The 2017 Age and Disabilities Odyssey conference attracted some 1,600 participants to the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center last week. The two-day event is the largest conference convened by DHS and is done in partnership with the Minnesota Board on Aging.
Started in 1998, the biennial event draws people interested in long-term services and supports, including advocates, consumers, policymakers, providers and those from counties, tribes, managed care organizations, state government. This year’s event included 100 different sessions addressing topics ranging from the latest federal health care legislation to homelessness, the substance abuse continuum of care, mental health, autism and technology. Other features were awards presentations to leaders in the disabilities and aging fields; two large halls filled with exhibitors; keynoters; and time for networking.
Loren Colman, assistant commissioner for Continuing Care for Older Adults, and Claire Wilson, assistant commissioner for Community Supports, sent a message to staff who planned and implemented the conference, saying “This represents an extraordinary effort that not only rewards those who attend but enhances the reputation of DHS and the Board on Aging as committed partners in ensuring quality services and supports in Minnesota.”
Conference planning committee members included: Mary Olsen Baker, Bev Milotzky, Darci Steffen, Diane Mangan, Jaclyn Gard, Jennifer Strei, Julie Angert, Kelly Melcher, Lolly Lijewski, Miriam DeVaney, Todd Stump, Jacqueline Peichel, Taylor Kearns, Tricia Drury, Jill Becker, Matt McCrory, Denise Paul, Mai Xiong, Jon Siess, Patrice Vick, Gloria Fike, Amy McQuaid-Swanson, Amy Petersen, Bev Asher, Carrie Jakober, Diane Marshall, Gail Dekker, Jennifer Perry, Jennifer Stevens, Jill Tilbury, Jolene Kohn, Karen Peed, Kelli Klein, LaRhae Knatterud, Mary Hertel, Nancy Schultz, Pamela Sulmer, Reena Shetty, Roshani Dahal, Sarah Grebenc, Sue Wenberg, Suzanne Martin, Tony Gantenbein, Zora Radosevich.
Some 1,600 attended the Minnesota Age and Disabilities Conference June 21-22 in Duluth.
Commissioner Emily Piper addressed the convention.
Francis Harris, cofounder of Urban Partnership Community Development Center in St. Paul, was an Odyssey award recipient.
Cultural Consultants is a service supported by the Minnesota Board on Aging that provides cultural expertise and professional services to providers across Minnesota. Given the rising number of baby boomers, the consultants have been specially trained in recognizing and understanding signs of memory loss as well as offering resources to support family, friends and neighbors who are caregiving.
Consultants who are part of the program are community leaders with extensive knowledge of their own culture. They come from a wide variety of backgrounds and life experiences and offer a wide range of professional services, including convening focus groups, conducting needs assessments, marketing and advertising, community engagement, outreach, education and training, program development and evaluation and research.
Consultants currently participating in the program include those with knowledge of African-American, American Indian, Hispanic/Latino/Chicano, East African, West African, Hmong, Russian, Somali and LGBT populations.
To find a consultant to meet your organization’s needs, go to culturalconsultants.com or contact Nancy Lee at 651-431-4258.
The DHS divisions of Children and Family Services, Disability Services and Aging and Adult Services s have updated their PolicyQuest systems. As of 9 a.m. on Dec. 27, 2017, PolicyQuest has launched an updated public database containing policy questions submitted by lead agencies and answered by DHS staff. New features include updated screens and the ability for lead agencies to add attachments to their questions. Current, active PolicyQuest lead agency users received emails on Dec. 26 containing a new logon ID name and a temporary password with instructions for logging into the new system. For more information regarding the Disability and Aging PolicyQuest, please see the Community-Based Services Manual.
The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) requested public comments on a Proposed amendment to Minnesota’s Elderly Waiver Plan (PDF) before submitting the amendment to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for approval. The comment period was from 8 a.m. July 3, 2018, to 4 p.m. August 2, 2018.
Baby boomers are turning 65 at the rate of 10,000 per day across the nation. Are we ready for the age wave? The goals of Aging 2030 are to transform our systems and services so that we are ready for the demographic changes that have now begun.
The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) Direct Care/Support Workforce Initiative seeks to connect people and organizations who want to work together on similar efforts to address the direct care/support workforce shortage.
The Home and Community-Based Services Partners Panel is a group of stakeholders in long-term support services from the perspectives of aging, disability and mental health. Members represent county government, service providers and advocates with participation of state agency leaders. The panel will support continuous improvement in the HCBS system by providing a communication link among the system’s stakeholders and supporting specific initiatives, as described in the charter (PDF).
The HCBS Partners Panel grew out of the HCBS Expert Panel, a group of experts convened from 2008 to 2010 to assist the Minnesota Department of Human Services in developing its State Long-Term Care Profile and to identify and discuss strategies for simplifying and otherwise improving Minnesota’s HCBS system.
If you have questions or would like more information, please call 651-431-2400.
The gaps analysis study is one of four studies that inform the biennial legislative report on the status of long-term services and supports for older adults, people with disabilities and adults and children living with mental health conditions.