Life Choices Steering Committee Meeting Minutes (2-19-14)

Division of Developmental Disabilities' Five Outcome Statements

  •  Individuals served with Intellectual Disabilities will be healthy and safe;
  •  Individuals served will have real relationships with family and friends;
  •  Individuals who want to work will have paying jobs;
  •  Individuals will make decisions about their lives; and
  •  Individuals will have opportunities to contribute to their communities

Vision Statement

All children and adults with developmental disabilities living in Illinois receive high quality services guided by a Person-Centered Plan that maximizes individual choice and flexibility in the most integrated setting possible. All areas of the State have available a full array of services that meet the needs of children and adults with developmental disabilities living in their local communities regardless of intensity or severity of need. There is no waiting list for services.


Representatives from the Division of Developmental Disabilities

  • Greg Fenton
  • Sandy Ryan
  • Mary Spriggs-Ploessl
  • Michael Hurt
  • Dr. Geunyeong Pyo
  • Kit O'Brien-cota
  • Sherry Hinds
  • Trevelyn Florence-Thomas
  • Janine Gudac
  • Rose Ann Winkel
  • Mary Lou Bourne
  • Dr. Tracy Aldridge
  • Maureen Haugh-Stover
  • Jennifer Elders
  • Emily Vincent
  • Sean Walsh
  • Vickie Stillman-Toomey
  • Michael Hurt
  • Joe Turner
  • Kevin Byrd
  • Andrea Medley
  • Geri Pinzine
  • John Knight

Representation from all 18 PAS Agencies

  • Southern Illinois Case Coordination Services
  • DD Services of Metro East
  • Great Rivers Service Coordination
  • Prairieland Service Coordination
  • Central Illinois Service Access
  • West Central Service Coordination
  • Champaign County Regional Planning Commission
  • Western Illinois Service Coordination
  • Livingston County Mental Health Board
  • Service, Inc.
  • CSO for Rock Island/Mercer Counties
  • Access Services of Northern Illinois
  • Options & Advocacy for McHenry County
  • Community Alternatives Unlimited
  • Community Service Options
  • PACT, Inc.
  • DayOneNetwork
  • Suburban Access

Representation from Trade Associations, Family Advocates, Providers, and Related Organizations

  • Arc of Illinois
  • Center for DD Advocacy & Community Supports
  • Clearbrook
  • Ray Graham Association
  • Developmental Services Center
  • Don Moss and Associates
  • Family Support Network
  • Trinity Services
  • Illinois Association of Rehabilitation Facilities
  • Institute on Public Policy for People with Disabilities
  • Little City

Summary of Major Items Discussed

  1. Agenda Items

    • Introductions/Opening Round: What are you looking forward to with this effort?
    • Mary Lou Bourne and Greg Fenton welcomed the group and thanked everyone for coming.
    • Mary Lou reiterated some of her background, and was proud to inform the group that Support Development Associates, the company she works for, is a recipient of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, which recognizes U.S. organizations in the business, health care, education, and nonprofit sectors for performance excellence. The Baldrige Award is the only formal recognition of the performance excellence of both public and private U.S. organizations given by the President of the United States.
    • Greg stated that some recommended changes/actions would be implemented, while others were still under discussion/development, noting that sometimes you have to "ride the bike as you are building it". Mary Lou stated that she liked the bicycle reference because just like the different parts of a bicycle, teams will have to work together in order to move things forward.
    • Mary Lou indicated that a name for this effort/initiative would be voted on and announced by the end of the meeting. Life Choice Project received the most votes.
    • Mary Lou asked participants to introduce themselves and state what it is that they are looking forward to with this effort. 
    •  Review of Outstanding Questions asked during 1/28/14 Conference Call
    • Outstanding questions from the 1/28/14 conference call were addressed.
    • IT Issues: Greg reported that BIP Funding had been allocated to advance the "Framework Project" to meet the State's changing IT needs. The Division is also awaiting the report from the PUNS review to see if IT changes are needed in the PUNS system. Also, Bruce VanMetre, who worked in the Department's MIS Division for many years, is under contract with the Division to assist with data needs. Finally, the DD Council has $75,000 that could be used for IT enhancements. Meetings will be held to discuss the best way to use the money.
    • Family Reimbursement: DD can provide travel reimbursement for families to participate on the Teams.
    • PUNS: It was reported that the draft report from the PUNS Listening Tours is being reviewed at the Illinois Council on Developmental Disabilities (ICDD). It will then go to the Division of Developmental Disabilities.
    • 1115 Waiver: Greg explained that discussions continue; however, no final decisions have been made about the 1115 Waiver. He added that there is typically a significant gap between when states want to move to an 1115 Waiver and when they actually obtain the necessary approvals. Besides, a good service coordination system would be required if we moved to an 1115 Waiver; as such, it makes good sense to continue moving forward with this initiative. 
  2. Discussion/Review Specific Suggestions for "on the table and off the table" Topics for each Work Team

