TO: The DMR Community
FROM: Gerry Morrissey
DATE: July 14, 2004
RE: Update 139

Fiscal Year 2005 Budget

The FY05 budget is nearly final. The Legislatures' Conference Committee released its budget two weeks ago and Governor Romney announced his vetoes on Friday, June 25th.

Overall, the Department of Mental Retardation received a favorable budget from the Conference Committee budget. The Department will have $1,063,844,604 in FY05 and an additional $7.5 million in Department of Education funding. The $1.063 billion budget represents a $49.5 million increase over FY04, most of which is annualized funding for new placements (Boulet, Rolland, Turning 22) made in FY04. The Governor signed off on a budget that kept intact the Conference Committee budget for DMR.

Below is a description by line item of the impact of the final budget prior to any Legislative overrides:

5911-1000 Administration - $13,102,150

The Administration account is funded at $13,102,150 and includes approximately $8.5 million to pay for the chargeback for workers compensation and unemployment compensation, and a $99,000 earmark to hire a consultant to work on asset management and reuse development related to any re-use of Fernald land or property. Over the next few weeks, the department will determine how it can address the $300,000 shortfall in this account.

5911-2000 Transportation - $13,782,367

The $13.78 million funding level for the Transportation account restores the $4.3 million that will allow for transportation to be continued for 789 consumers who would have lost services.

5920-1000 Regional Administration - $52,316,518

The $52.3 million in the Regional Administration account is funded at $52.3 million. At this funding level, approximately 18 service coordinator positions will have to be eliminated.

5920-2000 Community Residential - $476,614,523

The Community Residential Account is funded at $476,614,523. This line item includes $325,000 in new earmarks and an additional $521,965 that will allow the department to restore a significant portion of the reduction in clinical support funding.

5920-2010 Community State Operated - $113,269,640

The $113.27 million budget for the State Operated account includes a $427,460 increase. This increase will allow DMR to increase direct care staffing.

5920- 2020 Wait List - Boulet Settlement - $70,000,000

The $70 million FY05 budget for the Boulet Settlement fully funds the account. This level of funding consists of $55 million for maintenance and $15 million for the 400 new placements to be made in FY05.

5920-2025 Day and Employment Services - $109,171,278

The $109.2 million for the Day and Employment Services account fully funds the day and employment services for all DMR consumers who received these services in FY04. This will allow the 789 DMR consumers who would have lost services, to continue in their programs.

5920-3000 Family Support/Respite Services - $48,800,000

The Family Support account is funded at $48,800,000, which is a $620,000 increase to the FY04 budget. The department is currently analyzing various options to determine how to best serve DMR consumers with the additional funding.

5920-5000 Turning 22 - $6,467,670

The Turning 22 account is fully funded and will be sufficient to serve the Turning 22 group in FY05.

5930-1000 Facilities - $160,220,259

The FY05 Facilities is funded at $160.2 million. This amount represents a $5 million reduction in the account that will be managed through consolidation at the facilities as census declines and the phase down and eventual closure of the Fernald Developmental Center, and community placement of facility residents.

5982-1000 Templeton - $100,000

The Templeton retained revenue account is level funded for FY05.

DMR Health Initiative Update:

In March 2001, the Department of Mental Retardation embarked upon a strategic management planning process designed to address several critical areas of concern to the Department and its key stakeholders. One of the key objectives identified was the establishment of effective and consistent health, clinical and behavioral supports for persons with mental retardation across the Department of Mental Retardation system.

In response to this objective DMR developed specific standards, tools, and systems involving DMR providers, DMR staff, health care providers and individuals working in the community. The materials developed are intended to enhance the quality of health care services through improved communication of health care information between human service and health care providers, thorough health care histories, clear preventive health standards and a strengthened focus on health care issues in the ISP. The forms and systems were "field-tested" in 15 volunteer provider agencies from across Massachusetts.

In December 2003, DMR rolled out Phase I of the Health Promotion and Coordination Initiative in a series of 10 "Train the Trainer" sessions around the state. Phase 1 of the initiative addressed the need to enhance the quality of care and communication with the health care provider. Providers were expected to implement the required components in Phase 1 by April 1, 2004.

