TO: The DMR Community
FROM: Gerry Morrissey
DATE: August 4, 2006
RE: Update 150

In Memory of Richard Krant

The DMR community lost a champion and a friend with the passing of Richard Krant on June 19, 2006. For over 47 years, Dick dedicated himself to helping make the mental retardation service system the best that it could be. As parent to a son who lives at the Wrentham Developmental Center, Dick served as guardian to other Wrentham residents. He was also a long-time member of the Statewide Advisory Council, the Regional and Area citizen advisory boards, a complaint resolution team, Wrentham Board of Trustees, the Wrentham Human Rights Committee, the Wrentham Parents' Association, and an officer in the Friends of Wrentham. Dick was tireless in his efforts to improve the quality of life for individuals with mental retardation. In addition, Dick served on the DMR Investigations Advisory Panel and the Task Force on Human Subject Research. Each of these committees produced recommendations that resulted in significant systemic changes in the mental retardation service system. In 2004, Dick was the recipient of the Gunnar Dybwad Leadership Award in recognition of his work on behalf of people with mental retardation and their families. His wise counsel and advocacy will be missed.

Fiscal Year 2007 Budget

The FY07 Final Budget for the Department of Mental Retardation is $1,172,535,806. This is a very good Budget that includes an additional $8 million in the Department of Education budget to continue funding the successful DOE/DMR project. This Final Budget includes an increase to $8.5 million in the T-22 account that annualizes in FY 08 to $17.6 million, an increase to $3 million in the Autism account, a $28 million salary reserve for health and human services providers, $5 million for FY07 new Rolland placements, and $2 million for the Residential Rate Initiative.

Below is a description by line item of the impact of the final budget.

5911-1000 - DMR Administration: $13,324,093

The DMR administration account is funded at $13,324,093. The increase of $434,000 from the FY06 appropriation will help cover collective bargaining increases and worker's compensation charges.

5920-2000 -Transportation Services: $14,052,195

The final budget funds the FY07 Transportation account at $14,052,195.

5920-1000 - Regional Administration: $55,914,599

The final budget funds the Regional Administration account at $55,914,599, and includes additional funds to cover collective bargaining increases.

5920-2000 - Community Residential: $524,742,492

The $524,742,492 in the final budget for the Community Residential account includes $6.7 million in annualized FY06 salary reserve dollars, $9.52 million of FY06 annualized Turning 22 dollars, $3.45 million of FY06 annualized Rolland dollars, and $5 million for new FY07 Rolland placements.

5920-2006 - Residential Rate Initiative: $2,000,000

The final budget provides $2 million to begin the implementation of the Residential Rate Initiative during FY07.

5920-2010 - Community State Operated Homes: $121,998,709

The final budget for the community state operated homes account is $121,998,709 which includes some funding for collective bargaining increases and projected fuel increase costs.

5920-2020 - Boulet Settlement: $86,361,602

The Boulet account is fully funded at $86,361,602 and includes $720,000 of annualized FY06 salary reserve dollars.

5920-2025 - Community Day and Employment Services: $117,434,430

The Day and Work account is fully funded at $117,434,430. This amount includes $2.72 million of FY06 Turning 22 annualized funding and $1.4 million of annualized FY06 salary reserve dollars.

5920-3000 - Family Support Services: $53,094,228

The Family Support account is fully funded at $53,094,228 and includes $1.36 million in FY06 Turning 22 annualized funding and $444 K in annualized FY06 salary reserve dollars.

5920-3010 - Autism Services: $3,000,000

The final budget funds autism services at $3,000,000. The additional $1.8 million increase above the FY06 funding level will help fund intensive supports for children with autism.

5920-5000 - Turning 22 Services: $8,500,000

The final budget for the Turning 22 account is $8,500,000. This amount will fund the supports for the individuals turning 22 in FY 07 which is projected to be nearly 600 (150 above the historical average), to be placed in FY07. Also, the language in the account does provide for the annualization to $17.6 million to serve these individuals in FY08.

5930-1000 - Facilities: $172,013,458

The $172 million for the Facilities account includes an increase that will help fund drug costs under Medicare Part D and projected increases in fuel costs.

5982-1000 - Templeton Farm: $100,000

The final budget for the Templeton Farm account remains the same as FY06 at $100,000.

DMRIS Update

The Metro Region, Hogan Regional Center and Fernald Developmental Center went live on Monday, July 17, 2006. All seems to be moving relatively smoothly. This is the last full implementation and all regions, facilities and relevant providers are now using HCSIS and all DMR offices and facilities are also using Meditech.

