Happy, Happy Holidays to All

By Director Barbara Palmer

I hope you had a great Thanksgiving holiday with your family and friends. It is a wonderful time to appreciate the many people and blessings we have in our lives.

As we move into December, the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) continues to work hard for people with developmental disabilities in Florida. On December 4, we will begin our first phase of the new APD iConnect data management system. This first phase will bring APD employees and waiver support coordinators into the system with access to customer demographic information. Visit APDcares.org to stay up-to-date on iConnect.

Our agency is serving 34,389 people on the Medicaid waiver—more than ever before. We have such committed, experienced, and dedicated employees throughout our regions and Developmental Disabilities Centers (DDCs) who are engaged in ensuring our customers are receiving the very best care and services.

Our DDCs are actively involved in our communities. Sunland Center in Marianna and the Developmental Disabilities Defendant Program (DDDP) in Chattahoochee, with the valuable help of the community, and local, state, and national resources are recovering from Hurricane Michael. We were very lucky the facilities were able to continue to operate during and after the storm with no residents or employees being injured by the hurricane. Our outstanding Sunland Superintendent Geraldine Williams has announced her retirement effective early next year. We so appreciate her strong leadership of Sunland and DDDP, and we will miss her. We wish her the very best in retirement.

Tacachale Center, located at 1621 Northeast Waldo Road in Gainesville, is hosting two community events to celebrate the Holidays and is inviting the public. On December 4, the center will host its annual Holiday Parade beginning at 10:20 a.m. On December 6, Tacachale will host its annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony at 6:30 p.m. The tree lighting ceremony is a festive event with tree trimming and holiday songs. Santa Claus is expected, so don’t miss this Gainesville celebration!

As we all get ready for this wonderful time of year, remember that we are here to help Floridians with developmental disabilities participate in their communities. We all are working together to ensure that individuals’ dreams come true. I hope your dreams come true during this Holiday season and into the future.

I wish you the Happiest of Holidays!