TO: The DMR Community
FROM: Gerry Morrissey
DATE: May 12, 2005
RE: Update 144

House FY06 Budget Recommendation

On Apri1 29, 2005, the House of Representatives completed deliberations on their Fiscal Year 2006 budget recommendation. The House Budget provides the Department of Mental Retardation with a very favorable appropriation for FY 2006. The budget recommends $1.122 billion for the Department of Mental Retardation and an additional $7.5 million in the Department of Education budget to continue funding the successful DOE/DMR project. The House budget for DMR is $576,217 more than the amount in House 1 and includes a line item that funds Autism Services in the amount of $1 million. The budget fully annualizes the FY05 costs for the Boulet Settlement and the FY05 Turning 22 placements, and it fully funds Rolland placements. The budget now goes to the Senate for its recommendation.

Below is a description, by line-item, of the impact of the House budget.

5911-1000 Administration - $12,799,349
The House budget funds the DMR Administration account at $12,799,349.

5911-2000 Transportation - $13,882,269
The House budget funds the Transportation account at $13,882,269. This account is funded at the House 1 level.

5920-1000 Regional Administration - $53,490,519
The House budget funds the Regional Administration account at $53,490,519 which is a reduction of $362,718 from House 1.

5920-2000 Community Residential - $499,419,626
The House recommends $499,419,626 which is $71,500 less than the House 1 recommendation for the Community Residential Account. This amount includes funding for FY06 Rolland placements, annualization of the FY05 Rolland placements, and annualization of the FY05 Turning 22.

5920-2010 Community State Operated - $119,556,581
The House budget funds the State Operated account at $119,556,581 which is $422,226 lower than the House 1 recommendation.

5920- 2020 Wait List - Boulet Settlement - $85,614,227
The House recommends $85 million which will fully fund the account as required by the Boulet Settlement Agreement.

5920-2025 Day Services - $113,106,979
The House recommends $113,106,979 for the Day Services account. This account is funded at the House 1 level.

5920-3000 Family Support/Respite Services - $51,289,967
The House budget funds the Family Support account at $51,289,967. This account includes a $500,000 increase over House 1 recommendations.

5920-3010 Autism Services - $1,000,000
The House recommends $1,000,000 for this new account which will fund contracted services for families with children with autism. There is explicit language stating that this service is not an entitlement.

5920-5000 Turning 22 - $6,467,670
The Turning 22 account is funded at the same level from both FY05 and House 1.

5930-1000 Facilities - $165,986,286
The House budget funds the Facilities account at $165,986,286.

5982-1000 Templeton - $100,000
The Templeton retained revenue account is funded at the same level as FY05 by the House and will allow the Department to continue selling milk. The funds are used to maintain the farm equipment at Templeton.

May and June Regional Town Meetings Status of DMR Strategic Plan

In the month of May and June, Commissioner Gerry Morrissey and his senior staff will hold regional town meetings to present DMR's Strategic Plan efforts. There will be five Town Meetings: 1) The Northeast Region's town meeting will be held on May 19th at Angelica's, 49 South Main Street (Route 114), Middleton, MA; 2) The Metro Region's town meeting will be held on May 23rd at the Charles River Arc, Merrit Building, Needham, MA; 3) The first Central West Region's town meeting will be held on June 21th at the Holiday Inn in Worcester, 4) The second Central West Region's town meeting will be held on June 22nd at the Best Western in West Springfield; and 5) the Southeast Region's town meeting will be held on June 29th at the Holiday Inn in Taunton.

DMR Human Rights Conference set for June 9th and 10th

The 21st Annual DMR Human Rights Conference will take place on June 9 and 10 at the DCU Center in Worcester, formerly known as the Worcester Centrum. The title for this year's conference is "It Starts With Dignity." The keynotes for the two day event include Dick Sobsey, on June 9, is a researcher and advocate who is well published in issues of abuse of persons with disabilities, and Joe Meadours, on June 10, a self-advocate who works for the State of Alabama Mental Retardation agency.

DMR Honors 17 Individuals and Families at March 25th MRDD Ceremony

The theme this year was "Celebrating Families: Many Voices, Many Choices." More than three hundred individuals, families, friends, and legislators attended the event which was hosted by Boston University's Ted O'Brien. EOHHS Secretary Ron Preston and House Ways and Means Chair Robert DeLeo spoke at the event. Seventeen families from across the state were recognized for how they used Family Support to enhance their family's natural capacity to support their family members with a disability and to enable them to fully participate in community life.