Recently, some DMR Central Office staff and consultants met with about 70 individuals from the facilities and went through their questions and issues regarding Meditech and HCSIS. An outcome of the meeting was the creation of a weekly conference call of Facility Contacts with key DMRIS staff. The purpose of this group is to begin to address the consistency practice questions that HCSIS and Meditech will pose and to begin to problem solve toward a consensual solution for all facilities. It is extremely important for the facilities to recognize when a change needs to be made, agree to it among all facilities and then work with the DMR Business Analysts to explore if the change is possible and what it would take to make it happen. It is not a simple or unilateral process. One of the representatives from this group will also sit on a Statewide Business Process group that will address issues across DMR facility, state op. and provider services.

DMR is now in the process of advancing development of the Investigations module, Survey and Certification, a Data Extract module, and an Enhanced Security module.

2006 Performance Recognition Winners

The Department is pleased to announce the 2006 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.

Rick O'Meara - Regional Director -Southeast Region

The Executive Offices of Public Safety and Health and Human Services were asked by Governor Romney to assist the victims of Hurricane Katrina. 230 individual were flown into Otis Air Force Base where temporary living quarters were provided for them. Rick volunteered to be part of this effort. Because of his leadership abilities and his compassion to make sure these individuals were given all the opportunities to help them manage their lives, he was named the Civilian Commander at the Air Force Otis Base. As the Civilian Commander, Rick coordinated all the various agency staff and volunteers with one goal in mind to assist the Katrina victims in getting settled into a more permanent environment. This feat was accomplished within 7 weeks. Rick has been also nominated for the Manual Carballo Award.

Lee Fiske - Gymnasium Coordinator - Wrentham Developmental Center

Lee over the past year has made three significant contributions to the health and well-being of all who live and work at the Wrentham Developmental Center. He was a key contributor to the renovation of the 12 station - 1 mile - fitness trail called the Par Course. Lee also worked diligently to ensure that a 21 station functional fitness circuit called "Swerves" was erected in the Quinn Program Center Gym. These fitness programs are available to residents and staff and have led to a healthy lifestyle for all who participate.

Cindy Brown - Director of Nursing and Health Services - Monson Developmental Center

Cindy's contributions over the past 35 years as a nursing leader have had a positive impact on the individuals that the Department serves. Cindy has done an excellent job in developing and maintaining high quality medical services in facility settings and advocating for the development of needed clinical supports in the community system.

Cynthia Fentross - Residential Supervisor - Metro Residential Services Respite Program

Over the past year, Cynthia has made great strides in managing the Respite Program. This program serves individuals who have highly challenging behavioral issues. Through Cynthia's efforts, there have been reductions in the number of major behavior incidents and industrial accident claims. In addition, the turnover rate for staff has been the lowest ever since she was promoted to this position a year and a half ago.

Sharon Oxx, Director of Health Services and Neil Lazarra, Waiver Coordinator - Central Office.

Over the past year, Sharon and Neil took it upon themselves to team up and learn as much as they could about the new and extremely complex Medicare Part D Drug Program. Because of their training efforts and interventions, thousands of individuals with mental retardation made the transition to the new drug program without losing any benefits and more importantly without their medications being interrupted.

Casey Quirk - Occupational Therapist - Northeast Region

Casey implemented a program that assists families with children who are diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder. In addition, Casey has written three manuals that serve to educate families about this disorder along with understanding what resources are available to them to provide assistance. Without Casey's efforts, many families in the Northeast Region would not be able to assist their children to have a better life.

Rebecca Anderson - Service Coordinator - NorthShore Area Office

Rebecca developed the Holiday Star Project for her office. This project helps to provide gifts to individuals that her office serves who would not necessarily receive them during the holiday season. Each year the office is decorated and there are stars that hang from a garland with items that individuals would like to get. Over the past year 65 individuals received gifts through Rebecca's efforts and more and more of these gifts have come from people dropping by from the community at large who want to donate.

Rebecca Christie and William Bornstein, Service Coordinators - NorthShore Area Office

Rebecca and William had the opportunity to assist a man and a woman whom they serve to ensure that their family stays together. This couple has had one child removed from the home by the Department of Social Services (DSS). While this was happening the woman was expecting another child. Rebecca and William worked with five different agencies, including DSS, to coordinate a comprehensive plan that enabled this child to remain with the couple. Currently, the couple is in the process of trying to get their other child back from DSS.

