The Providers’ Council turned 40 in 2015, and while we celebrated the historic successes of our Commonwealth’s human services sector at a gala in April, we began to turn our attention to 40 Years Forward at our 40th Annual Convention & Expo in October.
Although our human services community has come far – from a $25 million sector in the early 1970s to a $2.4 billion-plus sector today – we know there is still much for us to do together. We won a major legal victory in 2015 that finalized the timeline for completing Chapter 257 implementation, and we continue to work with the Executive Office of Health and Human Services to ensure all programs have fair rates that cover the entire cost of providing services. We also ensured an annualized Salary Reserve for FY ’15 was added back into your budgets after it was inadvertently omitted, and the Council released its landmark report Beyond Social Value, highlighting our economic value, at the State House to a diverse group including Senate President Stanley Rosenberg and the Baker Administration.
The Council also worked to make it easier for your organizations to do business in the Commonwealth. We urged the Executive Office of Administration and Finance to review several EOHHS regulations
and consider revising them, and we succeeded in amending a portion of the state’s Earned Sick Time law during the public hearing process so it would be more fair to human services employers. Additionally, we held a forum with Administration officials in December to give you an outlook on the state’s fiscal condition for 2016 and beyond.
Our Providers’ eAcademy® and Providers’ Benchmarking program grew to new levels in 2015, and our 40th Annual Convention & Expo was the largest in the history of the event. Our graduate-level certificate programs and The Leadership Initiative, our inter-agency mentoring program, continue to develop future leaders as we look toward recruiting and retaining our growing workforce.
Over the past year, the Providers’ Council was certainly fabulous at 40 – but it was only with your help, encouragement and support that we were able to make it happen. From all of us on the Providers’ Council staff and board of directors, we thank you and look forward to the next 40 years and beyond.