ISSUES 2018 08/12/18

Steve McIntosh
Thursday, August 9th
Director of Communications Jamie Reed discusses Starkey Inc., which serves more than 500 people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the Wichita area

Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

This is issues 2018. And Steve Macintosh and our guest is Jaime reed it. Director of communications for starchy welcome to issue funny team I think sixteenth let's begin. With some basic information Hawaii is star he. Well start key. Incorporated serves more than 500 people in the such a Kenny area who have the intellectual and developmental disabilities. And we did that turf for radio programs we have employment programs like enrichment case management we have a large residential program in Wichita. And we provide those supports 24 hours a day 365. Days a year. All right and now how long you start you've been around and edited it started. Stark he actually was founded in 1930. So we are a lot older than people realize and the which talk community. Happy stark he was our founder she was a schoolteacher. And she saw that kids. With disabilities were not getting what they needed necessarily in the public schools. And the story goes that she was. Derrick Cooper challenged. To take on a couple of neighborhood kids who had disabilities and see if she can teach them. And in 1930 that was a lot different. Than it is today with special education in the schools so Harry did that she started a school in her home. And people heard about her eventually she had about forty students in her house. And so a permanent school building was constructed and the rest is history to that then actually built a building they actually built a school I if I happen to work in the building that was the original school it's over on young street. And people who have lived in Wichita for a for many years may remember this Turkey school that's what it was known as for many years over on the west side and over on the left side. We turns you know eventually in the seventies. The public schools took over special education there wasn't such a need for these private schools so. We turns to different perk camps so how are Sharkey finance them. It's Turkey Lar usually receives. Medicaid dollars so that dollars follow that individuals. And if they are determined to be Medicaid eligible those dollars come with them if they choose Turkey. And two we also received. And that money flows through the state and through the county we are an affiliate of the central count me. Developmental disability organization. We also do pregnant fundraising though we receive grants we have other local sources of money as well. Cano. And via but do you what do you. Called the people you help or take clients. I'm sometimes that word issues yes I always just say that individuals served by star ski outside of them. You know how many people actually work force target goal employees getting in recent war that mission. What we employ almost 400 people so we serve more than 500 and we employ him almost 400 yards the 39 ain't largest employer in the which time here in Munich. Tell us about your facilities. Well we have day program facilities over on the left side and so those. How is our employment programs are life enrichment. Programs as well as offices health services. And then threw out Wichita we have almost forty different homes. Where people live with staff supports. Every day and we have to apartment complexes so. You know we actually have about fifty to 55 to her property used in the Wichita area. Tune in again how many people you actually helping you today for under 500 my country and my job. A little over 500 how does that to fluctuate or does it to go up and down have people come and enjoy now it down is we have. When a person who has a disability needs services and such we counted actually. Visit first with the central Kenny. Developmental disability organization they have a variety of choices they can choose storekeeper everything they can choose Turkey only for residential. And other providers for different services so it's about they have choices. And you know the person comes to us through that process and yes we do have admissions that are ongoing. In any given month we have people who are interested in coming into our employment programs are residential programs it's a constant flow. Which isn't how does start keep. Handles security you have some people here they've that they need to be secure in our lodging and they're coming and going how do you handle it. To creek questioned. We had. Specialized training for one thing. For people who have and need for behavior supports that's kind of the churkin that we use in the industry but. People who have challenging behaviors who maybe are not. Able to keep themselves safe or others around them we have. Hi a staffing ratio of sell enough people. And then we have the type of training that they need for behavior interventions to keep them safe in their beer in their various programs. And otherwise we have the physical security of buildings that most of us have in our workplaces today. Blocked still horrors cameras in certain cases. You know our receptionist to gatekeeper people who are kind of determining who should be there and you should be interacting with the people that we so earth would you start. He population is moving. They're on the streets I know they. They aren't a much what do they do well we actually how. A fleet of vehicles. And we provide transportation Knutson a huge service that we provided. 250000. One way rides every year so we have buses start keep buses going everywhere. And the reason for that is people. Some people take city transit it is available to them but some people need additional supports. That and the staff person with them on that bus and that's not always available for public transportation. The reason we provide transportation we have people who need to go to and from jobs to and from that health appointments. And tune from their home every game grocery shopping all of those activities you're right we are on the go constantly. At the center of star he is independent living but but also employment. Tell us about that. Well employment really takes two different forms that's Turkey we have. Local businesses that work with us for contract work our in house employment program at any given time you could walk in the doors and you could see. In different jobs that are going ons we might be doing small parts assembly packaging and mailing shipping about sort of thing and the people are paid for the work that they do and that program. And then with the skills that they gained there. Or maybe the skills they walk in the door when we have people who work in the community. And I like to mention this because employers don't always know. That if they hire someone from star ski a job coach and employment specialists someone will come with that person. And so you're not only just hiring and giving a person a chance speaking about the supports there. You're not required as the manager or the staff to provide those we will do that we will. Turning the person on the job followed them on to ensure that their successful and keep