Family Caregiver Shannon recently arranged for her son Patrick to visit his sister in Texas! His sibling went away to college and he was really starting to miss her. So they planned a trip to visit during spring break and he had a blast. Patrick greatly enjoyed his time with his sister and also enjoyed meeting this giraffe 😊
Pueblo Community Resources Joins Support Inc.
Check out the below article in the Pueblo Chieftain highlighting Pueblo Community Resources and them joining the Support Inc. network! It made front page news.
Pueblo agency serving developmentally disabled people under new ownership (chieftain.com)
Public Health Emergency Ending
Public Health Emergency ending resulting in end to continuous coverage.
In January 2020, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) declared a public health emergency (PHE) in response to the outbreak of COVID-19. Congress passed legislation that ensured anyone enrolled in Health First Colorado (Colorado’s Medicaid program) was guaranteed to keep their health coverage during the PHE. This is known as the “continuous coverage requirement” and also applies to kids and pregnant people covered by Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+). Congress recently passed a bill that ends the continuous coverage requirement in spring 2023. U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra has formally extended the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE). The PHE can be extended for up to 90 days at a time and is expected to end on May 11, 2023. The Executive Office of the President, Office of Management and Budget, issued a Statement of Administration Policy on Jan. 30, 2023, that the Administration plans to extend the PHE to May 11.
What this means:
During the Public Health Emergency, Medicaid (managed by the county of residence) continued to send out redetermination packets and request for financial verifications. However, no one’s Medicaid coverage ended due to lack of redetermination submitted or verifications because of the ‘continuous coverage’ legislation. You likely continued to submit your packets as normal.
Beginning May 12th, the redeterminations that are sent out and requests for verifications that are sent out MUST be responded to within the time frame given, or eligibility will be affected.
Suggestions from Health Care Policy and Finance (HCPF) on how to plan for the ending of PHE:
- Health First Colorado and CHP+ will return to normal eligibility renewal processes with renewals due in May and notice will be sent starting March 2023.
- The Department of Health Care Policy & Financing (HCPF) will take 12 months (14 months including noticing) to complete renewals for each of the approximately 1.7 million people currently enrolled.
- Members should:
- Update their contact information to ensure you receive your packet and you can be reached.
- Respond to and sign renewal paperwork to make sure you keep your Health First Colorado and CHP+ coverage if they are still eligible.
- Members can find out their renewal dates and access more information by going to the Health First Colorado Website.
Creating a Peak account is an easy way to update member information (including address and contact information), access case information such as contact information on file, renewal dates, an online mailbox where all case communication is available (including redeterminations, requested verifications, and eligibility determinations), and coverage. Peak will also have a notice on the account home page if a redetermination is due or if documentation is needed. Use this link to access the PEAK Website.
Celebrating IDD Awareness Month
In the spirit of IDD Awareness Month, we would like to share & celebrate the story of Joe B. (9-8-82 to 12-12-22). Joe was born without the Corpus Callosum and as a result he was non-verbal and used a wheelchair all his life. But Joe never let his challenges define him or stop him from living life to the fullest. Joe graduated from UCCS Pueblo with honors for a bachelor’s degree in fine arts. Joe discovered that visual art gave him a voice. The below paintings were part of a series in which each painting was partially black and white, partially color to respect how art brought color to his world. “Content provided by his HHP, Billie”
Developmental Disability Awareness Month
March is Developmental Disability Awareness Month!
Ronald Reagan declared March the month for National Developmental Disabilities Awareness in 1987 after the deinstitutionalization movement of the 1970’s and 1980’s.
The campaign seeks to raise awareness about the inclusion of people with developmental disabilities in all aspects of community life, as well as awareness of the barriers that people with disabilities still sometimes face in connecting to the communities in which they live.
Throughout the campaign, individuals with and without disabilities will share their experiences through stories, photos and videos. This year’s campaign also highlights artwork created by individuals with disabilities and is featured in the Developmental Disabilities Awareness campaign imagery. For more information on Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, visit https://nacdd.org/ddam1/
Colorado hosts an annual Intellectual & Developmental Disability Awareness Day at the capitol. This year’s event will be held on March 29th, 2023, there are opportunities to join in-person or virtually. For more information about attending the event or link to watch virtually, check out Alliance’s IDD awareness website.
A Family Affair: Amber Lends a Hand to Help Her Grandmother, A Host Home Provider With Support, Inc.
When Support, Inc. hired Karen Gray’s granddaughter to be a Direct Support Professional, we were excited to see Amber dive into the world of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.
Karen Gray is a strong provider and has worked with us for over 20 years. For Amber’s entire life, this line of work is all Karen has ever known. Karen’s career as a Host Home Provider has led her to help countless individuals, including a few that have stayed with her for over 10 years at a time. Amber has been inspired watching her Grandmother help those in need.
