Melissa DaSilva Named Director of Intellectual and Development Disabilities Services Of JF&CS Atlanta

The Shalom Bayit tree was planted in memory of victims of domestic violence and in honor of the brave survivors who received help from our program.ATLANTA, Ga., Oct. 24, 2018, —Jewish Family & Career Services (JF&CS) Atlanta named Melissa DaSilva its new Director of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Services. In this role, DaSilva will champion efforts to support adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, their families and their family caregivers. The program follows a person-centered approach to ensure those with disabilities have a hand in directing their services and a voice in choosing their own destinies.

“Melissa will play a vital role in further developing and executing the vision of our Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Services,” said Faye Dresner, Chief Program Officer and interim CEO at JF&CS. “That vision is to offer opportunities for these adults to build on their abilities and to integrate into the community by providing them with developmental supports, a social network, employment and means of transportation.”

Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Services at JF&CS includes:

  • IndependenceWORKS, which offers a day program, evaluations, prevocational assessment and support, and job coaching so adults with disabilities can find and maintain work that utilizes their greatest talents and abilities.

  • Supported Employment Program, which provides the services needed to help employers and individuals with disabilities find each other and meet each other’s employment needs.

  • The Zimmerman-Horowitz Independent Living Program, a highly individualized, person-centered supportive living program that enables people with disabilities to live as independently as possible.

  • Alterman/JETS Transportation, which provides transportation for both seniors and adults with disabilities to and from work, doctor or other appointments, social outings, shopping or other destinations.

DaSilva brings more than a decade of management experience to JF&CS having worked at the intersection of health care, housing and workforce development for sustainable communities. She began her career as a clinical nurse manager at Dekalb Medical Center. With a clinical background and passion to serve communities in need, she pursued a path of business development for areas and organizations needing it most. Before joining JF&CS, she served as the Director of Behavioral Health Safety Net for the state of Tennessee, Deputy Director for the National Health Care for the Homeless Council, and Chief Innovation Officer for Detroit Central City Community Mental Health Inc.

Having begun her career in Atlanta, DaSilva looks forward to giving back to the city by helping JF&CS explore opportunities and partnerships that align with the organization’s strategic goals and mission of making hope and opportunity happen.

DaSilva earned a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Food Science from Hunter College, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Pace University and a Master of Science in Educational Policy Studies from Georgia State University.