NC Council on Developmental Disabilities
Special Meeting of the Executive Committee Minutes
Date: April 1, 2020
Time: 3:00 – 3:45 PM
Members Present: Allison Dodson, Kerri Eaker, Myron Gavin, Cheryl Powell, Ryan Rotundo, Nessie Siler, Dan Smith
Staff Present: David Ingram, Melissa Swartz, JoAnn Toomey, Yadira Vasquez, Talley Wells, Shar’ron Williams, Travis Williams, Philip Woodward
Council Members Present: 15-20 members called in to listen
I. Call to Order
Chair Kerri Eaker called to order the meeting of the Executive Committee (EC) and welcomed the members calling in.
II. Executive Director Update
Talley Wells first thanked the members for their time, work and commitment for these meetings during this serious time. He said how impressed he is with NC’s response to this pandemic. He also wanted to thank staff and especially O’Neill Communications for their on-going updates on our website regarding COVID-19. He had several agenda items to discuss with the members:
a. Position on Rationing and c. Appendix K – Medicaid Flexibility
Talley discussed Appendix K, the temporary policy modifications for emergency preparedness and response for 1915 Waivers. He also talked about submitting a position paper regarding the rationing of care in hospitals and medical facilities. Talley heard from Lisa Corbett, General Counsel for DHHS, that Ben Money with DHHS is working on the issue and she forwarded the letter they received from DRNC regarding discrimination and de-prioritizing people with I/DD when there is not enough equipment. Dan Smith and Ryan Rotundo asked that staff consult with others who have experience on this subject to assist in the draft of the position paper on this subject.
MOTION: Nessie Siler made a motion for the Executive Committee of the Council to give staff of the Council permission to draft a position paper on Rationing of Care to People with I/DD in hospitals and medical facilities. Cheryl Powell seconded the motion. The motion was approved by unanimous vote.
b. People’s experiences and d. Member Survey
Talley really wants to hear from others in the state who are experiencing issues themselves or in their community around COVID-19. He spoke of the short survey being released very soon to just Council members and members of the NC Empowerment Network regarding their experiences.
Cheryl Powell said she heard an report on local news that people with I/DD who have been working cannot get unemployment benefits because they are getting disability benefits. Talley asked that she forward the report to him and he’ll get with Travis Williams and Chris Egan. He said there’s so much news on the cares/stimulus act, and that there is language within that that the money coming from the IRS should not affect benefits. There’s still some confusion around this but asked if anyone else has heard anything recently.
Will Miller, Council member on the call, said that there is Home and Community Based Services information on the DHHS website and there is more guidance about it available on-line.
Kerri said she is worried about families on the Registry of Unmet Needs waiting for services and what they are doing for assistance now.
The members reviewed and discussed the draft proposal of an emergency NCCDD COVID-19 Relief Fund – In House initiative.
MOTION: Dan Smith made a motion to approve a NCCDD COVID-19 Relief Fund in-house initiative in the amount of $75,000. The Executive Committee delegates authority to the NCCDD Executive Director and Director of Operations to approve applications and make funding decisions for the grants in amounts of $500 up to $3,500. Allison Dodson seconded the motion. The motion was approved by unanimous vote.
Talley asked for all to feel free to call or e-mail him. He’s there to listen and just talk. Myron Gavin said the worse thing for families is not knowing what is really going on – and feels we are hearing just the tip of the iceberg from what you see on the news. It’s hard to not have answers. Dan Smith said that he’s had folks in his community in Greensboro feeling that you can’t rely on hospital support at this time; that you’re risking the virus by calling 911 or going to the hospital.
Kerri talked about families not knowing what’s going to happen to them or their child.
Discussion around having future calls by Zoom and staff will pursue. Kerri then asked for a motion to adjourn the meeting.
MOTION: Ryan Rotundo made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Nessie seconded the motion. The motion was approved.