Bill Brewer, CEO, Celebrates 40 Years of Service

MHDS, has been providing skills training and employment opportunities to intellectually disabled persons in Jackson since 1972.   For 40 of those years, they have had a faithful and loyal champion for their cause in Bill Brewer.  Bill served in many capacities through the years and earned the position of Executive Director in 2006.

While the original agency served only 5 persons with a mostly volunteer staff, MHDS currently serves approximately 250 persons and employs over 450 staff in West Tennessee including Madison, Haywood, Hardeman, Hardin, Decatur, Chester, McNairy, Gibson, Fayette and Henderson counties with varying levels of service.  The agency now operates day and residential services on some basis 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Bill was recently acknowledged for his 40 years of service at a Board Meeting.  County Mayor Jimmy Harris also issued a proclamation recognizing Bill Brewer Day.

Mr. Brewer reflects, “I’ve been truly blessed to be a part of MHDS and am grateful to the great Volunteer Board and Staff with whom I’ve had the pleasure of working. Those that we serve and their families have made a big difference in my life and if I’ve played a small part in advancing their quality of life.  I feel very rewarded.”

MHDS has been fortunate to have Bill’s hard work and dedication.  We are grateful for his imprint on this agency and all those involved with it.

See more images of the celebration here.



MHDS Rest Area attendants, Donald Adams (center) and Harold Emerson (far right) with “NOBODY TRASHES TENNESSE” staff during TDOT’s anti-litter campaign on 11/21/17 at the I-40 Madison County Rest Area.   MHDS was proud to participate in this community awareness campaign.

MHDS Celebrates Direct Support Professionals (DSP) Week

MHDS recently showed gratitude to the DSP’s who are the foundation of care provided to the 220+ persons we support. September 10-16 was the nationally recognized week to acknowledge DSP’s who ensure the safety and well-being of those they interact with. They work tirelessly to improve and enhance the lives they touch.

During DSP Week:
MHDS delivered a logo tote bag & badge lanyard to staff on Monday.
Wednesday, MHDS offered a grab & go lunch for DSP’s at each location.
Each facility had a Dessert Bar for staff to enjoy on Friday.

“MHDS is extremely fortunate to have the caliber of DSP’s we do. We often have folks with 20+ years of service. They have such heart and compassion for those they care for. It is remarkable to witness. We hope they enjoyed being celebrated and know how truly important they are to this organization,” said Executive Director, Bill Brewer.

A few of the photos from the week of festivities are shown below. You may see all photos in our gallery by clicking here.

We’d like to recognize Deborah Smith for 38 years of faithful service!

When Deborah Smith took her first assignment with what was then the Jackson Adult Activities Center, she hardly imagined she was launching a 38 year career as a Direct Support Professional (DSP). “I didn’t think this would be my only job when I started it but I’ve enjoyed every day,” Deborah related at 6 am on her next to the last day on the job. That morning she had the three men she cares for busy cleaning their rooms and vacuuming. When they had completed their housekeeping, the men sat down together for breakfast before departing to MHDS’s Day Center.

The persons she has supported these many years all have an intellectual disability. Some have had physical disabilities as well. She has genuinely cared for them all and strived to make them as independent as possible but mostly she wanted them to be happy and know someone truly cared about them.

“When I began my employment in 1979, the agency was only in Madison County and had just established their facility off Garland Drive,” said Ms. Smith. “I started with 6 young men in a group home in Bemis. Several of them are still in the care of MHDS including one of the oldest persons we serve at age 81.” Ms. Smith reflected, “I’ve mostly taken the assignments with men. I just seemed to relate best with them.”

Bill Brewer, Executive Director of MHDS, states “We applaud Deborah’s commitment to those we serve over a 38 year career. A familiar smiling face is a rare gift to persons who need a stabilizing and caring influence in their lives. We are fortunate to have had the benefit of her professionalism for as long as we have. She will be greatly missed at the agency and in the hearts of those she has served. But we wish her an enjoyable retirement. She has more than earned it.”

MHDS has been serving Jackson since 1972 with programs for adults with intellectual disabilities including employment and residential services. Now, MHDS also has facilities in Haywood and Hardeman counties. Each person served has a personalized service plan which fosters skills development and retention. DSP’s with the kind of longevity and commitment Deborah has shown are not taken for granted.

“It’s been satisfying work,” says Ms. Smith. “I thank the Lord for giving me the strength to help those I’ve cared for. This job has kept me moving and I think helped me as I’ve aged.” Given that Deborah seems too youthful to retire, we’d tend to agree. MHDS proudly salutes Deborah Smith for her years of service and wishes her the best in the years to come.