    The specific suggestions for "on the table" and "off the table" topics for each Work Team were reviewed and discussed. The consensus of the group was that, at this point, nothing would be "off the table". Teams offered the following insights:

  • Team 1 - On the Table
    1. Statewide consistency 
    2. Minimize interpretations 
    3. Clear/matching of interpretations 
    4. Increase ISSA hrs.
    5. Increase number of mandated visits with the increased hours
  • Team 2 - On the Table
    1. Families and Advocates Included
    2. Consistency in determining eligibility
    3. Train system wide - everyone, not just SSA's 
    4. Standard criteria set for eligibility
    5. Consider combining work - much duplication between ISSA/PAS etc. 
    6. Create a central database that shares all common general information (so parents don't have to repeat info)
  • Team 3 - On the Table
    1. Under "b" separate Medicaid eligibility and waiver enrollment
    2. Electronic and paper notifications done on a timely manner
    3. Transfers between agencies more efficient
    4. Reconcile 2b and 4c - group needs to meet to address this as a team 
    5. Quick way to enroll in Medicaid 
    6. ISSA hours individualized based on the person needs and IDT due to behavioral, mental health, medical, or traumatic life event 
    7. 4c holistic approach to plan the good, bad and the ugly comprehensive 
    8. Define crisis 
    9. Medicaid liaison
    10. Explain the PUNS process --- Stephanie Leach would be a good subject matter expert (SME) for this group 
    11. Lots of duplication with Team 2 - consider combining 
    12. Central database that shares all common information
  • Team Four - On the Table
    1. Provider list updated regularly and frequently for accuracy 
    2. Consistency in documents --- one profile for all programs 
    3. Providers mentoring New Providers 
    4. Tool training is critical 
    5. PCP is a culture, not "the plan" - need the accountability built in, and updated routinely - evolves over time
    6. Consistent manner for renewal, refresh, progress, changing needs, success noted.
    7. 1st profile is introductory 
    8. Annual updates draw from other stakeholders across the state in progress now. Include natural supports 
    9. Unified plan across providers partnering with individual common elements
  • Team Five - On the Table
    1. Use NH Indicators to define quality --- how do we use current information? 
    2. Use existing Quality Committee 
    3. Technical assistance to providers and DHS
    4. Define consumer and family responsibility
  • Team Six - On the Table
    1. Enhanced technology - enter date once!! 
    2. Everything PAS does should be fee for service. Be able to bill for all the work they do.

Why Now? Brief Video

  • Mary Lou showed a brief video - the Imagine Project - which highlighted the State of Ohio's Department of Developmental Disabilities' Region V County collaborative efforts in effecting "systems change". The video captured the energy, commitment and compassion on the part of key stakeholders in the change initiative. The Imagine Project is a new name branding the Collaborative's efforts. Their first video, "Imagine - The Time is Now" can be seen at
  • Mary Lou indicated that the State of Ohio would be willing to talk to people on how they went about launching this initiative.

Work Team Structure and Logistics - Small Group Discussions/Recommendations

  • Mary Lou reviewed the Team Responsibilities and Potential Organization of Teams, and reviewed and explained Teams 1 - 6 from the Proposal that was disseminated in January. (A participant suggested that acronyms be spelled out, as she did not know what "SME" meant. Mary Lou thanked the participant for bringing that issue to her attention, and apologized for the confusion. SME is an acronym for "Subject Matter Expert").
  • The participants split into 6 Teams and discussed who should be on the Teams, and identified a Team Facilitator and a Team Communicator.
  • It was suggested that the Work Teams start discussions on setting up their initial meetings, and to email Greg and Rose Ann as Work Team members are added and/or removed.
  • A complete listing of the composition of the Teams, including identified Facilitators and Communicators, will be distributed as soon as possible.

Added Agenda Items/Open Discussion/Questions

  • A question was asked regarding when families and self-advocates will be included. Greg responded by indicating that will be deferred to the Work Teams - if anyone knows of someone who would be interested in serving on a Work Team, let us know. Mary Lou pointed out that Community Alternatives Unlimited (CAU) suggested 7 families and self-advocates, and thanked CAU for the information.
  • Greg reported that the meeting minutes will be posted on the DHS Website. Once the link containing the minutes is created, an announcement will be disseminated.

Next Steps, Review of Action Plan Wrap up, and Adjourn Meeting

  • Next meeting date, time, and location have yet to be determined.
  • Meeting was adjourned at 2:50 P.M.

Summary submitted respectfully by,

Mary Lou Bourne

Rose Ann M. Kohrt