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NC Department of Health and Human Services

DHHS announces participants in person-centered initiative focusing on ‘independence, choice, dignity and flexibility’

Release Date: September 16, 2008
Contact: Jim Jones, 919-733-9190

RALEIGH Four long-term service providers have been chosen by the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services to pilot new approaches for providing services and supports to people in North Carolina with disabilities or who are aging.

“These four providers will participate in a project called ‘Building a Person-Centered Organization,’ which represents a significant step toward putting into practice a model which zeroes in on an individual’s particular needs and life choices,” said DHHS Assistant Secretary for Long-Term Care and Family Services Jackie Sheppard. “Their focus will be on independence, choice, dignity and flexibility.”

Proposals presented by two providers in Charlotte and one each in Burlington and Eden were selected to participate in the program supported by the Person-Centered Planning Implementation grant provided by the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

This model of person-centered practices has focused in other states more on adults with developmental disabilities, mental health and substance abuse diagnoses. The North Carolina project incorporates people with physical and sensory disabilities as well as those who are aging.

The goal of each provider is to apply person-centered skills learned in training to support individuals whom they serve. They will create new policies and practices to assure the changes become part of their organization’s culture. Person-centered thinking coaches will be supported in monthly learning groups to take the skills learned in training and make them a habit.

The following providers will develop and implement their person-centered strategies from now through next June:

  • Brian Center, Eden
  • HomeWatch Caregivers, Charlotte
  • Liberty Commons Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Burlington
  • Preston House Alzheimer’s Assisted Living, Charlotte

These strategies will be integrated into these providers’ day-to-day practices, from their management

level to their front-line staff. The improvements will strengthen the ability of communities to meet individuals’ needs for long-term services and supports.

Overall benefits anticipated include:

  • better lives for individuals because those who support them will be more empowered to listen and act on what they hear;
  • more creativity and better problem solving skills from those closest to the individuals; and
  • more responsive services with greater flexibility.

The Office of Long-Term Services and Supports, with assistance from the UNC School of Social Work, Jordan Institute for Families and Support Development Associates, is responsible for implementation of this project.

For additional information about this project and other DHHS Systems Transformation Initiatives visit






Updated: April 30, 2013