In April, 2004 another series of 10 trainings were conducted to introduce Phase 2 of the initiative. The tools and systems involved in this phase included those that addressed the need to integrate health care issues into the ISP process. Providers and service coordinators are expected to implement the required forms from Phase 2 into ISPs that occur after May 1, 2004. All of this material is available under "Health and Wellness Promotion" on the DMR web site at

The Health Initiative is now fully implemented. If any providers need assistance with implementing this process into their programs they can contact their DMR Area Nurse or Sharon Oxx at DMR Central Office for help. If you have any questions or difficulty accessing the information on the website please contact Sharon Oxx at 617-624-7792.

Essex Art Center Gallery Exhibit-FACE VALUE

The Essex Art Center, located in Lawrence Massachusetts, is currently featuring from June 18 through August 19, 2004, an exhibit called Face Value - an exhibit that presents paintings and drawings by 15 artists from Gateway Arts in Brookline and CLASS (Citizens League for Adult Special Services) of Lawrence, Massachusetts. Gateway, established in 1973, is a vocational arts program that serves artists with disabilities. Their high quality work has been on display in many national exhibitions. CLASS is a nonprofit organization devoted to enriching the lives of individuals with disabilities.

Northeast Region's 2004 Individual Recognition Celebration

On Tuesday, June 1, 2004, the Northeast Region of the Massachusetts Department of Mental Retardation honored 34 individuals at its Individual Recognition Reception. This event, co-sponsored by the Northeast Region Diversity Committee, recognized these 34 people for their personal achievements in creating self directed lives and their contributions to their communities. Family, friends, and staff joined Regional Director Mandy Chalmers and Commissioner Gerry Morrissey in celebrating the accomplishments of those honored. The Northeast Region extends its heartfelt congratulations to these 34 people for their many accomplishments.

Rick O'Meara Honored by ARC of Northern Bristol County

The ARC of Northern Bristol County presented Rick O'Meara, the Southeast Regional Director, the Family Leadership Choice Award at their annual meeting. The award is given to an individual who best exemplifies support and guidance to families.

Mandy Chalmers Receives Lucie Cripps Award

The Eastern Middlesex ARC presented Mandy Chalmers, the Northeast Regional Director, the Lucie Cripps Award at their annual meeting. This award is named after a long time board member who is still serving in this capacity. The award represents "Outstanding Leadership in supporting individuals with developmental disabilities and their families" and recognizes Mandy as someone who shares Lucie's determination and spirit.

2004 Performance Recognition Winners

The Department is pleased to announce the 2004 recipients of the Performance Recognition Program Citation for Outstanding Performance Award. The Performance Recognition Program recognizes state employees who have provided exemplary and outstanding service to the Commonwealth over the past year.


Janice Lachut and Anne Cascio - Administrative Assistants - Springfield/Westfield Area Office

Janice and Anne, with their attention to detail, excellent organizational skills, and sense of humor ensured that the consolidation of the Springfield and Westfield Areas went smoothly. As a result of their efforts, the consolidation of these offices went extremely well during a very stressful time period. Because of their efforts, the service coordinators whom they support as administrative assistants and MIS coordinators were able to continue to serve their populations without worrying about the day to day operations of the newly constituted office structure.

Jeanne Weinraub - Human Service Coordinator - Franklin/Hampshire Area Office

Jeanne has been a mentor, teacher, and support for her staff by helping them prioritize and handle tasks and assignments and meet the challenging role of an ISP team leader. Her excellent analytical and interpersonal skills have helped service coordinators deal with conflict situations with families, providers and other staff. Jeanne has filled a critically important role as in-house expert on a myriad of administrative, technical and procedural issues. Without being asked, Jeanne has mastered and become an expert in numerous systems that are foundations to the work of the office - CRS, Medicaid waiver, social security benefits, Rogers orders, heath care proxies, guardianship issues, Boulet documentation and procedures, the ISP process and its' electronic environment. Jeanne has been generous with her time in helping others to navigate these systems.

Anne-Marie Bragiel, Suzanne Brunelle and Cheryl Jones - LPNs - Commonwealth Community Services.

Anne-Marie, Suzanne and Cheryl work in a Hadley home with eight residents who have significant nursing support needs 24 hours a day. This home required the staffing of seven full-time LPNs and one half time LPN to cover all the shifts. Maintaining the appropriate nursing staff ratio at this home was a challenge due to retirements and resignations. Recruitment of nurses was also a challenge because LPNs were better paid in the private sector. Nevertheless, these three LPNs have stepped up to the plate to ensure that there was the required nursing coverage for all shifts. Over the past year they have put their personal/family needs aside, changed their work schedules, changed their days off and took turns working a significant amount of overtime hours in order to assure that the service needs of this home were met.

