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APD & Certs on Therap and other ramblings by Scott Barnette

Allison I am back from CT FMLA : ) Newborn in mid June takes readjusting to life. Back to the joys of blogging ; (

So life in the ICF setting had grown rather mundane for me. Happily, I was just a few weeks ago presented with a great opportunity to come over to the dark side and assume direction of 17 Group Homes. Yes I know I must enjoy a level self punishment for agreeing to take on this task but for me it is conquering the other side of the coin of DD Residential services. All new rules/reg’s and challenges.
In relation to Therap this move has re-energized me as well. I feel at the ICF I was Admin of, we were at the top of Therap mountain with not many other frontiers to conquer but here, here in the GH’s oh we are climbing out of the valley. So there is lots to do on many fronts.
My 1st small victory is the following: We as a company utilize TMS and keep PDF’s of all certs there. APD (Agency for Persons with Disabilities) does their monthly inspections of each home and they are looking in particular for Med validations & med class certs. They want to physically see the certificates and therefore have been issuing us notices of noncompliance (nonc) for lacking the physical certs on site. So I decided to show up at each of our scheduled walkthrough’s the past 2 weeks and show on the computer these certifications to the APD rep. We as an agency had also created their own login for APD but I was told by the inspector they weren’t comfortable navigating our system and would not log on. Unless myself or another supervisor was present at each walkthrough to show them, we would continue to receive these nonc’s.Anyhow that is not feasible going forward so at a regularly scheduled meeting at the regional gov office I met with the supervisor of licensing and showed them how to login and what our system was. They were very receptive to the method and indicated they would share this with the team in the field.
Sure enough at our next walkthrough where I was unable to attend, the rep from APD made efforts to logon and see our certs that way. It appears the nonc’s have stopped on this issue and the TMS system has prevailed!!!
On to the next battle………..

It’s that time of year again! by Kristen Thompson


July 31, 2014

Mr. Cardin (for himself, Ms. Collins, Mr. Blumenthal, Mr. Brown, Mr.
Casey, Mr. Franken, Mr. Grassley, Mr. King, Ms. Klobuchar, Mr. Manchin,
Mr. Markey, Mr. Murphy, Mr. Portman, Mr. Rockefeller, and Ms. Warren)
submitted the following resolution; which was considered and agreed to



Designating the week beginning September 7, 2014, as “National Direct
Support Professionals Recognition Week”.

Whereas direct care workers, personal assistants, personal attendants, in-home
support workers, and paraprofessionals (referred to in this preamble as
“direct support professionals”) are the primary providers of publicly-
funded long-term support and services for millions of individuals with
Whereas direct support professionals must build a close, respectful, and trusted
relationship with individuals with disabilities;
Whereas direct support professionals assist individuals with disabilities with
intimate personal care assistance on a daily basis;
Whereas direct support professionals provide a broad range of individualized
support, including–

(1) preparation of meals;

(2) helping with medications;

(3) assisting with bathing and dressing;

(4) assisting individuals with physical disabilities with access to
their environment;

(5) providing transportation to school, work, religious, and
recreational activities; and

(6) helping with general aspects of daily living, such as financial
matters, medical appointments, and personal interests;

Whereas direct support professionals provide essential support to help keep
individuals with disabilities connected to family, friends, and
Whereas direct support professionals support individuals with disabilities in
making choices that lead to meaningful, productive lives;
Whereas direct support professionals are the key to helping individuals with
disabilities to live successfully in the community, and to avoid more
costly institutional care;
Whereas the participation of direct support professionals in medical care
planning is critical to the successful transition from medical events to
post-acute care and long-term support and services;
Whereas the majority of direct support professionals are the primary financial
providers for their families and often work multiple jobs to make ends
Whereas direct support professionals are a critical element in supporting
individuals who are receiving health care services for severe chronic
health conditions and individuals with with functional limitations;
Whereas while direct support professionals work and pay taxes, many direct
support professionals earn poverty-level wages and are therefore
eligible for the same Federal and State public assistance programs on
which individuals with disabilities served by direct support
professionals must also depend;
Whereas Federal and State policies assert the right of certain individuals with
a disability to live in a residential setting in the community, or an
institutional setting of their choice, and the Supreme Court of the
United States, in Olmstead v. L.C., 527 U.S. 581 (1999), confirmed that
right for certain individuals;
Whereas, as of 2014, the majority of direct support professionals are employed
in home and community-based settings and this majority is projected to
increase over the next decade;
Whereas there is a documented and increasing critical shortage of direct support
professionals throughout the United States; and
Whereas many direct support professionals are forced to leave their jobs due to
inadequate wages and benefits and limited opportunities for advancement,
creating demonstrated high turnover and vacancy rates, which adversely
affect the quality of support and the safety and health of individuals
with disabilities: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Senate–
(1) designates the week beginning September 7, 2014, as
“National Direct Support Professionals Recognition Week”;
(2) recognizes the dedication of direct support
professionals and the vital role direct support professionals
have in enhancing the lives of individuals with disabilities of
all ages;
(3) appreciates the contribution of direct support
professionals in supporting individuals with disabilities and
their families in the United States;
(4) identifies direct support professionals as integral to
long-term support and services for individuals with
disabilities; and
(5) finds that the successful implementation of the public
policies affecting individuals with disabilities in the United
States depends on the dedication of direct support

Buffalo Regional Conference by Lori Sojka

We just attended another most helpful Regional Conference here in Buffalo. It was nice seeing all the Therap Reps again as well as catching up with old acquaintances and meeting new ones. If you have a regional Conference coming up in your area please try to attend as the information shared is very beneficial. Also keep in mind that attending User Groups is a great way to network and stay in the loop. Have a great Labor Day Weekend!

