We continue our series by introducing you to another member of our Board of Representatives: Amy Brooks! Ms. Brooks is the CEO of RCM of Washington. Here's an excerpt from our conversation.
Could you tell me a little bit about your background and journey into the I/DD field?
As many people, I happened into this field quite by accident. I took a position as an office manager and I fell in love with the people. I immediately knew this could be my life’s work and passion and love of the field has just grown over the years. In 1998 there was the opportunity to take over a small turnkey operation in the District and I was young and naïve, so I dove right in and grew the organization over the years. We just celebrated our 20-year anniversary and we support people and families in an array of residential, community-based day services, and employment services.
How did you come to know and get involved in ANCOR?
I officially joined ANCOR in 2001. I was already a member of the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD) at the time—they are a great resource for the clinical side of our services—and was looking for an association that could provide resources to me as a provider, and one that could bring me best practices from a provider perspective. So I looked into and joined ANCOR.
What do you enjoy most about being a member of the Board of Reps?
I have served on the Board of Reps for multiple terms representing the District of Columbia and value this appointment. I love that it keeps me abreast of what is happening in other states. I am always fascinated with the ways in which national initiates are being interpreted, implemented and what outcomes are realized.
Will you be attending the 2018 ANCOR Policy Summit and Hill Day?
I plan to attend the upcoming ANCOR Policy Summit in DC. This is a great opportunity to visit Capitol Hill, get some exposure to the political process, learn more of how that intersects with the services we provide, and in general do some incredible advocacy that moves the needle on disability rights and service design!
What’s one thing that you’re proud of accomplishing in Washington, DC, and how did it come to be?
In 2007, DC went through a system change initiative, and since that time I have been proud of the way as a system we ensure stakeholder engagement. Self-advocates are always consulted and at the decision-making table, along with government, families, providers, and advocates. There is generally a strong sense of collaboration, valuing the input of all stakeholders and transparency. I hope this uniqueness will not be lost as it is what has helped our system to thrive, and be progressive and creative in meeting peoples support needs.
Thank you for taking the time to chat! I enjoyed it!
Thank you for the opportunity and I look forward to seeing you all in October at the Policy Summit!