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August 3, 2012

Open Line

DIDD Team,

BBelow, are various items I would like to share:

  • Community Visit:  As part of the statewide tour aimed at raising awareness and support of persons with disabilities, I joined Senator Becky Massey at the Sertoma Center in Knoxville on July 27th.  During the visit, we honored Emeritus Board member, Aubrey Cowan, with a Certificate of Appreciation for his many years of volunteer service to the Sertoma Center.

  • clipCommissioner’s Luncheon:  This week, a luncheon was held with Developmental Services of Dickson County’s (DSDC) persons served and staff.  Each person received a signed photograph of Governor Haslam.  We had a memorable visit and plenty of stories were shared.  One couple revealed they have been married for 19 years.  Another gentleman expressed his love of playing the piano.  One other gentleman spoke of attending pow-wow’s and was extremely knowledgeable about wildlife.  He shared with the group that he had a pet wolf named Dakota.  After lunch and great conversation, a tour was given of Central Office where everyone had a chance to meet DIDD staff and introduce themselves.  Thank you to DSDC staff Keith Knott, Bill Cavallino, Julie Ferrell, and Melissa Mosley for sharing this enjoyable day with us.  


  • DIDD/CQL Signing:  On Wednesday, August 1st, DIDD and CQL|The Council on Quality and Leadership, signed a contract to begin network accreditation activities.  Deputy Governor Claude Ramsey joined and offered a few remarks on behalf of Governor Haslam.  He expressed his admiration of Tennessee aiming to become the first state system accredited nationwide and applauded the work and efforts of DIDD staff.  Beth Mathis, CQL Associate Vice President for Network Development, also attended and remarked that CQL is excited to begin a partnership that will last many years.

  • Middle/East Accreditation Kick-Offs:  To celebrate the start of network accreditation, DIDD and CQL hosted kick-off events in the Middle and East regions on August 2nd and 3rd.  Department officials and executive management from CQL presented on topics such as “Accreditation: Why Now?” and “The Importance of Network Accreditation.”  CQL was represented by Dr. James Gardner, President and Chief Executive Officer, Beth Mathis, Associate Vice President for Network Development, Ann Eller, Program Manager, and Susan Seim, Marketing Director.  Both events were a huge success and I appreciate the hard work of everyone involved.  As a reminder, the final accreditation kick-off is scheduled in West on August 16th at the Carl Perkins Civic Center from 2:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.

  • Speaker’s Bureau:  One of the goals outlined in the Governor’s Customer Focused Government initiative is the development of a Speaker’s Bureau within DIDD.  I realize that several employees, providers, and stakeholders have strengths and areas of expertise that can contribute greatly to the Department.  I am asking all subject matter experts who are interested in future speaking opportunities, to please send your name and a brief background of your qualifications to Missy Marshall (missy.marshall@tn.gov) and Holly Tramil (holly.tramil@tn.gov).  Once names are received, I will appoint a committee to review speaker qualifications.  Further plans for the Speaker’s Bureau will be detailed in future editions.

  • Greene Valley Developmental Center:  GVDC has been going “green” for several years by participating in the annual telephone book recycling contest sponsored by Century Link through the Greene County Partnership’s “Keep Greene Beautiful” program.  The facility placed first this year with 1,538 telephone books recycled.  Several people and businesses in the community are aware of Greene Valley’s determination to keep the telephone books out of the landfill (and its determination to win the contest) and they contribute to the recycling effort.  The $150 prize money will fund Greene Valley’s internal “Keep Greene Beautiful” – Best All Around contest in 2013.  Greene Valley has recycled over 11,000 telephone books which is 22% of the 50,030 collected by the Century Link contest since 2003.

  • Medication Administration:  DIDD is committed to a well-trained workforce providing quality services to the citizens of Tennessee with intellectual and developmental disabilities. An important area of this training is Medication Administration for Unlicensed Personnel.  Medication errors endanger the lives of those we serve.  We often hear of a need for more classes but have identified an ongoing “No Show” problem.  Attached is a summary for FY 2011-2012.  In reviewing the data, please note the issue with No Shows.  The large number of student no shows caused the addition of a minimum of 115 classes.  We would ask that agencies partner with DIDD and the certified med admin nurse trainers to register timely and attend classes or inform trainers of cancellations 3 days prior to class when staff will not be attending as scheduled.

  • Nashville Focus Group:  The group will meet on August 7, 2012 from 12:00-2:00 p.m. in the basement of One Cannon Way on the campus of CBDC.  Lunch is provided and guests are encouraged to bring snacks.  All are welcome to attend and the group will be planning the dance scheduled for September 7, 2012 from 11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. at the same place.  Focus groups are beneficial for learning and practicing self-advocacy, as well as socializing with peers from all over Middle Tennessee. 

  • 2012 Title VI Self-Survey Reminder:  The deadline for providers to complete surveys was August 1st.  For those who have yet to submit theirs, please send to Annie Bernard at annie.bernard@tn.gov as soon as possible.  This survey is a requirement for all DIDD funded agencies.

  • An Ounce of Prevention:  The focus for this issue is on leases for individuals receiving Supported Living services.  The waiver definition for Supported Living begins with: “Supported Living shall mean a type of residential service having individualized services and supports that enable an enrollee to acquire, retain, or improve skills necessary to reside in a home that is under the control and responsibility of the enrollee.” 

    Chapter 9.5.c of the Provider Manual specifies that: “Supported living services are provided in a home owned or leased by the service recipient.”  When an individual leases his/her home, four important elements are that:
    • the lease is signed by the service recipient or legal representative
    • the lease amount does not exceed fair market value for similar property in the same general location
    • the owner of a supported living home may not be an employee or board member employed or appointed by the supported living provider
    • the lease agreement shall not exceed one (1) year unless specified in the ISP and in the best interests of the service recipient for purposes of obtaining a home with accessibility modifications

    To review all of the requirements applicable to supported living leases, please refer to Chapter 9.5.d. of the Provider Manual.