In Memory of Gene Whitten-Lege

1938 - 2021

Gene was multi-faceted, a truly interesting person on many levels.

A smiling man in a suit holds a plaque under one arm while reaching for a microphone with the other.With his wife Pat beside him, Gene’s pioneering professional career as a recognized authority on attendant care throughout Texas was remarkable and influential. In the early 1990s, his vision of an option that empowered people with disabilities and older adults in Medicaid to take control of their attendant care made him a founding father of consumer-directed services (CDS) in Texas. With their base in Harris County, the pioneering duo began operating in a managed care environment in Medicaid. Their company, In-Home Attendant Services, was and remains today an advanced model. Gene lent his knowledge to numerous state advisory committees and workgroups. Over the last several decades, Gene and Pat have played major roles in the significant transformation of attendant service delivery and care for Texans with disabilities and seniors—from institutions to independent living in the community, from state-run fee-for-service Medicaid to outsourced managed care.

A man with white hair and beard smiles up at the camera from a folding chair among a big group seated people.From 2001 until his passing, Gene sat on CTD’s board of directors and is the longest-serving volunteer board member (above, accepting the 2002 Volunteer of the Year award at our annual Convention). He was involved in many defining moments for CTD, ranging from the historic Team Everest expedition to legislative positions to CTD’s infrequent legal actions which yielded some of the board's richest discussions (right, at the 2005 CTD annual Convention). Through his participation in state workgroups, he tracked developments in changing practice and policy and identified potential issues while policy was being drafted. He and Pat encouraged us to establish our own CDS agency, then provided tons of technical assistance on how to do it. His service to CTD made us a stronger, better organization.

On a personal level, Gene could be cantankerous, as well as caring. When I was going through a difficult personal time, he would pull me aside privately and check in on me. He also made it obvious that his favorite part of his work was visiting his consumers and doing orientations to CDS.

He will be deeply missed.

Dennis Borel
CTD Executive Director
April 1, 2021

@TXDisabilities