Letter to the Editor

February 14, 2018

Citizens of DeWitt:

PATTILLO NEEDS YOUR HELP! There has been a recent piece of legislation in the works called “Early Intervention Day Treatment” (EIDT) which merges Developmental Day Treatment Clinic Services (DDTCS) non-profit facilities, like Pattillo, and Child Health Management Services (CHMS) for-profit facilities. To be clear, Patillo is in support of the EIDT merger, but we strongly oppose the proposal to further restrict eligibility requirements. To put in layman’s terms- if this legislation passes Pattillo will be forced to shut its doors for good. Pattillo services 102 children in the county. They are afforded transportation to and from school, receive 3 meals per school day, and are provided a safe environment to learn and grow for 7 hours of the day. Pattillo also employs over 45 individuals. These children will be without developmental daycare services and these employees without a job as of July 1st, 2018 if we, the people of Arkansas, do not take action. Let me say that again, 102 kids will be without developmental services just in Arkansas county. Although this merger drastically affects rural communities, like DeWitt, it is state wide and affects thousands of children and employees. How can you help? Make noise. Call your state representatives and be a voice for these children who did not ask to be left without developmental services. Below are the names, address and telephone numbers of District 12 and District 13 Arkansas State Representatives as well as a script of “what to say". Please take time to call. We do not have much time as legislation begins March 2018. For more information please feel free to call (870) 946-1606 to speak with Pattillo Center School Director Ja Chambless or Pattillo Center School Occupational Therapist Heather Morgan. Be a voice. Do not let DHS turn back the clock on these children.

Governor Asa Hutchinson: State Capitol Room 250 500 Weedlane Avenue Little Rock, AR 72201 (501) 682-2345; David Hillman- State Representative (13) 403 Essex Road Almyra, Arkansas 72003 (870) 830- 3004; Chris Richey- State Represenative (12) PO Box 2356 West Helena, Arkansas 72390 (870) 995-2499

“My name is ____________. I am calling regarding the current merger between Developmental Day Treatment Clinic Services (DDTCS) and Child Health Management Services (CHMS). I support the merger “Early Intervention Day Treatment” (EIDT), which DDPA supports; however, I do NOT support the proposal to further restrict eligibility criteria. There is no clinical justification for this requirement. The proposal is an injustice to the children of Arkansas. It will leave thousands of children without developmental pre-school services. It will also cause an increase in unemployment across the state. DDTCS services do far more than provide immediate benefits during developmental years, they significantly increase a child’s ability to integrate and succeed in their school, community and employment environments. DO NOT LET DHS TURN BACK THE CLOCK on these children. “

Thank you for your support,

Heather Horton Morgan, MS, OTR/L

Occupational Therapist