TO: The DMR Community
FROM: Elin M. Howe
DATE: September 19, 2007
RE: Update 154

Message from Commissioner Elin M. Howe

In the weeks since I assumed my position, I have had the pleasure of meeting with many individuals, families, providers, DMR staff and others. There is much that I have learned and there is much that we can do together in helping DMR achieve its mission of creating innovative and genuine opportunities for individuals to participate fully and meaningfully in, and contribute to, their communities as valued members.

One of my priorities as commissioner is to ensure effective and timely communication with our greater DMR community. I have visited DMR offices and heard from our regional, area and facility staff about the rewards and challenges of their work. I have also met with representatives from our provider community. Over the next several weeks I will be convening town meetings and asking individuals and families to share with me their thoughts, ideas, hopes and concerns about the Department and our service delivery system. Stakeholder input and feedback are important to me. Service improvement cannot happen in a vacuum. Please join me and the Department as we work to promote independence and self direction by creating services and supports options that are more responsive to the needs and preferences of individuals and families. The schedules for the town meetings are listed below. Please be sure to RSVP to the person identified for the meeting you wish to attend. Space is limited and we want to be sure that we can accommodate as many interested persons as possible.

Town Meetings with Citizen Advisory Board Members

Central West: Thursday, September 27, 2007 at 6:00 PM
Central/West Regional Office, Conf. Rm. D
RSVP to Linde Skowronek at 413-284-5066 or Linde.Skowronek@dmr.state.ma.us

Northeast: Wednesday, October 24, 2007 at 5:00 PM
Northeastern University, Burlington Campus
RSVP to Kathy Pearson at 978-774-5000, ext 598

Southeast: Thursday, November 1, 2007 at 6:00 PM
Holiday Inn, Taunton
RSVP to Jennifer Bruce at 508-866-5000

Metro: Monday, October 15, 2007
Greater Boston Area Office, Hyde Park
RSVP to Olga Page at 781-314-7525 or Olga.Page@state.ma.us

Town Meetings with Families

Western MA: Monday, October 29, 2007 at 6:30 PM
Sovereign Hotel, West Springfield
RSVP to Anne Carman at 413-284-1558

Central MA: Monday, November 5, 2007 at 6:30 PM
Worcester State College, Worcester , Blue Lounge
RSVP to Anne Carman at 413-284-1558

Northeast: Wednesday, November 7, 2007 at 6:30 PM
Holiday Inn, Woburn
RSVP to Kathy Pearson at 978-774-5000, ext 598

Southeast: Monday, October 22, 2007 at 6:30 PM
Holiday Inn, Taunton
RSVP to Jennifer Bruce at 508-866-5000

Metro: Thursday, October 4, 2007 at 6:00 PM
Mass Bay Community College, Wellesley
RSVP to Olga Page at 781-314-7525 or Olga.Page@state.ma.us

Town Meetings with Self Advocates

Western MA: Monday, October 29, 2007 at 4:00 PM
Sovereign Hotel, West Springfield
RSVP to Anne Carman at 413-284-1558

Central MA : Monday, November 5, 2007 at 4:00 PM
Worcester State College, Worcester , Blue Lounge
RSVP to Anne Carman at 413-284-1558

Northeast: Wednesday, October 17, 2007 at 7:00 PM
North Shore Community College , Danvers
RSVP to Mass Advocates Standing Strong at 1-866-426-2253

Southeast: Monday, October 22, 2007 at 4:00 PM
Holiday Inn, Taunton
RSVP to Jennifer Bruce at 508-866-5000

Metro: To Be Determined

Rosemary Bevins to Receive the Carballo Award

The Department of Mental Retardation is proud to announce that Rosemary A. Bevins, Deputy Facility Director at the Hogan Regional Center is being honored with the 2007 Manuel Carballo Governor's Award for Excellence in Public Service. This award is given annually to no more than ten state employees who exemplify the highest standards of public service. Rosemary's belief in people with disabilities and her advocacy, direction and knowledge have enabled them to be the best that they can be. Through her work with Area Office and NRS staff, individuals in crises are provided a stable environment at Hogan and helped in transitioning back to the community with on-going support and resources to ensure success. There are many examples of individuals whose dreams of living and remaining in the community are realized because of her commitment and dedication in supporting individuals with disabilities. Congratulations, Rosemary.

Kelley Assistive Technology Center to Host Workshop

On September 27, 2007, the Kelley Assistive Technology Center in Danvers will host, "Getting Home and Staying Home," a workshop for clinicians and caseworkers on home safety evaluations and adaptive equipment to consider for individuals moving to a new residence. Contact Karen Mann at 978-774-5005, ext. 215 or email her at Karen.Mann@state.ma.us for more information, including how to register.

2nd Annual DMR Diversity Conference

The second Annual DMR Diversity Conference will be held on October 17, 2007 at Devens Common Center in Devens , MA. This year's theme is "Moving Forward," and the keynote speakers will be Tawara Goode, Director of the National Center for Cultural Competence at Georgetown University , and David Tulin of DiversiTeam Associates. DMR staff can register on PACE at comasskcprod.mksi-lms.com/DMR.

