Center for Human Development, Inc.

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 2301 Cove Avenue, La Grande, OR 97850 | 541-962-8800

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The center for Human Development, Inc. (CHD) is a private not-for-profit organization providing behavioral health, public health, developmental disabilities and veterans services.

It has been humorously suggested that CHD really stands for Change Happens Daily and this accurately describes the spirit of CHD.  Since the early 90's we have been implementing a team-based organizational structure focused on the goals of quality services, continual learning and empowerment of staff.  Our 80+ employees are organized into self-directed teams that are responsible for their own program development, financial management, and hiring decisions.  Cross-team committees provide coordination, analysis and policy development functions for the entire organization.

In 2005, CHD took the concept of team management to another level with the development of a "team executive".  This development began in the year 2000 when our CEO, David Still, started talking about retiring after over 30 years at CHD.  This launched an extensive continuity planning process that involved the board and staff and it culminated in a strategic planning process. in the spring of 2004.  In re-affirming the organizational values of the empowerment and learning and the culture of inclusion and shared leadership, the board and staff made a commitment to apply these principles more extensively by replacing the CEO position with an Administrative Council (AC).

At that time, of course we did not know what this would look like in detail.  But we were committed to the vision of shared leadership in which there would be mutual accountability without an identified boss.  Guided by staff and board groups, this concept came into much better focus over the year between 2004 and David's retirement in May 2005.  Work groups research legal issues and questions, redefined the composition and responsibilities of the board, added a staff representative to the board of directors, clarified decision making criteria in all domains of the organization, established the role and functions of AC, established a process of selecting and replacing AC members, informed and educated partners and funding sources, and began the ongoing process of AC team development.

In May 2005, David's dream came true as he was able to retire and have the organizational work continue uninterrupted under the leadership of a seven member administrative council.  As we approach our second year of this experiment, we continue to discover the benefits and the difficulties with this system of shared leadership.

The following are documents from this continuity and transition process that express some of the vision and challenges we have faced.


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In order to receive government funding, the Center for Human Development, Inc. (CHD) is required by state and county policies  to charge for services it provides to the public.  However no one will be denied clinical services because of an inability to pay.  CHD does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, religion, national origin, family status, age or disability.  For further information on this policy contact Human Relations, 541-962-8811 or TTY 1-800-735-2900 or 711.

The Center for Human Development, Inc. is a Tobacco-Free Zone.  Oregon law prohibits the use of all tobacco products in CHD buildings and on CHD property. 
OAR 515.051.0065