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  • HSRI Newsletter - December 2015

    12/2015

    The HSRI Newsletter - December 2015 was released this week. Topics include:

    • A Message From Our President
    • Advancing Individualized, Self-Directed Supports
    • New Healthcare Comparison Tool
    • Assessments at the County Level: Integrated Care Delivery and Outpatient Behavioral Health
    • Honoring Retiring Board Member Jack Noble 
    • Staff-Authored Articles
    • Direct Support Professionals Survey Report

    You can find an online copy of the newsletter here: http://www.hsri.org/newsletter/20151230/

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  • New Report: HSRI Evaluates Year 1 of a Supported Decision-Making Pilot

    12/2015

    HSRI released its first-year evaluation report of a supported decision-making (SDM) pilot project in western Massachusetts. The project is a joint initiative between the Center for Public Representation and Nonotuck Resource Associates.

    The report notes key lessons learned and provides recommendations for those looking to implement SDM. As stated in the report, CPR and Nonotuck established a cooperative organizational foundation for SDM, invested considerable resources in SDM education and training, and assisted seven adults with a range of disabilities and life experiences to adopt SDM.

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  • New! Information Brief on Person-Centered Planning and Supports Budgets

    12/2015

    HSRI’s intellectual and developmental disabilities team created an information brief that describes the person-centered planning and supports budgeting processes, and illustrates how the two may be integrated.

    Thanks to the work of so many, it is increasingly accepted that supports should be tailored to people’s individual preferences, goals, and aspirations. Person-centered thinking and planning can help groups create these personalized supports; it's a process that brings people together to help a person with a disability discover what he or she would like to do in the future and create a plan to help achieve it. Yet, this planning process is even more effective when the group knows the amount of public support (i.e., funding) that is allocated to the person. A supports budget—or a personalized allocation based on an individual’s needs—helps in this regard.

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  • Job Opening: Data Management Specialist

    12/2015

    Are you a skilled data manager with a passion for social justice? Do you want to make sure that federal and state policymakers, agency directors, and other human services professionals have the high-quality information they need to make data-based policy decisions?

    We’re seeking a full-time Data Management Specialist to work with our Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (I/DD) and Child and Family Services research teams in our Tualatin, Oregon office. The Human Services Research Institute (HSRI) is a nonprofit organization with a nearly 40-year track record of measuring the quality of services to individuals in need of supports. We conduct research and evaluation and provide training and technical assistance in the fields of child welfare, intellectual and developmental disabilities, and behavioral health.  Our intent is to help shape policy and practice to promote inclusive communities for people with disabilities and other vulnerable populations.

    Job Summary

    In the role of Data Management Specialist, you’ll work with an energetic team to create innovative solutions for an extensive range of human services data analysis requests while ensuring data quality and security. You’ll need experience managing both small and large datasets, programming for data management, manipulating data across formats, and constructing variables. You should also have experience communicating findings to a diverse body of stakeholders and policy makers.  

    Preferences

    The Data Management Specialist will have experiences and skills related to:

    • Working with relational database systems such as MySQL, MSSQL, or Oracle and a good working knowledge of SQL and at least one other scripting language (e.g., Python. R); 
    • Integrating data from multiple data sets to assist with interpretation and application of analysis findings;  
    • Automating analytics in report delivery cycles from multiple data sources;
    • Maintaining databases with appropriate security and adherence to privacy rules, including exchanging data securely with state or federal agencies, or other partnering organizations;
    • Managing multiple concurrent priorities and meeting deadlines within a dynamic, fast-paced, and challenging environment;
    • Producing data visualizations through software such as Tableau; and
    • Working directly or indirectly in human services.

    Additional Information

    This is a full-time salaried contractual position that includes benefits.  Salary commensurate with skills and experience.  The position is located in Tualatin, Oregon (outside Portland) and requires that the individual reside in the local area. Responsibilities cannot be fulfilled on a virtual or off-site basis.

    Position is available starting in January 2016.  Applications are being accepted now.  Individuals from historically underrepresented communities are strongly encouraged to apply.  Email your cover letter, resume, and salary requirements to Pat Shelton at pshelton@hsri.org, or mail them to: Data Management Specialist, HSRI, 7690 SW Mohawk Street, Building K, Tualatin, OR  97062. For more information on HSRI, go to www.hsri.org.

