OGC Updates

Below are the most recent memos sent out by our Executive Director and the links to the right are archieved memos: MEMORANDUM To:            All OGC Families, Staff and Volunteers From:        Kyle Hauth, Executive Director Subject:     OGC Update                                                          Date:         September 7, 2010 One of the worst circumstances that a program like Orange Grove could ever contemplate is an armed intruder. Although it is hard to fathom that there are human beings who could take out their frustrations on innocent people through barbarous acts, in this day and age, it is prudent to plan for such scenarios. Thanks to one of our Board Members who raised the question about such a plan during one of our Human Resource Meetings, Orange Grove has spent a number of hours developing plans to react to an armed intruder.  We have a policy in place and will be conducting a drill tomorrow.  One can never be thoroughly prepared for such an event, but we believe that planning and practice will be helpful in case the unthinkable happens.  Dr. Husband will be cutting back the number of hours she will be in our clinic due to family health issues.  Although she loves her work in our clinic, her family obligations dictate that she reduces her time until her mother's health improves.  Thankfully, Dr. Heisser will be filling in the gap with supplementary hours.  We are also hoping to add additional NP hours which should ensure that adequate coverage is provided.  Tina Fox, our full-time Nurse Practitioner, is to be commended for the exemplary manner in which she has covered the clinic during the time that our Physician coverage waned.  Tina has been with Orange Grove for a little over 2 years, but has proven to be an invaluable practitioner with a love and compassion for the people we serve.  If you see Tina, please pass along to her how appreciative you are for her devotion to Orange Grove. Thanks to Leslie Smith (OGC Fund-raising and Public Relations Coordinator), we have recently published some informative and well organized documents that I'm sure you will find most helpful.  The recent newsletter (Osage Connection, Volume 3, issue 2) is packed full of informative stories which all Orange Grove stakeholders will enjoy reading and sharing with others.  You may see this document on our website by clicking on the link entitled "About Orange Grove."  If you would prefer to have a hard copy, please do not hesitate to ask.  We'll put one in the mail for you today, if you would like. The TN Council on Developmental Disabilities is hosting training sessions entitled "Families Developing their own Plans." This workshop is designed specifically for families of people with developmental disabilities and members of their support team.  I encourage families who can spend a minimum of an entire day in training in Nashville to attend.  There is no registration fee and I believe conference days will occur often enough that interested parties would find it convenient.  There are four main elements to the training.  Part 1 - Provides an overview of Person Centered Planning.  Find out how plans are used.  Learn the benefits and differences between traditional planning and Person Centered Planning process. Part 2 - Learn how to gather important information from your family member and others who love him or her, in order to develop a support plan that is based on things that matter the most in the person's life.  Part 3 - Learn how to develop communication charts and gather important information from others in order to develop a plan that is based on balancing what is important to your family member with what is important for your family member.  Part 4 - The trainers will guide you through the process of writing a plan, including learning how to organize all of the information gathered, record what you have learned and develop a Person Centered Plan which demonstrates respect and is written in plain language.  If you would like additional information about this training, feel free to contact me. Thank you for your attention in these matters.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /> MEMORANDUM To:            All OGC Families, Staff and Volunteers
From:        Kyle Hauth, Executive Director
Subject:     OGC Update                                                        
Date:         July 21, 2010 Please be reminded that our next parent meeting will take place this coming Tuesday evening, July 27th, at 6:30 p.m. in the Habilitation Training Room. I hope you will join in our discussions regarding the numerous opportunities and challenges that are coming our way.  We will have pizza, soft drinks, and cookies for refreshments so you do not have to eat dinner before coming.  Please encourage at least one friend to join you in attending this meeting.  Our strength, resilience and capacity are further bolstered through a cohesive and well informed advocacy group, and this meeting is designed specifically for the advocates of the people we serve.  Please join us for this important meeting.     Thanks to many of you, our legislators listened intently to the anticipated effects of the planned funding     reductions to the Division on Intellectual Disability Services and avoided some of the budget reductions. As a     result, the decreases to our funding were not nearly as severe as was originally projected.  I wish I could say that every service went unscathed, but there were some definite casualties.  Unfortunately, Follow Along Services  were completely eliminated.  If I had been given a vote, this would not have been one I would have pinpointed for reductions.  It is the most cost efficient model in the state and has assisted hundreds of people across the state in becoming competitively employed in their communities. This service abolishment will force Orange Grove to eliminate supervision and care for approximately 21 individuals.  There were several other reductions that will    have an effect upon direct services.  If you are interested in learning about these reductions, please visit the state at:  http://www.tn.gov/dids/provider_agencies/resources/ChangesToHomeAndCommunityBasedServices.html In spite of the reductions, it could have been much, much worse and we do owe a debt of gratitude to the members of the Senate and House of Representatives for looking creatively at sustaining our programs irrespective of the persisting state economic crisis.  Please drop a thank you note in the mail and let them know of your gratitude. Although the current circumstances are not particularly conducive to fund-raising, we desperately need more local support.  United Way is starting its fund drive this year and we are very hopeful of its success.  United Way represents a large portion of our local dollars, and I implore you to please support this effort.  If you have contributed to United Way in the past, please consider giving again and possibly increasing your gift.  If you have never given to United Way, please take advantage of the many educational opportunities available through United Way to understand how this organization supports so many people throughout your community.  United Way's website is: http://www.uwchatt.org. You will find a wealth of information at this site and obtain contact information, if you would like to speak directly with one of their representatives.  I'll be happy to assist you if you would like to learn more about this organization. Thank you for your attention in these matters.
  Memorandum To: All OGC Families, Staff and Volunteers
From: Kyle Hauth, Executive Director
Subject: OGC Update
Date: April 14, 2010 Please be reminded that our next parent meeting will take place on April 27th at 6:30 p.m. in the Habilitation Training Room. I hope you will join in our discussions regarding the numerous opportunities and challenges that are coming our way. We will have pizza, soft drinks, and cookies for refreshments so you do not have to eat dinner before coming. This meeting will be particularly important to you, in that some of our discussions will focus on the expected cuts in services. This is a critical time for individuals with intellectual disabilities and their families. Please join us for this important meeting. I am sorry to announce that several critical services that Orange Grove provides through the Tennessee Division on Intellectual Disabilities will be eliminated or reduced in the very near future. The State is now grappling with a plan to eliminate semi-independent living services, employment related services, individual transportation, hospital sitter services, and the reduction of many more services (e.g., personal assistance, supported living services, dental services). The House and Senate of the Tennessee General Assembly are reviewing the budget recommendations currently and could certainly use encouragement to ensure that funds are used wisely in the allocation of direct services for the continuance of care to people with intellectual disabilities. Please call, email, or write your legislator and encourage them to support community agencies like the Orange Grove Center. The Senate General Welfare Committee made a motion this week requesting that the Senate Finance Committee seek an additional $5.5M to be matched with federal dollars and added to DIDS budget to partially restore residential rates. I have placed the main document that the Division has presented to the General Assembly on our website and I encourage you to study it at your next available convenience. Please visit our website and point your browser to the button labeled "links" and then click on the downloadable document to the right entitled "DIDS Budget Reductions." Another way to become educated as to what is taking place in our system is to listen in on some of the hearings that are taking place in the Tennessee General Assembly. It has become increasingly more convenient to hear exactly what our legislators are hearing and I can tell you that it is most enlightening. The State maintains an archive of recent meetings through on-line videos. You can simply go to these links to hear the most recent meetings in which community agency funding is being discussed: 1. http://wapp.capitol.tn.gov/apps/videowrapper/default.aspx?CommID=660000 After you go to this site, click on the following video links: Senate_General Welfare, Health and HR 1271055600Apr 12, 2010 2:28 PM 02h 36m Senate_General Welfare, Health and HR 1270537200Apr 6, 2010 10:30 AM 02h 58m 2. http://wapp.capitol.tn.gov/apps/videowrapper/default.aspx?CommID=850000 After you go to this site, click on the following video link Finance,Ways, and Means 1270537200Apr 6, 2010 2:00 PM 01h 33m Thank you for your attention in these matters.   MEMORANDUM
 

