- NYSACRA’S THIRTY-FIFTH ANNUAL CONFERENCE: 2012 RECALCULATE – OUTSTANDING SUCCESS!
- SENATE HOSTS ROUNDTABLE ON ABUSE AND NEGLECT – MEDIA HIGHLIGHT THE EVENT
- STATE ASSEMBLY ANNOUNCES ANNUAL LEGISLATIVE DISABILITIES AWARENESS DAY
- GOVERNOR ISSUES EXECUTIVE ORDER EXTENDING DATE OF EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION REGULATION PROMULGATION
HHS ANNOUNCES CREATION OF ADMINISTRATION FOR COMMUNITY LIVING
- CQL AND NASDP RELEASE JOINT STATEMENTON THE IMPORTANT ROLE OF DSPs
NYSACRA’S THIRTY-FIFTH ANNUAL CONFERENCE: 2012 RECALCULATE – OUTSTANDING SUCCESS!
NYSACRA held its thirty-fifth annual conference, “2012 Recalculate,” last week. Nearly 800 enthusiastic members, new members and non-members joined us at the Sagamore for another fabulous “NYSACRA Experience.”
Our keynote speakers, Sandra Bloom, M.D., Rachel Simon and Steven Kuusisto, affirmed why we do the work we do and enticed us to think about how we can forge deeper and more meaningful relationships with individuals with disabilities. On Thursday April 20th, our annual art exhibit hosted 110 artists from 47 agencies to display an astounding 400 works of art! We were most fortunate to have 85 of the artists to join us for the day.
Our Pre-Conference session, “Quality, Practicing the High Degree of Excellence,” was attended by a record-breaking 175 individuals. Nationally recognized speakers addressed critical and emerging issues in quality, especially the need to put safeguards in place to ensure the continued well-being of the individuals we support. Special Advisor to the Governor, Clarence Sundram J.D., discussed government’s fundamental obligation to protect its’ most vulnerable citizens, and reviewed the findings of his soon-to-be-released study. Antone Aboud, Aboud Associates, spoke to the need for open communication to improve incident management processes and ensure sustainable organizational change. The Pre-Conference day concluded with a panel presentation on the role of person-centered practices in quality improvement, moderated by Jim Gardner, Ph.D., President & CEO, CQL|The Council on Quality and Leadership (CQL.) The panelists from CQL-accredited NYSACRA member agencies including New Horizons Resources; Chemung ARC; Liberty Resources, Inc. and Adirondack ARC, shared their perspectives on how person-centered practices transformed their respective organization’s approach to quality.
A special session was held on “More Regulations, Less Money: Retaining Top Talent in the Not-for-Profit Sector,” by Jack Kiley, J.D. and Pamela Kaplan, J.D., of Kelley, Drye & Warren. Attendees at our Executive Leadership Session heard Julia Paradise of the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured talk about “The National Phenomenon: Trends in Medicaid Managed Care.”
Our Banquet Dinner and Annual Excellence Award was one of the conference highlights as NYSACRA honored two individuals who left Willowbrook and went on to lead successful lives in their communities. As if this wasn’t enough to bolster our spirits, we laughed through Capitol Steps as they took us through their parodies of the federal political scene.
Our Trade Show broke another conference record, where we hosted 37 vendors who supported NYSACRA through exhibits, sponsorships and contributions to our iPad drawing.
Although the 2012 Annual Conference has sadly ended, we are looking forward to the planning of the 2013 Annual Conference. We sincerely thank all who attended, supported and participated in this year’s event. We hope to see you again next Spring at our 2013 Annual Conference!
SENATE HOSTS ROUNDTABLE ON ABUSE AND NEGLECT – MEDIA HIGHLIGHT THE EVENT
Senator Roy McDonald, Chair of the Senate Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Committee hosted a roundtable discussion on Monday, April 23rd at the State Capitol. The purpose of the informational roundtable was to discuss the protection of “vulnerable” populations from abuse and neglect. NYS Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) Commissioner Courtney Burke, briefly participated in the “by invitation only” event, and was joined by advocates, statewide association representatives and family members of individuals with developmental disabilities.