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  • NCI Releases Staff Stability Survey Report

    11/2015

    Recognizing that the quality of life for individuals with ID/DD in the service system is inextricably linked to the work quality and stability of those who are paid to support them, the National Core Indicators (NCI) assists states in collecting accurate and comprehensive data on the direct support professional (DSP) workforce. NCI just released its 2014 Staff Stability Survey Report, which compiles survey data taken from provider agencies in nine participating states and the District of Columbia. 

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  • Maine Launches Health Care Transparency Site Developed by HSRI Health Data Team

    11/2015

    The Maine Health Data Organization (MHDO) has launched CompareMaine.org, a new health care transparency website developed by HSRI's Health Data team. Consumers can use the new website to compare the average cost of over 200 medical procedures at more than 170 healthcare facilities in the state. They can also use the site to compare quality ratings for many facilities.

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  • HSRI Announces Its Next President

    10/2015

    In an announcement released on October 29, HSRI President Valerie Bradley revealed impending leadership changes for HSRI, including the promotion of David Hughes to the position of President beginning in January 2017:

    Dear Friends of HSRI,

    About two years ago, as I moved into my 70th year, I began to think about my own future and the future of HSRI and the careful steps that would be necessary to allow me to gradually shift out of the organization’s leadership role. Given how much I care about HSRI and our work, I wanted to make sure that any transition process unfolded in an intentional and thoughtful way that maximized continuity. I enlisted the help of an independent consulting firm that assists nonprofits through the transition process. The consultants led us through a very deliberate progression with participation by both the Board and staff. Organizational transitions are not linear and have implications beyond changes in leadership. The process, therefore, resulted in enhancements of policies and procedures as well as Board reforms. It culminated in Board approval of the promotion of David Hughes, PhD, to Executive Vice President, effective immediately, and agreement that he should become President of HSRI in January 2017 – the year that HSRI moves into its 5th decade!

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  • Behavioral Health Outpatient Capacity Analysis Finds Milwaukee County Challenges Linked Both to Supply and Coordination Issues

    10/2015

    As part of an ongoing analysis of the behavioral health care delivery system in Milwaukee County, HSRI and its partners the Technical Assistance Collaborative and the Public Policy Forum recently issued findings from an analysis of the county’s outpatient capacity. As described in a report released on October 27, our research finds that Milwaukee County is challenged by issues of fragmentation among outpatient providers, lack of communication between providers and hospital discharge specialists, a shortage of psychiatrists, and insufficient Medicaid reimbursement rates that are negatively impacting provider supply. 

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  • HSRI Presentations from AAIDD Annual Meeting 2015

    6/2015

    HSRI President Val Bradley and many members of our staff recently attended and presented at the AAIDD Annual Meeting in Louisville, Kentucky. The conference sessions and plenaries highlighted exciting innovations in research, practice, and policy, and HSRI attendees returned feeling motivated and energized about progress in the field. Here we provide a number of the presentations they gave, covering such topics as staff stability, the new HCBS requirements - tools for tracking compliance and for self-advocates, and quality of life data and trends.

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  • Now Available! New Issue of The Riot!

    05/2015

    The Riot! just released a new, special-edition issue on the new rules for home and community-based services from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Home and community-based services help many people with disabilities live in their community, and the new rules are based on many of the things that self-advocates have been saying for years. In typical Riot! style, the issue helps explain the rules in plain language, shares thoughts from self-advocates around the nation, and even includes a pull-out game to help people with intellectual and developmental disabilities think about how the new rules may affect their lives.

    The Riot! is a publication of HSRI and features content from self-advocates around the country.

     

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  • NCI Data Brief on Rights and Respect

    04/2015

    Last week, NCI released a new data brief entitled "What NCI Data Reveal About Service Delivery and the Respect Given to the Rights of People With I/DD." Using data from the 2013-14 NCI Adult Consumer Survey, the brief explores whether public I/DD services are delivered in ways that respect service recipients' privacy, choices, and control. It also highlights significant differences by race and ethnicity, guardianship status, residence type, and other variables. Lastly, it presents a number of promising innovations and programs when it comes to preserving rights and respect.