To: All OGC Families, Staff and Volunteers

From: Kyle Hauth, Executive Director

Subject: OGC Update

Date: January 22, 2010

Please be reminded that our next parent meeting will take place on January 26th at 6:30 p.m. in the Habilitation Training Room. I hope you will join in our discussions regarding the numerous opportunities and challenges that are coming our way. We will have pizza, soft drinks, and cookies for refreshments so you do not have to eat dinner before coming. The meeting will take place in our usual location, the Habilitation Training Room. I look forward to seeing you on the 26th.

As you probably noticed from our most recent Osage Connection newsletter, the quality of our health care services is expanding exponentially. With Dr. Husband and now Dr. Compton (our new Dentist) we have an unmatched team that is working tirelessly to probatively promote a lifestyle of wellness and vitality. Both of our Doctors appreciate and vigilantly recognize the oral-systemic health connection and are passionately pursing collaborative interventions. Please keep in mind that if you have not identified these Doctors as the primary care providers for your child or adult, we cannot ensure that they will be seen through our clinic. Even if you have used our health care dental services in the past, I would strongly encourage you to share your wishes in this regard.. Feel free to call Lynn Porter, OGC Health Care Director at 423-493-2933 for more information about these critical services.

WDEF News Channel 12 along with BI-LO are recognizing teachers who go above and beyond the standard teaching methods. Each week, an area teacher is selected to receive the Golden Apple Award and profiled Tuesdays on WDEF News 12 at 6pm. These weekly winners will be selected from nominations by a panel of judges. At the end of the school year, a Teacher of the Year and four finalists will be chosen from Golden Apple Award nominations for area teachers (WDEF 12 and Bi_Lo). Anyone may nominate a teacher who they think deserves the award. If you have a school age child at OGC, I hope you may consider nominating one of our deserving teachers for this award. If you are interested, simply point your computer to: http://www.wdef.com/GoldenAppleAwardBrochChatt.pdf

Please keep in mind that our Direct Support Professionals working with adults can always be recognized and receive cash awards if you just take the time to nominate them. You can nominate any of our DSP's for this award by simply clicking on our website (orangegrovecenter.org) and then clicking on the "links" button and then the "DSP Recognition" button. Please take the time to do this. Appreciation of a job well done always makes a positive impact on our services..

