Megan Gumbel (copy)

Megan Gumbel poses outside the administration building at Beatrice State Developmental Center after being hired last year. Gumbel recently announced she's leaving BSDC next month.

Beatrice State Developmental Center will be without a leader following an announcement that Megan Gumbel is leaving the position.

Gumbel began as deputy director of state-operated services and quality for Developmental Disabilities at BSDC in March 2016. Her last day will be Dec. 6.

She’s leaving the state-run center for the developmentally disabled to return to her home state of Indiana, where she’ll lead Giving Family Hope, a new organization where she’ll continue working with people who have intellectual or developmental disabilities.

She said a former employee tipped her off about the position, and the move will take her closer to home.

“My decision to leave is purely based on convergence of when family needs meet career opportunities,” Gumbel said. “I was not looking whatsoever. My mom retired a year half ago. She hasn’t yet asked me to move home, but is at that age where parents are moving in with their children or children are moving to be close to them. It’s helpful for me to be near her.”

Before coming to Nebraska, Gumbel worked as the Northeast regional director overseeing Indiana, Michigan, New Jersey and Ohio for Bethesda Lutheran Communities in Fort Wayne, Ind.

She was also the director of MDC Goldenrod, where, for three years, she had direct oversight of the Medicaid-based not-for-profit supporting adults and children with disabilities. She also held several positions in nine years at Indiana MENTOR, a leading home- and community-based human services provider.

Gumbel discussed BSDC’s three-year plan earlier this year at a required public hearing. She said providing respite services, short-term breaks for unpaid caregivers, was a key component of the plan, which called for enhancements to crisis intervention support and acute crisis stabilization, and accepting temporary residents.

Gumbel said contributing to the three-year plan for BSDC has been her greatest accomplishment.

“For us, the crisis piece of it was significant,” Gumbel said. “It was bringing back our crisis integration that is actually doing those temporary admissions for crisis stabilization. We also worked to create an environment, and it’s never going to be perfect, focusing on values and core competencies within the Department of Health and Human Services.”

The plan for BSDC also includes a cost analysis of the buildings and their current uses, evaluation of vacant buildings and demolition costs, a review of residents’ needs and conversations with families regarding their preferences.

DHHS intends to rehire the position, though no time frame of how long the process will take was available.

Corina Harrison will serve as the interim leader of BSDC. Harrison works on special projects within the division and was previously the clinic manager at BSDC.

BSDC currently has 107 permanent and three temporary residents, and a staff of around 450 workers.

Gumbel added she’s enjoyed the workers at BSDC, and hopes recent progress continues after her departure.

“I’ve had a tremendous time and gotten a great deal of support,” she said. “Beatrice has been unlike any community in its support of BSDC and individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities. The staff is impeccable with dedication to the people that are supported. There’s a wonderful team out there.”

Reach Scott Koperski at scott.koperski@beatricedailysun.com. Follow him on Twitter @ScottKoperski.

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