History of the Project
With the commencement of the deinstitutionalization movement in the 1970s and early 1980s, it was assumed that developmentally disabled people with complex medical issues would receive excellent health care by the mere fact that the community would provide all the needed supports. In fact, it became obvious that many people with impairments need assistance so that their right to treatment would be enforced and that high-quality health services would be advocated for and monitored.
Something had to be done.
Inspired by Michael Kendrick and the late Gunnar Dybwad, and facilitated by Rick O’Meara and Mark Sanderson, a partnership was formed with the Massachusetts Department of Mental Retardation (DMR) and the Shriver Clinical Services Corporation (SCSC). The new entity created in 1995 became known as the Community Medical Safeguarding Project. Its base of operation is the southeastern region of Massachusetts. Andre Blanchet, MD was hired as Medical Director, and four nurse practitioners and three registered nurses joined the project. Conrad O’Donnell as its administrator sustained the vision of the project until his untimely death in 2005, when Ann Flynn took over as the Executive Director of SCSC. Over the years, an important addition was the contribution of the Social Role Valorization Implementation Project and its director, Jo Massarelli. Dr. Blanchet now serves as consultant to the project and Norberto Alvarez, MD has served as Medical Director since 2005.