checking. And which could point out employers to take responsibility for those who work and they're building those who visit their buildings and it's good to know that there is there's some support along those lines of responsibility. It does it does make it easier and you know we have people. Employee everywhere Wesley medical center Carlos and Kelly is Davis more Schofield on. Country clubs hospitals pharmacies restaurants. It really is a wide for Angel can work really doing it it really just dependents. Me in a restaurant it can be bussing tables could be assisting in the in the kitchen. And hat to the car dealerships we have people who are assisting in the parts and service departments and sometimes with receiving two for parts that come in and getting them to the right place so depending on the person and their skills. The disabilities it's a very wide spectrum you could have a person he needs a lot of personal assistants. And you can have someone who has very high functioning autism for instance and they have a lot of skills to share. So as you share if you read the employers for us to talk about just a few more. You absolutely. Brilliantly people who have been. Working with you for a long time in prison do we have a man who has worked at Johnson Controls legal work for. 21 years at this point while incredible we. Jonathan is that Westlake is heard where he just celebrated his fifteenth anniversary. And I think Michelle who's that Walgreens has been there an equal amount of time so some really. Long term ten years at these jobs all right and do they ever moved to other ships. You know I had to save the people that employ them they'd love then they consider them to be a vital part of their team and so. No they have stuck it out that this Johnson about the passes and movement expression what did you do what employers in auto workers from certain that. He was a couple more examples you yeah. It's it's interesting they will say to us it when we ask for testimonials are quotes. And they will say. He or she is the most dedicated employee I have something he never take sick day. Always show up on time are happy. To be here happy to have this job to understand about you work I mean the people. Firms Turkey could gain community employment are really. Dedicated to their Johnson product them. So you talked about Medicaid earlier and that's I don't I know that's government the you've got these people who were your clients are coming in and they're actually. They are. Producers they are people in the community who are are not taking their putting back in paying taxes little thing right. Us IA I believe not to be true especially those who are employed now for those who are maybe an able to be employed. We are proud to say that they are giving back is volunteers so they may not be contributing their taxes per saying. Day in our life enrichment program our house per program that they. Volunteer with the Kansas humane society of the lord's diner in the Salvation Army they'd go in. Fill boxes that the Kansas speed banks so in that sense they're productive in giving back Turk community as well. He'll listen to issues Tony eighteen on the Entercom radio stations and I guess is Jamie reed director of communications for starting. You know and if someone in business has an interest in employment employing. Certain clients what should they do out of it housed the prospective employers Soviet. Involved. Well we can make it easy on them so that they can get just Turkey dot org that's probably the easiest route is our website but. Also call our main number and asked to speak to our employment team. And we have. Specialists but we'll come to them. And so they will actually come to the job site talked to a potential manager kind of scope out the job. We have a trial things where a person can actually trail the job and see if they can be successful. And that way we don't just play somebody. And you know we set them up for success instead of failure in the tell us about start key life in Richmond and gateway programs oh sure. Why I've been looking at your wraps up yet. Excellent student yes let's send it. We like enrichment. I mentioned some of the volunteer activities that go on in the community. They are heavily involved in that and that is a program where people need more support either physically. Or forces various disabilities that they have. And so we have more staff that can assist them going out learning about our community becoming. Engaged and it. And also take part in in house activities as well. I'm part of that big umbrella programs as a retirement program leisurely. We've finally came to realize that people don't want to work forever. And so we had to seventeen year olds we even have a man whose EDT you. Say to us you know I want to retire and so we make that possible. Through that particular program. Gateway name. It's a completely different program for people with a dual diagnosis of the disability and a mental illness. And so in that program people have particularly challenging behaviors. They may need some training for social skills building some medication management anger management and that type of thing. And so it's really one to one support in our game we per gram. We've seen some great success we tell the story of the young man to. Had issues with his schizophrenia. Getting in the way of building relationships and paranoia that was going on with the right medication management the right team that was pulled together. He is so happy now he's not part of the gateway program anymore he's employed he's actually working Carlos and Kelly. And he helps train local law enforcement officers on how to. Effectively interact with somebody who has mental illness and is in crisis. That is that's increasing because when I talk to law enforcement people and do this program with them. That is one of the things it did they are seeing more and more. In there were all mysteries people who probably shouldn't be out there right to have some mental problems and and in the they're running is some very serious difficulties about that the police officers are now being trained how do you deal with that that's interesting that your helping out with that you know. And it and it's not always obviously evident that a person would have a disability or mental illness we've seen. Instances tragic instances in other parts of the country where. You know from someone doesn't comply with orders and they have autism. And the officer doesn't know about it puts them in about situations so Connor addition manned goes to every crisis intervention team training. For. Police and sheriff's officers and tells the story about how. His interactions in the past abandoned house we could have been different well okay so what other services and programs desist Sharkey. Provide. Well we've talked about employment there like enrichment and residential. Let me touch on that a bit more so I mentioned are. Our various group homes throughout the community we have staffed 24 sevenths so. And might be three shifts of staff. It might just be overnight to or support staff. And that is for people to live more independently so it might be someone who is coming from a parent's