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Governor taps Rescue woman for state board

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From page A1 | January 09, 2013 | Leave Comment

Collins Regina 109

REGINA COLLINS

Regina Collins, 61, was recently appointed by Gov. Jerry Brown to the Area Board III of the California State Council on Developmental Disabilities.

Collins is currently employed by the California Dental Association as the director of component relations. Her position is that of liaison between the state organization and 32 dental societies in California. Previously she worked for Mercy Healthcare in Sacramento as a manager in marketing and communications.

Collins, who has lived in El Dorado County since 1978, said her appointment has more to do with her personal background than her professional life.

The mother of a developmentally disabled child herself, she said she became an advocate after her older son was diagnosed at the age of 3 with autistic behaviors and a developmental disability.

“There were not a lot of services in El Dorado County at the time,” she said, “and I wanted to be sure those services were available.”

To help that process along, in the 1980s Collins served as a volunteer in developing a master plan for serving children with developmental disabilities in the El Dorado County Office of Education.

Later she served on the board of the Alta California Regional Center for six and a half years. The organization assists people with developmental disabilities. She took a break to go back to working full-time but came back later to serve six more years on the board, her last term as president.

Role of the area board

Collins said when she was interviewed by staff from Gov. Brown’s office, the emphasis appeared to be on finding people who would look for new ways of doing things. “(They) said he was looking for people who look at things in new and different ways. They wanted someone who was open-minded,” she said.

She was also told she could call the governor anytime she wanted. “That was important to me. It’s important to be connected.”

Collins said the role of the 15-member area board is to report to the State Council on Developmental Disabilities. She said the board will take its direction from what the council wants and the focus it wants it to take in the local community.

“We also help change the laws and make new laws,” she said, although she’s not sure how that works since she’s yet to attend her first meeting. That will be on Jan. 22.

“Services are changing, although we have guidelines that we are obliged to follow under the Lanterman Act,” she said.

The Lanterman Developmental Disabilities Act, which was passed in 1969, guarantees services and support to those with developmental disabilities as well as their families.

“Our job is to ensure that the quality of services are at the highest level and to ensure that support is there for people. We speak for those who can’t speak for themselves.”
The position on the board is unpaid. Collins and her husband, who is a retired contractor, live in Rescue.

Contact Dawn Hodson at 530-344-5071 or dhodson@mtdemocrat.net. Follow @DHodsonMtDemo on Twitter.

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