Sharing Success

SHARING SERVICES has become vogue in all walks of life. However, not all such consolidations play out seamlessly.

One that does, however, is right here in the heart of Eastern Ohio.

The Belmont, Harrison and Noble County Boards of Developmental Disabilities is a successful coalition. It goes by the name of the BHN Alliance.

The alliance is operating with the efficiency that has drawn the notice on the state level. So much so that BHN has been awarded a Visionary Leadership Award.

The prestigious award was presented recently by the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities. The state agency touts the BHN Alliance for “being pioneers in the field of shared administrative services.”

We commend the BHN Alliance for leading the way for fellow entities on the effective methods in joining forces to result in a more streamlined yet highly functioning organization. The BHN Alliance promotes financial efficiencies while increasing the support of people with disabilities. BHN is the blueprint for fiscal responsibility while not shortchanging its consumers.

To be the first to undertake such a challenging task is a risky proposition.

Zachary Haughawout, deputy director of legislative affairs and communications at the state department, noted how difficult it is to be the first to try something new.

“The governor always talks about shared services and holds up the developmental disabilities’ field as an example of good stewardship over taxpayer dollars,” Haughawout said. “It takes a certain amount of character and courage to go first and we appreciate your willingness to be a leader.”

Sharing within the Developmental Disabilities field is deep rooted locally.

The Belmont and Noble county boards of Developmental Disabilities were ahead of the game as they began sharing a superintendent in 1993. That partnership has mushroomed with the addition of Harrison County, now sharing nine administrative personnel and functions. The personnel involved includes the superintendent, service and support administration, financial management and human resources.

Individuals with disabilities need special attention. Greater efficiency, as displayed by the BHN Alliance, results in enhanced services for those in its care.