M.N.I.P. Annual Meeting to Be Held on November 2nd

New England Index, Shriver Center of the University of Massachusetts Medical School will be convening its annual meetings of M.N.I.P.s (Massachusetts Network of Information Providers) on Friday, November 2, 2007 at Hoagland-Pincus Conference Center in Shrewsbury . Jean McGuire, Assistant Secretary of Disability Policy and Programs, EOHHS, will give the keynote address. Also on the program are presentations on new initiatives in information and referral, including the Aging and Disability Resource Coalition (ADRC), Massachusetts Aging and Disability Information Locator (MADIL) and the Springfield Community Access Network (SCAN 360).

M.A.S.S. Celebrates 10th Anniversary on November 3rd

Massachusetts Advocates Standing Strong will celebrate its 10 th anniversary at its annual conference which will be held on Saturday, November 3, 2007 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, 10 Lincoln Square , Worcester , MA . This year's theme is "A Celebration of Self Advocacy, Looking Forward by Looking Back." DMR Commissioner Elin M. Howe will be this year's keynote speaker. For more information, contact M.A.S.S. at 508-747-8111 or email: mass1998@earthlink.net.

UYCP Celebrates 16th Year

The Urban Youth Collaborative Program (UYCP) just completed its 16th year of operation with more than 260 young adults participating. This year the program had one intern working at every DMR state -operated residence and facility in the state. Highlights this year included the annual get-together held at the Templeton Developmental Center where the interns got the chance to meet and share with each other their experiences in the program over a barbecue and team exercises and the annual state house event held on August 9 th where DMR Commissioner Howe presented certificates of appreciation to each intern, and the Paulette Anjorin Community Service Award was given to former DMR Commissioner Gerry Morrissey, the Steven E. Collins Leadership Awards to Bethany Erickson and Melissa Davey, and the Current Service Awards to Robert Bermingham and Shirley Porcena.

Direct Support Professional Conference Held on March 20th

The Northeast Region's Regional Training Council in partnership with Middlesex, North Shore and Northern Essex Community College co-sponsored its fourth Direct Support Professional Conference, "DSP: The Key to Quality Lives." This year's conference, attended by 171 people, was held at the Danvers Campus of North Shore Community College. The Program Directors of the DMR/Community College's Direct Support Certificate Program and the Regional Training Council welcomed conference participants. NE Region DMR Regional Director Mandy Chalmers and North Shore Community College President Wayne Burton extended their welcome. Anjalique Lanngren, Direct Support Certificate 2003 graduate, North Shore Community College, served as the moderator for the conference. The conference day included a keynote presentation, " The Direct Support Professional: The Key to Quality Lives" presented by DMR Commissioner Gerald Morrissey. Conference attendees enjoyed a day of learning and professional development, selecting from 10 different workshops, a day of networking and opportunities to meet peers, a day of renewal and commitment, and a day of recognition and celebration for their invaluable work supporting people with developmental disabilities.

Creating and Supporting Connections Conference

On April 10, 2007, more than 100 individuals attended the DMR Northeast Region's 2nd Annual Creating and Supporting Connections Conference. This conference promoted the importance of and practical ways to create and maintain meaningful community integration and connections and relationships for people with developmental disabilities. Jack Yates, People Inc, delivered the keynote address which led to a discussion by a panel of self-advocates and practitioners. A regional work group, chaired by Rick Camara of the Central Middlesex Area Office, sponsored this conference and continues its work to foster effective and meaningful social connections and community integration for persons with developmental disabilities.

Guardianship and Benefits Conference Held in Danvers

The Northeast Regional Training Council sponsored the Guardianship and Benefits Conference for family members, provider staff and DMR employees on May 1, 2007. Family members and staff were invited to learn more about guardianships and benefits for individuals supported by DMR. The morning workshop focused on an overview of guardianships for individuals with mental retardation (presenters: A panel presentation, including Douglas White, Esq., Assistant General Counsel & Elise Kopley, Esq., Assistant General Counsel, DMR N.E. Region; John Higgins, Ed.D., Designated Forensic Psychologist, Northeast Region DMR and Paula Potvin, LICSW, NE Region DMR Risk Manager. The afternoon workshop focused on benefits for persons with mental retardation (presenter: Brain Forsythe, Benefits Specialist, Resource Partnership).

Northeast Region's 2007 Individual Recognition Celebration

On June 14, 2007, DMR's Northeast Region held its annual Individual Recognition Reception where 34 individuals were recognized and honored for their personal achievements. Family, friends, and staff joined in celebrating these 34 people's self-directed lives. Achievements honored included the embodiment of the ideals of self-determination in one's life as well as contributions to one's community and society. The well-attended evening was co-hosted by Regional Director Mandy Chalmers and Assistant Commissioner for Field Operations Larry Tummino.



This information is provided by the Department of Developmental Services.