The new head of the Jacksonville Area Center for Independent Living has been named.
Peggy Davidsmeyer grew up in Cass County and went to Beardstown High School and then got a Bachelor’s of Science from Illinois State and a Master’s Degree in Health Services Administration from Sangamon State University, which is now University of Illinois Springfield.
Davidsmeyer has worked primarily with disabled and sensory-deprived persons for over a quarter century. She takes over as Executive Director of the Jacksonville Area Center for Independent Living for Becky McGinnis, whose retirement is officially effective January 1st.
Davidsmeyer explains some of her experience and qualification to lead JACIL.
“In what is now has now been about a 30 year career, I have primarily worked with persons with disabilities – helping folks move in to the community through the Jacksonville Developmental Center, and helping others to learn skills that would enable them to be productive members of society and have relationships with others and continue to live in the community. I’m just excited to return to the workforce and continue to make a difference for persons with disabilites, helping anyone I can along the way.”
Davidsmeyer is a licensed nursing home administrator and certified dementia practitioner.
“I got my license about 15 years ago, which helped me when I was assistant center director at the Jacksonville Developmental Center, and then as director, and also working at Knollwood Retirement Center. As I developed in my career and education, I was fascinated by the effects on humans caused by dementia, so I delved more into that area of expertise, took some extra training and earned my dementia practitioner’s certification.”
Davidsmeyer has been closely connected with the growth of JACIL since its beginning.
“A little over twenty years ago, in about 1996, there was a group of us that were tasked by the Chamber of Commerce to write a grant to start the Jacksonville Area Center for Independent Living. I was one of the several that served on that committee. It was a truly eye-opening experience. We visited many centers for independent living in Illinois to get some ideas on how to develop the concept.”
A meet and greet at the Jacksonville Area Center for Independent Living will be held on December 11th from 4 – 6 p.m. JACIL is at 15 Permac Road behind the Westgate Walgreens.