Emily Murgo Nisenbaum and James Brett were presented the 2005 Gunnar Dybwad

Leadership Award by Commissioner Gerry Morrissey. Emily Murgo Nisenbaum was recognized for her leadership of Massachusetts Families Organizing for Change, her role in empowering families to partner with the Department through the Leadership Series and in establishing flexible family support services. James Brett was recognized for his strong leadership and advocacy for people with mental retardation in the many roles that he has filled over the past two decades, including, as a member of the Massachusetts Legislature, President and CEO of the New England Council, Chairperson of the Governor's Commission on Mental Retardation and as a member of the President's Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities.

Changes in the DMR Legal Office

There has been one promotion and two new attorneys added to the DMR legal office. The new Regional Attorney for Metro Region, John Mitchell, has a rich and varied background that includes representation of hospitals in petitions for commitments and guardianships and criminal prosecution as an assistant district attorney in Middlesex County. The new Regional Attorney for the Northeast Region, Douglas White, comes to DMR with 20 years experience as a trial lawyer handled criminal cases, personal injury, domestic relations, landlord tenant, estate planning, and wills and trusts. He is also a Certified Superior Court Advocate and Sexual Offender Registry Board Advocate.

Peter Mimmo who worked as a paralegal for the DMR Legal Office has been promoted to assistant general counsel after successfully passing the Massachusetts Bar Exam earlier this year. Peter joins the Central Office team of lawyers in providing legal advice and support to DMR particularly in the areas of employment and labor law.

Southern Worcester Legislative Breakfast

The South Valley DMR Advisory Board and the Southern Worcester County ARC (Center of Hope) will hold their "Annual Legislative Breakfast & Employer Recognition" on Friday, May 13, 2005, in Webster. Senator Karen Spilka, Chair of the new Committee for Children & Families, is the guest speaker who will address issues important to people with disabilities.

Karyn Dion Honored by Arc of Massachusetts

Karyn Dion, South Coastal Area Director, has been chosen as recipient of a 2005 Arc of Massachusetts Distinguished Citizen Award. These awards are presented annually to individuals and organizations that demonstrate a significant contribution to persons with cognitive and developmental disabilities. Karyn will receive her award at a ceremony at the State House on May 18, 2005. Congratulations Karyn!

DMRIS Update

On Monday, April 11, 2005 at 9:00 a.m., DMRIS went live in the Northeast Region. Business Analysts, Superior Consultants, and Training Staff were present in each Area Office as Service Coordinators, Administrative Staff and Managers turned on their computers and logged in to Meditech for the first time. Now, instead of making changes in CRS, staff is actively using Meditech to record all new information about people they support.

From this point forward, any ISPs or demographic changes to individuals' information would be conducted in the Meditech environment. We now have a major part of our integrated data system that will become almost complete when we have HCSIS implemented. HCSIS (Home and Community Services Information System) is the system we are getting from Pennsylvania that will house most of our Incident Management and Quality Management processes and information.

The first week of "live" was amazingly smoothly, thanks to the individuals mentioned above who were deployed on-site at the regional and area offices to help with questions and problems. What no one saw, however, was the work of about 20 people back at Central Office working quickly and carefully to enter critical information about the 1,500 individuals in the Northeast so that data would be available for Service Coordinators on that Monday morning. Lots of thanks to the input team!

Meanwhile, the implementation team is already busy with activities and trainings for the Central West Region. That region is scheduled to "Go Live" on July 1, 2005. The added challenge comes with the billing component of Meditech also going live on the same date and the criticality of synchronizing with the fiscal year cutover. Lots of work to do yet to make sure that happens smoothly.

We will provide you further progress of DMRIS implementation in future issues of UPDATE.

Wrentham Developmental Center Recognition Events

On Saturday, May 14th, the Wrentham Developmental Center will hold its annual volunteer recognition brunch at Lake Pearl Luciano's in Wrentham to honor the excellence of its volunteers. Through the selfless efforts of these volunteers, the Wrentham Developmental Center is the recipient of many hours of their dedicated support.

In keeping with tradition, the Wrentham Developmental Center Parents' Association will hold its annual employee luncheon on Thursday, June 2nd. This outstanding buffet will be held at the Center and is one way in which the parents and guardians express their thanks and appreciation for the good work of the staff throughout the year.

This information is provided by the Department of Developmental Services.