Many industries across the country and in Ohio have felt the impact of staffing shortages during the COVID-19 pandemic. The disability service industry has certainly felt this impact, as many provider Agencies are struggling to hire and retain Direct Service Professional (DSP) staff. Read the letter from many statewide partners about the impact of this workforce shortage across the state. Read More ›
Author Archives: Billie Jo David
Summit County Developmental Disabilities Board today named current Assistant Superintendent, Lisa Kamlowsky, as the Agency’s top executive effective January 1, 2022. Today’s announcement comes after Summit DD Superintendent, John Trunk, last month announced his retirement effective December 31, 2021.
“There is no one more prepared to build on the successes of the past and to guide this amazing team into the future than Lisa,” said Tom Quade, Summit DD Board President. “She has the full confidence of the Board and of her leadership team,” Quade added. The move was made with a unanimous vote at Summit DD’s August Board Meeting.
Kamlowsky, the first woman to head the Agency, brings more than 25 years of experience at Summit DD as Chief Legal Counsel and Assistant Superintendent. As part of her role on the leadership team, Summit DD has eliminated the waiting lists for residential and day services, transitioned school-age kids to their local school districts, constructed buildings in Cuyahoga Falls and Barberton which will be used as the future administrative hubs for the Agency, successfully transitioned adult day and transportation services to private providers, passed multiple operating levies, and built a provider network that provides community integrated services that meet the individual choices and needs of those the Agency serves and their families.
Kamlowsky also served as an Assistant Prosecutor at the Summit County Prosecutor’s Office. Kamlowsky is a life-long Summit County resident, with an undergraduate degree from the University of Akron and a Juris Doctor from the University of Akron School of Law.
“I am honored to be selected by Summit DD’s Board to serve our employees, individuals and families as Superintendent,” commented Kamlowsky. “I am thrilled for the opportunity to continue to advance the work of our Board and make meaningful connections for those we serve in the community,” Kamlowsky added.
In July, after nearly eight years as Superintendent of Summit DD, Trunk announced his retirement effective December 2021. “I am grateful for all the opportunities I have had throughout my career. But, I am most thankful for having had the privilege to work with thousands of individuals with disabilities and their families,” remarked Trunk.
Trunk said during his retirement announcement, “My life has been forever changed for the better. There is no other place I would choose to finish my career than here in Summit County. The spirit of cooperation, collaboration and innovation is unlike anywhere else in Ohio.”
Trunk served the disability community for more than 40 years, including 8 years in Illinois and 33 year in Ohio as the Superintendent of Summit County, Lucas County and Williams County Boards of DD. “John has navigated multiple industry changing transition periods during his tenure in Summit County,” commented Quade. “The fact that he [John] was able to meet federal mandates to move more than 2,000 adults, one person at a time, from the Board as a service provider to private providers of their choice with compassion and care surprised no one.”
Under Trunk’s leadership Summit DD was able to provide thousands of individuals with developmental disabilities and direct service providers two doses of the COVID vaccine, to provide PPE to individuals and service providers, and to redistribute additional federal COVID relief funding to assist hundreds of service providers to ensure services to individuals with disabilities could be maintained in unprecedented times.
Also during the global pandemic, Trunk worked with local and county officials to relocate Summit DD’s administrative hub to newly renovated, smaller offices in Cuyahoga Falls and Barberton which increases access to the community and results in operational costs saving for years to come.
Kamlowsky’s contract will begin on January 1, 2022 and runs through December 31, 2024.
Summit DD is the community resource that makes meaningful connections for more than 5,000 adults and children with developmental disabilities and their families. It is the Agency’s mission to help people of all abilities reach their full potential, one person at a time. More information regarding the Agency is available online at SummitDD.org.
A Message from Superintendent John Trunk
Over the past 15 months, Summit DD has been supporting individuals and families in new and innovative ways. We’ve connected to you in your homes virtually, stayed in touch over the phone, and helped support health and safety efforts with PPE and vaccines.
Summit DD will keep our Mission of supporting your needs, one person at a time, as more and more people return to the community.
What to Expect from Summit DD Staff
As vaccine rates increase and community spread of COVID-19 decreases, our staff are ready to resume in-person visits for individuals and families. If you would prefer to keep the visits virtual, we will respect your choices. We also will respect your wishes for masking. We have provided safety guidelines to our team, consistent with recommendations from the CDC, to ensure your health and safety. Your Summit DD point of contact will ask you about your preferences when scheduling visits. We have asked our staff to reschedule meetings if they are not feeling well and ask you to do the same to keep everyone safe.
Our staff have also been supporting providers, schools, camps, and employers as more organizations slowly open to full capacity. There are more opportunities for those we serve to fully engage in the community and we encourage you to talk with your Summit DD point of contact about your wishes to return to community-based activities.
We are also excited about the progress on renovations to our Barberton and Cuyahoga Falls location and can’t wait to welcome you there when they open later this year.
What to Expect from Service Providers
Each service provider will set their own guidelines that follow CDC guidance, including social distancing and masking, to keep you safe. Providers approaches may vary, we encourage you to talk with your team about the approach your provider is taking to ensure it meets your needs.
Over the next few months programs will slowly work towards opening at full capacity. The same staffing issues that impact many businesses right now also impact the provider community. Summit DD continues to support providers and is working to help them with the reopening.
If you have not yet been vaccinated and want to, we are here to help connect you to a provider.
As always, talk to your Developmental Specialist, RSS or SSA about your needs and desires so we can help build a circle of support that meets your individual needs.
Summit County Developmental Disabilities Board (Summit DD) has been dedicated to protecting the health, safety and welfare of those with disabilities for more than fifty years. The past year has strengthened the Agency’s mandate to do just that by delivering vaccines to those we serve. Read More ›