November 18, 2015- The Maryland Department of Disabilities is pleased to announce Karen-Ann Lichtenstein has been appointed Chair of the Maryland Commission on Disabilities by Governor Larry Hogan.  The Maryland Commission on Disabilities (MCOD) serves as the advisory body for the Maryland Department of Disabilities, which is charged with unifying and improving the delivery of services to people with disabilities in Maryland.  The Commission also plays an instrumental role in the development of the State Disabilities Plan, a comprehensive multi-year strategic plan that sets performance goals for all agencies in Maryland which serve people with disabilities. The Commission includes 19 members appointed by the Governor and representatives from the Maryland Senate and House of Delegates. 

Previously an appointed member to the Commission, Karen-Ann Lichtenstein is widely recognized as a passionate advocate for individuals with disabilities and complex healthcare needs.  In her present position as President/CEO of The Coordinating Center, a position she has held for more than 20 years, Ms. Lichtenstein has overseen the dramatic growth of the organization in terms of the number of programs administered through The Center, and in the diversity of populations served by the organization.  Ms. Lichtenstein led the team responsible for the implementation of The Center's nationally recognized model for care coordination, as well as its hospital readmission reduction program.
 Ms. Lichtenstein is highly regarded as a frequent lecturer and presenter on disabilities issues and has served on several local and national boards, steering committees, and community action groups.  She sat on the Board of Directors of Maryland Health Care Access from 2009-2013 and served on the National Quality Forum (NFQ) Steering Committee on Care Coordination Best Practices and Measures Development.  She  was also awarded an Innovator of the Year Award by The Daily Record and a Governor's citation for creating The Coordinating Center's Housing and Community Integration office.
Ms. Lichtenstein succeeds Andrew D. Levy, Esquire, who was appointed Chair of the Commission by former Governor Martin O'Malley in 2010.  Mr. Levy is a named-partner at the Maryland law firm, Brown, Goldstein, & Levy, LLP.  In his law practice, as on the Commission, Mr. Levy advocates for increased home and community-based living opportunities for individuals with disabilities.

The Maryland Department of Disabilities Secretary Carol Beatty commented on the appointment by indicating, "We first of all wish to thank the former Chair, Andrew Levy, and all of the outgoing Commission members for their service and advocacy for those with disabilities in Maryland.  We are pleased and honored to have Karen- Ann lead the work of the Commission for the next term and look forward to the continued contributions of the Commission to the work of the Department and the citizens of Maryland."   
Prepared by:
Carrie M. McGraw, PIO
The Maryland Department of Disabilities
217 East Redwood Street, Suite 1300
Baltimore, MD 21202