 

Just in case we have any more severe weather, I wanted to remind you that Orange Grove has a weather alert line to ensure that everyone knows the status of our transportation routes in the event of inclement weather. Feel free to dial 308-1161 any time you have a question about our transportation services schedule due to weather conditions. We also use our website (first page that loads) for another means of communicating this vital information. We will continue to attempt notification through the local media as well, but for the most accurate information, we request that you dial our alert line or go to www.orangegrovecenter.org. Please keep in mind that if we have to close the agency due to unsafe conditions, we will not allow car riders to be dropped off. This information will also be relayed on our weather alert line and the website.

Thank you for your attention in these matters.

MEMORANDUM  

To: All OGC Families, Staff and Volunteers

From: Kyle Hauth, Executive Director

Subject: OGC Update

Date: December 3, 2009

As you should know by now, the Orange Grove Center was highly successful in acquiring the H1N1 vaccine for all of the people we serve and the staff who support them. Thanks to the studious efforts of Lynn Porter in completing the voluminous forms and adhering to the detailed guidelines from state and federal authorities as well as the efforts of Dr. Rick Rader in educating the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on the needs of our population, we received approximately 1,100 orders of the vaccine. If you are aware of a person served by Orange Grove or who works for Orange Grove who has not received the vaccine and who would like to take advantage of this limited time offer, please contact Lynn Porter at your earliest convenience. We will have one last opportunity to receive the vaccine on December 11th. There will be an H1N1 Clinic from 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. and then 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. on December 11th at our main center. Please do not let this opportunity pass you by.

Thanks to Leslie Smith (OGC Marketing and Public Relations Coordinator), we have recently published an informative and well organized document that I'm sure you will find most helpful. The FY 2008-2009 Annual Report provides an update on the activities that took place last fiscal year and some of our notable accomplishments. You may access this document on our website by clicking on the link entitled "About Orange Grove". If you would prefer to have a hard copy of this document, please do not hesitate to ask. We'll put one in the mail for you today, if you would like.

I am most pleased to announce that a new full time Dentist will begin in our dental clinic on January 4, 2010. Dr. Kristin Compton specializes in special needs dentistry and she is one of only five dentists in the United States that has successfully completed a fellowship in developmental dentistry. She has experience in treating patients with a wide range of intellectual disabilities, cerebral palsy, autism, fragile X syndrome, down's syndrome, Angelmann's syndrome, and Prader_Willi syndrome. When she arrives at Orange Grove, she will definitely hit the ground running by completing comprehensive evaluations on current patients of our dental clinic and then hopefully additional people who will choose to take advantage of her skills and services. You should be hearing more about her in the weeks to come.

I am equally pleased to announce the hiring a new Medical Director. Dr. Betty Husband has over 12 years of experience as a medical professional. She has experience with our population through her work in hospitals and more specifically emergency room care. She has previously worked as a physician with Erlanger Health System and a host of other medical facilities in Memphis, Nashville, Cleveland and Athens. She will begin her work with our clinic in the next few weeks. You will undoubtedly love and respect her once you have the pleasure of interacting with her.

Our next parent meeting will take place on January 26th at 6:30 p.m. in the Habilitation Training Room. Please join in our discussions regarding the numerous challenges that are coming our way. We will have pizza, soft drinks, and cookies for refreshments so you do not have to eat dinner before coming. I look forward to seeing you on the 26th.

  MEMORANDUM

 

To: All OGC Families, Staff and Volunteers

From: Kyle Hauth, Executive Director

Subject: OGC Update

Date: September 18, 2009

 

Considering all of the flash flooding we are having and the fact that winter will be here before we know it, I thought it would be helpful to remind you of our inclement weather policy. Please keep in mind that Orange Grove has a weather alert line to ensure that everyone knows the status of our transportation routes in the event of inclement weather. Feel free to dial 308-1161 any time you have a question about our transportation services schedule due to weather conditions. We also use our website (first page that loads) for another means of communicating this vital information. We will continue to attempt notification through the local media as well, but for the most accurate information, we request that you dial our alert line or go to www.orangegrovecenter.org. Please keep in mind that if we have to close the agency due to flooding or unsafe conditions, we will not allow car riders to be dropped off. This information will also be relayed on our weather alert line and the website.

On a lighter note, we have been honoring all of the Orange Grove employees this month. Each September we pay tribute to our employees for their devoted commitment to quality and compassionate services. We call this event, "September to Remember". It was actually spawned from our 50th year anniversary celebration and we have kept it going ever since. Orange Grove has always been ahead of its time. I say that because this year, the U.S. Congress passed legislation announcing that this week is National Direct Support Professional Recognition week. Please keep in mind that our Direct Support Professionals appreciate your commendations and much deserving praise. There are many ways to honor them, one of which is the DSPAT award. You can nominate any of our DSP's for this award by simply clicking on our website (orangegrovecenter.org) and then clicking on the link for DSP Recognition. Please take the time to do this. Appreciation of a job well done always makes a positive impact on our services..

Our next parent meeting will take place on October 27th at 6:30 p.m. in the Habilitation Training Room. Please join in our discussions regarding the changes that will be taking place in our health services along with up and coming ventures of Orange Grove. We will have pizza, soft drinks, and cookies for refreshments so you do not have to eat dinner before coming. Much has taken place since our meeting in July and I know you will benefit by attending. I look forward to seeing you on the 27th.

