Department of Human Services | Kenneth Ritchey Appointed to Oversee Developmental Disabilities
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For Immediate Release:
March 19, 2007

For Information, Contact:
Ed Rogan, Pam Ronan, (609) 292-3703

TRENTON - Acting Department of Human Services Commissioner Jennifer Velez has appointed Kenneth William Ritchey, former director of the Ohio Department of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities, as the Assistant Commissioner of the Department of Human Services (DHS), Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD). Assistant Commissioner Ritchey joined the division March 7th.“Kenneth Ritchey helped redesign Ohio’s large Medicaid system for people with disabilities with a focus on the health and safety of consumers. His vast experience will be a valuable asset to New Jersey,” said DHS Acting Commissioner Velez. “Our goal will be to continue expanding the available options in services that meet the needs of consumers and families while fully utilizing federal funding opportunities.”

Ritchey began working with the Ohio Department of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities (MR/DD) in March 1999 and guided the department through a number of significant changes and accomplishments. Major initiatives under Ritchey’s leadership included a restructuring of the department and the expansion of Ohio’s Self-Determination project, where consumers choose the types of services that they want and need.  Ritchey also developed critical Interagency Agreements and navigated the settlement of three class action lawsuits. 

As Ohio’s Director, Ritchey was responsible for the oversight of Ohio’s 88 County Boards of MR/DD and the operation of ten residential developmental centers. The Ohio department includes nine divisions, 3,700 employees and a budget of $1.1 billion.  More than 74,000 Ohioans receive services and supports through the Ohio MR/DD system. 

New Jersey DDD provides services to almost 37,500 people with developmental disabilities, with a budget appropriation of $1.3 billion for Fiscal Year 2007 and almost 9,000 full time staff members. DDD operates seven developmental centers and contracts for a variety of community services including group homes, supervised apartments, activity and employment programs, and support services to families.

DHS Assistant Commissioner Ritchey received his Bachelor’s degree from Shippensburg University, Pennsylvania and his Master’s degree from the Curry School of Education, University of Virginia.  He has a second Master’s in Education Administration from the University of Dayton and participated in the Program for Senior Executives in State and Local Government sponsored by the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.


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