What does seem apparent is that the needs and numbers of individuals with disabilities continue to grow. Currently the majority of the services provided by the Bost Agency are funded by Medicaid. Since the early 1970’s Medicaid has been a partnership program by Federal and State governments that “helps pay for medically necessary medical services for needy and low-income persons”. Over time the Medicaid program has been expanded to include community services, such as Waiver, day programs and therapy for individuals with developmental disabilities. The entire Medicaid program, as well as, funding priorities and levels, is now being debated on the Federal and State level for possible dramatic changes. Given the continuing economic climate, it is possible that the entire Medicaid program, including services to individuals with disabilities, may drastically change or shrink over time.
Which services will continue and grow will depend on the expressed needs of individuals and their family members, as well as, identifying viable financial support for those programs. It is possible that specific programs may change over time as the needs evolve and/or funding changes. Indeed, the original purpose of the Bost School for Limited Children that began in 1959 was essentially removed from the Agency when the school age Bost youngsters were “mainstreamed” into public schools in 1986. However, the Bost organization has continued to grow by periodically assessing the needs and facilitating the required financial support, most often through a combination of private and public funding.
Bost has evolved tremendously since the original Bost School’s singular purpose of providing education to school age children with mental retardation, to a multitude of services and programs for individuals of all ages, with a wide range of disabilities. Today we serve approximately 700 individuals of all ages with developmental and related disabilities. The Bost organization will always strive to follow the vision of our founder, Dr. Roger Bost, of sharing the needs of individuals with disabilities of all ages with others, and to ask decision makers and individuals to help to improve the lives of others less capable and fortunate.
Different perspectives and input is critically necessary in setting the future direction of the Agency. Full and inclusive discussion of who is Bost, what is important, and how best to achieve the desired outcomes will be very important in developing a successful plan for the future.
We welcome participation from all sectors and individuals interested in the discussion of needs, and identifying the most important goals for each three year period. Please call (479) 478-5554 if you would like to participate in the strategic planning discussion of the Bost organization, or email Jmontgomery@bost.org for more information. We hope you can join us in creating the path for the future of Bost and services for individuals with disabilities.