    You can find it at www.nationalcoreindicators.org/resources/data-briefs.

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  • HSRI Named Prime Contractor for Program Support Center IDIQ

    03/2015

    The Program Support Center awarded HSRI an indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract to conduct projects for and offer services to the Department of Health and Human Services and other federal agencies. Services that may be provided through this contract vehicle include policy assessments/analysis, program assessments, evaluations and data collection, performance measurements, technical assistance/expertise, and data analysis as well as auxiliary/support services (interpretation and translation, website support, publications, etc.).

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  • New Staff Member for Our I/DD Studies Team

    03/2015

    We are pleased to announce that Jami Petner-Arrey, Ph.D., will join HSRI in the position of policy associate on April 6.  

    Jami will work within our intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) studies team in our Tualatin, Oregon office. She’ll participate in and manage projects related to the design of support systems for people with I/DD. Popular topic areas include self-advocacy, means for supporting families, strategic planning, and systems redesign centered on establishing individualized supports budgets for service recipients. These efforts will primarily involve quantitative or qualitative data analysis, policy analysis, and partnerships with state human services agencies, local organizations, and others.   

    Jami completed her doctoral studies in special education at the University of New Mexico with supporting studies centered on social justice, advocacy, and public policy. Previously, she served as a Homebound Head Teacher in the Albuquerque Public Schools and as university instructor. She also completed post-doctoral studies in Ontario, Canada to explore employment practices and person?directed planning for people with I/DD.

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  • The Myopic Optimism of the 'Good' Asylum: HSRI Reacts to Recent Articles That Support a Return to Institutionalization

    03/2015

    In recent weeks, both the New York Times and the Journal of the American Medical Association published articles that call for a return to asylum-style care for people with serious mental illness. These authors take the stance that the decades-long effort to reform mental health services – a movement away from custodial institutional care and toward community-based supports – is a failure, citing the high numbers of people who have ended up homeless, incarcerated, or receiving inadequate care in understaffed emergency rooms and nursing homes. Christine Montross, in the New York Times, also extends the institutional care possibility to people with intellectual disabilities – a group whose outcomes in the community have been largely positive. The JAMA article focuses on treatment for people who are too “unsafe” for community services. But this overstated link between mental illness and violence is unsubstantiated: research shows that people with serious mental illness are 10 times more likely to be victims than perpetrators of violent crime.

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  • According to HSRI Research, Peer Respites Hold Promise for Reducing the System’s Reliance on Institutional Treatment

    03/2015

    Those of us who are concerned about the state of the behavioral health service system would agree that voluntary, cost-effective services and supports that preclude the need for coerced or institutional treatment should be widely available. Peer respites may be one component of such a system.

    This month, two of our nation’s most respected publications, the New York Times and the Journal of the American Medical Association, published opinion pieces calling for a return to institutional settings for people diagnosed with serious mental illness. Both are poorly reasoned, casually dismiss the rights and preferences of an entire subset of the human population, and play on public fears about a link between violence and mental illness. It seems these writings may have made it to the pages of such hallowed publications because they are part of a perfect storm of political forces that include Rep. Tim Murphy’s efforts to expand assisted outpatient treatment (AOT) and dismantle the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), a damning report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) criticizing SAMHSA and other federal agencies, and a growing concern that prisons and jails play an increasingly de facto role in the behavioral health service system. There’s no doubt that the system needs improvements, but calls for institutional treatment ignore decades of research documenting the effectiveness of community-based services and supports that, if adequately funded and properly implemented, enable people diagnosed with serious mental health conditions to live rich lives and contribute to society in meaningful ways.

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  • Take a Look! HSRI President Shares NCI Findings in New Video Series

    02/2015

    The American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities has produced a series of TED Talk-style videos that highlight issues of interest. HSRI President Val Bradley stars in a video on National Core Indicators (NCI) findings. Val's video is the first under the heading "Supports." To learn more about the core indicators, check out the NCI website.

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