Brain Injury

The COVID-19 pandemic has created existential challenges for agencies that provide supports and services to individuals who have disabilities and/or health issues. Staffing has been an area that has been significantly affected. Legislative and State Stakeholders have requested RCPA to quantify the impact of the pandemic on our workforce so that we might effectively lobby for the welfare of the agencies that support and serve individuals with disabilities and health issues.

The work force survey will examine work force topics for a diverse range of programs, including Mental Health, IDD/Autism, Brain Injury, Drug & Alcohol, Inpatient Rehabilitation Facilities (IRF), and others. The survey responses seek to gather data related to hiring, retention, vacancy rates, pay structures, vaccinations, and COVID-19 impacts on programs as well as access to care associated with the pandemic.

RCPA is making the survey available to providers across Pennsylvania, not just RCPA members. Please be assured that response data will be de-identified and aggregated for reporting by an independent research entity, and your individual data will be shared with no one. A copy of the results of this survey will be available to all participants at the conclusion of the study. Please follow the link to the survey.

We thank you in advance for your time in completing this survey and would ask that you share this information with your colleagues, fellow leaders, and Human Resources teams. The more information collected, the more we will be able to provide to stakeholders, which will affect not only RCPA members but all providers within the Commonwealth.

If you have any questions, please contact Director of Children’s Services Jim Sharp or your RCPA Policy Director.

Having a mental health condition such as depression, anxiety, or a substance use disorder (SUD) can negatively impact one’s oral health, and conversely, poor oral health can create or exacerbate problems with mental health, cognitive health, and/or substance use. RCPA President & CEO Richard S. Edley, PhD, along with other members of the OH/BH Integration Technical Expert Panel, have developed an OH/BH Integration Framework, which includes new and innovative care models designed to enable providers and organizations to start wherever they feel comfortable.

No comprehensive set of resources currently exists to help health organizations that may be interested in more coordination or integration across oral, mental health, and substance use treatment services specifically. This toolkit seeks to help oral health and behavioral health providers and organizations increase coordination and integration by offering practical suggestions, resources, strategies, and on-the-ground examples for implementation of new care models across a continuum, ranging from cross-sector provider and patient education to full system integration. It provides innovative examples from leading-edge programs across the country about how to re-engineer traditional care pathways, especially given broader adoption of telehealth.

Please find the final draft of this framework here.

A Financial Management Services (FMS) Stakeholder meeting has been scheduled for October 1, 2021, from 1:00 pm–2:30 pm. This public meeting will be to discuss upcoming changes for the administration of FMS under the Community HealthChoices (CHC), OBRA Waiver, and Act 150 programs. Representatives from the Office of Long-Term Living (OLTL) and CHC Managed Care Organizations (MCOs) will be in attendance to discuss upcoming changes. Meeting details are below:

Join from the meeting link

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Meeting number (access code): 132 059 5101
Meeting password: dZTPV8HcT33

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Leading in 2021: Hoping, Healing, Helping
RCPA Conference Featuring Panel with National Advocacy Experts for Review of the Need for Equity in Service:
National Release of Video

On Thursday, September 30, a video developed by a group of parents of children with severe autism will be “unveiled” publicly and nationally at the RCPA Annual Conference for the first time. Later in the afternoon, a panel addressing these concerns titled “One Size Does Not Fit All — A Review of the Need for Equity in Service Provision and Establishing A Comprehensive Continuum of Care” will include national advocacy experts discussing how the narrow interpretation of the HCBS setting rule and other policies potentially deprive individuals with intense needs choice in where they live, work, and play. Hear from the families on how these policies have impacted their loved ones’ quality of life.

The video contains disturbing images; however, the parents who produced this video felt compelled to share the reality of severe autism in order to combat the increasing claims of the highly vocal and publicly visible advocates and others who have the sole agenda of supporting those of higher functioning in the community.

In contrast, severely autistic individuals and their families are often not publicly visible. They may not be able to safely leave the house, let alone testify in a government hearing, present at a conference, or appear on television alongside other advocates.

But severe autism is real. This is what it looks like. And those affected require a true continuum of care — from the most inclusive options to disability-specific settings — to meet their lifelong support needs, not only to thrive, but to survive. One size does not fit all.

Register today for the RCPA Conference to see this national release.