Nurses Week is an opportunity to recognize the work that our nurses do to help provide quality care and supports for people with developmental disabilities. It is fitting that the theme for National Nurses Week 2018 is “Inspire, Innovate and Influence.”
Nurses have a direct impact on the quality and delivery of clinical services provided to individuals in our care. Nurses inspire, innovate, and influence the people they treat every day. They realize that each person is unique, which presents our nurses with daily opportunities to teach, motivate, and promote health and healing to both individuals and their family members.
OPWDD nurses will continue to play a crucial role in the health of the people we support as we move from Medicaid Service Coordination (MSC) to Health Home Care Management provided by Care Coordination Organizations (CCOs). As members of the care team, our nurses will continue to be a main checkpoint for any health and wellness needs people may have. They will continue to have the primary responsibility for ensuring that all healthcare needs are met, and will work collaboratively with the CCOs to ensure this. There will be improved communication and linkage among all the community providers, disciplines and services that the people we support are involved with, which will allow for improved outcomes and progress towards individual goals.
With the increased interdisciplinary approach to care that the CCOs will provide, nurses can and will be even more proactive in the healthcare and wellness of the individuals we support.
While National Nurses Week is a special time to recognize nurses, at OPWDD we value what nurses – and all our frontline staff – do day in and day out, 365 days of the year. Please join me in recognizing the positive contributions that nurses, and our dedicated frontline employees, make every day to the care of people with developmental disabilities.
Kerry A. Delaney