Affiliate Update 2012

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11-1-12 CP NEWS

11/1/2012 4:46:47 PM

An HTML version of the 11/1/12 CP NEWS can be found here.


11/1/12 Affiliate Update

(Volume #18 – Issue #13)




More than 800 people from across the state attended educational presentations and meetings October 22-24 at the Cerebral Palsy Associations of New York State Annual Conference in Saratoga Springs.


New York State Assembly Member Micah Kellner was the featured Luncheon Speaker on October 22. His remarks on his experiences as a person with cerebral palsy were delivered to more than 350 attendees. Other featured speakers at the event included Commissioner Courtney Burke, NYS Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD), and NYS Medicaid Director Jason Helgerson; John McPherson, creator of the internationally distributed newspaper cartoon “Close To Home;” and Jesse Saperstein, a best-selling author, autism advocate and leader of an anti-bullying movement.


Commissioner Burke and Medicaid Director Helgerson discussed their priorities in the year ahead for OPWDD and provided an update on the future of Medicaid funding in New York State. John McPherson weaved some of his one-panel cartoons into his presentation on humor in the work place and stress in everyday life.


Jesse Saperstein offered an entertaining and enlightening look at life as an adult on the autism spectrum. His 60-minute presentation included many humorous and poignant examples of the issues faced by people with similar challenges.


The feature film “Musical Chairs” was highlighted in a special showing on Monday afternoon. This romantic tale takes an unusual turn when an injury puts Mia in a wheelchair. Armando is determined to see her dance once more and introduces her to the world of competitive wheelchair ballroom dancing. The film’s cast includes actors and dancers with and without disabilities, is directed by award-winning filmmaker Susan Seidelman and was produced by Janet Carrus and Joey Dedio. Read more about this remarkable film here.



The Conference also included two awards dinners honoring and highlighting the contributions and accomplishments of many individuals and organizations from around the state. The CP of NYS Annual Awards Banquet Monday evening honored 13 individuals and groups for their accomplishments and contributions to CP of NYS and its Affiliates. Tuesday night 60 employees from Affiliates across the state were recognized for their outstanding service and efforts on behalf of people with disabilities and their families.


The 2013 CP of NYS Annual Conference will take place October 21-23 in Saratoga Springs.



-Al Shibley

Assembly Member Micah Kellner and John Kemp

Micah Kellner and John Kemp after Assembly Member Kellner's Luncheon Speech.

(left to right) Members of the CP of NYS Board of Directors Ernie Southworth, Jamie Peace and Dr. Joseph Dutkowsky congratulate CP Elk of the Year Paul Galarneau.

Ira Jacobs

Ira Jacobs was honored with the CP of NYS Lifetime Achievement Award at the CP of NYS Awards Banquet.

Ann Kurz

Ann Kurz, from CP Rochester, received the Al Felmet Achievement Award.

Registration Desk

A rare quiet moment at the Registration Desk at the 2012 CP of NYS Annual Conference.



More than a dozen people and organizations from across the state were honored for their accomplishments or their work on behalf of people with disabilities at the CP of NYS Annual Awards Banquet on Monday, October 22 at the Saratoga City Center in Saratoga Springs.


For more information on the Awards Banquet or the Annual Conference please visit our website at  


-Al Shibley


Eunice Antonucci (Center for Disability of Services)

Anthony J. Koenig Volunteer of the Year Award

Mary Boatfield (Happiness House)

Daniel Wieder Executive Leadership Award

Paul Galarneau (Cohoes-Waterford Lodge #1317)

Elks Award

The Green Room Preschool Students (Happiness House)

Visions of New York Art Contest Winner

Diana Hess (Jawonio)\

Affiliate Leadership Award

Mary C. Hodge (UCPA of Nassau County)

Award of Distinction

Ira Jacobs (CP of NYS)

Lifetime Achievement Award

Sally Johnston (Enable)

Community Service Award

Ann Kurz (CP Rochester)

Al Felmet Achievement Award

Life Options Video Training Program (UCPA of Nassau County)

Program Innovation Award

Marcel Martino (Inspire)

            Daniel Wieder Executive Leadership Award

Cindy Perkins (Queens Centers for Progress)

Robert Schonhorn Staff Member of the Year Award

Clarence Sundram (Former Special Advisor to the Governor)

Public Service Award







Franziska Racker Centers Executive Director Roger Sibley has announced that he will retire at the end of the year. He has headed the agency that serves individuals with disabilities and their families throughout Cortland, Tompkins and Tioga counties for over thirty-three years.


Dan Brown, Associate Executive Director, will become the agency’s new Executive Director January 1, 2013. The Centers serve 3,000 individuals and their families, employs over 700 people and operates a budget of $27 million.


