RCPA - Rehabilitation and Community Providers Association


PCPA Provides MR Issues Update
July 12, 2001

MR Committee Agenda

Gary Rossman of the Office of Mental Retardation and Project Coordinator for the Transformation Project will speak to the MR Committee from 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. With Gary will be Joe Gaultier, who will address the financial planning for the Transformation Project. Please come prepared with questions. Since this is a process that is constantly changing, Gary and Joe may not have every answer but they can get additional information when its needed.

Also on the agenda is Jackie Wardle from UCP Central PA who will speak to us at 2:00 p.m. on assistive technology (AT). She will bring some examples of simple AT and will also provide information on statewide resources.

If you haven't already called, e-mailed or faxed your RSVP for the MR Committee, please do so as soon as possible so that we can plan for hand-outs.

Provider Transformation Council

The response to our earlier request for a provider representative in each region to participate in the Provider Transformation Council has already been great! We have more volunteers than seats at the table! That's good because it shows your interest and your desire to influence the process, but it is difficult because we're told that we can have only one representative per region. We think we need alternates to cover the meetings when the "chosen ones" cannot attend and that we at PCPA need more than one link per region for this huge Transformation Project. We anticipate the need for regular regional meetings specific to this issue that can be led by the PTC members, their alternates and their fellow agency Transformation contact persons. Nothing is solid yet, but maybe we need our own regional Transformation Councils that can reach out to an entire region and be the contacts for PCPA and the regional OMR offices. While each provider is asked to have their own Transformation contact person, it would be great for us (members and staff) to coordinate PCPA provider efforts both on a regional and statewide basis. More on this topic as it evolves.

OVR Has New Executive Director

Governor Ridge recently appointed Steve Nasuti, a Philadelphia native, as Executive Director of the Department of Labor and Industry's Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR). Steve began his career with OVR in 1970 as a rehabilitation counselor in the North Philadelphia District Office. Over the past 31 years, Nasuti held a variety of management positions within OVR and has recently been their interim Executive Director. In addition, he is the former director of Camp Independence, a camping experience for adults with physical disabilities, and currently serves on the Board of Directors of "HireAbility".

Teleconference on Housing, Section 8

According to the Policy Information Exchange, a toll-free teleconference on HUD's Section 8 programs, sponsored by the Office of Civil Rights (OCR), Department of Health and Human Services, will be held July 16, 2:30 - 4:30 p.m. with Ann O'Hara, Housing Director for the Technical Assistance Collaborative and national expert on housing for people with disabilities, and Rod Solomon of HUD. Learn about HUD rental subsidy programs that can help address the critical shortage of accessible, affordable rental housing for people with disabilities, best practices for maximizing choice and consumer control, strategies for expanding access to Section 8 vouchers for people with disabilities and HUD's new program, Project Access.

To join the call, please dial 888-809-8967. The pass code is "Office for Civil Rights" and the conference leader is Claudia Schlosberg, OCR. State and local public officials, agency staff, consumers, advocacy organizations and others working to implement the Olmstead decision are invited to participate. For more information and to download materials for this call, visit www.hhs.gov/ocr or hcfa.hhs.gov/medicaid/olmstead/olmshome.htm or call 202-619-2654.

Mayview MR Unit to Close

Secretary Feather O. Houstoun, Department of Public Welfare, announced plans to cease operations at the Mayview Mental Retardation (MR) Unit, a state-operated institution for people with mental retardation on the grounds of Mayview State Hospital, Allegheny County. The facility is expected to close by July 30, once the individual placement needs of the final three residents at the unit are fully met. The decision will have no impact on the operations of Mayview State Hospital, which serves 430 patients with serious mental illness. In accordance with Act 3 of 1999, the Department of Public Welfare will hold a public hearing at 6 p.m. Wednesday, July 25, at the Holiday Inn Pittsburgh South, 164 Fort Couch Road. To testify, contact Mary Puskarich, Regional Program Manager, Office of Mental Retardation, 412-565-5144 by July 20. Anyone who requires special accommodations should inform DPW when scheduling testimony.

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