Kathleen began her service as chief executive officer at TARC on May 26, 2009. As the parent of an adult child with special needs, Abels is no stranger to TARC or the rough road that many families face in securing support for a loved one with special needs. Her son, Jay, was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy as an infant and received services through TARC’s Early Intervention Program. Jay was able to get the help he needed, and graduated in 2008 from Springfield High School. “I have been an advocate for my son for many, many years,” says Abels. “Those years of experience with the state and federal system of services will be a source of confidence and understanding in this new role.”
Kathleen’s functions as the Chief executive officer in this capacity. She is responsible for implementation of policies set by the Board of Directors as well as annual goals and objectives, and financial, program and administrative management of the organization. Guidance and direction is provided by the board and its committees.
Kathleen and the staff at TARC know that Confidence and persistence will no doubt be in high demand, as TARC and other service providers for those with disabilities are facing potential cuts to Medicaid reimbursement rates. Abels was on the steps of the capital as part of a rally to secure continued NOW waiver funding for individuals with disabilities across the state. Although the technical terms and myriad of government waiver programs are confusing to the average bystander, it all boils down to disabled citizens receiving what they need to enjoy a safe, secure, healthy, independent lifestyle.