DDS Deputy Commissioner du Pree Retires
|Pictured; (left to right)|
South Regional Director Mary McKay, Commissioner Terrence W. Macy, Birth to Three Director Linda Goodman, West Regional Director Fritz Gorst, Deputy Commissioner du Pree, North Regional Director Steve Robson, Southbury Training School Director Eugene Harvey, and Director of Health Services Dory McGrath
Deputy Commissioner Kathryn du Pree recently announced her September 1st retirement after 25 years of service to the department and over 37 years of experience in the field of intellectual disability. She has accepted a job as the Vice President of the Lewin Group Center on Aging and Disability Policy and Research in Falls River, Virginia. The Lewin Group is a nationally respected health care and human services consulting firm working with organizations in the public, nonprofit and private sectors.
“I have witnessed firsthand what her leadership has meant to this department, to its staff and to those individuals and families we serve. Kathryn is a values-based leader – a quality that is frequently missing in today’s society,” said Commissioner Terrence W. Macy. “What wasn’t visible to me, prior to these last three months, is how important Kathryn’s friendship and mentoring is to so many of you. Kathryn was recently described to me as a nuts and bolts leader. This is the mark of a wise and skillful manager that has benefitted the department and all of us.”
Deputy Commissioner du Pree was appointed to her position in January 2000 by former Commissioner, Peter H. O’Meara. Previously, she was a Regional Director for fourteen years in the state and worked as a Senior Policy Analyst in New York State for the Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) and as a Director of Clinical and Professional Services and Director of Planning and Development for the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health before moving to Connecticut. She has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, a MPS in Human Services Administration and ABD in Mental Retardation Social Policy from Florence Heller Graduate School of Brandeis University.
Over the years, Deputy Commissioner du Pree’s leadership and contributions have been immeasurable. She developed an agency organizational structure to emphasize family support services, and consumer directed supports for over 1,000 consumers; launched interagency collaborations resulting in improved access to mental health services and the transition of services for children from the Department of Children and Families to DDS; and served as the lead administrative negotiator to resolve the Messier vs. O’Meara lawsuit which focused on the future of Southbury Training School and its residents.
The Deputy is known for design and managing effective systemic changes in the field of intellectual disabilities including the very successful respite centers in Connecticut. She is an expert in team building, communicating and extremely knowledgeable of federal requirements for the Home and Community Based waiver programs.
As the Deputy Commissioner, better known to most as “Kathryn” starts her new career, she will be missed and her work for the State of Connecticut and DDS will leave a lasting impression for years to come.