Hope Institute by The Springfield Business Journal
There's more 'Hope' to come
Hope Institute is convert-
ing programs to be-
changes for Hope resi-
dents, State of Illinois
By Jonie Larson,
Nestled away in a tree-lined,
residential area of Springfield is
the main campus of The Hope
Institute for Children and Fami-
lies - a not-for-profit organiza-
tion working to better the lives
of developmentally disabled
children throughout the state.
In 2003, it garnered atten-
tion for its lack of funding and
near-bankruptcy status. Not to-
day. Savvy moves by a strong
CEO, board and dedicated staff,
coupled with a supportive com- Homes similar to this prototype will replace the demolished units on the main campus. The new homes will
accommodate up to 10 children each and will have five bedrooms, two or more baths, be accessible for youth
Continued on Page 12, with physical limitations, have open floor plans for ease of supervision and have locked medication storage
Hope Institute areas.
12 • April 2010 • Springfield Business Journal
Hope Institute, ing campus buildings. The three units cur- Springfield Chamber of Commerce has "It's a comfort as a parent. You know
Continued from Page One rently are home to 48 children, 16 in each estimated that 14.3 jobs are created for they are going to keep him safe," Dobson
unit. The basic change is to the layout of every one million spent. That's a maxi- said.
munity, have made it a viable growing each unit, converting bedrooms for four mum total of 85 new union-wage, con-
operation, with state legs and national children, into bedrooms for two: Cost for struction-related jobs to help sustain the Growth and efficiency
influence. these upgrades is around $200,000 and local economy. Not only did Hope recover after 2003,
At last count, the organization as a the jobs will soon be bid. In addition, the project will save 126 it flourished and has become the seventh
whole is helping 26,000 children a year, The third phase is the most complex jobs at the main campus. largest private sector employer in the
monumental gains from the 96 students and costly. At a price between $4- to $6 "If we couldn't convert (to Medicaid), county, with 548 of its 570 employees
it was assisting in 2003. And it's poised million, freestanding homes will be con- we would have to close the services and located in Springfield. More than 300 of
to take yet another step toward the ex- structed on campus, each housing up to move them elsewhere," Nyre said. those are new to the community since
cellence in care that 10 children each. For Jamie Dobson of Springfield, the 2004.
founders Dr. and Mrs. , , If we couldn't convert When construction close proximity of the campus, which also With continued growth, Nyre said he
Charles E. Jordan en- (to Medicaid), we would begins on the homes, houses The Hope School Learning Center, expects Hope to have 700 employees by
visioned. have to close the services three targeted older is a huge benefit. Her son, Donovan, 6, the end of fiscal year 201 I.
A major conver- units will be taken is part of the Lakeshore Program, a joint Mark Schmidt, chief communication
sion is taking place, and move them else- down. The number venture between Springfield'S District 186 officer for Hope, said improvements just
according to Joseph where," of homes repladng and Hope. The Lakeshore Program stu- keep occurring.
Nyre, president and Joseph Nyre, Hope Institute the units has yet to dents, coupled with other children in the "We've been in this tremendous
CEO. Because the be determiIied. school, complete the enrollment of 163. growth spurt since Dr. Nyre arrived (in
state of Illinois doesn't recoup its fair The style for the new homes comes Dobson could only praise Hope for its 2003)," Schmidt said.
share of federal income taxes, Hope is after much study and touring of other efforts. Yet, the costs incurred with mak-
converting as many programs as possible facilities in the country. The brick struc- "It's been wonderful," Dobson said, ing Hope a success have continually de-
from non-Medicaid eligible to Medicaid. tures will be home to the most medically explaining in detail some of her son's ex- creased.
What that means is that the state can challenged children living at Hope. Each tensive medical history. He was born with Nyre said Hope, which has an opera-
then collect 62 cents on the dollar. Hope one will have five bedrooms, two or more Hypotonia, which means no muscle tone tional budget of $40 million this year, is
has signed a multi-year agreement with baths, accessibility for youth with physi- in his trunk and core. For the first three conducting business in a smarter way. As
the state to convert the programs, Nyre cal limitations, an open floor plan for years of his life, he lay flat to the floor, a not-for-profit, Nyre said the question to
said. ease in supervision and a locked medica- she said. But therapy - - -- - -- - - - - - - - - ask is "What does it
"In the long term, it will save the state tion-storage area. improved that situa- , , "We've been in this tre- cost to raise a dol-
money and make these services more af- The physical structure of the house is tion. mendous growth spurt lar?" For an opera-
fordable. We think that's our duty." a big plus to the renovation, said Ginny Today, he attends since Dr. Nyre arrived tion that's looking
The conversion on the main campus, Conlee, chairman of the board for the last Hope because he also ." at a state cut this
26 acres located in the Hazel Dell area, is two years. has high-functioning (In 2003), . . year of $600,000 in
necessary for it to be Medicaid eligible. It lilt puts our kids in more home-like autism. He attended Mark Schmidt, Hope InstItute residential funding
will come in three phases. settings. That's a good thing," Conlee a District 186 school alone, that's an im-
The first phase is already underway, in said. for a time, but Dono- portant question.
