Our Work as a Change Agent
Keystone Human Services is a change agent. We use those words frequently. But what does it mean to be a change agent?
When Keystone was founded in 1972, we realized we had a choice. We could accept conditions the way they were, with people with disability living isolated, segregated lives in institutions, or we could accept responsibility for changing those conditions.
We accepted the responsibility, and since then we have built a community of change agents who are dedicated to creating a world where all people, regardless of ability, can grow, make choices, and be valued and contributing members of the community.
We made a promise, a covenant, with the people we support and serve and their families to be there for a lifetime should they need us, and for that, we must be an enduring organization. We made a promise, we have a clear vision, and we have a structure, and what keeps that all in place is leadership. Leadership at all levels—at the level of service delivery, at the level of management, and at the level of our Boards.
When we were founded 45 years ago, we began with the people nearest to us in Harrisburg, PA, supporting them to leave the Harrisburg State Hospital and move into the community. Then the world grew smaller and became a global community. Knowing we had the tools and the knowledge, we shared our vision of inclusion for all people in Connecticut and Delaware in the United States, and the Republic of Moldova and India.
Our growth is built on relationships, connecting with other change agents with a vision of an inclusive world where people with disability belong and are welcomed to join in all the community has to offer.
We recently awarded two such people during our Annual Meeting this November. Tracy Kralik, vice chairperson of Key Human Services’ Board of Directors, received the 2017 Edna Silberman Humanitarian Service Award for her work within the community to support people with disability. Dr. Ludmila Malcoci, Regional Director of Eastern and Central Europe for Keystone Human Services International, received the Dr. Joseph Adlestein Professional Leadership Award for her work to develop community-based services in Moldova and to promote inclusion. We congratulate both of them and thank them for their service.
Each person within Keystone Human Services has a role to play in creating change and making our vision real in people’s lives. We are all change agents.
We value the diversity of humanity. The welfare of all people is vested in the welfare of each person. Our work to accept, value, and understand the great diversity of human qualities is linked to our role of creating a safer world.
Charles J. Hooker III
President and CEO, Keystone Human Services