Billy Worsham Reappointed Chair of DIDD Statewide Planning and Policy CouncilWorsham continues chairmanship after a successful term serving the state
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, January 4, 2024
CONTACT: Cara Kumari
Billy Worsham Reappointed Chair of DIDD Statewide Planning and Policy Council
Worsham continues chairmanship after a successful term serving the state
NASHVILLE—Gov. Bill Lee has reappointed longtime intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) professional and advocate Billy Worsham to chair of the Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities’ (DIDD) Statewide Planning and Policy Council (SPPC) for an additional two years.
The Statewide Planning and Policy Council is made up of healthcare professionals, advocates and family members who are committed to improving the quality of life for people in Tennessee living with a disability. The SPPC is responsible for advising the commissioner on the plans, policies and operations of the department’s programs and facilities.
Gov. Lee first appointed Worsham as chair to the Statewide Planning and Policy Council in April 2022. During his tenure, he spearheaded council initiatives to increase hiring and retention of direct care staff, supported the regional councils in the development of workgroups, and encouraged cross-council collaboration on statewide priority issues.
Prior to his first SPPC appointment, Worsham chaired the East Planning and Policy Council, a sub-council of the SPPC, since its creation in 2011.
“I’ve enjoyed working closely with Billy during his first term as chair. Worsham’s leadership has produced valuable feedback as DIDD has expanded its footprint,” said DIDD Commissioner Brad Turner. “I know great things will come out of this second term including new ideas and informed insight that will allow the department to better serve Tennesseans in all corners of the state.”
"I am deeply humbled by the opportunity to serve a second term as chair of the SPPC,” said Worsham. “It was my privilege to see tremendous growth and support of the PPCs and I am looking forward to multiplying the momentum, drive, and success of the councils. As the department grows it is imperative that the councils, in collaboration with the IDD stakeholders, forge the pathways necessary that will continue to provide opportunities and support to Tennesseans with all abilities in their pursuit of achieving the full potential in their lives."
Worsham’s career in the IDD field began at age 16 as a Direct Support Professional (DSP) through the WIOA Youth Program while residing at the Smoky Mountain Children's Home in Sevierville. During his eight-year residence at the Children's Home, Billy graduated high school and earned his B.S. in Organizational Leadership and Non-profit Management.
After graduation, Billy continued to develop his career in IDD in various areas: Special Education, Independent Support Coordination, agency director and agency operations. Billy is currently a Community Resource Specialist with The Arc Tennessee. Additionally, he was appointed to the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth by the Governor in September of 2023.
When he is not working, you may find Billy out and about with his family or pursuing his hobby of “chasing trains”. Billy and his wife, Wendy, enjoy their home in Sevierville, Tennessee.
The Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (DIDD) is the state agency responsible for oversight of services and support to Tennesseans with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Every day, the department strives to support approximately 12,000 people to live rewarding and fulfilling lives through Medicaid waiver Home and Community Based Services (HCBS), the MAPs Program, and the Family Support Program. DIDD also provides services to infants and toddlers with disabilities or developmental delays through the Tennessee Early Intervention System (TEIS), and children under the age of 18 with disabilities or complex medical needs through the Katie Beckett Program. The department supports all Tennesseans with intellectual and developmental disabilities live the lives they envision for themselves by ensuring people are free to exercise rights, engage with their broader communities and experience optimal health. DIDD is the first state service delivery system in the nation to receive Person-Centered Excellence Accreditation from the Council on Quality and Leadership. It has also been recognized as a national leader in its efforts to increase competitive, community-based employment outcomes for people with disabilities and its commitment to enhancing independence through Enabling Technology