On January 1, 2020, Tri-Valley Developmental Services (TVDS) will be merging with New Beginnings Enterprises, a Neodesha, KS based organization that serves people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Chautauqua, Elk, Greenwood and Wilson counties. This discussion began in late 2018 after both organizations realized that the current disability system would continue to be in a state of constant change, and that funding would remain stagnant or be reduced through managed care. This has created a problem for rural areas that rely on the waiting list for new people to serve. Rural programs are shrinking, while urban agencies continue to grow. In order to remain relevant, there was a need to ensure long-term financial stability, increase numbers and be able to cope with managed care and the CMS Final Rule.
Workgroups were established in 2018, made up of employees from both agencies, to explore the merger and its feasibility, and it was determined that a merger would bring about positive changes for everyone. “It would certainly make the organization stronger and more competitive in southeast Kansas”, said Tim Cunningham, Executive Director of Tri-Valley. “The increased resources would ensure that we are capable of providing the quality services that people with intellectual and developmental disabilities have come to expect from us.” The joining of two extraordinary programs, similar in size and culture, with practical strengths that are highly complementary will enable them to provide a new and broader set of services to the people they serve.
“We are very excited about this opportunity,” stated Cunningham. “We are planning on a smooth transition and our intent is to ensure that the people we serve see as little change as possible.” The board of directors from both organizations agreed that this was a best course of action after doing their due diligence. The merged organizations will retain the Tri-Valley name, employ over one-hundred and seventy people with over two hundred clients. The New Beginnings CDDO will remain an independent entity, separate from the new merged organization.
Both agencies are very proud of their accomplishments over the years but believe that the time has come to expand their horizons, because their future is now.