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Advocacy & Leadership Committee Minutes, Aug 2014

Advocacy and Leadership Committee
Thursday, August 14, 2014
12:30 – 3:00 pm

Members Present: Advocacy and Leadership Committee – Caroline Ambrose, Adonis Brown, Michael Groves, Crystal Foreman, Danielle Matula, Renate Macchirole, Katie Holler, Rick Zechman,

Members Absent: Lourdes Fernandez

Visitors: Jessica Green, Meredith Staley, Debby Torres, Bryce Coleman, Emmanuel Gibson, Laura Fleming, Tara Fields, Joe MacBeth, Mary Edwards

Staff in Attendance: Joshua Strasburg, JoAnn Toomey, John McCallum


Welcome: Chairperson Caroline Ambrose welcomed all members and provided an opportunity for all to introduce themselves.
Approval of Minutes:
MOTION: Rick Zechman made a motion to approve the May 2014 Advocacy and Leadership committee meeting minutes. Adonis Brown seconded the motion.  Motion was carried.
Initiative Update and Continuation Funding Request
Jessica Green and Meredith Staley gave an update on the work they have been doing so far with the Safety and Security initiative.  Meredith discussed the work they did to identify and partner with Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault pilot sites as well as I/DD provider pilot sites.  They identified six DV/SA pilot sites across the state, and 3 I/DD provider pilot sites.  Meredith described that they are currently working to identify more I/DD provider sites.  The team created a needs assessment, disseminated the assessment to the pilot sites, and have received many responses.  Meredith and Jessica described their focus for the rest of the year, what their first steps will be in 2015, and answered questions about their budget for year two.

MOTION: Rick Zechman made a motion that the Rape Crisis Center of Coastal Horizons, Inc., be approved for continuation funding for year 2 (of 3) for the Safety and Security: Addressing Domestic Violence and Sexual Violence Against People with Intellectual and other Developmental Disabilities initiative.  Funding is approved in the amount of $50,000 with required minimum 25% non-federal matching funds for the period of January 1st, 2015 to December 31st, 2015.  Mary Edwards seconded the motion.  The motion carried.

Crystal Foreman and Adonis Brown recused themselves.

Initiative Update
Caroline Ambrose and Joshua Strasburg discussed the Partners in Policymaking (PiP) initiative information that the committee requested in May.  Joshua and Caroline presented a one page report on how the PiP initiative could be strengthened through releasing it as an RFA and the timeframe for its release if the committee decided to move in that direction.  John McCallum commented that it is not uncommon for Councils to occasionally release sole-sourced funds as an RFA as a quality control measure.  The committee was in agreement to move down this path, and discussed next steps.  The next step would be to make a motion to draft the RFA in November of 2015.

Fiscal Update:

JoAnn Toomey, NCCDD’s Director of Operations, gave an overview of the fiscal status of the organization.  She provided Council members with information on each initiative housed in the Advocacy and Leadership committee.

Initiative Update:

Debby Torres and Bryce Coleman spoke to the committee about the issue of sibling support and their first steps with the Sibling Support initiative funded by the NCCDD.  The initiative starts October 1st, 2014 and they came for a face-to-face introduction, especially to introduce their new staff member (Bryce), who replaced Krysta Gouglar.  Krysta was originally named as the lead on some of the activities of the initiative.  In their presentation they described the role of siblings in the family of a person with I/DD and some statistics around siblings of a person with I/DD.  Bryce and Debby outlined the focus areas of the initiative including building networking opportunities, identifying the support needs, hosting SibChats, identifying leaders through both rural and urban listening tours, and partnering with the national Sibling Leadership Network to develop a state chapter of the Sibling Leadership Network.  They also plan to host a statewide sibling conference.

Initiative Update and Continuation Funding Request
Renate Macchirole, Joe Macbeth, Laura Fleming, and Tara Fields gave an update on their work so far with the Direct Support Professional initiative.  Renate gave an overview of the kickoff events, their structure, and the support that has been generated from them.  Joe talked about what they’ve learned about the needs for DSP’s in NC and that they were open to widening the scope of the state chapter from just DSP’s for people with I/DD to DSP’s across all service sectors.  Renate shared with the committee some misconceptions that they encountered during their work and how she helped clarify what the NCADSP would actually be.  Despite those misconceptions, every LME-MCO in the state has either agreed, or reached out to Benchmarks, to sponsor the NCADSP movement.  Tara, Renate, and Joe outlined their next steps for year two.  Laura and Tara answered questions about their proposed budget for year two.  

MOTION: Crystal Foreman made a motion that Benchmarks, Inc. be approved for continuation funding for year 2 (of 3) for the NC Chapter of the Alliance for Direct Support Professionals initiative in the amount of $100,000 for the period of January 1st, 2015 to December 31st, 2015.  Match requirement is waived for this grant.  Rick Zechman seconded the motion.  The motion carried.  

Wrap Up and Reminders:
Chairperson Caroline Ambrose reminded committee members to fill out their financial reimbursement forms, and to let Cora Gibson know as early as possible when there are conferences they would like to attend.
MOTION: Mary Edwards made a motion to adjourn the August 2014 Advocacy and Leadership Committee meeting.   Adonis Brown seconded the motion.  The motion carried.


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This project was supported, in part by grant number 2001NCSCDD-02, from the U.S. Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C. 20201. Grantees undertaking projects with government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their findings and conclusions. Points of view or opinions do not, therefore, necessarily represent official ACL policy.

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