Minutes — November 2018 Executive Committee Meeting

Attendance

  • Committee Members Present
  • John Thomas, Council Vice- Chair
  • Kimberly Blackmon
  • Gladys Cortez
  • Lora Taylor
  • Committee Members Absent
  • Mary Durheim, Council Chair
  •  
  • Council Members Present
  • Andrew Crim
  •  
  • Guests Present
  • Stephanie Martinez
  • Staff Present
  • Beth Stalvey, Executive Director
  • Martha Cantu
  • Joanna Cordry
  • Scott Daigle
  • Cynthia Ellison
  • Danny Fikac
  • Robert Garcia
  • Sylvia Medina
  • Joshua Ryf
  • Koren Vogel

Call to Order

The Executive Committee of the Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities convened on Wednesday, November 7, 2018, in the Yucca/San Pedro Room at the Embassy Suites Austin Central, 5901 North IH-35, Austin, TX 78723. Council Vice-Chair John Thomas called the meeting to order at 2:02 PM.

  1. Introductions
  2. Committee members, staff and guests were introduced.
  1. Public Comments
    No public comments were offered.
  1. Consideration of Minutes
    The minutes were reviewed and no additions or corrections were noted.
  2.  
  3. MOTION:To approve the minutes of the August 1, 2018, Executive Committee meeting as presented.
  4. MADE BY:Lora Taylor
  5. SECOND:Gladys Cortez
  6. The motion passed unanimously.
  1. TCDD Quarterly Financial Report
    Operations Director Martha Cantu reviewed the FY 2018 TCDD Administrative and Expense budget noting that at the end of the fiscal year, 87.5% of the allocated funds were spent and that the remaining funds will be reassigned to grant funds.
  1. Cantu reviewed the Summary of Funds for FY 2016 – 2019. She reported that this is the final report for FY 2016 funds and next quarter’s report will provide details for FY 2017 – 2020. All funds for FY 2017 have been assigned and will need to be spent by September 30, 2019. Although a negative balance of $279,955 shows for FY 2018 funds, this will correct itself due to unspent funds on assigned projects and delays on planned projects. Cantu also reported that the initial notice of grant award for FY 2019 was received in the amount of $424,900 and reminded members that Congress has appropriated funding for the entire year at the same amount as last year at $5.1 million.
  2.  
  3. The Committee reviewed the status of current grantees and the stipends which have been funded for the fiscal year.
  4.  
  5. Executive Director Beth Stalvey discussed the performance period for spending federal funds. As discussed during the August meetings, directions have been received that all funds must be obligated and activities performed during a 24-month period with an additional 12 months to liquidate for work completed during the 24 month performance period. Stalvey is confident that having planned projects ready to execute as funds become available will allow TCDD to spend all allocated funds in the necessary time period. Initial directions were, to begin with FY 2019 funding but a waiver was granted for all DD Councils and this practice will now begin with FY 2020 funds.
  1. Maximum Funding Amounts of TCDD Projects
    Executive Director Stalvey again noted that with directions for a 24-month performance period for projects it becomes necessary to have additional projects available for implementation. As Committee members review applications for new grant funding, they may find more potential projects than were initially approved. If members wish to approve additional projects, this funding will need to be authorized by the Council. Committee members will need to choose if an application should be awarded with the previously allocated funds or awarded conditionally based on additional funding granted by the Council.
  1. Stalvey reminded members that funding has been approved for one Statewide Community Peer Support Specialists project, up to two Health and Wellness projects, and up to three Older Adults with Developmental Disabilities and their Caregivers projects.

