Pat Wear, II, M.S., has spent more than 30 years in service to people with
disabilities. His experience in this field is broader than most other professionals. He has worked as a Commissioner for Mental Health, a government official dedicated to quality, an executive director of a federal court-appointed panel to oversee the closure of a state institution, a staff member of a protection and advocacy agency, a paid advocate within the Arc movement, and a provider agency executive.
Mr. Wear is responsible for the successful movement of more than 2,000 persons with disabilities from institutions to small community homes in Illinois, Oklahoma, Florida and Kentucky. The impact of his actions on systems serving people with disabilities can be tracked as he has moved across the United States.
Today, Mr. Wear is senior vice president of Wilson Resources, Inc. and is responsible for promoting Rest-Assured, web-based technology to support persons with disabilities in their homes, respecting individual rights, promoting independence and maximizing scarce resources.
Formerly, he was project director of the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s Money Follows the Person grant, awarded by CMS. The grant proposes to move more than 500 people from Kentucky’s intermediate care facilities and nursing homes to community homes over the next five years. Prior to this position, he was the Kentucky Commissioner for Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse. In his stint as commissioner he oversaw a staff of 3,920, the state’s community based service network, four psychiatric hospitals and four large public ICFs for people with developmental disabilities. Mr. Wear introduced “Best Practice” as the service standard for Kentucky’s 14 Regional Mental Health and Mental Retardation Boards and created the first “Commissioner’s Awards for Best Practice in Service Provision.” He also initiated a statewide Crisis Stabilization System for adults with developmental disabilities living in the community to prevent institutionalization.
As deputy director of Florida’s Advocacy Center for Persons with Disabilities, the state’s protection and advocacy agency, Mr. Wear coordinated between 1997 and 2004 three major lawsuits affecting 30,000 Floridians and expanding the state’s community services for people with developmental disabilities. He and the Center’s attorneys filed the Prado v. Bush class action lawsuit that resulted in 12,000 people on Florida’s Medicaid Waiver wait list receiving services in their communities. The lawsuit settlement also resulted in an influx of funding for services to persons with developmental disabilities, systemic infrastructure improvements, a quality assurance system, staff training requirements and enhanced independent support coordination. Mr. Wear also helped to file and settle the Brown litigation, which resulted in the closure of Landmark Center, the eventual closure of Gulf Coast Center in 2010 and reduction in the census at Florida’s two remaining state-operated facilities housing people with developmental disabilities. The Cramer/Smith v. Bush suit restored a $50 million cut from the state’s Developmental Services budget in the late 1990s.
Mr. Wear also coordinated the activities of a federal court appointed panel overseeing the closure of Oklahoma’s Hissom Memorial Center. Mr. Wear was responsible for assuring the successful transition of 1,060 class members from Hissom and other ICFs. The institution closed six months ahead of schedule. As executive director of the Homeward Bound Review Panel, Mr. Wear directly reported to federal Judge James O. Ellison and panel members Jerry Provencal and Karen Green-McGowan. Every class member was successfully moved to three person or fewer homes in their communities. The Hissom Outcomes Study, by James Conroy, Ph.D., an independent investigator, found that the partnership between the federal court and the state of Oklahoma immensely benefited the Hissom class members. “This partnership has led to some major accomplishments that are unprecedented in this or any other country,” the report said. Mr. Wear assisted the state of Oklahoma in developing a system of high quality community services. Specifically, he played a role in program design to assure community integration in residential and vocational services, programmatic monitoring, fiscal oversight and monitoring, and person-centered quality assurance.
Illinois also benefited from Mr. Wear’s commitment to the inclusion of people with developmental disabilities. In his role as coordinator of the Arc Illinois’ Legal Action Project, he advocated filing and settling in 1992 the Bogard v. Duffy case. The settlement resulted in the movement of over 1,000 Illinoisans with developmental disabilities from nursing homes to small community homes.
Mr. Wear is the executive producer of From the Heart, a documentary film
that tracks the lives of individuals with developmental disabilities who
have chosen community services.
One of the gentlemen featured transitioned to a home in the community near
his family after spending 30 years in a Kentucky state-operated institution.
A copy of the DVD was sent to every Kentucky legislator and the governor by
the Arc of Kentucky.