Northeast Region

11 Dartmouth Street - Northeast Residential Services (NRS)

Two and half years ago NRS agreed to serve a challenging young woman, who at the age of 21, already had had multiple, lengthy psychiatric hospitalizations and difficulty living in a community setting. With the consistent but firm support of the NRS staff, the woman is now a successful member of her community who has learned to depend on herself and her team for support, guidance, assistance and limits when needed. This ongoing team approach has been vital to the growth and success of this young woman.

Patricia Lessard, Human Services Coordinator (C) - Newton/South Norfolk Area Office

Pat has been an outstanding employee for the last 19 years. Examples of some of Pat's recent activities that exemplify her dedication and commitment include a Health Care Initiative Project training that she prepared and presented to service coordinators; collaboration with the Area's MIS person to create a user-friendly, uniform system for storing computer records and consumer related information; and the development and implementation of creative ideas that have resulted in the successful residential and day program placements for many individuals with developmental disabilities.

Douglas Gilreath - Human Service Coordinator A/B - North Shore Area Office

Doug has a wonderful ability to stabilize very complex cases. He recently worked with a homeless man with substance abuse issues who landed in jail for 18 months. Doug transported the man's family to jail in order for them to stay in contact with him. He served as the go-between jail officials and DMH officials while this man was staying in a state hospital. Through Doug's efforts, the North Shore area office was able to create an individual support living situation that allows this man and another homeless person to be independent and safe in the community. Another man that Doug has helped had previously refused assistance from the Department. This individual had complex medical needs as well as a criminal background that prevented him from finding gainful employment. Again, through Doug's creativity and perseverance, housing that addressed the individual's medical needs was found and the man is now not only working but has received an award from his vocational provider for being an outstanding worker.

Joel Pagan - Tradesworker - Northeast Residential Services

For a large part of this past year, Joel was the only staff person of a three-person maintenance crew that was responsible for maintaining 53 homes and 88 vehicles in the Northeast Region. Joel worked tirelessly to ensure that all maintenance needs were met. After additional staff was hired, Joel took the lead in training them while maintaining excellent service. Joel is an extremely dedicated worker who arrives early and but never leaves early. He is always upbeat, never complains and is extremely friendly and accommodating while he completes his work on time and in an outstanding manner.

Kellie Dugally - Human Service Coordinator A/B - Lowell Area Office

Since Kellie started as a service coordinator more than three years ago, she has made it known that she enjoyed a challenge. By way of example, Kellie's work with one family with DSS involvement had made a positive impact on the attitude and parenting skills of the mother and father. She worked hard to earn the trust of the couple and convinced them to attend DSS required programs, such as, anger management and parenting classes. These were necessary steps towards the couple regaining custody of their children. Kellie has continued to work with the mother, DSS and the Early Intervention Program to prepare the permanent return of the children. Kellie's persistent and caring has had a beneficial effect on this woman and her overall lifestyle.

Southeast Region

Heidi Champagne - Human Services Coordinator A/B - Cap Cod and Islands Area Office

Heidi has been instrumental in starting a new employee training and support program to prepare a team of professionals to support individuals, families, and staff deal with death and dying issues. The new program is called LIGHT (Lending comfort, Individuality, Guidance and Hope to end of life transitions). Heidi established a coordinating committee composed of 11 service agencies including representatives from Hospice and Palliative Care of Cape Cod, to help her with this program. As part of LIGHT, Heidi has brought guest speakers to educate families and the public to improve the supports provided to individuals. Her efforts in starting and maintaining the LIGHT program has had a dramatic impact on the quality of life for Cape Cod residents with disabilities during their final days. In essence, LIGHT has completed the circle of life.

Mark Sanderson - Community Systems Director - Southeast Region

Mark is not only a Performance Recognition Program Certificate Winner but also the Commissioner's nominee for the Manny Carballo Award that is given to one of 10 individuals Commonwealth-wide each year.

