Community Support Advocates is our fourth featured Des Moines finalist in the 100 Year, $100k Office Makeover Contest. Created in 1997 by a group of disability agencies, Community Support Advocates supports 1,100 individuals with disabilities with five programs: Integrated Health Program and Services, Knowledge Empowers Youth, Service Coordination, Care Management and (MOMENTUM) . Answers provided by Christina Smith, Community Support Advocates President/CEO.
To vote for the Des Moines winner of the office makeover contest, click here!
Q: Why do you need an office makeover?
A: As a medicaid provider for persons with disabilities in Iowa, we have been impacted greatly by Medicaid Managed care in Iowa. In the past few months, we have lost a significant amount of our revenue and had to eliminate 31 positions in order to maintain our core business for our members. This has completely changed how our office is designed, but we do not have the revenue to redesign the space to make it functional to meet our new, smaller organizational design.
Q: How do you devote ethical business practices to fulfilling your mission?
A: One of the organizations core values is Integrity. It is the backbone of our Executive team’s decision process and we always ask if our decisions are true to our integrity. We will hire based on this value and will fire employees for acting outside of integrity. We also have made decisions that have cost the organization money, if it is in the best interest of our employees or our members, because it is important to do what is right.
Q: What are some positive examples of your influence on the community?
A:We support individuals and families impacted by mental illness and disabilities. Our staff influences lives every day providing hope and resiliency. We also offer free art programing to anyone with a disability in Des Moines at our Art Studio downtown. Here we promote hope and resiliency through the arts.
Q: Please demonstrate your leadership.
A: We are leaders in disability services and healthcare. We often research best practices across the country and bring them to Central Iowa. One example is our Knowledge Empowers Youth Program, where we were the first program to offer supports specializing in youth with mental illness transitioning to adulthood from fostercare. We also have been named a top Iowa Workplace by our employees for the past six years.