By Gina Macris
Jane Gallivan, a veteran state-level administrator of developmental disability services, will guide Rhode Island’s compliance with a federal consent decree mandating greater integration of adults with intellectual challenges in their communities.
Gallivan, who was instrumental in shaping compliance with a long-running federal consent decree in a de-institutionalization case in Maine, has agreed to serve as a consultant through December, according to Jennifer Wood, Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Services.
Wood said in a recent interview that it is not yet clear whether Gallivan would also agree to work as an interim director of developmental disabilities while the state searches for someone to succeed Charles Williams, who will retire July 22.
It was under Gallivan’s watch in Maine in 2010 that a federal court dismissed the second of two consent decrees resulting from a 1978 class action lawsuit over conditions at the Pineland Center in New Gloucester, an institution for individuals with disabilities that closed in 1996.
The original consent decree was succeeded in 1994 by another decree that focused on expanding community-based services. Gallivan served as Director of the Office of Cognitive and Physical Disability Services in Maine from 1982 to 2011, according to her LinkedIn profile.
From Maine she went to Delaware, where she directed developmental disability services until her retirement in February of this year.
Last December, she was honored by the National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services (NASDDDS) for her pioneering work in both Maine and Delaware, and as a member of the NADDDS Board.
Gallivan began her career working directly with persons with developmental disabilities, according to NASDDDS.
In addition to her familiarity with consent decrees, she has experience developing other innovations that Rhode Island wants to implement, according to Deputy Secretary Wood.
These areas include:
• Supports for community-based employment
• Shared living arrangements
• Introducing electronic records
Wood said Maria Montanaro, the outgoing director of the Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals (BHDDH), was referred to Gallivan through her involvement in NADDDS.
Montanaro made arrangements with Gallivan to serve as a consultant before Williams announced that he is retiring as director of the BHDDH Division of Developmental Disabilities, Wood said.
EOHHS is searching for successors to both Williams and Montanaro.
(This article has been updated to reflect the length of Gallivan's contract.)