Therap Regional Conference by Elizabeth Das

Just opened up the link today for the Therap Regional Conference in Miami, Florida today. Lo and behold, I see MCPRS is doing a presentation on the successful implementation of Therap. Yes, it has been very successful and frutiful for us. I am just intimidated thinking of this presentation. Started working on it. Will keep you posted. The conference will be on September 9 and 10. Wish me luck!

My First Blog….Sorry!!!!!!!! by Mary Swygert

I thought the easiest part of being a Certified Trainer was going to be blogging. Boy, was I wrong!! This is my first blog after becoming a CT….four months ago!!!
We just attended the Buffalo Regional Therap Conference last week. It was great to hear the feedback form local agencies especially since New York is in such a state of transition. Our agency is starting the billing module this month so we were able to get individualized attention from Jim (added conference bonus)!! We really missed Leah this year, we all wish her the best!
On a personal note- My Therap life up until April was all about nursing, and I was becoming a pro at the medical stuff. However in late April I became the Director of Residential Services– and now have to focus on all modules, so I am learning all sorts of new things!!

Ok, blog done…….now on to Webinar ideas, lol!!!

Maybe it wasn’t so bad!!!

How S.M.A.R.T. are we? by Mary Lawson

For as many years as I have participated in the IEP, IPP, ISP, IHP development process, goals have been the cornerstone in creating a “good plan” for the person that we were serving.  We have been trained and taught many others in the development of those goals by using the acronym S.M.A.R.T.

We began writing goals for ourselves using the S.M.A.R.T.  model.  It is so simple, just be S.M.A.R.T. and you would develop a pretty decent goal.

Everyone remember;

S . = Specific

M.= Measurable

A.= Achievable

R.= Realistic

T.= Time bound.

Maybe, just maybe, we have been writing goals all wrong!

Recently I was presented the opportunity to listen to personal development trainer, Brendon Burchard, founder of the High Performance Academy  speak about goal setting and why we should consider writing goals from a different perspective.  Burchard contends that we should be D.U.M.B. when writing goals.  Burchard believes that goals written with the S.M.A.R.T.  model are deficit based and we need to be bolder than that. So he challenged us to set some D.U.M.B. goals.  Let me attempt to explain.

D. = Dream big, destiny driven – what would be the ideal, magical thing in life that you want to achieve?

U.= Uplifting, it has to be compelling, attractive, important to you and positive. Phrase it in a way that is so positive that you can’t wait to get started and get there, focus on the gain.

M. = Method friendly.  Method is the map, a set of practices you want to repeat. Consider what practices can be created around the dream that allows it to happen easier.

B. = Behavior driven, what behaviors/actions happen now that can become the trigger for the new behavior/action/ that you want to develop?   You have many established routines, which of those can you attach the new behavior/action to so it is the “trigger” that steps you forward in reaching your dream.

So, dream big, be bold, develop some big hairy audacious D.U.M.B. goals.

Great Vacation Now Back to Work :-) by Vicki Erdie

I had a wonderful time with my family over the past week. We spent a lot of time swimming at the pool and at the beach. Now its time to go back to work.
One of the more exciting projects I am returning to includes developing a process for expending Therap access to individual’s and guardians within our agency. I am curious how other agency have gone about opening up access. It would be great to hear back from other agencies how have opened up access or are in the process.

Take care,
Vicki Erdie
Electronic Health Records Manager
Ulster-Greene ARC

Surfing for Autism by Kali Rose

The kids are back in school….whew!

This summer was great and wanted to share that I discovered a wonderful group called Surfers for Autism.  My daughter Jordyn, got to take part in the event at Pass-a-Grille in St. Petersburg, FL on July 12th.  It was an amazing day with amazing people.  Check them out here and if you are ever able to, volunteer at an event.  Truly a wonderful organization and we had an amazing time!  Till next year….

Changes, Changes, Changes by Misty Maroon

Wow, what a lot of changes going on at Rainbow of Challenges. I am now not only the Therap trainer, I am all things training, and with our governing agencies, that is a lot of stuff.

There are also a lot of changes going on with our daily documentation on ISP programs. After new rules in Arkansas went into place, we had to adapt Therap to fit. This is when I realized the versatility of Therap. It took a lot of thinking (and Allison) but we were able to adapt the ISP module to fit our needs. It is amazing what one module can do. So, thank you Allison, Amber, Chika, Cindy, and Shelby…….and Therap for bringing it all together. What an amazing team!

Let me see, what else is going on in Arkansas, oh yeah, it’s hot! I am sure not as hot as Austin in September, but I am looking forward to seeing many of you there.

What a month so far! by Lorelei Glenn

Lots of excitement going here in Omaha. I started the month off with taking care of my mom before, during & after surgery. She was able to go back home last Thursday, and is doing well. She has never been sick, doesn’t take medications and hasn’t had to have surgery since 1972, so the whole hospital experience was new for her (by the way, she just turned 76 last month)! I’ve now realized how often we forget to update important documents, like wills and advance directives. My mom hadn’t updated anything since before my dad died in 1996. I was a little bit worried since my brother was listed as the only Medical Guardian, but I was the one handling all of the medical things with my mom. I also realized that my will has not been updated since BEFORE my son was born (he is now 21)! Whoops…

So, just a reminder to everyone out there – remember to update your wills/advance directives, or at least review them once a year (like at Benefit Election or Tax time). Or for individuals in service, at annual planning time. Better to be safe than sorry!

On the Therap home front, we are now beginning Health Homes in Kansas. Are any other states out there with Health Homes who use Therap?

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