I have a big announcement to make to you. “You” being our community, our supporters, the people who know and love Bona Vista. In an effort to keep your attention right in the beginning, I’m going to rip off the Band-Aid: Bona Vista is merging with another organization.

All right, there it is. It’s been a lot of work to get to this point to educate everyone on this decision, which, by the way, was not made lightly. It was made in the best interest for the people with disabilities, for the people who work for our organization and the future of Bona Vista. I’m going to try to answer some questions for you to help ease from of that unknown and uncertainty that may accompany the term “merger.”

First things first. Why? Don’t organizations merge for financial reasons? Not in this case. Each agency involved in this merger is financially healthy and comes from decades of experience in helping the intellectually- and developmentally-disabled populations. This merger would make our two nonprofits a stronger voice together, have a larger seat at the legislative table to tackle issues such as caregiver wages and managed care, and ensure a long, successful future as a leader in our industry.

Secondly, who is this other organization? Developmental Services, Inc., or better known as DSI, was established in 1975 and provides early intervention for infants and toddlers, residential living options, job training, placement and follow-along, respite care, family support, and individualized community-based services. DSI serves over 40 counties in southern Indiana with 11 facility locations, and headquarters in Columbus, Ind.

Thirdly, what will happen to Bona Vista? Nothing! This is what I want to convey. If you take anything from this article, know this: Bona Vista will remain Bona Vista. Same logo, same mission, same community. Donations will stay local and services will not change and only get better. I want to assure you a few other things as the leader of this organization:

No one is losing jobs.

Families, children, and caregivers will not have a disruption in services.

No programming is being cut.

The Bona Vista board will remain intact locally.

This merger is a strategic decision to take a proactive step to ensure sustainability of both organizations well into the future. Bona Vista and DSI are strong agencies, providing high-quality services to those with disabilities. Bona Vista and DSI also have a decade-long history of working together, sharing resources, and best practice standards. This merger will allow the agency to become one of the largest nonprofit organization in Indiana helping those with disabilities.

I know there will be questions, and I want to help answer them. I want you to know that I love Bona Vista, and I love this community. This is my home, and Bona Vista has been my passion for 13 years. It is my goal to provide the best services for those with disabilities and to ensure that Bona Vista easily has 60 more years in this community.

If you would like to reach out, please email questions@bonavista.org, and I will personally respond. Thank you for trusting Bona Vista to care for those with disabilities in our community.