The state Department of Developmental Services (DDS) has announced the appointment of a former Sonoma Developmental Center Clinical Director to fill the vacant position of executive director there, effective April 1.
Karen Faria has come out of retirement to take the position, according to the DDS. The previous executive director was terminated amid reports of patient abuse at the Center.
The agency reports Faria has over 28 years of experience working with people with developmental disabilities and California’s developmental disability service system.
She began her career with the agency as a Recreation Therapist in 1985. At SDC, she held a variety of positions, including Clinical Director, Standards Compliance Coordinator, Clients’ Rights Advocate (interim), and Quality Assurance Program Director, according to DDS. She also served as the Community Facilities Director at Sierra Vista in Yuba City. Faria has a Bachelor’s Degree in Recreation Administration (Therapeutic) and a Master’s Degree in Assistive Technology Program Administration.
“I am thrilled that Ms. Faria is returning to lead Sonoma Developmental Center and continue implementation of necessary reforms at the facility,” California Health and Human Services Secretary Diana S. Dooley stated in a news release.
DDS reported it conducted a nationwide search for the position. Faria is moving back to California from New Hampshire and reinstating from service retirement.
“With her extensive experience, Ms. Faria will be able to provide the strong leadership needed to improve services and ensure that residents are living in a healthy and safe environment,” DDS Director Terri Delgadillo stated.
Kathleen Miller, the president of Parents Hospital Association, an advocacy group, told Patch she is pleased that a permanent executive director has been selected at last and she's looking forward to working with her.