that Hope is acquiring three more group Completion of this phase has been es- van's needs were overwhelming. With planning and realignment,
homes to house 18 youth. Six children timated between two and five years. The "I was having to go to the school two among other business dedsions, the or-
will live in each unit - homes that are in- environmental and 'engineering study for to three times a day. It was starting to af- ganization has got the cost down to 11
distinguishable from other middle class the new construction will begin soon. fect my job," Dobson said. cents on the dollar.
homes throughout Springfield. The cost Nyre said as soon as a phase is com- Now, Dobson drops her son off at the Another number Nyre is feeling good
of this venture is $660,000 and Hope is in plete and children move in, the Medicaid school each morning and sees a caring about is its effidency index, a number cal-
the process of. dosing on the homes. reimbursement begins. staff attending to other children. She says culated on the Form 990 tax document.
The second phase is to make minor Another project plus is the creation they are very well-trained and all very
renovations to the interiors of three exist- of jobs.. According to Nyre, the Greater friendly. Continued on Next Page
Continued from Previous Page the first time with Mayor Richard Daley
and the Secretary of Education to oper-
The administrative costs for services are ate a public school in Chicago - The Hope
at 9 cents on the dollar for an index of 91. Institute Learning Academy.
The state cap is 20 percent. . "I think this was a noble, strategic de-
"We're at less than half," Nyre said. cision by our board," Nyre said.
Residents following Hope's progress, The school has a current enrollment
are familiar with its many successes in of about 200 kindergarten through third
adding services, including Noll Medi- ~ grade children, with 25 percent of the
cal Pavilion. About . . . . - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - , children having
two years into that The man behind autism, and 75
project, Nyre says the suit, gaining ac- percent having
the "medical home" claim for the recent no discernable
served 7,200 children success of The Hope disorder or dis-
last year, all from Institute for Chil- ability. Plans next
within a two-hour ra- dren and Family, is year are to have
dius. Services at Noll joseph Nyre, CEO 400 students and
are all outpatient but and president of to eventually add
include primary care, the operation since more grades.
Nyre 2003. In that year, "We started
services, psychiatric the organization was .small to make
care, rehabilitative struggling and on the verge of bank- sure the proper
services, dental and ruptcy. supports and in-
optometric care. While he credits staff, the board of struction were de-
The. board's mis- directors and the community for recent veloped before we
sion for Noll was to successes, others point to him. grow the school,"
have the facility be ' "He's as nice as he is brilliant," says Nyre said.
a place where clini- Jamie Dobson, a mother with a son en- The theory
cians and physicians rolled in the school on the main campus behind partner-
could work together in Springfield. ing was common '
as a team, allowing Showing the humble side of his sense, the presi-
clients to have cen- recent success, Nyre is quick to point to dent said.
tralized assistance the mission of Hope's.founders, Dr. and . "If we open a
instead of moving Mrs. Charles E. Jordon. new school, we
from community to " In a small way, we are capturing extract resources.
community for spe- part of Charles jordon's vision, his mo- We take the best
cialists. mentum," Nyre says. teachers and hire
Another of its suc- Jordon and his wife opened the them for us, and
cesses includes The school in 1957 in a house in Springfield. the state ends up
Autism Program of The home was an answer for them - a funding private
IllinOis, known more place to educate their daughter who services rather
commonly as TAP. had multiple disabilities. Their hope was than changing
The program - the that their daughter cou ld reach her fu ll public services."
largest statewide sys- potential, but no school existed to serve This arrangement
tem to care for chil- her needs. protects against
dren with autism in Hope then gained the attention of that.
the country - unites President john F Kennedy, who initiated
. The school also
27 not-for-profits change on disability polices and services . serves as a train-
and four universities. throughout the U.S., using Charles jor- ing academy for
It creates a direct line dan on various councils. jordan helped teachers in Chica-
of services at clinics shape what is termed "a new reality" go. Another perk
across the state and for children with cognitive, physical and of the school is
according to Nyre, emotional challenges, a place where that no additional
it has trained about they could learn and thrive. money is required
35,000 people since judith Ann, the jordon's daughter, from the school
2003, including prac- continues to live in Springfield in one of district to fund
titioners, clinicians the off-campus residential homes. it. Any additional
and parents. money needed for
The program has gained national at- it to operate is raised through corporate
"We were pleased to be invited to While enrollment is expected to
Washington to review and advise on the double next year, new services are also
Autism Treatment Acceleration Act, Sen. planned. A federally qualified health cen-
(Barack) Obama - now President Obama's ter and dental care is expected at the fa-
healthcare staff - drafted." cility.
Hope partners with CPS Jonie larson is a freelance writer from
Hope marched bravely into a new Chatham. She can be reached at
venture in the fall of 2009, partnering for firstname.lastname@example.org