[Hempstead, Nov. 19, 2021] At Community Care Rx, we applaud Governor Kathy Hochul’s announcement yesterday that the New York Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) will provide more than $1.5 billion in one-time American Rescue Plan Act funding to address critical staff shortages of direct support professionals (DSPs).
The funds will support recruitment efforts, retention incentives and vaccination bonuses for DSPs, who provide essential services for people with developmental and/or intellectual disabilities.
As the premier long-term-care pharmacy in the New York metropolitan area, Community Care Rx works with many OPWDD group homes and other facilities staffed by DSPs. We have observed firsthand the dire need to address severe shortages of these compassionate and dedicated workers, who are the backbone of the care delivery system. The pandemic exacerbated the depletion of these overworked individuals, whose work is critical to ensuring the safety and well-being and increasing the quality of life of individuals with developmental and/or intellectual disabilities.
We thank Governor Hochul and Acting OPWDD Commissioner Kerri E. Neifeld for their leadership in not only addressing the emergency staffing shortages of today but in developing a plan to support the long-term stability of the DSP workforce. Effective long-term recruitment and retention strategies will ultimately lead to better services for tens of thousands of New Yorkers with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities.