TO: The DMR Community
FROM: Gerry Morrissey
DATE: March 18, 2005
RE: Update 143

FY06 HOUSE 1 Recommendations Released

The Governor released the FY 2006 Budget House 1 recommendation on January 26th. The Budget filed by Governor Mitt Romney provides the Department of Mental Retardation with a very favorable appropriation for FY 2006. It will maintain the level of services the Department provided in FY 2005 and meet the requirements of the Boulet, Rolland and Ricci court orders. The Department s total FY06 budget, including $7.5 million from Department of Education, is $1.13 billion. The FY 2006 House 1 Budget represents an overall increase of $58.3 million or a 5 percent increase over FY 2005.

5911-1000 Administration - $12,780,909
The Administration account is funded at $12,780,909. Approximately 70% is budgeted to cover the Department?s employee-related chargebacks (Workers Compensation, Medicaid, Unemployment Insurance, and Universal Health) with the remainder covering payroll for administrative staff. This account has been reduced by $321,000 which corresponds to a decrease in the Unemployment Insurance charge that went into effect on January 1, 2005.

5911-2000 Transportation - $13,882,269
The Transportation account is recommended to be funded at $13,882,269 to provide transportation services to consumers who attend day services and programs.

5920-1000 Regional Administration - $53,853,237
The Regional Administration account has a recommended increase of $1.5 million to fund anticipated chargeback increases and mandatory salary increases in FY06.

5920-2000 Community Residential - $499,491,126
The Community Residential account has an additional $23.7 million recommended for FY06. This includes funding for approximately 100 FY06 Rolland placements, annualization of the FY04 Rolland placements, annualization of the FY05 Turning-22, and annualization of the FY05 POS provider salary reserve dollars.

5920-2010 Community State Operated - $119,978,807
The Community State Operated account has a recommended $6.7 million increase that will cover collective bargaining and mandatory payroll increases, and anticipated payroll related chargeback increases in FY06.

5920- 2020 Boulet Settlement - $85,614,227
This account was fully funded at the $85.6 million recommendation. This amount includes new funding for 375 additional placements in FY06 and annualization of the FY05 POS provider salary reserve dollars.

5920-2025 Day Services - $113,106,979
The Day Services account has a recommended $3.9 million increase that covers the annualization of FY05 Turning 22 placements and annualization of FY05 POS provider salary reserve dollars.

5920-3000 Respite Services - $50,789,967
The Respite account has a recommended $1.9 million increase that includes annualization of family support for the FY05 Turning 22 group.

5920-5000 Turning 22 - $6,467,670
The Turning 22 account is recommended to be funded at $6,467,670 for new placements and supports for individuals turning 22 in FY06.

5930-1000 Facilities - $166,072,065
The Facility account has a recommended $5.8million increase for FY06 that will cover collective bargaining and payroll increases, as well as, anticipated payroll related chargeback increases in FY 06.

DOE/DMR Project - $7,500,000
House 1 includes the earmark of $7.5 million in the DOE budget for DMR to provide services to children to help prevent out of home and out of district costly school placements.

DMR State House Event Set for March 25th at 10:00 a.m.

On Friday March 25, 2005, the Department of Mental Retardation, in conjunction with the DMR Statewide Advisory Council and the Statewide Family Support Council, will celebrate "March is MR/DD Month" with an event that will be held in the Great Hall of the State House in Boston.

This year's theme is "Celebrating Families: Many Voices, Many Choices" and focuses on Family Support. The celebration will honor families that have supported their family member with a disability and highlight the varied ways that Family Support has benefited and made a difference in the lives of families and communities throughout the Commonwealth. The event will take place from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

For more information, contact Ralph Edwards at 617-624-7755 or email him at:

DMR Issues Quality Assurance Report for Fiscal Years 2002 and 2003

DMR recently published its Quality Assurance Report for Fiscal Years 2002 and 2003. The report is structured around 12 major outcomes that have been identified as important indicators of service quality and system performance by both internal and external stakeholders. The report derives its information from quality assurance systems and databases that DMR uses. The report points out areas where DMR is performing well as well as areas where improvements may be needed. It will be the focus of the statewide and regional quality councils scheduled to start meeting at the end of February. Membership on the councils will include DMR staff, families, self-advocates, representatives from advisory groups, and providers.

The publication of the Quality Assurance Report is an important component of the Department's commitment to quality and service improvement. The report will serve to further an open dialogue on quality and, most importantly, serve to improve the quality of life of individuals with mental retardation. For more information, contact Gail Grossman at

Update on DMRIS Project

DMRIS is the new information system that the Department of Mental Retardation will be implementing through the Summer of 2006 to take the place of about 37 other systems we now use to collect, analyze and report on data. It is an acronym for Department of Mental Retardation Information System. It will consist primarily of the Meditech software system and the Home and Community Services Information System (HCSIS).

The Meditech component of DMRIS is presently being implemented in the Northeast Region of DMR. New personal computers have been installed, the software is being loaded, the system is being built and the users in the Northeast are being trained. The Northeast Region and Central Office are scheduled to go-live with the new Meditech component on or about April 4, 2005. At that time, for the Northeast, no new information will be actively entered into CRS, only into Meditech.

Once the Northeast Region and Central Office are up and running, the Meditech Team will move to the Central West Region for the same set of development and training activities for a go-live date of July 1, 2005. Finally the Southeast and Metro regions will go live on November 1, 2005. Facilities will follow in early 2006.

Meanwhile the Department is in the process of finalizing the contract that will bring HCSIS from Pennsylvania to Massachusetts. HCSIS will represent the core of our Quality Management System. Incident Reporting, Medication Occurrences, Restraints, Deaths, and Investigations will be handled through this system which allows private providers, state operated programs and facilities to report over the Internet and have that information electronically captured by the HCSIS component of DMRIS. This will enable DMR to receive prompt notification of these types of events and for DMR staff to have complete pictures of what is happening to the people we support. Roll-out of the HCSIS component of DMRIS is scheduled for the Fall of 2005. DMR is in the process of constituting a Standards Team for the HCSIS systems.

DMR plans to have the complete DMRIS operational in the Summer of 2006. If you have any questions, feel free to contact Hans Toegel at DMR at

Holyoke/Chicopee Celebration of MRDD Month

To celebrate Mental Retardation/Developmental Disabilities Month, the Holyoke/Chicopee Area DMR Citizen Advisory Board will be holding its' annual recognition event on March 29, 2005 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Moose Family Center, 244 Fuller Road in Chicopee. The theme of the event is "Making a Difference for Families: Family Support Workers who go above and beyond". For more information regarding the event please contact Robin Harmatz, Area Director at 413-535-1022.

Holyoke/Chicopee Seminars The Holyoke/Chicopee Family Support Coalition, Padres Unidos En Accion and the DMR Holyoke Chicopee Area Office will be presenting a seminar series entitled "Exploring the Cultural Context of Disability" at Elms College. The seminars are scheduled for March 17: Cultural Competence: Developing Self Awareness; May 19: Puerto Rico: A Short History of its People, Culture, and Politics; June 2: Immigration and Refugee Services and the Somali Culture; and June 16: Vietnam and the Vietnamese People. For more information, please contact Chris Lynch at the Holyoke/Chicopee Area Office at 413-535-1022.

John Anton Awarded Fellowship

John Anton, a person supported by the Merrimack Valley Area Office has been awarded the Barbara Wilensky Gopen Memorial Fellowship for the upcoming year. This fellowship offers the recipient the opportunity to work with members of the Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Network Programs. Mr. Anton's application for the fellowship focused on developing his talents as a motivational speaker based on his own self development. His dream is to encourage people with disabilities to participate in local, regional and statewide self advocacy groups as well as to learn about legislative advocacy. Employee Recognition Event at Central West Region The Central-West Region held its' Employee Recognition Event on November 19, honoring staff for job excellence and years of service. Staff members receiving Regional Recognition Awards were as follows: Residential/Direct Support Category: Melissa Syriak and Mary Thompson of Commonwealth Community Services; Administrative Category: Marcy Devanski from the Springfield/Westfield Area Office and Lynn Dubour from the Regional Office; Professional Category: Richard Costigan from the Worcester Area Office, Martha Roberts of the South Valley Area Office, and Howard Sands from the North Central Area Office; Work Team Category: Barbara Mucciarone and Dawn Tatro of Regional Employment Services; also Edward LaPlante and Paul Campeau from the Regional Office.

Many staff were also recognized for their years of service to the Commonwealth. Thirty-year recipients were Mark Barrett, Leonard Beaton, Kathleen Biastoff, Terry Blanchard, Robin Gentile, Jessie Green, Marie Lebida, James Mitchell, and Beverly Rooney. Nickie Chandler and Cheryl Jones were honored for thirty five years of service.

Update on Ricci case

In July of 2004, Class Counsel for the Fernald, Belchertown and Monson class members filed a Motion to Reopen and Restore [the Ricci] Case to the Active Docket. Among other things, the Fernald Plaintiffs alleged that the proposed closure of the Fernald Developmental Center violated the Final Order entered by Judge Tauro in 1993. Hearings on the motion were held on November 10th and November 15th 2004, and most recently on January 20th, 2005. During this period, the parties worked together to craft an agreement that would address Plaintiffs' concerns about how ISPs and placement discussions were occurring at Fernald, and presented the agreement to the Court. The parties agreed that at Fernald, placement would be discussed in a separate meeting from the annual ISP, and that if the individual or guardian chose to be represented by Class Counsel, notice would be given to counsel of the placement planning meetings.

The Court praised both parties for their work and advocacy on behalf of Ricci class members and the progress achieved since the filings of these cases, and urged the parties to continue to work together to resolve any issues related to the Court Order. The Judge declined to re-open the case, but cautioned the Department to continue its adherence to the Final order. He promised that his interest in the quality of care and the adherence to the ISP process and regulations would continue.

On February 24, 2005, Commissioner followed up with a letter to the families and guardians of Fernald residents that reads, <see Fernald Guardian Letter - February 24, 2005 (PDF) pdf format of fernald-guardian-letter.pdf
or as a RTF rtf format of fernald-guardian-letter.rtf
file size 1MB>.

For further information, you may contact the DMR Legal Office at 617-624-7702.

This information is provided by the Department of Developmental Services.