Community Living Committee Minutes
May 13, 2021
Members Present: Katherine Boeck, Rhonda Cox, Allison Dodson, Joshua Gettinger, Brendon Hildreth, Aldea LaParr, Mya Lewis, Virginia Knowlton Marcus, Ryan Rotundo, Peggy Terhune
Members Absent: Senator Mujtaba Mohammed, Sandra Terrell, James Stephenson
Staff Present: Talley Wells, Shar’ron Williams, Philip Woodward
Guests Present: Iris Green, Betsy MacMichael, Le’Carla McNair, Michelle Merritt, Janet Price-Ferrell, Vicki Smith, Teresa Sousa, Debby Torres
Introduction: Ryan Rotundo welcomed the committee and did an icebreaker focused on everyone’s comfort food.
MOTION: Joshua Gettinger made a motion to approve the February Community Living Committee minutes, and Katherine Boeck seconded the motion. The motion was approved by unanimous vote. Virginia Knowlton Marcus suggested adding a note that she recused herself from voting on the Registry of Unmet Needs RFA in February. Also, the minutes were corrected to reflect that Joshua and Aldea LaParr attended the February meeting, while Brendon Hildreth and Rhonda Cox did not attend the February meeting.
Fiscal Update: Shar’ron Williams provided the fiscal update.
Natural Support Network Development
Janet Price-Ferrell of FIRST provided an update. She shared the portal and said some people, including some NCCDD members, have signed up to access it. She said there is a new three-minute video that explains the initiative. Janet also mentioned the opportunity she received to present to 109 attendees of the Supported Living Level 2 & 3 Stakeholders meeting in March of this year. Rhonda Cox asked if Vaya Health could link the portal to their website, and Janet replied yes, that would be a great way to get the information out. Joshua Gettinger asked if the portal will be publicly available without people needing to register to access it. Janet said that might be possible and still be able to track how many people access it or download a resource there.
Justice: Release, Reentry and Reintegration
Vicki Smith of the Alliance of Disability Advocates (ADA) provided an update. She mentioned the improved communication between ADA, NCCDD, and other people with a stake in this initiative through monthly rather than quarterly meetings. Vicki said the goal is to work with people 180 days before their release, but ADA learned that the people they are working with receive only 90 days’ notice prior to release. She said ADA has received 15 referrals as of May 13th and shared three scenarios illustrating the situations they are working with. Vicki said this initiative is trying to demonstrate the benefit of ensuring that everyone in the prison system leaves with a reentry plan in order to reduce the recidivism rate. Rhonda Cox asked about opportunities for the Local Management Entities/Managed Care Organizations (LME/MCOs) to support this work. Vicki added that the Charlotte Women’s Club reached out to support this initiative.
COVID-19 Registry of Unmet Needs Relief
Betsy MacMichael, Le’Carla McNair, and Debby Torres from First in Families of North Carolina (FIFNC) provided an update. They said Quillo Connect is a web-based app that shares 60-second educational videos created by users who are people with disabilities and their family members to help people connect with one another and find the information they need related to services and supports. FIFNC has already received more than 400 responses from people in 60 different counties to a survey they sent out on May 4th and is currently working to identify authors and users – they will have six authors and 200 users. Peggy Terhune said she is familiar with John Dickerson, the creator, and hopes Quillo Connect will continue to be available in North Carolina after this initiative ends. Betsy commented that an important part of the sustainability plan will be to convince the LME/MCOs to invest in Quillo Connect so that people with I/DD and their families can continue to access and benefit from it after this initiative ends.
Supported Living: A How-to Guidebook RFA
Ryan Rotundo provided an update about the RFA and the applications that NCCDD received. Joshua Gettinger expressed concern about the guidebook becoming outdates, and Ryan responded that there is an electronic component to this guidebook while Philip shared the sustainability plan that was part of Liberty Corner Enterprises’ application.
MOTION: Joshua Gettinger made a motion that Liberty Corner Enterprises, Inc. be approved as the applicant selected for the NCCDD initiative entitled Supported Living: A How-To Guidebook, in an amount up to $75,000 per year of Money Follows the Person Demonstration Project/NC Medicaid/Division of Health Benefits state funds, with required minimum matching funds being waived, for up to two years, with Year 1 beginning July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022 with the contingencies listed below. Katherine Boeck seconded the motion. The motion was approved by majority vote.
The Unmet Needs Initiative: A Coordinated Campaign to Impact the Registry of Unmet Needs RFA
Talley Wells provided a brief synopsis to remind the members of what NCCDD hopes to accomplish with this initiative. The committee discussed concerns with the language that the draft RFA uses and how the staff can tighten up the language to make it more clear.
MOTION: Katherine Boeck made a motion for staff of the Council to have authority to release the RFA regarding an initiative entitled A Coordinated Campaign to Impact the Registry of Unmet Needs, in an amount up to $180,000 per year with required minimum of 25% non-federal matching funds ($60,000), for up to four years with an additional fifth year, if approved by the Council. Staff will consider all suggestions made by Council members when making any revisions before the RFA is released. In addition, Council staff will have authority to extend the due date for applications, if necessary. Aldea LaParr seconded the motion. The motion was approved by majority vote. One member abstained.
Future Investment Discussion
Access to COVID-19 Vaccines Award
Virginia Knowlton Marcus and Iris Green from Disability Rights North Carolina provided an overview of the federal COVID-19 vaccine funding award designed to ensure that people with disabilities can access the COVID-19 vaccine. Philip Woodward referred the members to the Project ACCESS proposal that the members received by e-mail earlier today. Virginia said people need COVID-19 vaccine information from trusted sources and transportation to get to their vaccine appointments. Virginia said NCCDD’s portion of the funds would not be used for the purchase of an accessible vehicle. Mya Lewis suggested taking advantage of North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) resources designed to assist with vaccine education and access.
MOTION: Katherine Boeck made a motion that Disability Rights North Carolina, in collaboration with NCCDD, receive funding awarded to the Council from the Administration for Community Living (ACL) NC FY21 ACL NoA - Expanding Disabilities Network's (DD Councils) Access to COVID-19 Vaccines award, for a sole-source initiative in an amount up to $50,000 with required minimum matching funds being waived by ACL, beginning July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022. Allison Dodson seconded the motion. The motion was approved by unanimous vote.
Economic Impact Analysis
Talley Wells said The Arc of North Carolina has approached NCCDD and other advocacy groups to do an economic impact analysis on providing services for people on the waiting list and how that would positively impact the local community. He said the premise of this the State of North Carolina investing in Apple coming to the Triangle, but this analysis would focus on Direct Support Professional pay or providing services to people on a waiver. One member suggested that Talley type a paragraph for the committee to consider at its August meeting, and Talley said he will arrange another meeting with The Arc of North Carolina to obtain more information about this proposal.
Katherine Boeck made a motion to adjourn, and Aldea LaParr seconded the motion. The meeting was adjourned at 4:15 p.m.