  1. New Grant Awards
    Public Policy Director Scott Daigle presented applications received for Statewide Community Peer Support Projects. Projects would develop peer supports training programs for individuals who use Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS). He noted that five applications were reviewed by the independent review panel and TCDD staff. Two of the five applications were unanimously not recommended for funding and Daigle briefly described those applications. He next provided details of the three remaining applications.
  2.  
  3. Baylor College of Medicine submitted an application to develop a peer mentorship program for individuals with developmental disabilities (DD) focused on the transition from pediatric to adult Medicaid and HCBS. The project plans to train 20 mentors and 40 mentees.
  4.  
  5. The University of Massachusetts submitted an application to work with Strategic Education Solutions to provide online training, and Texas Advocates to provide peer mentors for individuals with DD. The project would address the needs of people with low socioeconomic status, ethnic/cultural diversity, rural residence, and limited English proficiency. Daigle noted that TCDD staff indicated this application would need significant budget revisions.
  6.  
  7. The University of Texas – Steve Hicks School of Social Work submitted an application to develop Advocates Alliance which would unite peer coaches and individuals who are new to HCBS waiver programs. The project would take place in Falls County and be based on peer support programs in Virginia and Wisconsin with the intent to decrease isolation experienced by people with DD, increase the level of self-reported inclusion in the community, and empower HCBS waiver participants to take control over their service providers. The limited service area was discussed.
  8.  
  9. MOTION: To award funding of up to $100,000 for year 1, and up to $125,000 for years 2-4, to Baylor College of Medicine for a Statewide Community Peer Support project.
  10. MADE BY: Lora Taylor
  11. SECOND: Gladys Cortez
  12. Members discussed online access to the training and the availability for information to be spread beyond Harris County. TCDD Grants Management Specialist Sylvia Medina acknowledged that budget issues on the application could be corrected with minor revisions. The motion passed unanimously.
  13.  
  14. MOTION: To recommend Council approval of increased funding for Statewide Community Peer Supports projects to allow for one additional project.
  15. MADE BY: Lora Taylor
  16. SECOND: Gladys Cortez
  17. The motion passed unanimously.
  18.  
  19. MOTION: Contingent on Council approval of increased funding as well as significant budget negotiations with the applicant, to award funding of up to $100,000 for year 1, and up to $125,000 for years 2-4, to University of Massachusetts for a Statewide Community Peer Support project.
  20. MADE BY: Lora Taylor
  21. SECOND: John Thomas
  22. Members discussed the nature of an online project meeting the needs of low socio-economic audiences and audiences with limited English proficiency. It was also noted that the first year of the program would be the development of the curriculum and establishment of the program with training beginning in the second year. The motion passed unanimously.
  23.  
  24. Planning Director Joanna Cordry next presented applications for Health and Wellness projects noting that 16 applications were evaluated by staff and the independent review panel. Four applications were unanimously not recommended for funding by all reviewers and four others received mixed recommendations. The Committee asked for discussion on the other eight projects. Cordry noted that the intent of the Request for Proposals (RFP) was to improve the health and wellness of individuals with DD through education, addressing gaps in services, and/or building community capacity to support healthy practices.
  25.  
  26. Baylor College of Medicine submitted an application which would train healthcare providers to use behavior desensitization techniques through the interdisciplinary preventative dental clinic embedded in the Transition Medicine Clinic. Providers would learn a more patient-centered approach for individuals with DD which discourages restraint and sedation during dental and medical procedures.
  27.  
  28. Special Olympics Texas submitted an application to incorporate the Healthy LEAP program into Unified PE classes which is inclusive of students with and without disabilities. The 10-week series of health, nutrition, fitness, safety and injury prevention lessons would be supplemented with a multi-media campaign for parents and guardians to participate. Staff acknowledged this project would need significant budget revisions.
  29.  
  30. The Burkhart Center at Texas Tech University submitted an application to increase services and supports in the rural South Plains region. The program would increase screenings and earlier diagnosis by establishing and educating new contact points, and provide training opportunities for future practitioners.
  31.  
  32. Community Healthcore submitted an application to establish the Live Well, Be Well program in a nine-county region of East Texas. The program includes classes focused on the reduction of falls, chronic disease management, and Tai Chi. It would also address the healthcare transition from adolescence to adulthood. Classes would be conducted through Area Agencies on Aging and would be inclusive of people with and without disabilities.
  33.  
  34. Human Services of Southeast Texas (Spindletop Center) submitted an application to promote health and wellness for people with DD through community integration, exercise, education, and healthy nutrition. A 27,750 square foot community garden would also be established.
  35.  
  36. My Health My Resources Tarrant County submitted an application to employ an Activities Coordinator, Occupational Therapist, Registered Nurse, and an Evaluation Specialist to improve health and wellness at day habilitation centers, group homes and in the community.
  37.  
  38. Texas Adaptive Sports and Recreation submitted an application to facilitate the expansion of facility programs and offer scholarships for participants with disabilities to become members of partner facilities. Staff acknowledged this project would need significant budget revisions. Texana Center submitted an application to provide health and wellness classes that would include “exergaming”, exercise, and informational classes.
  39.  
  40. MOTION: To award funding of up to $200,000 per year for up to five years to Baylor College of Medicine for a Health and Wellness project.
  41. MADE BY: Lora Taylor
  42. SECOND: Gladys Cortez
  43. The motion passed unanimously.
  44.  
  45. MOTION: To award funding of up to $200,000 per year for up to five years to the Burkhart Center at Texas Tech University for a Health and Wellness project.
  46. MADE BY: Kimberly Blackmon
  47. SECOND: John Thomas
  48. The motion passed unanimously
  49.  
  50. MOTION: To recommend Council approval of increased funding for Health and Wellness projects to allow for one additional project.
  51. MADE BY: John Thomas
  52. SECOND: Lora Taylor
  53. The motion passed unanimously.
  54.  
  55. MOTION: Contingent on Council approval of increased funding as well as significant budget negotiations with the applicant, to award funding of up to $200,000 per year for up to five years to the Special Olympics Texas for a Health and Wellness project.
  56. MADE BY: Kimberly Blackmon
  57. SECOND: Lora Taylor
  58. The motion passed unanimously.
  59.  
  60. Planning Specialist Danny Fikac presented applications received for Older Adults with Developmental Disabilities and their Caregivers projects. Five applications were reviewed of which two were not recommended for funding by all reviewers.
  61.  
  62. Alamo Area Council on Governments (AACOG) submitted an application to provide older adults with DD and their caregiver’s resources to address the five key domains in Healthy People 2020. These include economic stability, education, health and health care, neighborhood and built environment, and social and community context. AACOG will partner with the Bexar Area Agency on Aging and Alamo Service Connection.
  63.  
  64. Border Region Behavioral Health Center submitted an application to develop a caregiver support program to meet the needs of aging caregivers of adults with DD. It would provide increased access to physical activity, healthy nutrition, support groups, and self-care. Services would be provided in dual-language at the four Border Region sites.  Staff acknowledges significant budget revisions needed.
  65.  
  66. Project Amistad submitted an application which aims to increase the transition of older adults with DD into the community rather than institutional settings. It would offer an evidence-based training that creates a “letter of intent” to define the individual’s wishes as their caregivers are no longer able to fulfill that role.
  67.  
  68. MOTION: To award funding of up to $175,000 per year for up to five years to Border Region Behavioral Health Center for an Older Adults with Developmental Disabilities and their Caregivers project contingent on significant budget negotiations.
  69. MADE BY: Lora Taylor
  70. SECOND: John Thomas
  71. The motion passed unanimously.
  72.  
  73. MOTION: To award funding of up to $175,000 per year for up to five years to Alamo Area Councils on Government for an Older Adults with Developmental Disabilities and their Caregivers project.
  74. MADE BY: John Thomas
  75. SECOND: Gladys Cortez
  76. The Committee discussed the need for the definition of the number of individuals who would be served as well as the need for translation of the training materials in Spanish. The motion passed unanimously.
  1. Independent Review Panel Members
    Planning Specialist Fikac presented one application to serve as an independent review panel member. Members discussed the stated qualifications of this individual.
  2.  
  3. MOTION: To add the applicant to the list of potential review panel members.
  4. MADE BY: Gladys Cortez
  5. SECOND: Lora Taylor
  6. The motion passed unanimously.