During his 25-year tenure with the Department of Mental Retardation, Mark has been asked to serve in different capacities to help with regional and statewide issues. For instance, Mark had been asked by the Commissioner to manage one of the larger regional offices while a permanent regional director was selected. He did a remarkable job by quickly understanding and developing solutions to some of the major challenges facing that region. As the Community Systems Director for the Southeast Region, Mark had developed and implemented successfully the most comprehensive regional medical support system in the Department. Because of that outstanding initiative, he was asked by the Commissioner to participate on a statewide task force to implement a health care system for each of the regions. Mark has also been asked by other regional directors to help. Recently, Mark was able to resolve an extremely complicated family/consumer situation that had frustrated other DMR staff.

In addition to the excellent work for the Department and his willingness to lend more than a hand, Mark has volunteered his services in his hometown. That effort culminated in his recognition as the 2004 Citizen of the Year Award from the town of Raynham.

Metro Region

Amanda Gamache - MRW II - Commonwealth Community Services

Amanda has been working at the Community Connections Day Services as a Community Connector. She is a very strong advocate who has high, yet realistic, expectations for individuals she supports and communicates these expectations in an extremely articulate fashion to the residential staff. Examples of her recent outstanding accomplishments include supporting a person to start his own snack box business; assisting a person to open an e-mail address at a local library; supporting a man to join a walking club; assisting a person to volunteer at a nursing home; and supporting a person to go swimming as a new experience. Amanda has gone above and beyond the call of duty when she volunteered to attend a Dynavox Communication System training to gain the knowledge and skill to assist with the programming of an individual's communication system.

Maintenance Crew - Monson Developmental Center

The Monson maintenance crew demonstrated outstanding craftsmanship, creativity and hard work in renovating a vacant state-owned building into prime office space for 93 regional employees within a nine-month timeframe. Their work was part of the Commonwealth's initiative to consolidate state office space. By doing most of the renovation themselves and helping move furniture, files and boxes, the crew helped to save money for the Commonwealth.

James Supczak, MRW II - Templeton Developmental Center

Jim's work as a MRW II is characterized by a philosophy of inclusion. He believes that everything is a learning experience. He has taught staff that they should take advantage of every opportunity to teach a skill to individuals with a disability by encouraging them to participate in even the simplest of tasks. When Jim describes an individual's success, the accomplishment is always that individual's accomplishment, never his own as the facilitator.

Jim Turcotte - Power Plant Manager - Hogan Regional Center

Since becoming the Power Plant Manager at Hogan, Jim has initiated and implemented many changes to the operation of the physical plant that has reaped savings as well as making the plant run more efficiently. For example, Jim implemented a new boiler chemical process that allowed more effective burning of the oil. Jim increased the temperature for burning the oil that increased the BTU output for each burner to its maximum heating capacity; and he engineered the condensate process to ensure that there would be a constant flow of water at a constant temperature for all boilers. Other examples of Jim's ingenuity include the installation of a variable speed drive unit on the number one feed water pump that resulted in additional electrical consumption savings; redoing his staff's work schedule to reduce overtime caused by any unnecessary schedule overlap. Jim's efforts saved the facility $110,000 in fuel and electrical cost during FY 2004.

Staff of One Hathorne Circle - Hogan Regional Center

The staff at One Hathorne Circle played a significant role in changing the behavior of a 20 year old man who was aggressive and in his previous placement, had to be restrained or sent to a psychiatric hospital. Since a goal of this individual is to eventually transition to an adult group residence, the staff of One Hathorne Circle began to work on his behavioral issues. The staff got to know the young man and began to appreciate his sense of humor as well as to understand his cultural background and the role of his family. The staff always treated the young man and his family with respect. After four months, the young man's aggressive behavior decreased dramatically and he has been able to more fully participate in the daily routines of the residential unit. With the support of the One Hathorne Circle staff, this young man has moved closer to reaching his goal.

Dorothy Rotter - Clinical Coordinator of Habilitation Services - Wrentham Developmental Center

Throughout Dorothy's tenure as the Clinical Coordinator of Habilitation Services, the Wrentham Developmental Center has had virtually no Title XIX service deficiency cited in the area for which she is responsible. Because of her leadership, her staff has received a number of accolades for outstanding service delivery from the Department of Public Health, as well as, the Wrentham and EDCO administrations. Dorothy's cheerful and calming disposition has enabled her to offset the chaos of the workday and instill calmness through her intuitive understanding of resident and staff needs. Dorothy has worked tirelessly to leverage finite resources and help staff to become consummate clinicians.