In addition to his career at Racker Centers, Sibley has been an active leader in the non-profit community in Tompkins County and Central New York. He chaired the 2001 Tompkins County United Way Campaign, served as Chairman of the Board in 2007-2008, and continues as a United Way volunteer. Sibley has volunteered on the board of various other community organizations.


Dan Brown joined the agency in 2000 as the Director of Finance, and became the Associate Executive Director in 2002. Brown is fully engaged in every aspect of The Centers, from program to finance to completing the “Making Room” Campaign.


-Al Shibley





The Center for Discovery will receive a regional leadership award from an area business organization this month. The CP of NYS Affiliate in Sullivan County will receive the Healthcare Award for its innovative clinical, residential and social programs for people with disabilities. The Center for Discovery is the largest private employer in Sullivan County.


Hudson Valley Pattern for Progress, a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to promote regional, balanced and sustainable solutions that enhance the growth and vitality of the Hudson Valley, will recognize nine recipients for their contributions to the region during Pattern’s annual awards reception November 8 in New Windsor.

-Al Shibley





The New York State Department of Health’s (DOH) August 2012 Medicaid Global Spending Cap Report shows that expenditures are $28 million (0.4%) under projections for the first five months of state fiscal year (SFY) 2012-2013.  State share DOH Medicaid spending for SFY 2012-2013 is capped at $15.9 billion. The report includes sector-specific spending trends and explanations for variation in each provider sector (OPWDD Medicaid costs and services are not currently included in the cap).  Medicaid enrollment reached 5,175,173 people at the end of August 2012, representing an increase of about 127,000 enrollees (2.5%) since the beginning of the state fiscal year.  DOH and the Division of Budget conducted a Webinar last month to discuss the global spending cap projection model, the Medicaid Redesign Team process, and the components of the year-to-year growth allowed under the cap.  The state’s presentation is available on the Medicaid global cap Web page



-Barbara Crosier




 According to a new reportby the Urban Institute for the Kaiser Family Foundation, the U.S. House Republican plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and turn Medicaid into a block grant program would save the federal government $1.7 trillion from 2013 to 2022, a 38% spending reduction. 



Of the $1.7 trillion cut to Medicaid spending, $932 billion of the reductions come from repealing the Medicaid expansion under ACA and $810 billion is from spending cuts under the block grant.


The report says that the House proposal would also mean 31 to 38 million fewer Medicaid beneficiaries in 2022.  Medicaid currently provides health care coverage to about 62 million people.  Put forth as part of a plan to reduce the federal deficit by Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI), Chair of the House Budget Committee, the block grant proposal passed the Republican-controlled House in 2011 and 2012.



-Barbara Crosier





Thirty-three years after he was first elected to public office, New York State Senator Roy McDonald, Chairman of the Senate Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Committee, announced that he will not campaign as a third-party candidate for another Senate term.


McDonald dropped out after losing the September 13 Republican primary to Saratoga County Clerk Kathy Marchione. The race was shaped in large part by McDonald's support for marriage equity, which drew outside money and attention to the four-county 43rd District before and after the primary. While his name remains on the ballot, Republicans will consolidate behind Marchione.


During CP of NYS’ numerous conversations with Senator McDonald, as Chairman of the Senate Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Committee, he has strongly voiced his passion for people with disabilities because of his personal experience with his grandsons who are on the Autism Spectrum and his concern for their care and future.


-Barbara Crosier



New York's human services community is mourning the loss of Barbara Blum, former Commissioner of the NYS Department of Social Services (DSS) and lifelong advocate for community-based social services programs, who died on October 6th of natural causes at the age of 82.


In 1960, as the mother of a child with disabilities, Blum co-founded the Association for Mentally Ill Children in New York City. Her first government office was Deputy Commissioner for Mental Hygiene and Mental Retardation Services between 1968 and 1970. In 1970, she was named Assistant Administrator and Commissioner at Special Services for Children in New York City, the predecessor to today's Administration for Children's Services.  In 1974, she was appointed Director of the metropolitan office of the New York State Board of Social Welfare and given regulatory responsibility over all public and private child care agencies and group homes for adults in a 14-county region including the entirety of New York City.



One of Blum's proudest moments was a special assignment to implement the Willowbrook consent decree. The consent decree represented a watershed moment in the history of public care for children and adults with developmental disabilities. Working with local social service agencies and government authorities, Blum led the effort to create a new network of services on a smaller scale, centered around low-residency group residential homes and day programs.



From 1977 to 1982 she served as Commissioner of New York State's Department of Social Services. While in office, she promoted and gained passage of the Child Welfare Reform Act, managed a rapid expansion of the food stamp program and initiated a new program providing financial assistance to needy families lacking resources to pay home heating costs.



Subsequent to her government service, Blum continued to advocate for public-private initiatives and policies that placed family preservation foremost among social service priorities. For the past seven years, Blum continued to consult with policy professionals on state and national welfare initiatives.



-Barbara Crosier

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