The roundtable highlighted areas related to uniform definitions (of abuse and neglect), issues of safety in the system, accountability and transparency as well as an abundance of workforce issues, including training of Direct Support Professionals and managers. The soon to be released report, drafted by Clarence Sundram, Special Advisor to the Governor on Vulnerable Populations was often referenced during the near three hour discussion. To view the Roundtable in its entirety, go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=84IMSgR14eY
The event has been the source of media attention, prior to and following the event. Yesterday, the Times Union’s Editorial Board issued a perspective as to the Administration’s supposed actions over the weekend with regard to an invited participant, an OPWDD “whistleblower”, of the Roundtable. To read the perspective, go to: http://blog.timesunion.com/opinion/no-way-to-treat%E2%80%A8-a-whistle-blower/19273/
Previous to the actual event taking place, the New York Times highlighted the roundtable over the weekend through an article which points to the “whistleblower”, an employee of OPWDD who has waged complaints against the agency. To view the article, go to: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/23/nyregion/whistleblower-will-be-on-disabilities-panel-after-cuomo-changes-course.html?_r=2
Also prior to the Roundtable taking place, the Times Union newspaper highlighted the efforts of Michael Carey, the father of Jonathan Carey. Mr. Carey was invited by the Senate to serve as a participant at the Roundtable. To view the Times Union article, go to: http://www.timesunion.com/local/article/A-father-s-vigilance-stays-strong-3500470.php#page-1
Senator McDonald plans to release a package of abuse and reform related legislation in the coming weeks. The 2012 State Legislative Session is scheduled to adjourn on June 21st.
STATE ASSEMBLY ANNOUNCES ANNUAL LEGISLATIVE DISABILITIES AWARENESS DAY
The State Assembly will host the annual Legislative Disabilities Awareness Day on Monday, May 21, 2012 at the Legislative Office Building in Albany. The day-long event will recognize the achievements of people with disabilities and advocates throughout the State of New York. The event is sponsored by Honorable Michael Cusick, Chair of the Assembly Task Force on Disabilities, Honorable Felix Ortiz, Chair of the Assembly Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Committee and Steve Katz, Ranking Minority Member of the Assembly Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Committee. NYSACRA will participate in the event.
GOVERNOR ISSUES EXECUTIVE ORDER EXTENDING DATE OF EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION REGULATION PROMULGATION
On Friday, April 13th, Governor Andrew Cuomo released Executive Order #43, an action related to the continuation of Executive Order #38 “Limits on State Funded Administrative Costs & Executive Compensation”. While the provisions of Executive Order #38 remain intact, the Executive Order issued on April 13th provides state agencies with an extension, up to May 16th, to promulgate proposed regulations to implement Executive Order #38. NYSACRA understands the New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities will release the agency’s regulations on, or around, May 1st with the proposed regulations appearing in the State Register on May 2nd.
- To view Executive Order #38, go to: http://www.governor.ny.gov/executiveorder/38
- To view Executive Order #43, go to: http://www.governor.ny.gov/executiveorder/43
HHS ANNOUNCES CREATION OF ADMINISTRATION FOR COMMUNITY LIVING
On April 16, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced the creation of the Administration for Community Living (ACL) which combines the Administration on Aging, the Office on Disability and the Administration on Developmental Disabilities into a single agency to support cross-cutting initiatives and efforts focused on the unique needs of individual groups, such as children with developmental disabilities or seniors with dementia. This new agency will work on increasing access to community supports and achieving full community participation for people with disabilities and seniors. To view the press release, go to http://hhs.gov/acl
CQL AND NASDP RELEASE JOINT STATEMENT
ON THE IMPORTANT ROLE OF DSPs
In a joint leadership statement by Joseph M. Macbeth, Executive Director, the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP) and James F. Gardner, Ph.D., President and CEO, CQL|The Council on Quality and Leadership the respective organizations reaffirmed the instrumental role that direct service professionals (DSPs) have in the lives of individuals they support. The NADSP has long held that a stable, committed and professional direct support workforce grounded in ethical standards and trained in person-centered supports is critical to the mission of any human service agency to assure the health, safety and growth of those they support. Mr. Macbeth stated that “CQL's research findings demonstrate that workforce factors and related indicators were among the top key elements contributing most significantly to human service agencies' overall success and are underscore the importance of NADSP's vision and purpose to enhance the status of direct support professionals and promote the development of a highly competent human services workforce.” To view the statement in it’s’ entirety, go to www.nasdp.org