ANCORA IMPARO BY RICK RADER, MD ■ EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
Embarking on a journey of discovery with a close friend describes this editorial. I am dedicating this month’s editorial real estate to present, in his own words, David’s journey.
Sue Hubbell is a celebrated writer who wrote A Country Year, Shrinking the Cat and Waiting for Aphrodite. In 2004, a collection of her essays was published with the title From Here to There and Back Again. The University of Michigan Press, which published her books, described her style: “Reading Sue Hubbell is like embarking on a journey of discovery with a close friend. Her writing is witty, learned yet unassuming, intensely personal, and pointedly honest… in the end you’ll return from these travels refreshed, enlightened-and wiser.”
Embarking on a journey of discovery with a close friend describes this editorial. The close friend is David Ervin, and his journey is compelling. David is a respected, progressive, innovative leader in the field of enlightened supports for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. He is the Executive Director of The Resource Exchange in Colorado, a non-profit community based agency serving children and adults with complex disabilities.
One of the perks of having friends and colleagues like David is sharing stories of “how I got here.” One thing that I have found in common with all my friends and colleagues in this field is that their pathways come in two waves; the “event,” and the “process.” In my case I am certainly able to recount the “event.” In 1993, I was seduced by an ad in a medical journal offering a position to create innovative lifespan medical programs for individuals with disabilities. While it was an event that sparked my personal journey, it was certainly a process that followed. I urged David to recount both his “event,” and his “process.” His story, while personal, also reflects the evolution of the field and how it has influenced not only David’s commitment and creativity, but many other luminaries that have made a profound impact on the current and future lives of individual’s with intellectual disabilities.
Thus, I am dedicating this month’s editorial real estate to present, in his own words, David’s journey. I amended Hubbell’s book title, From Here to There and Back Again to “From Here to There But Not Back Again” to reflect the reality that no one who makes a journey like David’s ever returns to where he began.•
In his 87th year, the artist Michelangelo (1475 -1564) is believed to have said “Ancora imparo” (I am still learning). Hence, the name for my monthly observations and comments.
— Rick Rader, MD, Editor-in-Chief, EP Magazine Director, Morton J. Kent Habilitation Center Orange Grove Center, Chattanooga, TN
Photo Image: HORRIFYING HISTORY: Forest Haven was once a state-of-the-art facility before devolving into one of the most deadly mental institutions in American history. It was closed in 1991.