Join us at Redbones for an Evening with Henry Gross!

Join us at Redbones for an evening with Henry Gross! Thursday, June 29th, 7-8:30pm

March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month!

Governor Bill Haslam has once more issued a proclamation designating March as Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month

Gov. Haslam shared, “I’m proud of our state’s commitment to increasing opportunities for individuals with developmental disabilities to pursue their goals, contribute to their communities and live quality lives. From inclusive higher education programs on college campuses, to the Employment First focus of state and community agencies, to the new ABLE TN savings program led by the Tennessee Treasury Department, there are countless examples of state agencies, community organizations and families working together to make sure Tennesseans with developmental disabilities have the chance to thrive.”

Read the entire press release here.


Transition Tennessee Web Portal

The state has implemented a new professional development portal that brings together resources and best practices for promoting successful transitions for students with disabilities. This portal is helpful for parents, teachers, advocates, service providers, and others in the student’s life. Visit the portal at to create a free account and get access to the blueprint for student success!



The Tennessee Disability MegaConference is Coming Up!

The MegaConference is a statewide disability conference with hundreds of attendees each year, including individuals with disabilities, families, providers, and professionals across the disability field. The Council, along with Disability Rights TN, TN Disability Coalition, The Arc TN, Vanderbilt Kennedy Center, the Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and many other agencies, helps plan and sponsor the conference.


Need information about disability resources in your community?

Contact TN Disability Pathfinder.

Helpline: 1-800-640-4636;
Multilingual Services: 615-875-5083

The Tennessee Council on Developmental Disabilities is an independent office in state government. The Council leads initiatives statewide to improve policies and practices that affect everyday lives of Tennesseans with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Contact Emma Shouse, Director of Communications, at or 615-253-5368.

MHDS Person Supported Recognized for “Living Your Best Life”

We all hope life brings us the best.  Sometimes we have to be proactive in making the best of our lives.  Such is the case for Melissa “Mindy” Rogers who has been supported by MHDS since 2005.  MHDS provides programs and services to support adults who have intellectual and other disabilities.

Recently, the Empowered Workforce Team which is a part of the Tennessee Department of Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities requested success stories from provider agencies within the West Tennessee Region to recognize persons supported who were “Living Your Best Life.”   

MHDS submitted Mindy’s story and she was selected for recognition.   Mary Brinkley with the Team explained, “We wanted to share success stories which reflected the positive aspects of the services we provide.  Those on the team reviewing the submissions felt that the many changes Mindy made to improve her quality of life represented what we were trying to capture.”  She was honored at a recent luncheon and was presented with a certificate and flowers.  Mindy developed materials and shared her story with the audience with much pride and received a standing ovation.

2016-12-16 Mindy Rogers Award 001 (8)

Mindy’s journey to the life she enjoys now began when she came into service with MHDS. Mindy had significant issues around her weight when she arrived.  She is 5’1” and weighed nearly 400 pounds.  She had to use a motorized scooter/chair in businesses.  She had to use a lift chair to stand up from a sitting position.  She wasn’t able to walk more than a few steps at a time.  When Mindy entered services she had nursing supports due to requiring oxygen.  She also had asthma so the weight was really a challenge for a 25 year old woman who wanted so much more for her life. 

Mindy was fiercely independent but at times lacked the motivation to see she could accomplish all that she wanted in life.  Mindy and her parents credit the support and love of a nurse, also named Melissa, who worked with Mindy to lose weight.  Mindy is very social and her health prohibited her from going out so she had to just talk to friends and family over the phone.  The nurse used this as motivation for Mindy by not lecturing but instead taking every step to a new reality together.

Over the past almost 12 years, Mindy has accomplished so much.  Mindy has lost 170 pounds!  She is no longer on oxygen and no longer requires nursing supports.  She does not require behavioral supports because a lot of the aggression is gone. Now Mindy can do those things she always wanted to like being with her friends instead of confined by her health and weight to her home.  Mindy no longer needs physical therapy because she is steady on her feet.  Mindy belongs to a gym which she goes to on average 2 times a week.  She does this with her house mates and staff who all do some type of exercise as a group so she isn’t alone. 

Mindy has been working at a uniform shop 2 days a week.  She has been working for over a year.  She is proud of this huge accomplishment to go from confined to your home to working in the community.  Her staff support for her job says, “Mindy has come a long way and is a hard worker.  She takes the initiative to look for work and stay busy.  She has many friends on Facebook and enjoys an active social life.”

