The RCPA Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI) Committee created this resource to answer frequently asked questions regarding DEI policy development and refinement. Following a survey of available resources, this compilation was developed as a guide for interested parties and is intended as a springboard to further research with links to additional resources to aid their DEI policy development process. Please send questions or feedback to Cindi Hobbes or Jim Sharp.

As part of Pennsylvania’s Life Unites Us initiative to end the stigma surrounding opioid use disorder, the webinar “Life Unites Us: Race & Recovery” is being held at 12:00 pm on Tuesday, March 23.

In this webinar, participants will learn about:

  • Key data from SAMHSA’s 2019 report on race, treatment, and recovery;
  • The specific barriers that hinder long-term recovery;
  • DDAP’s action plan for recovery equity; and
  • How you can help shatter these barriers and advocate for equitable recovery programs.

Register here for the webinar. Visit Life Unites Us for more information about the initiative.

DATES: 3/24/21 – 5/19/21

The University of Southern Florida Muma College of Business is offering this free course and certificate to the public. The two-hour weekly modules will begin on March 24 with a new module offered every Wednesday until May 19. Modules/work do not need to be completed live.

The Department of Human Services (DHS) has released Racial Equity Report 2021, including a message from Teresa Miller, Secretary of Human Services. The report addresses several areas and concludes with this message about Moving Forward:

In the more than seven years since the Black Lives Matter movement began, there have been overdue
and necessary conversations about the treatment of people who are Black, Latinx, Asian, Middle
Eastern, and other non-White identities in the United States. Open and honest conversation and
education are critically important. Each of us only truly knows the world as we experience it, and there
is no shame in that. It is incumbent on each of us, though, to not let our experiences alone drive our
worldview and the way we treat and empathize with others. We must listen to others’ experiences,
challenge our own reactions and pre-conceived notions, and act from a more informed lens that
includes multiple perspectives.

The work must continue, and we must use these conversations and education to drive meaningful
change. We must use our platform to be actively anti-racist and educate our staff, the stakeholders and
constituencies we work with, and the broader public as much as possible. Challenging stereotypes and
biases is not a fight that DHS can win unilaterally, but we can use our position and our platform to
challenge and change these conversations where we can. We must actively build equity, inclusion, and
diversity into our work to overcome circumstances of the past that still persist. We cannot change the
past, but we can be a part of a solution moving forward by seeking to eliminate unintentional and
implicit consequences and be an active ally in this work. The more than 3 million people DHS serves,
our nearly 16,000 employees, and the citizens of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as a whole
deserve this.

The 2021 RCPA Conference, Leading in 2021: Hope, Help, Heal, will tentatively be held as a hybrid event (September 28 – October 1). As the COVID-19 pandemic permits, it will take place both at the Hershey Lodge as well as virtually. Since this is a premier statewide event, the Conference Committee is seeking workshop proposals for possible inclusion. The conference offers diverse educational opportunities, and submissions are needed in every area. A complete listing of focus tracks is available on the proposal form. Last year, many submissions were unable to be utilized due to the pandemic and the shift from an in-person to virtual format.

Presentations that assist providers in developing and maintaining quality, effective treatments, services, and agencies in an industry where change is constant are encouraged. The committee looks for presentations which:

  • Highlight new policy, research, and treatment initiatives;
  • Provide specific skills and information related to individual and organizational leadership development and enhancement;
  • Address system changes that affect business practices such as value-based purchasing; and
  • Offer concrete skills and tools to operate more efficient, effective agencies in a pandemic and post-pandemic arena.

Workshop ideas for 2021 include:

  • Strategies for Effective Teleintervention;
  • Assessing Abuse and Neglect in a Virtual Encounter;
  • The Impact of the Pandemic on Child Welfare/Abuse/Neglect;
  • Coping with Grief and Loss;
  • Preventing/Mitigating Provider Burnout;
  • Family and Caregiver Engagement;
  • Strategies to Combat the Impact of Screen-Time Fatigue (Telework, Virtual School, Virtual Socialization);
  • DEI Topics – Assessing Implicit Bias, Overcoming Implicit Bias, How to Develop a DEI Plan;
  • The PH-BH Interface – Finding Common Ground to Treat the Whole Person;
  • Ongoing Workforce Shortage Solutions;
  • The Changing Health-Care Landscape During and Post Pandemic;
  • Managing Human Capital/Resources Virtually;
  • Integrated Care Strategies for Implementation and Reimbursement;
  • Managed Care Models for People with Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities;
  • Remote Services/Use of Technology in all Types of Support Services for Individuals with IDD;
  • Ethics Topics Across the Membership;
  • Emergency Planning for Community Violence;
  • Acquisitions/Mergers and Consolidations;
  • Value-Based Purchasing; and
  • Employing People with Disabilities.

The committee welcomes any proposal that addresses these and other topics essential to the rehabilitation, mental health, addiction, children’s, aging, intellectual and developmental disability, and physical disability communities. Members are encouraged to consider submitting proposals and to forward this opportunity to those who are exceptionally good speakers and who have state-of-the-art information to share.

The Call for Proposals and accompanying “Guidelines for Developing Educational Objectives” outline requirements for submissions. The deadline for submissions is Monday, February 22 at 5:00 pm. Proposals must be submitted electronically to Sarah Eyster on the form provided. Confirmation of receipt will be sent. Proposals submitted after the deadline will not be considered.

Proposals selected stand out by inclusion of solid learning objectives, information that a participant can use to enhance professional skills or methods, and ability to engage a diverse and advanced audience. If the proposal is accepted, individuals must be prepared to present on any day of the conference. Workshops are 60–75 minutes in length for a single session or 120–150 minutes in length for a double session. At the time of acceptance, presenters will be required to confirm the ability to submit workshop handouts electronically four weeks prior to the conference.

Individuals are welcome to submit multiple proposals. Notification of inclusion will be made via email by May 10. Questions may be directed to Sarah Eyster, Conference Coordinator.