As you probably know, Orange Grove is on high alert due to H1N1 (formerly called Swine Flu). At this point we are reminding everyone that hand washing is one of the most important acts we can take to prevent the spread of this dangerous flu. The symptoms of 2009 H1N1 flu virus include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills, and fatigue. A significant number of people who have been infected with this virus also have reported diarrhea and vomiting. Severe illnesses and death has occurred as a result of illness associated with this virus. If your adult or child receives only day services at Orange Grove, we ask that you please be aware of their condition and keep them home with you if you observe any of these symptoms. We pledge to do everything possible to keep a germ free environment by consistently disinfecting and cleaning all training and work areas as well as educating our workforce on the necessity of washing hands often. As soon as we receive word on the availability of the H1N1 vaccine, we will let you know. We are advocating aggressively with the Health Department for our population to be given top priority for its usage.

Thank you for your attention in these matters.

  MEMORANDUM

To: All OGC Families, Staff and Volunteers

From: Kyle Hauth, Executive Director

Subject: OGC Update

Date: June 22, 2009

The next Parent Meeting will take place on July 28th at 7:00 p.m. in the OGC Bucky Williams Auditorium (formerly the gym). It was necessary to go back to this original meeting time (7:00 p.m.) due to the special nature of this meeting agenda. The primary focus of this meeting will be a report from the Ochs Center which has finalized a study commissioned by Orange Grove (funded through our Capital Campaign) to conduct research related to people affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) in the Chattanooga area. This research project was conducted to

identify available community services for individuals on the autism spectrum, as well as unfulfilled service needs, with the purpose of addressing strategies to fortify community_based services. I hope you will plan on joining us to receive this important report. Your questions and comments will be welcome.

I am happy to announce that Orange Grove was recently awarded a grant from the Tennessee Council on Developmental Disabilities to develop a full time dental clinic and dental educational program. Dr. Rick Rader is to be congratulated for securing this grant. His passion for creating a sustainable and concentrated effort to eradicate poor oral health habits among people with intellectual disabilities. We are in the process now of identifying and selecting a full time dentist to lead this effort and have already initiated the nation's first ever Mini Dental School. Dental and oral health care remain the number one unmet health care need for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Many individuals cannot attend to their own home_based oral health care, due to cognitive, behavioral, sensory, and neuromotor impairments. The OGC Mini Dental School will serve as the focus for an ongoing commitment to teaching and supporting our DSPs in the best practices of providing supervision of oral health in our group homes.

Please be aware that Orange Grove will not be providing services on July 3rd in observance of Independence Day. You may also want to visit our website to obtain a copy of our holiday and training day schedule so you will know all of the days this year that Orange Grove will be closed. You may obtain a copy by going to www.orangegrovecenter.org and clicking on "links".

We are in the process of revising our strategic plan for Orange Grove and your input would be most helpful. Our management staff has worked tirelessly on evaluating the goals and objectives which we believe would best promote the mission of Orange Grove. A revised draft of the strategic plan is now available for you on our website. Please visit our main page,

click on the link "about Orange Grove" and then the link "Strategic Plan". I would greatly appreciate any view point you may have regarding this draft. Your ideas and thoughts are needed. Our Board of Directors will be critiquing this draft in the next few weeks and a final version will be available in the near future.

Thank you for your attention in these matters.

Intruder Alert Practice

Holiday Schedule

Strategic Planning

New Board Members and Officers

MEMORANDUM  

To: All OGC Families, Staff and Volunteers

From: Kyle Hauth, Executive Director

Subject: OGC Update

Date: May 22, 2009

I'm looking for a few volunteers to help us provide a boating experience for our Campers at GG Camp on June 4th. If you have a boat that could comfortably seat 5 or more passengers please contact me. We will have boats available for all the campers to have ridesI can assure you that you will have or have bnext week.

DIVISION OF REHABILITATION SERVICES

PUBLIC HEARINGS ON STATE PLANS

AND

PUBLIC FORUM

The Department of Human Services Division of Rehabilitation Services has scheduled public hearings in Middle, West and East Tennessee on the 2010 State Plans update for Vocational Rehabilitation Services. These public hearings are scheduled during the month of May in six (6) cities across the state and will allow the opportunity for public review and comment on the Rehabilitation Services State Plans. The public hearings starting times and locations are attached.

The Division of Rehabilitation Services serves eligible individuals with physical or mental disabilities and may provide services to include diagnosis, treatment, training, maintenance and transportation, counseling and guidance, job placement, post_employment services and supported employment services. Employment of people with disabilities is the objective of the program.

The Division's regional supervisors and State Rehabilitation Council members will participate in these public hearings, which will be conducted according to the attached schedule. Copies of any or all Plans of the Division may be obtained by writing or contacting the Division as follows:

Chattanooga _ Wednesday, May 27, 2009

4:00 PM

State Office Building

First Floor Auditorium

540 McCallie Avenue

Chattanooga, TN 37403

MEMORANDUM  

To: All OGC Families, Staff and Volunteers

From: Kyle Hauth, Executive Director

Subject: OGC Update

Date: April 15, 2009

I am saddened to report that Dr. Thomas Cheetham, Medical Director at the Orange Grove Center, will be returning to Canada to accept a position as a medical consultant and educator in intellectual and developmental disabilities, effective June 26, 2009. As you may remember, Dr. Cheetham was recruited by Orange Grove because of his international reputation in clinical developmental medicine, his reputation as an advocate, and his commitment to the special needs community. It was his distinguished credentials that resulted in his being offered a position in Toronto that provides him with a chance of a lifetime. Dr. Cheetham will be instrumental in paving the way for improving health care for citizens with developmental disabilities in Canada returning to their communities from the provincial institutions earmarked for closing. Dr. Cheetham will be involved with teaching, research, lecturing, and impacting on public health policy in the field of developmental disabilities. Orange Grove has benefitted greatly from Dr. Cheetham's short tenure and our health care system is now better prepared for the many challenges that our population faces. Over the next few months, we will begin the process of recruiting a full-time physician to carry on Dr. Cheetham's fine work. Although change is often difficult, it is inevitable within any organization. We vow to ensure that the patients of the Orange Grove Health Clinic do not experience any negative effects from the transition that will take place. With the fine leadership of Lynn Porter, OGC Health Care Director, and the devoted efforts of all of our distinguished health care staff, there is no doubt that the Orange Grove Health Clinic will continue to thrive.

Our next parent meeting will take place on April 28th at 6:30 p.m. in the Habilitation Training Room. Please join in our discussions regarding the changes that will be taking place in our health clinic along with up and coming ventures of Orange Grove. We will have pizza, soft drinks, and cookies for refreshments so you do not have to eat dinner before coming. Much has taken place since our meeting in January and I know you will benefit by attending. I look forward to seeing you on the 28th.

We would love to have you join us for the annual Orange Grove Breakfast for Champions which will take place on April 24th at 7:30 a.m. in our cafeteria. Please contact Leslie Smith (423-308-1160, or [email protected]) and confirm your reservation for the breakfast so that we can be assured to have enough seating and food. We will have a wonderful complimentary breakfast, have the privilege of hearing our keynote speaker, Coach Russ Huesman (Head Football Coach for UTC Mocs), and enjoy the fellowship of many OGC supporters. Please call today and let us know if you are planning on attending.

The Tennessee Division of Mental Retardation Services (main funding source for OGC), recently announced that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act has provided a reprieve to the planned budget reductions. Orange Grove can expect no further reductions to our funding for the next year and 8 months. However, if the economy does not improve during that time frame, we will be right back where we started from. Unfortunately, most people on the waiting list for access to the Home and Community Based Medicaid Waiver through the Tennessee Division of Mental Retardation will continue to wait. The chances of any person who is not in an immediate crisis of being funded for supports is very slim. There remains approximately 6,000 people on the state-wide waiting list and over 100 of those individuals are classified as crisis.

Thank you for your attention in these matters.

MEMORANDUM  

To: All OGC Families, Staff and Volunteers

From: Kyle Hauth, Executive Director

Subject: OGC Update

Date: March 20, 2009

I appreciate many of you making contacts with your state legislators regarding the bills that I shared with you earlier this week. In an effort to make your task a little easier in advocating for the passage of this legislation, I am listing the top two and most important changes that our lawmakers could enact this year to benefit the people we serve. If you have not already done so, please contact your legislator and ask them to support the following bills (please note that I have added language which explains why these changes would help Orange Grove):

SB 0143*/HB 0729

Requires the methodology of the Division of Mental Retardation Services to phase in over three years equal salaries and benefits for direct care staff as with the salaries and benefits of the direct care staff at the development centers. (S: Ketron; H: Maddox). Talking Points - This bill would allow Orange Grove to pay higher wages to our Direct Support Professionals (staff members working directly with people we serve). We could finally pay a wage comparable to the wages paid to state employees.  

SB 0416*/HB 1674 _ Authorizes the Division of Mental Retardation Services (DMRS) to identify individuals utilizing intensive services through the DMRS Home and Community Based Waiver program to place in ICF/MR beds that are not filled by people exiting the state developmental centers. (S:Watson; H: Ferguson). Talking Points - This bill would allow Orange Grove to offer intensive residential supports to people in the community once the state developmental centers have had an opportunity to make referrals. This is a desperately needed service for people in Hamilton County. It could be implemented with no additional expense to the state and would undoubtedly prevent a great deal of hardship on the part of the families of the people waiting for these services.  

Most legislators prefer concise and direct communications. The most important message to convey is that you wish them to support the bill. Provide the House Bill number (if they are a Representative) or the Senate Bill number (if they are a Senator). It is very easy to contact your State Senator and Representative. You may call, write or email them. If you're not sure what district you're in, you can simply go to www.legislature.state.tn.us to obtain this information. The Hamilton County delegation is as follows:

Senator Bo Watson- District 11 Senator Andy Berke- District 10

Rep. Gerald McCormick _ District 26 Rep. Richard Floyd - District 27

Rep. Tommie Brown _ District 28 Rep. Joanne Favors - District 29

Rep. Vince Dean _ District 30 Rep. Jim Cobb _ District 31

MEMORANDUM  

To: All OGC Families, Staff and Volunteers

From: Kyle Hauth, Executive Director

Subject: OGC Update

Date: March 16, 2009

There is some proposed legislation that is being considered by the Tennessee General Assembly that will have a significant impact upon the people we serve and we need your help. Please call, write and/or email your legislator today and share your thoughts on the following legislation:

SB 0143*/HB 0729

HEALTH CARE: Salaries and benefits for direct care staff. Requires the methodology of the Division of Mental Retardation Services to phase in over three years equal salaries and benefits for direct care staff as with the salaries and benefits of the direct care staff at the development centers. (S: Ketron; H: Maddox).

SB 0416*/HB 1674 _ Authorizes the Division of Mental Retardation Services (DMRS) to identify individuals utilizing intensive services through the DMRS Home and Community Based Waiver program to place in ICF/MR beds that are not filled by people exiting the state developmental centers. (S:Watson; H: Ferguson).

SB 0402*/HB 1666

HEALTH CARE: Exemption from charitable solicitation regulations. Exempts from certain charitable solicitation regulatory requirements licensed service providers who contract with the department of finance and administration to provide residential services, day services, supported employment or intermediate care facilities for persons with mental retardation. (S: Burchett; H: Coley).

SB 0420*/HB 1693

TORT LIABILITY: Liability for facilities providing residential services. Requires any facility that is exempt from federal income taxation only be liable for damages up to the sum of $300,000 per claimant and $1,000,000 per occurrence for actions arising in tort during the time that the facility is contracting with the division of mental retardation services or the TennCare bureau. (S: Bunch; H: Watson E.).

It is very easy to contact your State Senator and Representative. You may call, write or email them. If you're not sure what district you're in you can simply go to www.legislature.state.tn.us to obtain this information. The Hamilton County delegation is as follows:

Senator Bo Watson- District 11 Senator Andy Berke- District 10

Rep. Gerald McCormick _ District 26 Rep. Richard Floyd - District 27

Rep. Tommie Brown _ District 28 Rep. Joanne Favors - District 29

Rep. Vince Dean _ District 30 Rep. Jim Cobb _ District 31

MEMORANDUM  

To: All OGC Families, Staff and Volunteers

From: Kyle Hauth, Executive Director

Subject: OGC Update

Date: February 5, 2009

We will soon be saying farewell to a long term Deputy Director for Orange Grove. Hal Baker will be retiring from his job at Orange Grove after 34 years of service. It is difficult to adequately express the impact that Hal has had on this agency, the people we serve and the many people associated with our industry. He has been an integral part of our agency's mission and development and his absence will be felt by everyone. Although we will miss Hal, we also celebrate his legacy and his new adventure. He and his wife intend to live on their boat and take long seafaring trips which they have often dreamed of but were stymied by the restraints of their numerous responsibilities. We will have an opportunity to express our gratitude and best wishes to him on February 13th at 1:00 p.m. in the Habilitation Center Training Room. Please feel free to drop by anytime from 1:00 to 2:00 and join us in this celebration of Hal.

It was nice to see many of you at the January 27th parent meeting. Several people commented on how helpful the information was that Dr. Rader presented on end-of-life issues and the new health initiatives of President Obama. I hope you have already marked on your calendar the next parent meeting which will take place on April 28th at 6:30 p.m. These meetings have proven equally beneficial to me and other OGC administrators because of all of the great suggestions and feedback received during the meetings and the conversations that ensue following the meetings. Don't assume that these meetings are your only venue to obtain information and initiate communications. We strive to maintain multiple lines of communication and desire that you take full advantage of these measures. In addition to the family meetings held quarterly, we produce various publications (e.g., newsletters, annual reports, brochures), website postings, media releases, questionnaires, and conduct person-to-person inquiries. I hope you find these measures helpful and feel comfortable sharing your opinion with regard to additional means to supplement your connection to Orange Grove.

I wish I could say definitively what the overall effects of the sagging U.S. and State economy will be upon our agency. We are still adjusting to the November 1st reductions we received in many of our service rates by restructuring service models and eliminating all non-essential supports. Governor Bredesen has already warned the Tennessee Division of Mental Retardation Services (our main funding source) that a 15% mandatory reduction is a possibility. Obviously, a reduction of this degree would prove catastrophic. With any luck, a federal stimulus package will be approved and Tennessee can weather the current economic conditions without subjecting community services to even deeper cuts in funding. At this point, no news is good news, as we await the Governor's new budget. The Governor will be making his State of the State Address on Monday, February 9th, at 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time. You may view his address on television by turning to Channel 45, or you could hear the address on line by pointing your browser to www.TN.gov/governor.

The Spring Special Olympic Games will take place on April 25th at the McCallie Field. As always, volunteers are encouraged and welcomed. Please let me know if you are interested in helping out and I'll be happy to put you in touch with the right people. If you have never attended this event, you have really missed a blessing. Place this event on your calendar and plan on joining us.

Thank you for your attention in these matters.

MEMORANDUM  

To: All OGC Families, Staff and Volunteers

From: Kyle Hauth, Executive Director

Subject: OGC Update

Date: January 21, 2009

Please join us for a Parent Meeting at Orange Grove on this coming Tuesday, January 27th at 7:00 p.m. The meeting will be held in the OGC Habilitation Center Training Room. We will bring you up to speed on changes that are taking place at Orange Grove and, as usual, have an open forum for questions, comments and general discussion. Much has taken place since our meeting in October and I know you will benefit by attending.

Please keep in mind that Orange Grove has a weather alert line to ensure that everyone knows the status of our transportation routes in the event of inclement weather. Feel free to dial 308-1161 anytime you question whether or not our transportation services may be running behind due to weather conditions. We also use our website (first page that loads) for another means of communicating this vital information. We will continue to attempt notification through the local media as well, but for the most accurate information, we request that you dial our alert line or go to www.orangegrovecenter.org.

Thanks to Leslie Smith (OGC Public Relations Coordinator), we have recently published an informative and well organized document that I'm sure you will find most helpful. The FY 2007-2008 Annual Report provides an update on the activities that took place last fiscal year and some of our notable accomplishments. You may access this document on our website by clicking on the link entitled "About Orange Grove". If you would prefer to have a hard copy of this document, please do not hesitate to ask. We'll put one in the mail for you today, if you would like.

The Tennessee Council on Developmental Disabilities is preparing to host its 9th annual Youth Leadership Forum, June 29_July 2, 2009, on Vanderbilt University campus. They are seeking high school students with disabilities (rising 10th graders through those who will graduate in 2009) to participate in a four_day advocacy and leadership training program. Students will stay overnight in an accessible dorm on Vanderbilt campus, along with approximately 10 adult counselors/supervisors. Family members do not typically join the students for this event. There is no charge for this program (meals, sleeping rooms and sessions are covered). The program will also reimburse for round_trip mileage approximately two weeks after the conclusion of the Forum. They also have funds available for personal assistants and sign_language

interpreters. During the course of the four days, students will attend sessions on leadership, employment,

community involvement and college resources for students with disabilities. Students will also participate in a photography workshop, a talent show, a tour of the Capitol, and, most importantly, a series of small group discussions about their lives, their disabilities, their hopes and dreams, and their plans for the future.

Twenty students will be selected from across the state. An application must be completed by any interested student and the deadline for submissions is February 27, 2009. If you know of a special education student that would be interested in this opportunity, you may contact Ned Andrew Solomon, Director, Tennessee Youth Leadership Forum at 615_532_6556.

Thank you for your attention in these matters.

MEMORANDUM  

To: All OGC Families, Staff and Volunteers

From: Kyle Hauth, Executive Director

Subject: OGC Update

Date: November 4, 2008

We are having a Fall Festival celebration for all of the people we serve at the Orange Grove Center this Friday between the hours of 1:30 to 3:30 in the OGC cafeteria and the Mike Cook Court yard. We will be serving apple crisps along with cider and coffee and will have a variety of carnival activities. This will be a wonderful opportunity to socialize with people accessing all of the services we provide as well as the many staff members who make Orange Grove the phenomenal provider it is. Please join us, if you have time. We would love to see you.

If you spend any time searching for information on the internet, now there is an opportunity to support Orange Grove while you do it. If you utilize www.goodsearch.com as your search engine, then you can simply click on Orange Grove to receive a donation for every search that you make. I'm sure you probably use the traditional search engines (e.g., Yahoo, Google, Netscape) when you are looking for information on the internet. Goodsearch.com actually uses the same engine that Yahoo utilizes and the format is very similar to any search process. Please give it a try and allow Orange Grove to benefit from your searches.

The Orange Grove Center is participating in the BI-Lo's boosterplus fund-raising program this year. We can earn donations from customers of BI-Lo who simply shop with their Bonus Card. If you like to shop at Bi-Lo or think you may want to start shopping with them, please contact Leslie Smith or me and we will be happy to provide you with a booster plus card which will pay Orange Grove dividends each time you shop.

 

Governor Phil Bredesen will hold his seventh round of open state budget hearings beginning Monday, November 17, at the State Capitol. Upon taking office in January 2003, Bredesen made a commitment to open the budget process to give Tennesseans full view of how their tax dollars fund state government. I have always found the hearings quite educational and appreciate our Governor's willingness to make this information so accessible. If you are like me and don't have the time to drive to Nashville for all of the meetings that interest you, you can easily go on line and obtain live video streaming of the various presentations. You just simply go to www.tn.gov/governor and click on the video links. The Governor will be reviewing the Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities budget on November 19th from 2:00 - 2:45 p.m. The Division of Mental Retardation Services budget will be heard on November 19th from 4:00 - 4:45 p.m. This is one that will particularly interest everyone in our field. Please feel free to contact me, if you have questions or need assistance in watching this program.

Thank you for your attention in these matters.

MEMORANDUM  

To: All OGC Families, Staff and Volunteers

From: Kyle Hauth, Executive Director

Subject: OGC Update

Date: October 24, 2008

 

I hope you are planning on joining us on Tuesday, October 28th, at 7:00 p.m. for the Parent Meeting which will be held in the OGC Habilitation Center Training Room. We agreed during the last parent meeting that the agenda will begin with comments, suggestions, and questions from families, so please come with topics that you would like to discuss. If we have time after this period, we will try to bring you up-to-date on the latest and greatest happenings at Orange Grove. Please call at least one family member of a person we serve and invite them to join us on the 28th. There are many exciting events and opportunities that you will enjoy hearing about.

We finally received notification from the Tennessee Division of Mental Retardation Services as to how the department will adjust to the significant State revenue reductions. Mr. Steve Norris (Deputy Director) sent a letter on Tuesday of this week indicating that he will be "implementing changes in the DMRS reimbursement structure in an effort to manage services in the most cost effective manner and bring expenditures more in line with daily costs throughout the country." He reduced 46 reimbursement rates and slightly increased 12 reimbursement rates for a net effect of 1.8 percent reimbursement reduction. However, every community organization will be affected differently by this decision. The overall impact would depend upon how many service participants an agency supports in any one category. We have already conducted some rough estimates with these adjusted rates to determine the consequence to Orange Grove. At this point, it appears that we will experience an estimated $80,000.00 decrease in our budgeted revenue. We will be taking every measure necessary to avoid reductions in direct services. Nevertheless, it is clear that DMRS is making a philosophical statement regarding the services that are strongly valued. We in turn will be forced to evaluate the service components that DMRS has chosen not to sustain and begin offering alternative forms of service to those people in programs that are no longer properly funded. I will be distributing a list of the altered reimbursement rates at Tuesday's Parent Meeting and will describe in detail how I visualize this change influencing service components.

Hamilton County Schools will be hosting a training session in which families and professionals in our field may be interested. Rick Schroeder, Behavior Consultant, will be speaking on October 30th, from 4:30 - 6:30 p.m. at the Eastside Elementary School. The title of the training is "Building Independence through Transition." The presentation will include future based planning, collaborative networks, student behaviors, time lines, support systems, and accommodations. If you are interested in attending or have questions regarding this program, please contact the Hamilton County Department of Education main number (423-209-8450).

I know it may seem a long way off, but as winter approaches, please keep in mind that Orange Grove has a weather alert line to ensure that everyone knows the status of our transportation routes in the event of inclement weather. Feel free to dial 308-1161 anytime you question whether or not our transportation services may be running behind due to weather conditions. We also use our website (first page that loads) for another means of communicating this vital information. We will continue to attempt notification through the local media as well, but for the most accurate information, we request that you dial our alert line or go to www.orangegrovecenter.org.

Thank you for your attention in these matters.

MEMORANDUM  

To: All OGC Families, Staff and Volunteers

From: Kyle Hauth, Executive Director

Subject: OGC Update

Date: September 12, 2008

One of the improvements to our facilities that will be taking place as a result of the OGC Capital Campaign will be the refurbishment of our gym area. We were fortunate enough to receive a very generous donation from the family of the late Bucky Williams which should take care of all the improvements needed. We intend to have a dedication of the new Bucky Williams Auditorium right before renovations begin and everyone is invited to share this occasion. Please join us on September 17th at 1:30 p.m. in the gym area (soon to be called the Bucky Williams Auditorium) and learn of our plans to restore this area to the brilliant gathering place it once was.

The Orange Grove Center is exploring the creation of foster care as another possible service option for people with intellectual disabilities. The Tennessee Division of Mental Retardation Services (DMRS) refers to this service as a Family Model Residential Support system. Essentially, this program is an alternative to the Residential Habilitation and Supported Living models that we now offer. The person receiving services would have individualized services and supports that enable them to acquire, retain or improve skills necessary to reside successfully in a family environment in the home of trained care givers other than the family of origin. The service includes direct assistance as needed with activities of daily living (e.g., bathing, dressing, personal hygiene, eating, meal preparation excluding cost of food), household chores essential to the health and safety of the individual, budget management, attending appointments, and interpersonal and social skills building to enable the individual to live in a home in the community. It also may include medication administration as permitted under the Tennessee Nurse Practice Act. At this point, we are in the process of identifying care givers that may be interested in opening up their homes and assuming the role of a foster care parent. Depending upon the approved DMRS service rate for a particular individual, the annual payment to the foster care family could equal or exceed the wage a Direct Support Professional would make in this field, plus this income would be tax exempt since there is a provision in the tax laws which allows foster care providers to receive payment for services at a non-taxable rate. Additionally, 70% of the service recipient's SSI check would be used to help cover the cost of room and board expenses. Obviously, any prospective care givers would have to pass a rigorous screening process which would include criminal background checks, home studies and temperament vetting. Since Orange Grove would be contracting with care givers for this service, they would not be allowed to also be employed with OGC in another capacity. If you are interested or know of someone who may be interested in opening up their home and family to a person we serve, please let me know and we can talk further.

We are pleased to offer you the opportunity to purchase a limited edition Orange Grove Center umbrella. If you have seen these umbrellas around town, then you know that they are small enough to keep under the seat of your car, but when opened up, large enough for three people to get under. If you are interested in purchasing one of these umbrellas at a cost of $20.00, we will be happy to take your order as long as our supply lasts. You may simply contact Johnnie Perry at 493-2911 for ordering instructions.

Under the leadership of Susan Rouse, we are developing a Grant Writing Committee for Orange Grove. This committee will be charged with reviewing and overseeing the grant writing activities of our Development Department. The committee will seek to raise funds from institutional donors such as corporations, state grants, federal grants, and community foundations. If you have a knowledge base that would contribute to this committee or know of someone who may be able and interested to positively impact our success, please contact me at your earliest convenience.

Please mark your calendar for the October 28th parent meeting (7:00 p.m.). We will meet in the Habilitation Center Training Room where we usually meet. I will provide additional reminders of this meeting before October 28th, but please mark your calendar now and plan to join us.

Thank you for your attention in these matters.

 


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Orange Grove Center • 615 Derby Street • Chattanooga, Tennessee 37404 • Phone: 423.629.1451