Rick Camara - Program Monitor - Central Middlesex Area Office

Because people with disabilities have limited opportunities to develop networks and connections for friendships, Rick thought it would be a good idea to start a group that would foster such situations. It became known as the "Lonely Hearts Club." There were staff from all disciplines and self advocates which met monthly to discuss ways to build networks. It culminated in a conference that was held on October 26, 2005 where over 200 individuals and staff attended. The event, " Creating and Supporting Connections," is now planned to continue as an annual event

Diane Ricchiazzi - Mental Retardation Worker II - Quabbin Residential Program

Diane is a person who only works 20 hours but she makes all 20 hours count. As a shift supervisor, she well respected by her co-workers. What places Diane apart for others is not only her attention to detail around the house but the extra things that she does that makes the house a home for the men who live there.

Kelly Lawless - North Shore Area Director

Kelly has worked extremely hard to create unique work opportunities for the individuals that her office serves. She has hired four individuals to work in part time clerical positions that she developed in her office. All four of the individuals selected have become quite successful in this environment; in fact, two of them were nominated last year to receive the Individual Recognition Awards. Kelly has worked hard to make sure that these individuals have been integrated into the daily social fabric of office life as well as professionally.

Elaine Sinni and Dolores Packard, Service Coordinators - Cape Cod & Islands Area Office

Listening to the individuals that they serve, Elaine and Dolores heard that they did not have many social outlets in their communities. Elaine and Dolores developed Planet Network as one answer to this problem. Planet Network is a group of individuals and staff who meet twice a month and plan activities such as line dancing, bingo and jewelry making and to highlight an individual's talents. The group started with 13 individuals but now has grown to 40. The continuous goal of Planet Network is to have individuals become more independent in socializing in the communities where they live.

Karin Howard, MRW II, Kathy McBride, MRWI, Sue Barthelette, MRWI and Cindy Kos, MRW I - Commonwealth Program

Karin, Kathy, Sue and Cindy provided extraordinary care for one of the woman that they serve during a time of need. The woman needed a total hip replacement which was to be done in Boston. Because of the incredible dedication to their jobs, these four women gave up time from their own families by working 12 hour shifts and commuting to and from Boston during an 8 day period to make sure that the individual had a supportive environment while undergoing the medical procedure.

Linda Fratamico, Residential Supervisor and Gary Poehler MRW - Hampden CountyProgram

Linda and Gary made the extra effort to help a gentleman who had moved into the Hampden County Program in 2003. This gentleman had a quiet demeanor and it took some time before he told Gary about a sister he had not seen for many years. After much work by both Linda and Gary along with clues from the gentleman, they found his sister living in Connecticut. They had not seen each other for 37 years and had much catching up to do. Linda and Gary did not give up even though they were some obstacles in the way to reunite this man and his sister.

Larry Tummino, Assistant Commissioner for Field Operations, Ann Marie Stanton, Database Specialist, Victor Hernandez, Senior Project Manager, Ralph Edwards, Director Of Citizen Leadership, Kathleen Gallagher, Deputy General Counsel, Marianne Meacham, General Counsel and Margaret Chow-Menzer, Assistant Commissioner for Systems Integration Management.- Central Office - Statewide Boulet Administration Team

This team of Larry, Ann Marie, Victor, Ralph, Kathleen, Marianne and Margaret worked diligently and painstakingly over the past five years to ensure that a court settlement agreement was adhered to not only in the letter of the agreement but as importantly in its spirit. The Department needed to arrange for 2,225 placements and 210 day supports for those individuals who were on the "waiting list" for out-of-home residential services. Each member of this team had a special job to do and did with an eye to exacting detail as well as to make sure what was done was the right thing to do for each individual and the Department as a whole.

Daniel Mullen- LPN II, Adeline Felix - MRW I, Marie Clerger - MRW I, Wayne Johnson - MRW I, Linsfort Francois - MRW I, Sheila Saint-Fleur - MRW I, Marie Desire - MRW I, Theresa Lacroix - MRW I, Elizabeth Cefalo - MRW I, Cracieuse Jean-Louis - MRW I, Renel Antoine - MRW I, George Thermidor -MRW I, Abednego Cetoute - MRW II, Yves Rigaud - MRW II, Samuel Falaye, MRW II, Yolette Dodard, MRW II, Jacqueline Cayemite - MRW II, Jacky Michael -MRW II, Jeffrey Haggerty - MRW II, Mahamed Jamil, Residential Supervisor - South Boston Staff, Metro Residential Services

This team provided care and comfort around the clock for an individual in their house who suffered from liver cancer. They worked closely with the family so that he could receive hospice care in order for him to die with dignity. The team attended trainings on how to cope with death and dying but most of all they sat by the gentleman's bedside to comfort him and to keep him pain free during his last days. Their effort on his behalf is the embodiment of the mission of the Department.