Central Office

Lesley Boretti - Deputy Budget Director - Central Office

Lesley has done an extraordinary job over the past year in monitoring the DMR payroll that was in serious deficit at the beginning of the fiscal year. She did a remarkable job in keeping track of the various moving parts throughout the year and spent much time in developing reports with the information that managers needed for addressing the deficit. In addition, Lesley had to manage hundreds of payroll related transactions to ensure that the payroll account was balanced on June 30th. Lesley has put in many long and arduous days in making sure that all the information was accurate and timely. She often stayed well past 5pm, and she has been known to leave at 10pm or 11pm at night to accomplish her tasks. She has never complained and she always has a positive attitude. Lesley can always explain in great detail how she got to a budget projection because of the detailed analytical work she performs. Because of this attention to detail, Lesley has been an extremely credible budget analyst for the Department and has earned the respect of the top managers in the Department.

Randy Webster - Acting Director of Contract Services - Central Office

As a result of retirements in October 2003, Randy was asked and he accepted to serve as the "acting" Director of Contract Services while maintaining on-going communication and oversight of his other job as the Fall River Area Director. Randy provided strong leadership and quickly became an integral part of the Central Office management team. He not only provided tremendous support and guidance for the contracts staff but also in three major projects: DMR's Economics Project involving the creation of a new standard rate system for 24 hour residential programs; the Executive Office of Health and Human Services Purchase of Service Project for reforming the purchase of service system; and, DMR's internal reorganization project involving the review and improvements to the contract offices' procedures. Randy has done a superb job in not only balancing his two full-time jobs but jumping in and helping out substantively on contracting matters while the Department selects a new Director of Contracts.

Jack Rossini - EDP Systems Analyst III - Investigations Division - Central Office

Since Jack's hiring, he has continually enhanced the Division's database by making it more user friendly and efficient. He expanded its capability to process cases from regional offices; gave investigators read only access to the database to allow them to perform their duties without compromising security; made technical changes to produce significant time saving measures; and developed a series of reports that have been invaluable to the investigators as well as the Senior Staff of the Department. Without Jack's enhancements to the Investigations database, the Division would not have been able to keep up with its workload especially with the loss of numerous investigative positions over the past two years. In addition during gaps in administrative help due to cutbacks in the division, Jack has filled that vacuum by doing whatever was needed to process the incoming complaints of abuse and/or mistreatment. Jack has gone above and beyond his assigned duties to address a need even before he is asked.

DMR Central/West Regional Office Moves to New Location

The DMR Central/West Regional Office is now located at 171 State Avenue, Palmer, MA 01069. Their main telephone number is 413-284-1500.

DMR Announces Formation of DMR Health Advisory Committee

Commissioner Morrissey is pleased to announce the formation of a DMR Health Advisory Committee. In keeping with his long standing commitment to quality health care for individuals with mental retardation, the purpose of the committee will be to bring together the combined knowledge and experience of clinicians, providers, family members and advocates to advise the Department on health policy, practice and clinical issues in order to assure that individuals with mental retardation have the benefit of the best possible health care available. Invitations have been extended to prospective members and the first meeting is planned for the last week in September. The committee will meet quarterly and will be supported by staff from the Center for Developmental Disabilities Evaluation and Research (CDDER).

Statewide Family Support Council Established

Pursuant to the 2003-2004 statewide Family Support Plan that was developed under the auspices of Chapter 171 of the Acts of 2002, "An Act Providing Support to Individuals with Disabilities and Their Families," the Statewide Family Support Council has been established. The Council members are Julie Peck, Chris Peltier, Laura Casey, Jorge Pagan, Joyce A. Hayman-Devolve, Dianne Huggon, Susan Nadworny, Claude Desir, Dorothea Iannuzzi, Rosalie Eades, Evelyne Milorin, Anastasia Coulianos Mulvoy, Kevin Shields, Rebecca Goniwich, and Arthur Quigley.

The primary purposes of the Council are to advise the Department on issues that affect the well-being of families with family members who are living in the family home or who had recently transitioned from the family home, and to serve as the vehicle for receiving "substantial consultation," as required by the law, from individuals with disabilities and their families in crafting and implementing the Department's Annual Family Support Plan. The Council held its first meeting in mid-June and plans are underway to gather input from Council members on the Department's next Family Support Plan submission to the Legislature later this summer.

This information is provided by the Department of Developmental Services.