by Emily Stembridge
Arie Nettles, PhD, NCSP, HSP, professor of Clinical Pediatrics and director of the Office of Inclusion and Health Equity (OIHE), was presented with a State Resolution from the Tennessee Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (DIDD) passed in honor of her work as chair of the Statewide Planning and Policy Council (SPPC).
Nettles served as SPCC chair for the DIDD — the state agency responsible for administering services and support to Tennesseans with intellectual and developmental disabilities — from January 2018 until December 2021. She first became a member of the DIDD in 2014 when she joined the department as an advocate for children.
The Tennessee Senate Joint Resolution commended Nettles for her honorable and astute service to Tennesseans with disabilities over the last four years, which included finding a solution to the ongoing direct support professionals workforce crisis, expanding DIDD’s enabling technology program, working to provide transportation and affordable housing, and collaborating with the DIDD to address issues resulting from COVID-19 that affected the service delivery system. The resolution described Nettles as “a dedicated servant leader and a woman of ability and integrity in the public sector.”
“As I reflect on my role, I am so pleased that I was able to work with and get to know Tennesseans across the state committed to improving the lives of those with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families,” Nettles said.
In addition to Nettles’ work with the DIDD, she is a pediatric faculty member and a psychologist at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt in the Division of Developmental Medicine, as well as a member of the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center. She was the founding director of the OIHE, which began as a joint project between Children’s Hospital and the Department of Pediatrics in 2011. Her work in the area of health equity had a ripple effect, as the OIHE has now expanded enterprise wide.