Check out our 2020 Winter Newsletter!

Take a look at the GSDC newsletter for 2020! We have puzzles, games, updates, and some fantastic participant artwork!

Click here to view or download a PDF copy of the newsletter!


Note: The first batch of printed newsletters had a misprint on the page 7 puzzle (“Pascal’s Puzzle Tree”). This error has been corrected for future batches, including in the link above. To make sure you have the correct version of the puzzle, look at the last row on the tree. Both “462” cells should be touching. If there’s a space between them, please print out the fixed version.

For our avid puzzle-solvers, we sincerely apologize for any potential frustration caused by this error!

Celebrating one year under new ownership!

As the administrator of Gem State Developmental Center, I am proud to announce that we have crossed another milestone in the history of our company. On October 12th, our company completed its first year under the new ownership of Lori Jo Poole, LCSW, with noteworthy success, prosperity, and certainty.

What began as the first privately owned and operated DDA in Idaho with just two employees has continued to stand tall in the DD field and among the other 70 developmental disability agencies in the state. Over the past year, our company has made a smooth transition with countless achievements and accomplishments. These achievements are accredited to our excellent direct support professionals, program support, and leadership teams. Through the support and hard work of our excellent teams, our accomplishments have exceeded all goals, objectives, and expectations. Every one of you played a very important role in the development and sustainability of our company.

It is your enthusiasm, support, and dedication that has brought us to this height. Gem State Development Center shall ever remain indebted to the contributions of its employees. We are grateful to all who trusted in us to help them with support and services. The demands, challenges, and feedback have only pushed us forward with greater success, hope and anticipation for the future.

Thank you for a great year of leadership, Lori Jo. We are excited for the next one!

-Corey Makizuru, Administrator

Help the Idaho Council of Developmental Disabilities with a short survey!

At Gem State Developmental Center, we have always been strong supporters of groups that advocate for the people we serve, including the Idaho Council of Developmental Disabilities. Every five years, the ICDD conducts an anonymous survey, seeking out ideas from the community to improve the lives of those with intellectual/developmental disabilities (I/DD) and their families.

The survey is available online in English and Spanish until June 30, 2020, and it will take about 20 minutes to complete. Just click the links below to be redirected to the survey:

If you need help with the survey or would like a paper copy, call 208-334-2178, or email info@icdd.idaho.gov.

We’re participating in the “Keep Meridian Healthy & Open for Business” campaign!

We are proud to announce that we are participating in the Keep Meridian Healthy & Open for Business campaign, created by the Meridian Chamber of Commerce. We are focused on keeping our community safe and healthy during these trying times, and fully embrace the health-focused values and training opportunities provided by the this campaign.

Keep Meridian Healthy Logo

As a part of this program, we’re excited to receive enhanced training from health professionals and public agency representatives in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our community. By working with industry experts and the Meridian business community, we can achieve our top priorities: protecting our participants, our employees, and their families.

To learn more about the Keep Meridian Healthy & Open for Business campaign, please visit https://keepmeridianhealthy.org/

Keep Meridian Healthy Guidelines

COVID-19 Coronavirus – Information for Parents, Providers, Participants and Staff

Parents, Providers, Participants and Staff:

In light of the COVID-19 coronavirus we would like to take a moment to reassure you of our commitment to you and your family’s health by sharing details about our office protocols. 

Currently, GSDC has plans to stay open with modifications to our services. 

We currently use the “Universal Precautions” protocol as defined by the CDC. In the health care industry this means that we assume all blood and bodily fluids are infected.  These guidelines were implemented after the AIDS virus changed the world in the mid-1980’s.  They have been upgraded and perfected as time has passed with better standards, sanitization materials and techniques.  We have embraced and adopted all of the latest techniques and have utilized them for many years as the standard protocols in our office.

We have implemented more frequent sanitization, disinfection and hygiene protocols on a daily or more frequent basis.  We plan to continue providing the quality of care and maintain these high standards and due to the COVID-19 virus we are implementing a few new policies for everyone’s safety and protection:

  • All in-person meetings will be cancelled.  Meetings may be planned via phone or video conferencing.
  • Participants will be visually screened for illness upon arrival and will have their temperature taken if there is reason to believe they are not feeling well.  Please monitor and evaluate each participant prior to sending them to the center.
  • Any staff or participant with a temperature of 100.4 or more will be sent home.  We have identified rooms where these individuals may wait until their ride has arrived as to not expose others.
  • Visitors will not be allowed at the centers unless they are there to drop off or pick up participants or for medical needs.
  • Community outings will be modified or cancelled.  We will not be going to places where there would be 50 or more people, such as large shopping businesses, bowling or the YMCA.  We will not be eating at buffets and will modify lunch outings to small groups or take out only.
  • These criteria will change as needed and information will be updated via email or our Facebook business page.

Again, currently we plan to stay open during our regular hours and continue to provide the high level of care and concern that our participants expect and deserve.  We hope that after reviewing our existing protocols and sharing those that have been newly added, you can rest assured that your continued health is our primary concern. 

For more information on the prevention and management of COVID-19, please consult the following articles by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and St. Luke’s Health System.  Additionally, the Idaho state government maintains a coronavirus resource page with information targeted at our local community.

If you have any further questions, please contact us.

Thank you for your trust and confidence in the GSDC team. 

Thank you,

Lori Jo Poole, LCSW

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Owner & Clinical Director of Adult Services