Name: Michele Craig
Title: Complex and Supportive Services Section Manager
Office: Community Living
How long have you been with the Department and how would you describe your role?
I have been with the Department, in the Office of Community Living, for 9 years. Prior to coming to the Department, I had the honor of spending many years working for agencies serving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. I began my career as a direct care staff and still have occasional dreams worrying that I’m running late for my overnight shift! I would describe my role now as working with and for Coloradans on continuous systemic improvement so people can access the services and supports they want and need.
What excites you most about the current ARPA Projects that you are leading?
I’m excited about all of it! These projects present such a fantastic opportunity to explore and engage in the innovation of residential services in a new way. We are able to focus on what the possibilities are and how we get there. I think what rises to the top for me is creating options where we can all access individualized, equitable, and culturally competent services and supports when we need to with dignity, respect, and choice.
How do you envision the future of home and community-based residential services to look?
I see the future as the vision people have for themselves. People leading their lives in the places they want to live and interacting with their community as they choose with services and supports that provide a foundation rather than a structure to fit into.
What are you learning as the Department researches new systems of care?
I’m intrigued by all the innovation that is happening in pockets across our state and the country. There is a lot to learn and new voices to bring to the table through this work that will provide valuable insight and ideas to build on. It’s always great to learn about things I had not been aware of, like home sharing programs, that could be more broadly available and utilized.
Can stakeholders who have innovative ideas get involved in these projects?
Yes! I’m really looking forward to the stakeholder engagement aspect of these projects. Stakeholders will play a pivotal role in these projects and we will offer a variety of methods for people to get involved. We are in the early stages of planning our engagement opportunities and as we have things finalized we will post them on the APRA website and in the ARPA newsletter and through the Department’s typical communications such as provider bulletins and sharing at existing stakeholder meetings.
What’s a favorite book that you’ve read in the past 12 months?
A book I’ve particularly enjoyed is The Night Watchman by Louise Erdrich. It’s one of those books that is so absorbing that it is hard to put down, yet I wanted to take my time to make the story last longer.
Want to be featured for a future Stakeholder Spotlight to share your story about how ARPA has impacted your life? Send an email to us and let us know!