Chris Patton, Executive Director
Chris moved from Illinois at the beginning of 2011 to become the CEO of COF Training Services, Inc. He holds a Master of Science degree in Rehabilitation Administration from Southern Illinois University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from Eastern Illinois University.
In the 30 years previous to his arrival at COF he has enjoyed an array of diverse and pertinent experiences within the field of services to people with intellectual &/or developmental disabilities (I/DD) that are too numerous to cover in detail in this format. However, the underlying theme of those 30 years was his hands on role in moving hundreds of people with I/DD out of large, segregated institutional settings (State Operated Developmental Centers & ICFs/DD) into smaller homes and apartments integrated into typical middle class neighborhood (HCBS).
Having worked for the State and in both the for-profit sector and not-for-profit sector has afforded Chris a unique and broad perspective. Just as the deinstitutionalization movement from the ICFs/DD model to the HCBS model that he was so heavily involved with was a phase of the evolutionary development of the field of services to people with I/DD, so too, in Chris’ view is the newly evolving era that we have recently entered.
COF is committed to embracing the changes that naturally come about with the evolution of any field of endeavor. Although no firm retirement date has been set, as a person approaching retirement Chris’ end-of-career legacy has been to teach and to prepare and to build the bridge from the old way of doing things to the new way of doing things. The next phase of evolution is being driven by what is known as the Final (settings) Rule implemented by the Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services (CMS) in 2014 with a targeted completion date of 2022. Once it has been fully implemented it will profoundly affect the way organization’s like COF do business. COF’s website addresses these changes.
In anticipation of his impending retirement and of these profound changes to the field of providing services to people with I/DD, Chris has helped in the development and training of a superbly talented and capable management team that is wholly committed to successfully navigating and implementing all of the many changes confronting organizations like COF. This is among Chris’ proudest achievements. Upon his retirement, Associate Director Patrick Gardner will assume his role as CEO. With Patrick and the rest of the management team whose brief biographies are listed below COF is in very good hands for many years to come.