OPRA Celebrates 40 Years of Service

Celebrating 40 years of service to Ohioans with developmental disabilities, OPRA Executive Director Mark Davis and Board President Janice Hall pause for a photo at the conference. They agreed, “A qualified, sustainable workforce is our number one priority.”

The Ohio Provider Resource Association (OPRA) Fall Conference last week celebrated the organization’s 40-Year Anniversary.  The theme, “Advocate, Educate, Connect,” focused the historic celebration, as did opening comments by Executive Director Mark Davis.  Describing the evolution of the organization since 1974, he noted, “Over the years we have asked to be at the table … have been invited to the table … and now are helping to set the table when it comes to policy decisions that affect the people we serve.”  He added,


As a coalition of service providers, we are shifting our focus from inputs or activities, to outcomes. We will move the lives of people with developmental disabilities forward when (for example) we focus not on someone brushing their teeth, but on someone having a good dental checkup. This focus on outcomes that improve lives strengthens the system for everyone.”

The conference featured several informative sessions attended by providers from across the state, on topics including home-and community-based services, budget implications for next year, and the residential opportunities that shared living services in a family home can provide. Congratulating OPRA on 40 years of service to Ohioans with developmental disabilities were several key players in the statewide DD community via a video featuring a mix of history and humor.  In it, DODD Director John Martin observed,

I appreciate the role OPRA has played in our system to make it stronger and better, overall. We look forward to the continued partnership in moving the statewide service system forward.”

OPRA is among the many stakeholders involved in the DODD Strategic Planning Leadership Group, currently in the process of recommending benchmarks for Ohio’s DD service system over the next ten years.  The Department appreciates the involvement of OPRA staff in this process.

More information is available at www.opra.org; contact Teri Derry at 614-224-6772.