Region Brad Keddal, Director of Program Development - Metro Region

Brad was instrumental to the Metro Region's success in meeting its Boulet Settlement placement goals year after year. At the end of the five years, over 1,000 individuals were moved to new homes that are well-suited for their preferences and needs. Brad's talents lie in his organizational skills, attention to detail and data management. He developed tracking systems and produced reports and charts that made it easier for the Area Offices to concentrate on what they do best - placing the individuals.

Susan Weiner, Director of Occupational Therapy - NorthShore Enterprises - Hogan Regional Center

When Linda Montminy was asked to serve as the Fernald Facility Director as well as continue in her capacity as the Hogan Facility Director, she asked Susan to help restructure the day programs at Fernald. Working two days a week at Fernald while maintaining her hectic schedule at Hogan, Susan's excellent leadership, organizational and clinical skills resulted in the Fernald day programs achieving a greatly improved rating in the latest annual Title XIX survey.

Jackie Johnson, Administrative Assistant to the Facility Director - Templeton Developmental Center.

Jackie has worked with Patty Lyons, the Templeton Facility Director, for the past 17 years. Jackie has continually developed new skills and taken on new duties with great enthusiasm and dedication to detail. Along with performing her administrative duties, Jackie serves as Templeton's liaison with the Legal Unit on guardianship cases, and liaison with the Human Rights Committee. She is the MIS expert at the facility and has recently taken the lead in assisting staff on DMRIS initiatives. When Patty Lyons is absent, Jackie is the go to person for Templeton staff because she either knows the answer or can quickly find out who does.

Heidi Freeman, RNIV - Charles River West Area Office

Over the past year, the Charles River West Area Office had identified a significant number of individuals with complex and critical health care issues who were receiving less than optimal care. Heidi, whose warm and caring manners along with her candid clinical support in medical and health care issues, took on the task of contacting these individuals and their families. By using various strategies and with the help of a team of professionals was successful in raising the level health care for these individuals by the end of the year.

HCBS Waiver - Stakeholders Meetings

The Department of Mental Retardation is making plans to re-design how we fund and deliver community based services. The Department has scheduled Stakeholders Meetings to present information on plans to change and enhance the current Medicaid Home and Community Based Waiver that funds community based services. The meetings will solicit input from individuals, families, and other stakeholders that will be used to shape the community service system.

The Stakeholders Meetings are scheduled as follows: July 14 th from 1 pm to 4 pm at the Mass Bay College Auditorium in Wellesley; July 18 th from 4pm to 7 pm at Angelica's in Middleton; July 27 th from 4 pm to 7 pm at Best Western in West Springfield; August 2 nd from 4 pm to 7 pm at the Holiday Inn in Taunton; August 9 th from 4 pm to 7 pm at the Holiday Inn in Worcester; August 15 th from 4 pm to 7 pm at the Holiday Inn Select in Woburn; and August 17 th from 4 pm to 7 pm at the Mass Bay College Auditorium in Wellesley. You can go to the DMR Website, and click on HCBS Waiver under Key Initiatives to get more information about Waiver Program and these meetings.

Living Well

The Summer 2006 issue of Living Well, the DMR Health and Safety Newsletter is now posted on the DMR Website, Click on Publications, DMR Reports to get to the Living Well Newsletter. Included in this latest issue are a picnic checklist, signs of dehydration, water safety and car/van safety tips.

Family to Family Celebration

Family to Family celebrated "A Decade of Advocacy and Achievement: 1996 - 2006," on July 25, 2006. Family to Family is a broad based coalition of three groups: Arc Massachusetts, Citizens Advisory Boards of the Department of Mental Retardation and Massachusetts Families Organizing for Change. The Family to Family Centers, Steering Committee, Advisory Committee and Staff were recognized for their roles in the successful transitions and placements of individuals under the Boulet Settlement.

Paulette Watson Honored by Braintree Special Needs Committee

Paulette Watson, DMR Children Services Coordinator was awarded the Citizen of the Year 2006 by the Braintree Special Needs Committee. Paulette was honored in recognition of her work in starting up the "Super Saturdays" Recreation Program which provides recreational and social opportunities for Braintree special needs children.

This information is provided by the Department of Developmental Services.