Provider Transformation

Transitioning individuals into employment and the community

Provider Transformation is a primary focus area of the Employment First State Leadership Mentoring Program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, it is coordinated by the State of Michigan Developmental Disabilities Council.

Provider Transformation involves Technical Assistance (TA) from a Subject Matter Expert (SME) to review current business practices, and assess strengths and areas in need of improvement to align with federal disability employment policy; a written report by the SME, and a corresponding plan of action by the service provider.

Results include substantive change in the culture of participating organizations, with increased competitive integrated employment (CIE) outcomes. So far, 24 organizations have received this TA.

In addition, a mentoring program has been developed to cultivate sustainable internal capacity to share this expertise among providers on a peer to peer basis. Seven individuals have received personal instruction on becoming a Provider Transformation Mentor.

The Provider Transformation Process

  1. The process starts with a comprehensive agency assessment, including extensive research on the agency and a site visit by the SME, and self assessment by the agency under the guidance of the SME.
  2. Subsequently, the SME will develop an agency status report and set of recommendations for transformation. The report and recommendations will be shared with the agency’s change management team.
  3. Once the SME and change management team agree upon a prioritized set of recommendations, the agency will receive support to develop a transformation implementation plan. The SME will then work with the team to implement the plan. This support will be provided virtually and may include training, coaching and strategy development.
  4. Data will be collected prior to initiation of the project and at designated intervals throughout. This data will be used to evaluate the progress of each agency and to identify areas requiring improvement to achieve success.

From January 2016 to March 2019, over 1,700 individuals have successfully made the transition from facility based employment to CIE with support from organizations participating in Provider Transformation.

The provider transformation process is well worth the time and effort for agencies to participate in. Our organization found that it helped us take a step back and really think about the outcomes we wish to achieve on behalf of the individuals we serve.”

– Chris Zeigler, CEO, MRC Industries, Inc.

Having a mentor guide us through the transformation process has been extremely beneficial to Lakestate Industries. Our mentor, Cherie Johnson, helped us truly understand what steps needed to be taken, how our consumers will benefit from this process and she gave us a clear picture of what transformation looks like and how it can operate effectively and efficiently in our community.”

– Cheryl Ohman, Executive Director, Lakestate Industries, Inc.

In 2018, New Horizons was pleased to participate in the ODEP Provider Technical Assistance Grant through MARO. As part of that technical assistance, the agency worked with a Subject Matter Expert from the Office of Disability and Employment Policy (ODEP), who helped the agency create a “value stream” mapping process, which identified internal and external barriers to employment and community access for persons served. As part of this process staff at all levels of the organization from leadership to the direct support professional staff were brought together as a team to map out an overall strategy to address these issues. Although the agency works with many employers and community partners, this process further helped New Horizons to provide more inclusive opportunities for persons served. Overall, I would highly recommend this technical assistance to any provider who is need of assistance to transition individuals into employment and the community.” 

– Tim Hatfield, President & CEO, New Horizons Rehabilitation Services, Inc.