TO: The DMR Community
FROM: Gerry Morrissey
DATE: September, 2003
RE: Update 134

DMR Announces Appointments and Changes

DMR is announcing the following appointments and restructuring to enhance the efficiency and economy of the Department.

Teresa O'Hare will serve as Regional Director of the new region formed by the combination of the Central and Western Regions. Diane Enochs, formerly Regional Director for the Central Region, will become Assistant Commissioner for Facilities Management. The Facilities Management Division will provide the Department with the singular focus and direction to continue to develop and implement the plan for facilities, including the closure of the Fernald Developmental Center. The new appointments will be effective on November 1, 2003.

Terry previously served as the Regional Director for the Western Region. She has served as the Facility Director at the Monson Developmental Center, and the interim superintendent of the former Belchertown State School that closed in 1992.

In her new role, Diane will oversee all aspects of facility management and oversee the role that the developmental centers will continue to perform in the DMR system. She will also manage state operated programs (state ops) in the Metro and former Central Regions. She has served in managerial positions with the DMR since 1986, overseeing the Central Region for the last decade, and serving as Facility Director at the Templeton Developmental Center and as Deputy Superintendent at the Fernald State School. Joining Diane on her management team are Charles Feula and Donna Boucher.

These appointments will coincide with the recently announced changes in the DMR service system that include:

  • The Central and Western Regions, (also known as Regions 1 and 2) will combine into one region. The Springfield and Westfield Area Offices will become one office.
  • The South Coastal Area office will become part of the Southeast Region (Region 5).
  • The Central Middlesex Area office will become part of the Northeast Region.
  • The Middlesex West Area office will remain part of the Metro Region.

New Health Care Initiative Planned

DMR is pleased to announce plans to implement in December 2003, a significant new health care initiative. The initiative is an outgrowth of DMR's strategic management process that identified the enhancement of the quality and access to health care services as a key statewide priority.

Commissioner Morrissey has a long-term commitment towards assuring that all individuals whom the Department supports are afforded the coordination, communication, quality and access to services to which they are entitled . To support this commitment, a core group of individuals in collaboration with the Center for Developmental Disabilities Evaluation and Research Center at U/Mass Medical School, has been working on the development of better systems to improve the quality of care that individuals with mental retardation receive.

DMR conducted a pilot and received feedback from an array of individuals and key stakeholders. DMR will begin orienting providers and DMR area and regional nurses in early December. The initiative will introduce preventive health screening recommendations, a health review checklist that will facilitate the observation and reporting of signs and symptoms of illness, systems to strengthen the effectiveness of health care encounters, a strengthened service planning process, and a complete health care record. The initiative will be implemented in two phases.

In the near future, DMR will be establishing a "Health and Wellness Promotion" section on the DMR web site. Please watch for the initiation of this web site to get more information about this important project as well as how to access specific forms.

For more information, please contact Gail Grossman, Assistant Commissioner for Quality Management, at (617) 624-7779 with specific questions.

Vision Impairment & Increased Risk of Falls Lecture Set for Oct. 8

"Vision Impairment & Increased Risk of Falls: The Facts & Strategies for Prevention," a lecture by
Lisa DiBonaventura, Director, Orientation and Mobility Vision Services for the DMR Southeast Region, will be held at the Carver Public Library, on Wednesday Oct. 8, from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

The lecture is designed for providers at day programs and homes, clinical support staff, and families. It will provide information about vision disorders and age-related vision changes that can increase the risk for falling. This discussion will help identify individuals who are most at risk for falling, and offer mobility techniques and solutions for common environmental safety concerns.

For more information or to register, please contact: Gorett Moitoso, (508) 866 5000, ext. 340.

M.A.S.S. Annual Conference Set For Nov. 1

The Massachusetts Advocates Standing Strong, (M.A.S.S.), will hold their Sixth Annual Conference on Saturday, Nov. 1, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Holiday Inn on Worcester. The theme for this year's conference will be: "Leadership, Actions Speak Louder Than Words; Take a Stand, Get the Job Done."

