ABCD Welcomes Presenters!

Published On: July 27th, 2022Categories: News

EIPA welcomed Rajneet Goomer the new Operations and DEI Manager for the Division of Family Development in NJDOH at its May meeting.  Director Goomer worked for many years as a speech language pathologist in public schools during the day and an EI provider after school and then as a school district administrator before joining DOH earlier this year. Topics discussed included telehealth, No Practitioner Available list, staffing, rate study, ARPA funds for recruiting and retention, no-show/cancellation policy, outreach to colleges for practitioners, travel reimbursement and provider liaison. Director Goomer emphasized that it is her desire to bring increased equity and access to the early intervention system.  We wish the best to Director Goomer in her new position and look forward to working with her.

DDA welcomed Robert Laurino, Special Deputy Attorney General and Chair of the NJ Clergy Abuse Task Force to present on Utilizing a Multi-disciplinary Approach to Protect Persons with Disabilities.  Bob was the first prosecutor in the nation to convict for the sexual assault of a young woman with IDD, revolutionizing justice for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Bob talked about the case and brought up the need for education, accommodation, and effective communication. Regarding education, he emphasized the need to educate individuals on healthy sexuality and relationships as well as recognizing what constitutes abuse, and guardians/parents/providers on how to recognize the signs of abuse.   Thanks to Bob for all that he has done to improve the lives of the people we serve.

Quality Assurance Forum welcomed Wendy Yosco, Director of PPMU, Penny Johnson of the SCU Unit and Amy Scartocci heading the Statewide Transition Plan for NJ to their July meeting.  Discussion covered topics on HCBS Settings Rule which will reframe and redirect more attention to the individual receiving services ensuring that services are person-centered and coming to terms with the fact that individual growth means making mistakes;  issues around  attaining physical signatures on ISPs and how this impacts audit process; the difference and interface between FSSU and PPMU; and the full agreement that the change log that comes with each plan revision should include content changes on the ISP (IT is working on this. Stay tuned!).  It is always great to have an opportunity to meet and share ideas with the people who work in DDD. Thanks Wendy, Penny, and Amy!

Michael Brower, Legal Director of DRNJ visited the DDA and presented on Medicaid eligibility redetermination post PHE.  The belief is that tens of thousands of people on Medicaid will have eligibility issues once the PHE ends (PHE has been extended through mid-October 2022 and individuals who need to go through re-determination process will have 12 months from the end of the PHE to do so). As we all know if someone we serve loses Medicaid eligibility, they could potentially lose support and services which would be “catastrophic.” The good news is that the state and many groups like DRNJ are dedicated to preventing this from happening.   As providers we need to remain vigilant as well, educating individuals and informal caregivers and staff to be on the lookout for redetermination letters in the mail. Once again, we thank Michael and DRNJ, the state’s designate protection and advocacy agency, preserving and advocation for the human, civil and legal rights of individuals with disabilities, for all that they do for the people we serve.

Picture provided by Matheny

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