home for the first time. And the parent is concerned that they need support still live successfully. And someone to make sure that their needs are mad it's Turkey can be that for them. On the other end of the spectrum we have apartment buildings and people live Bay Area independently so we just have trainers who check in with them and say. You know I have we grocery shop this week two we need to make sure your bills are paid a heavy taking your medications. And provide just a limited support make them successful. And the start he had an electronic. Recycling program we still tune what do you we need to you know. That we. Started this journey working with the which I UST 259 schools and so we have the contract to recycle all of their computers. As stayed. Kind of rotate inventory every three years and so we go and pick those up but in addition we added to a public component so if you have an old computer. Monitor. Mouse keyboard panel tablet herself and we can take those for me we work with. A broker that assures us that does not go to a landfill in China. You know that the parts are recycled and re used here in America. And so are individuals in the work program actually take those apart they take a computer part clipped the cord stick motherboard out. Those are sorted according to. The metals that are in them or the way is that they need to be recycled. And people start he'd love working on. Through the meant to bends it's cathartic. Still another rebuilding the computer and sending him back saying they're not work that are now no they're not doing that they aired this assembling. And so you know for the public they can actually bring those items to our building up 4500 west maple they can ring a bell. And someone more comic take those items from your turnaround from your car. And handle for you know what kind of items are you talking about here in just about computers yes just old electronics real lead. Tablets phones computers. Laptops. Gaming systems those types of things we cannot take televisions okay. And we look young man I have a few years ago I had a giant television I mean I don't know that it still I I wish that we could fit because of the tune ups and various things that are in them. How does a person generally stay in your program you talked about people who aren't they have reached recent retirement age which has surprised me. But on the average television person senior program and. He now. I have been there are 21 years at this point and now I know I could number of people who have been there at least that long. I would say that we have. And maybe a a third of people at this point have been there. Thirty plus years. And we look at a photo from 1954. To kids at this Turkey school and we pick out faces of people who were kids then that we still serve today so. Start you really is there for a lifetime for some people. Others you know young people from. Make common go as. Circumstances in their life changes so they might need some employment training from us horror an apartment. And we might serve them for five years and they're off to the next adventure did you share one or two more success stories. Four all capsule and you got a lot of them but we do we really do I'm one that we shared this year ever golf event. What's the story of Eric and again it ties back to our gateway program. And Eric's mom actually. Spoke and was interviewed for video that we showed. And she talked about all of the places and that area quits his disability in with this mental illness had tenants of various institutions. And hospitals and how people really unfair just kind of categories Timmons shuffled him from one place to another. And didn't work with him on his skills and she said since he has come to us Turkey. In her mind. We had taken the time to get to know him he has built this communication skills he can actually talked with her. In carry on a conversation now which is. In such a relief and so welcome to her. And he's working he's working two days a week at a construction company cleaning their offices and you know building those interaction skills and employment skills and she agencies. Such growth and Hammond and she attributes that to. And just the attention the personal attention that we kept him. By no. Tell us about fundraising efforts I know the one or two accused until what you do that to raise a little extra money yes. Yes sure I you know I love fundraising events because they're also awareness. Raising events and so we have. Three of those that go on. I mentioned durst Turkey golf classic that. Happened in July but this next year for 2019 will happen in September so we're going to have some cooler weather. It's how to crest view and now this one. Fundraisers that we do the golf classic in the gala event that's associated with. We also have the amber waves beer walk and tasting tour that is every may in delaying now. And it's a chance for. Patrons to go from business to business. And enjoy different craft Beers and different wine ins and appetizers that are prepared by local restaurants and dual shopping if they if they desire. Airplanes brewing as a stop now on that tour and so we. We into a parent and have the blow Cooper is involved as well. And then lastly we are a beneficiary of the cars for charities. Ronning custom car action that happens every January it's country to. It's Turkey and the markets such a canning of the two charities that benefit from that to what you mourn the biggest challenges in your job of the union co workers one of the biggest challenges. That you face day today. I would say. We are always. Working to working with the state to. To get a real a sense of realistic expectations and also reimbursement rates. Is really hard to pay our direct support staff the wages that. They deserve. It's hard work we wish we can pay them you know minimum. As thirteen or fourteen dollars an hour and that and that doesn't even seem like enough to where. Not able to do that with the Medicaid reimbursements that come to us and so we're always advocating. At the state level for change on that front. We also are seeing different needs to people who are walking in our doors I mentioned challenging behaviors I mentioned autism. You know I've seen personally a lot of change in the need and that different disabilities that come to us and we don't have the option to say no we really just can't serve you. We have to figure it out and so for us that means pulling together as a team outside resources psychologist figuring out what it is. To help that person. I'm staying on top of the game there is a yes the game is always changing something new all the time isn't crucial many places but Davis and who it and thank you for spending some time where this is this morning to talk about start he has always. Helped commute maybe you'll come back and if you must or we'll we'll talk some more about what's going on there at Cherokee. And paint Q can I put in a social media plug when you're on FaceBook Twitter and menstrual cramps so people want to see photos of what's going on that's good place to do it. That's all for this edition of issues 28 team we'll be back next week thank you for listing. I Steve Macintosh.