2023-24 National APSE Board Member: Patricia Sastoque, MD
The area(s) that best represents your current position/experience:
Service Provider or Manager, Other: Manage Care Organization
Describe your history/nature of involvement/interest in promoting competitive integrated employment in your state. Additionally, explain why you are passionate about competitive, integrated employment for people with disabilities (no more than 500 words):
For the past 7.5 years, I’ve worked for the Maryland Department of Health and Human Services Developmental Disabilities Administration and was a catalyst in creating Maryland as an Employment First state. I created a strategic plan that brought 175 community stakeholders in cooperation with multiple state agencies to create public and state policies to support our employment-first transformation. I’m happy to say that under my leadership and with the support of the Advocacy Community and Department of Disability we ended Maryland’s 14c certificates. I also supported in the creation of the Maryland ASPE chapter where I participated in the monthly lunch and learn zoom discussions.
What relevance does/should APSE and its chapters/members have in national and state conversations regarding equity, diversity, and inclusion (no more than 350 words)?
APSE and its chapters are critical in advancing and promoting equity, diversity, and inclusion by creating opportunities for not only having conversations but to share lived experiences so that National and local chapters can see in real-time how the trainings, information and resources shared have improved the workplace environment for employees and employers related to relationships in an intentional way.
What skills, knowledge or lived experience do you have that will contribute to strengthening and growing the financial health of APSE and promoting its mission to advance employment and self-sufficiency for all people with disabilities (no more than 350 words)?
For the past 30 years, I’ve been committed to enhancing community employment options for people with developmental disabilities to earn a living wage, received better work benefits, and engage in work that makes sense to them to get to their trajectory to their good life. I worked on the Individuals with Disabilities Minimum Wage Community Integration- Kean Capone Equal Employment Act to eliminate 14 c in Maryland. I had the opportunity to add several employment options, and service definition in Maryland’s Home and Community-Based Services. I’ve worked with Boston ICI in the creation and implementation of provider transformation from building-based to community-based employment. I’ve participated in fundraising, value-based payment, strategic planning, program creation, and implementation.
Patricia Sastoque is the Director of Long-Term Services and Supports Innovations for CareSoruce. She was the Director of the Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) for the Maryland Department of Health since 2015. In this position, she was responsible for DDA’s transformation of supports and services, including all federally and state-funded programs, and oversight of all community provider agencies. Under her leadership at DDA, she was committed to enhancing all services with a strong focus on self-direction, and community employment options for persons with developmental disabilities and implementing the guiding principle of Employment First that all people who want to work can work and contribute to their community when given opportunity, training, and supports that build upon their unique talents, skills, and abilities. Patricia has worked in the developmental disabilities field for over 30 years and started her career as a direct support professional and job coach. She has held various positions in Louisiana, the District of Columbia, and Maryland. Her experience includes the development and implementation of Person-Centered and Personal Outcomes training; the development and implementation of policies, procedures, and performance measures to ensure quality enhancement; the management of community-based residential services; and, the transition of people from institutions to community-based services. Her focus on the person has been a guiding principle throughout her career. Her varied experience has been beneficial in program transformation and systems change to a more person-centered service delivery system that integrates the best practices that enable people with developmental disabilities to live fully integrated and meaningful lives. Patricia earned her bachelor’s degree in Science in rehabilitation counseling from Louisiana State University Medical Center and a Master’s degree in Heath Science.
Discuss how you will represent the needs of the chapters in your region and work to strengthen APSE’s chapter structure (no more than 350 words):
I would be very transparent and work side by side with the chapter. I would also provide mentorship and coaching based on the need to support and/or enhance their APSE chapter. It would also depend on how it matches with APSE’s overall mission, vision, etc. I would also ask “what are their local struggles” what’s working and where do they want to focus and see if there are National APSE resources and/or information I can connect them with to support their efforts. I would advocate making sure their voices are heard and provide resources to make systemic changes.