M.A.S.S. is also looking for nominations for the Nancy Maynard Leadership Award. This award will be presented at the November conference. In 2000, the M.A.S.S. Board of Directors began a Leadership Award in honor on Nancy who was a self-advocate from Northeast Region. The first award was given to her family in her honor and memory.

Nancy was born in Danvers and at a young age was admitted to a state school. Nancy lived there for 35 years and moved into the community in 1986. She relished the freedom and seemed to feel that never again would others tell her how to live her life. Within the next few years Nancy rapidly became an "expert" on community services moving from staffed apartments to cooperative apartments to congregate living as well as sampling a variety of workshops and competitive jobs. Nancy became well known as a teacher and public speaker. She was a trainer with DMR's Northeast Regional Department of Training and Staff Development, and served for a number of years on North Shore Area Office's Advisory Board.

To nominate someone for the award, they must be: a self-advocate, a leader who has taken action on an issue(s) and gotten results, or a person who provides leadership to those around her/him. Nominations should also include a detailed account of the reasons why the person should receive the award.

For more information, Call M.A.S.S. at (781) 585-2422 or toll free at (866) IAMABLE (426-2253) or e-mail at mass1998@earthlink.net.

Forum on Integrated Supports Set for Nov. 5

A half-day forum on "Integrated Supports for People with Developmental Disabilities will be held on Wednesday morning, Nov.5 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Campus Center Room 917, at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

The forum will provide opportunities and challenges in the areas of housing, day and leisure activities, and elder supports. The session is sponsored by the Office of Outreach at the University of Massachusetts and DMR.

To register or for more information, please contact Jane Litwin Taylor, at the UMass Office of Outreach at (413) 545-0027, or e-mail her at jltaylor@admin.umass.edu.

Central Region Announces Community Partners for Leadership Series Graduates

This summer 50 people gathered at Clark University in Worcester for the capstone celebration of the DMR Central Region Community Partners for Leadership Series. This series creates a shared vision of the valued roles that people with developmental disabilities can bring to their own community by bringing people with disabilities, family members, staff, and interested community people together.

The 16 graduates welcomed guests and co-workers with a snapshot of their eleven-day experience. Presentations on leadership series topics such as valued social roles, community development, and tools for self-discovery, self-determination, and social integration were presented through songs, poems, stories, and insights. The presentations showcased the impact of work in the support of people with developmental disabilities.

Leadership graduates are: LuAnn Gardner, Alternatives; Courtney Hazzard, Advocates: John Papp and Amy Kukta, SWCRC; Angela Avery and Judy Whitman, Mercy Centre; Karen Flynn, HMEA, Edith Claros, Worcester State College/Mentor Inc.; Endsley Koch, The Bridge of Central Mass: Michael Killion, North Central Area Office; Karen Fay, Worcester State Ops; Nancy Grenier, Matson Community Services; Joseph Goodwin, Community Strategies; Marilyn Woodard, South Valley State Ops; and Dee Raymond and Paul LeBlanc, Glavin Regional Center.

Twelve Graduate from MWCC Direct Support Program

Twelve students from the DMR Central Region graduated from the Mount Wachusett Community College (MWCC) Direct Support Certificate Program. Family, friends, and supervisors congratulated the twelve graduates on their educational accomplishment.

This years graduates are: Christina Bernier, Lutheran Social Services; Deborah Dixon, NCHS; Jennifer Mansfield, The Bridge of Central Mass; Patrick Reardon, Laura Schultz, ARC/Matson; Suzanne Clearwater, Keith Cross, SWCRC; and Heather Borelli, Irene Hudson, Alissa Rivard, Luis Rodriquez, and Sandra Strait, Seven Hills.

The Direct Support Certificate Program, sponsored by DMR and the Executive Office of the Community Colleges, is an educational program that enhances the knowledge and skills of direct support workers.

For more information about this program at MWCC, please call Debra Hebert at (978) 630-9192.

Riverside Community Care Renames Day Treatment Center

Riverside Community Care of Dedham held a ceremony on Wednesday afternoon, Sept. 10 to rename its treatment center. The facility will now be known as Riverside Day Treatment at Newton, located at 1244 Chestnut St., in Newton Upper Falls.


This information is provided by the Department of Developmental Services.