  1. Continuation Grant Awards
  2. Grants Management Director Cynthia Ellison presented the executive summary for continuation grant funding for Reaching Families Advocacy and Support Group. This Culturally Appropriate Family Support project provides support for the Ethiopian, Eritrean, and Kenyan communities in the Dallas-Fort Worth area with plans to expand to the Houston area during the final year of the project. The project has provided support during Admission, Review, and Dismissal (ARD) meetings for 118 students and support for six young adults as they seek employment. The project director was a guest speaker on autism and DD to over 20,000 families at the Ethiopian Sports Federation of North America which generated an increase in contacts and request for support. Staff has no concerns with this project.
  3.  
  4. MOTION: To approve up to $74,921 in continuation grant funding to the Reaching Families Advocacy and Support Group for the fourth and final year of a Culturally Appropriate Family Supports project.
  5. MADE BY: Gladys Cortez
  6. SECOND: Lora Taylor
  7. The motion passed unanimously.
  8.  
  9. Grants Management Specialist Sylvia Medina next presented the executive summary for continuation grant funding for Community Healthcore. This Building Community Capacity through Collaboration project has five focus areas of community supports to prevent and reduce admissions of people with developmental disabilities to institutions. Focus areas include positive behavioral supports, faith-based respite, person/family centered healthcare, community leadership teams, and effective communication with the community. The staff has no concerns with this project.
  10.  
  11. MOTION: To approve up to $150,000 in continuation grant funding to Community Healthcore for the fifth and final year of a Building Community Capacity through Collaboration project.
  12. MADE BY: Lora Taylor
  13. SECOND: Gladys Cortez
  14. The motion passed unanimously.
  1. Grants Activities Reports
    Grants Management Director Ellison reported that no audits were completed this quarter due to the recent start of the fiscal year. She also reported that the Public Policy Fellow project at EveryChild, Inc. concluded at the end of September and that Hatching Hope has begun the Outreach and Development project on November 1, 2018.
  2.  
  3. Ellison reported a change in monitoring procedures for grantees in that an on-site review is no longer conducted within the first 90 days of the project. In place of that review, grantees must sign assurances to state that they are in compliance with documents for internal controls and federal regulations. TCDD staff may conduct an onsite visit at any time to see copies of these documents. Because of this change, the Risk Assessment report has a blank column for required on-site reviews.
  1. Chair’s Report
    Council Vice-Chair Thomas reviewed expected absences for the Council and Committee meetings which include Council Chair Mary Durheim, Mateo Delgado, Ruth Mason, and Brandon Pharris. Kris Clark will attend Thursday’s meetings but is unable to attend on Friday. Texas Workforce Commission representative Jennifer Hines will be present on Friday but is unable to attend on Thursday. There is currently a vacancy in representation from the Health and Human Services Commission Older Americans Act programs.
  1. Executive Director’s Report
    Executive Director Stalvey reviewed stipend awards that were approved during the past quarter to the following applicants:

    • Volar Center for Independent Living: Events Stipend for up to $5,115 for the Our Lives Disabilities Conference and Service Providers Expo on October 25, 2018, in El Paso.
    • Coalition of Texans with Disabilities: Speakers Stipend for up to $6,788 for 15th Annual Film Festival & Short Film Competition on October 19-20, 2018, in Houston.
    • Volar Center for Independent Living: Speakers Stipend for up to $2,260 for the Our Lives Disabilities Conference and Service Providers Expo on October 25, 2018, in El Paso.
    • Family to Family: Events Stipend for up to $6,000 for 14th Annual Conference and Resource Fair on January 26, 2019, in Houston.
  2.  
  3. Stalvey provided updates on TCDD staff to note that Le Lien has accepted a permanent position as the Web Administrator and that Ann Bjorgo left her Grants Management Specialist position before the end of the probation period. Sperling Consulting was selected as the contractor for Communications assistance. The vacant Grants Management Specialist position has been posted for applications and staff are considering the position description for the vacant Public Policy Assistant.
  4.  
  5. Stalvey discussed the meeting schedule to note that the Project Development Committee and Public Policy Committee meetings will take place on Thursday morning and the Committee of the Whole will take place on Thursday afternoon. This was switched to accommodate speaker schedules but members were asked to compare this schedule to the typical schedule and provide feedback.
  1. Conflict of Interest Disclosure
    Committee members reviewed updated conflict of interest disclosure information for Council members and staff. No concerns were noted.
  1. Other Discussion Items
  2. Council Vice-Chair Thomas conferred with members on the format of the New Grant Award presentations. Members discussed the summaries provided and information needed to make an informed decision. This includes state plan goals, budget negotiations, and monitoring compliance.

Adjourn

Vice-Chair Thomas adjourned the Executive Committee at 6:28 PM.