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Eastern Shore Parent Organization Enters into Partnership Agreement with Kennedy Krieger

MCDD Newsletter 2016: Issue One >

In September 2015, the Kinera Foundation entered into a partnership agreement with the Maryland Center for Developmental Disabilities to better understand the information needs and gaps in services among families of children with intellectual and developmental disabilities living on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

The one-year agreement allows the partners to collect and share data from families in the Kinera network looking to achieve goals related to full community inclusion and participation for their children.

Christy Russell, founder and executive director of Kinera, said, “As a parent of a child with a disability, getting that initial diagnosis was devastating. I needed support, and the closest group was about an hour away. That is when Kinera Foundation was born.” Russell added, “Our partnership with leaders at the MCDD at Kennedy Krieger is vital for carrying out our mission.”

Rural communities like those on Maryland’s Eastern Shore face challenges not only with transportation and coordination of care, but also with access to qualified specialists. By bringing together an established local foundation and a state and national leader, this partnership enables the long-term development of critical infrastructure that affects the lives of people with special health care needs and their families.