2016-12-16 Mindy Rogers Award 001 (4)

We are all very proud of what Mindy has accomplished in her young life.  We all know that she has a lot more to achieve.  Bill Brewer, Executive Director of MHDS, states “Mindy’s transformation is a reminder to us all that we can achieve what we believe we can achieve.  We are pleased to have helped her but it was her personal determination that brought Mindy where she is today.”

MHDS has been serving Jackson since 1972 with programs for adults with intellectual disabilities including employment and residential services.  Each person served has an personalized service plan which fosters skills development and retention.

To obtain additional information, please call 731.664.0855 or visit the website at

The Ben Rich Center in Brownsville Recognized by TVA for Progress Toward Work Goals with Christmas Event

TVA provided a grant to purchase software that allows users to improves job search skills, helps with resume development and encourages the pursuit of public employment.  Recently TVA staff presented certificates and acknowledged those who had made progress toward their employment goals. See pictures from the event by clicking here.

And take a look at all of our holiday pictures and a recent outing to see the Harlem Globetrotters by clicking here to see the photo gallery.

Keith Davis In the Supported Employment Spotlight

We’re honored to feature a story of one of our persons supported who works in Supported Employment.

Keith Davis is having wonderful success in his employment role and we wanted to congratulate him by putting him in the spotlight. The Supported Employment Spotlight!

2016-keith-davis-se-034Keith came to MHDS in 1979, so we’ve had a long history with him and we’re proud to be such a big part of his life. Take a few minutes to read his success story.

And keep your eyes out for more heartwarming stories of success in our Supported Employment program.

Bumpus Harley Christmas 2016

The Golden Circle Harley Owners Group and Bumpus Harley Davidson teamed up to provide a wonderful Christmas party for 42 persons supported who play SNA sports. Bumpus featured photos and bios of MHDS participants on the Christmas tree in their showroom. They were adopted by the Harley owners who bought them a gift from the wish list and many of them rode their motorcycles to MHDS to deliver the gifts personally. Everyone enjoyed pizza and cupcakes followed by a dance. It was a most enjoyable afternoon for everyone!

Click here to see some pictures of our holiday party!

Winners of 12th Annual Bob Brown Memorial Golf Scramble

On Friday, 9/16, 27 teams of 4 golfers were at Jackson National Golf Club to raise operating funds for Madison Haywood Developmental Services.  MHDS provides skills advancement, employment opportunities and residential services to 250+ adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities in West Tennessee.

This year the tournament offered a double shotgun start.  The winners were:

8 AM Tee – 1st Flight Top 3 Teams

1st Place   Picasso Pizzeria Team Members:

Phillip Wilson
Dakota Wilson
Taylor Stuckey
Chris Burton

Score: 52
2nd Place Firefighters  Team Members:

Tim Greer
David Wade
Scott Foust
Brian Davis

Score: 57
3rd Place Brown Family  Team Members:

Cliff Lodes
Gary Jack
Steve Brown
David Weissenfluh

Score: 62


8 AM Tee – 2nd Flight Top 3 Teams

1st Place Pharmcare Team Members:

Dan Mueller
Marty Williams
Mark Carson Harris
Clint Hudson

Score: 64
2nd Place Horne LLP  Team Members:

Blake Taylor
Brett Stoots
Tony Jones
Dale Cavaness

Score: 64
3rd Place Pinnacle  Team Members:

Toby Czerniak
David Dunning
Sam Jones
Brian Kelso

Score: 64


1 PM Tee – 1st Flight Top 3 Teams

1st Place Numotion Team Members:

Patrick Montecillo
Behrdan Boongaling (Hole-In-one on #17)
Bill Klein
Mel Patel

Score: 52
2nd Place City of Jackson  Team Members:

Tosh Newman
Kody Alexander
John Hodges
Charles Dawson

Score: 54
3rd Place Volunteer International  Team Members:

Jerry Seaton
Danny Hall
Hubert Climer
Dean Taylor

Score: 57


1 PM Tee – 2nd Flight Top 3 Teams

1st Place Butler Bluescope Team Members:

Keith Lewis
James Stockdale
Charles Stockdale
Josh Anderson

Score: 59
2nd Place Ellis/Vanderford  Team Members:

Bob Ellis
Norma Ellis
Beth Vanderford
Glen Vanderford

Score: 63
3rd Place First South Bank  Team Members:

Ed Woodside
Larry Bell
Roy Hutton
Scott Marshall

Score: 65


Congratulations to all winners and thank you to all teams who came out to enjoy the day and help MHDS raise the funds we need to provide the life-changing services we provide every day!

Check out our photo gallery!


Search This Site: