PHASE empowers Program Participants to live, work and thrive
through the discovery and development of their individual abilities.
PHASE and Industries, Inc. Merge
After forty-six years as an integral part of the Pine County community providing employment, therapeutic and transportation services to adults diagnosed with an intellectual disability, traumatic brain injury or mental illness, PHASE has completed its largest project to date.
PHASE and Industries Incorporated, a like service provider, partnered to merge under the PHASE umbrella of companies, which was finalized last month. As one, PHASE will serve nearly 500 service recipients across East Central Minnesota, and employ over 140 employees.
"The two organizations have collaborated closely across the years", according to Tim Schmutzer, executive director for PHASE. "Because of our existing relationship, the complementary strengths of each organization, and the shrinking pool of statewide resources directed toward non-profit disability services, the Boards' for each organization believed the time was right to formalize our collaboration in the form of a merger".
PHASE has honed its ability to work effectively with individuals with high, and often complex, support needs. Industries Incorporated has built strong and successful employment placement programs. Together, PHASE and Industries intend to blend these strengths across the entire service region. While the corporate office for PHASE remains in Sandstone, the organization operates multiple programs, sites and businesses in Pine, Isanti and Kanabec counties, with service recipients living anywhere from Chisago City to Cambridge to Kerrick.
"We see this merger as key in systematically enhancing service options, along with service quality and expertise. Further, labor shortages are at critical levels in our field. Attracting and retaining Direct Support Professionals, at rates of pay allowed by state funding, becomes more difficult every year. Combining our organizations gives us a fighting chance to elevate wages for our Direct Support Professionals", stated Schmutzer.
PHASE and Industries Incorporated, now a division of PHASE, invites the public to visit its Mora GoodWorks Thrift Store for great deals. Or, check out Heritage Wood Products in Cambridge for hand-designed barn wood art and furniture. PHASE Furnishings in Beroun continues to consistently update its inventory of new furniture and home decor. Reduce clutter in your home and keep our environment clean by dropping off your recycling at any of the Pine County recycling sheds, or at the PHASE Recycling facility in Sandstone. PHASE and Industries Incorporated, individually, have striven to invest in the people, development and places of their local communities. Now, this same level of commitment comes from a single, integrated organization.
PHASE is a private, non-profit corporation, incorporated in 1970 as a 501(c)3 in the state of Minnesota. PHASE primarily serves individuals with a developmental disability, brain injury and/or severe and ersistent mental illness. Its services focus on employment development, community integration, skill-building, and social, recreational and therapeutic activities. PHASE is a CARF Accredited organization, licensed under MS245D by the Minnesota Department of Human Services. In a given year, PHASE serves close to three-hundred program participants, and employs approximately one-hundred staff members.
PHASE is a Home and Community Based Service, meaning that its primary mandate is to ensure access to the community while preventing institutionalization of individuals served. PHASE works to promote the legal and human rights of individuals with disabilities through its services, and in compliance with the 1999 Supreme Court Decision, referred to as the Olmstead Decision. The Olmstead Decision provides the legal authority to eliminate unnecessary segregation of persons with disabilities, and to ensure that persons with disabilities receive services in the most integrated setting appropriate to their needs.
PHASE operates its primary services in Pine County, MN in three licensed facilities, and serves individuals living in the counties of Pine, Chisago, Kanabec, Isanti and Carlton. While the overall demand for services has steadily increased in recent years, the characteristics of new referrals and the quantity of service authorization have changed. An increasing number of new referrals are presenting with severe and persistent mental illness, and many present with significant challenges in behavior. Further, new referrals are commonly authorized for less than five-days of service per week, which has presented a challenge in striking a balance between resource allocation and service quantity.
New regulations, including the implementation of MS245D, development of the MN Olmstead Plan, repeal of MN Rule 9525 - Rule 40, proposal of MN Rule 9544 - Positive Supports Rule, Moving Home Minnesota initiative, Federal HCBS Plan, Rate Restructuring, and Employment-First Policy initiatives, have provided both a challenge and opportunity to enhance the overall service delivery to be more person-centered, person-first, and community-integrated.
PHASE has adjusted its practices, structure and procedures to both comply with the new regulation, and meaningfully participate in the process of leading systematic changes in the field of supports for individuals with disabilities. PHASE has improved individualized planning of services, and moved to expand pathways for diversified employment opportunities to program participants. PHASE has expanded its community employment contracts, as well as increased the number of program participant and staff positions available through the expansion of internal PHASE businesses, such as PHASE Recycling. These areas of service development, service quality and business growth are further addressed in PHASE's Strategic Plan.
Program Participant First - Considering openly how all processes, actions and decisions will affect program participants. Every decision must benefit program participants.
Ethical Integrity - Acting at all times with only the highest of ethical integrity and scruples.
Large Minded - Choosing an empowered state, seeing possibilities, creating solutions.
Empowerment - Committing in action to individual and team -development, recognizing ompetence, and reinforcing excellence.
Innovation - Committing to new ideas and creative solutions.
Excellence - Promoting best practices, accountability and efficiency.
Service for Social Good - Committing to improve society through service.
Fun at Work - Promoting an enjoyable and fun workplace in the course of serving others.
A CARF Three-Year Accreditation was awarded to PHASE for the following services: Community Employment Services, including Employment Supports & Job Development, Employee Development and Employment Planning Services.
CARF accreditation demonstrates PHASE's quality, accountability, and commitment to the satisfaction of the persons served.
CARF International is an independent, nonprofit accreditor of health and human service providers in the areas of Aging Services, Behavioral Health, Child and Youth Services, Durable Medical Equipment, Employment and Community Services, Medical Rehabilitation, Opioid Treatment Programs, and Vision Rehabilitation Services. For more information on CARF, visit www.carf.org.