Affiliate Update 2013

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6-5-13 CP NEWS

6/5/2013 4:46:22 PM

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6/5/13 Affiliate Update
(Volume #19 – Issue #9)


Weisenberg Press Conference
On June 3rd, advocates from across the state joined more than a dozen members of the New York State Legislature at a news conference in the Capitol to express support for the "People with Developmental Disabilities Restoration and Reinvestment Act of 2013." People with disabilities and others view the legislation as critical to protecting the quality of supports and services for people with developmental disabilities in the wake of the 4.5% budget cut.  The bill, Assembly 6692 and Senate 4777, is sponsored by Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg and Senator Martin Golden. The Act requires the Legislature to appropriate up to $90 million to fully restore the state funding cuts to services for people with developmental disabilities.

The bill recognizes the important measures that were taken in the “savings plan” as required by budget language to minimize the impact of the cut, but requires an assessment of the savings plan impact. To the extent that the savings plan does not fully restore the cut, the Legislature would fund the shortfall through a contingency appropriation.  

The bill also requires reinvestment of savings, provided by greater efficiencies, into services for people with development disabilities.  Because disability service providers have already had their funding cut by $350 million over the past few years, current funding levels must be protected.  As a result of our previous cuts, there are already significant unmet needs.  This shortage in funding is compounded by a need to convert services for a managed care environment and implement a “transformational agenda” which includes smaller more person-centered services, greater community integration and greater employment opportunities for people with developmental disabilities.  

“We are grateful for the support of the New York State Legislature,” said Susan Constantino, President & CEO of Cerebral Palsy Associations of New York State.  “Assemblyman Weisenberg, Senator Golden and many others have heard from families across the state and they agree that the cuts must stop.  We are eager to work with government officials at every level to ensure that non-profit service providers will continue to have the resources necessary to provide critical supports and services to people with disabilities in their communities.”

Assemblyman Weisenberg said he had more than 140 co-sponsors of the bill in the Assembly and expected that it would pass his Chamber during the final two weeks of the current legislative session. It is unclear how the Senate will vote, but Mr. Weisenberg indicated that he was confident the bill would also pass the Senate before adjournment.

-Barbara Crosier


On May 24th, NYS Medicaid Director Jason Helgerson joined CP of NYS President & CEO Susan Constantino on a tour of programs at the Center for Disability Services in Albany. The tour provided Mr. Helgerson with a chance to meet some of the people we support in our OPWDD programs and clinic settings so that he can better understand our advocacy on behalf of high needs patients and the pitfalls the new payment strategy might have as we begin to make the transition to managed care. The Center’s Executive Director Alan Krafchin, Chief Financial Officer Greg Sorrentino, Medical Director Dr. Theodore Zeltner, and Clinic Director Gaye Heller did an outstanding job in providing Mr. Helgerson with an opportunity to see the labor intensive needs of people in their dental clinic, day program and school.  

Mr. Helgerson made it clear that he thought organizations such as the Center, which have multiple ways to support people (i.e., clinic, day, residential, service coordination, etc.), are better positioned to coordinate care for people than organizations without a broad network of services and supports in place. He said the tour was informative and helpful and suggested that John Ulberg, the Director of Rate Setting at the State Department of Health (DOH), should also tour the Center to better understand who we support and the kinds of services provided in clinics and other programs serving people with developmental and other disabilities. Ms. Constantino and Mr. Krafchin emphasized that while the proposed new funding system might allow us to financially support people with high needs, we must first ensure that our organizations will make it through any transformational process currently being discussed.  

Ms. Constantino reported after the tour that Mr. Helgerson better understands our issues and concerns. In discussing the retroactive capital recoupment, he indicated that DOH would work with providers who were particularly hard hit to ensure that clinic operations would not be unduly harmed. However, he did not say that the recoupment would stop. When it was pointed out that given the current proposal, many clinics serving people with developmental disabilities across New York State would close, he said that was not their goal.  

A follow-up meeting is planned to discuss issues in more detail and to reinforce the fact that caring for individuals with high needs requires a payment system sensitive to their specific needs rather than a median payment plan that will disadvantage those same people.

-Al Shibley


The Board of Directors of the New York State Elks Association Major Projects Corporation has approved a recommendation from Chairman James Peace to increase their financial support of the CP of NYS Home Service Program. The Board approved the recommendation at the New York State Elks Association Spring Convention in Albany on May 17.

The Major Projects Corporation Board approved a three percent increase in its annual support for the Home Service program. The Board also approved an increase of $5,000 in annual grants for the purchase of Home Service vehicles by Affiliates. The $30,000 dollars in grant money will allow CP of NYS to award three annual grants of $10,000 each to Affiliates in need of replacement vehicles.

The NYS Elks Association has been supporting the Home Service Program since its inception, nearly 50 years ago. Each year the Elks provide nearly $500,000 to support the Home Service program and have donated in excess of $20 million in that time.

In announcing the increase, the Elks acknowledged their understanding of the increased pressure on CP of NYS Affiliates created by annual cuts in funding of nearly $500 million dollars to supports and services for people with developmental disabilities provided by non-profit organizations in New York State. Mr. Peace said he and the Major Projects Board of Directors believe it is important for their organization to do all it can to ensure that vital services provided by Home Service Directors continue to be available for New York’s most vulnerable citizens.

The Major Projects Corporation also announced the three-year appointment of Irene Pashley as Chair of the Major Projects Committee, charged with raising the funds that support the efforts of the Major Projects Corporation. Ms. Pashley replaces Lou Withiam in that position. Mr. Withiam spent two, non-consecutive three-year terms as Major Projects Chair. In that time the committee raised nearly $3 million.

“We are truly grateful to the thousands of Elks over the years who have done so much to support the CP of NYS Home Service Program,” said Susan Constantino, President & CEO of CP of NYS.  “Without their extraordinary commitment we would not be able to provide the supports and services that are so vital to people with developmental disabilities and their families.”

-Al Shibley


Edward R. Matthews, Chief Executive Officer of United Cerebral Palsy of New York City, a CP of NYS Affiliate, has received the 2013 Kathleen O. Maul Leadership Award from United Cerebral Palsy (UCP).The Award is presented to an exceptional chief executive of a UCP affiliate in memory of Kathy Maul, former executive director at UCP of Greater Suffolk. Mr. Matthews was honored as part of UCP's Awards for Excellence.

Matthews received the 2013 honor for his dedication and long history working to improve the services and supports provided to people with disabilities. He has served as CEO of UCP of NYC since 1989. "The Kathy Maul Award is very meaningfully personally and professionally. To me, it represents the values that Kathy & UCP have always stood for,” said Mr. Matthews. "I am honored to join my distinguished friends and colleagues who have been recipients.”

-Al Shibley


Jerry Staller, Division Director, Education and Clinical Services at CP of NYS Affiliate Jawonio, was honored recently as the recipient of the Rockland County Youth Bureau's Dennis J. Fleming Children's Champion Award for his long career as an advocate for children with special needs. Dennis Fleming presented Mr. Staller with the award and made a special $500 donation in his honor to the Jawonio Foundation to support the agency’s Early Childhood Program.

-Al Shibley




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