I’m grateful I grew up around IDD services. Society can be very uneducated and misinformed about the IDD population. I’m so glad I always knew how to work with and interact with IDD individuals
Amber also reports that this work and growing up around IDD services has made her more empathetic in general to people and society! Her uncle also has IDD, so he joins Amber and Karen’s individuals on vacations and road trips. They also come together as a small group to attend sporting events and other fun activities in the community.
Now as a DSP, Amber spends half the week at day program and the other half out in the community- activities include shopping, museums, zoos and helping individuals develop their skills when interacting with community members. Amber started with Support, Inc. in November 2022. She relays that she loves the work she does and working with the individuals we serve!
As far as future plans are concerned, Amber wants to stay in the IDD field. She likes being a DSP and might consider being a Host Home Provider in the future. She has a passion for this work and wants to make a career out of it.
Thanks again, Amber, for being an excellent mentor and leader in the field!
If you or someone you know would like to learn more about becoming a Direct Support Professional please email Cathy at Cathy.Kellogg@supportinc.com To apply with us, please follow this link.
Host Home Provider of the Month
Please join us in congratulating Mercia and JoJo for Host Home Providers of the Month! The following nomination was produced by Rich Shaw with the Denver Metro 3 Team-
I would like to nominate Mercia and JoJo for Providers of the Month. They started working with Support Inc. by taking over from providers who were leaving the agency to pursue other things. After about a year, they became a home with three individuals. From the start, these Providers were eager to do the best job they could, not only by following the compliance requirements of being a Host Home, but also providing quality care to the individuals in their home. This was very evident when an individual in the home started having some major issues with their mental and physical health and needed round-the-clock support. These providers went though many difficulties and trials in trying to get the support needed from the medical professionals including the hospitals and ERs. They ran into many roadblocks and obstacles for several months, but never gave up when a lot of people would have. For high performance in compliance and dedication to this individual, they have received the Host Home Provider award.
Black History Month at Support, Inc.
In celebrating Black History Month, our DEI Council wanted to share some of our perspective into what this Black History Month means for us. As we know, the past several years has created an intense focus human right. Our organization has focused on created a positive impact on the experiences of our Black stakeholders through inclusivity, diversity, equity, accessibility efforts. This work is impactful for me, Dr. Nicholas Manning, (head of the DEI Council) as a bi-racial person, this work connects to my soul.
I think of the struggles and triumphs of my family. From my grandfather, Lt. Colonel George Lane II, flying his P-39 fighter as a part of the Tuskegee Airmen to my cousin Danielle who challenged voting rights throughout the United States, my chest is full of pride thinking of my family. However, times have not always been easy for us. We have been challenged by racism and bias yet believe that there is so much positive work to be done in bringing our country together.
Black history month is a time to help reframe narratives that can be shaped by a person’s agenda. From Langston Hughes and Maya Angelou to Muhammad Ali and Martin Luther King Jr., there is so much beauty and remarkable characteristics of the Black community. This sentiment is not only true for our employees and caregivers, but especially each Black person with disabilities (in and out of services). We have an opportunity to help our entire community better understand themselves by celebrating Black history.
Could you tell me a little about your current role? I’m the Director of People Operations at Support, Inc. My role primarily consists of supporting the experience of our in the execution of our Production Management responsibilities.
What do you enjoy most about it? There’s a new and unique challenge of helping our organization’s attunement to our stakeholders. We must be dynamic in managing our risk, increase our connection, and create a caring culture of accountability.
What’s the most important part of Black History Month to you? There are two important aspects to Black History Month that are important to me: firstly, teaching (and learning) my history in its truest form and secondly, recognizing the achievements of our Black community.
What will you be reflecting on and discussing with your network this year? As a proud advocate for IDEA, I love connecting with other professionals about their efforts.
How will you be celebrating Black History Month with your colleagues? I plan on participating in an IDEA webinar this week and advocate for the voices of our stakeholders.
Who is an inspirational Black historical figure who inspires you and why? My grandfather. He was and will always be my hero.
Ben Enjoys His New Day Program
It is always nice to hear when an individual makes a switch in their lives and it works out to be a very positive turn of events. Here is a message from the Host Home Provider for Ben, as he recently tried to a new day program.
Hello all team Ben. I just wanted to touch base on his new day program and Direct Support Professional. This is week 3 and Ben is excited to go to Day Program. He is enjoying new friends and doing favorable activities such as learning his way around computers and making cupcakes. I have had no issues getting him on access a ride and no accidents this far. He works with Chris on Wednesday’s and Thursday’s. I love that Ben is happy again and I’m so glad, Positive Approach has been very helpful and accepting of Ben. Thanks to everyone for the support.
Way to go, Ben! We are so happy to hear that things are running smoothly with this transition. We wish him nothing but the best as Ben continues to develop his skills!
IDD Awareness Day- March 29, 2023
Please save the date! Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Awareness Day at the State Capitol will occur on March 29, 2023. We encourage all to attend. There is an in-person and virtual option. Please follow the link below for more information regarding locations, guest speakers, specific activities, etc.
Annual IDD Awareness Day (alliancecolorado.org)