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NYC Ballet to host 3rd annual workshop in July for kids with I/DD

CP of NYS is pleased to announce that we will again partner with the New York City Ballet for the third annual dance workshop for children with disabilities at the Gideon Putnam Hotel in Saratoga Springs on Saturday, July 18.

Accompanied by a NYCB musician, two NYCB dancers will lead children in ballet-based warm-up and movement combinations inspired by a ballet from NYCB’s repertory, concluding in a performance for family and friends in attendance. Following the event, families can enjoy some light refreshments and a photo and autograph opportunity with the NYCB artists.

Dr. Joseph Dutkowsky, a member of the CP of NYS Board of Directors has created a relationship with the New York City Ballet that has given hundreds of children the opportunity to experience the joy of dance.

At the Saratoga Springs workshop we pair each young participant with a volunteer “buddy” to assist during the workshop and performance. The “buddies” can be a family member, friend or other individual who will work directly with the young dancers to help them with the movements. If you, or anyone you know, would like to volunteer to be a buddy, please have them contact CP of NYS staff listed below.

If you have questions or would like more information please contact Al Shibley at ashibley@cpstate.org or Deb Williams at dwilliams@cpstate.org or by phone at 518-436-0178.

OPWDD adopts emergency regs for extended treatment units

OPWDD has adopted new emergency regulations regarding extended treatment units.  This regulation is in effect and will appear in the State Register on February 12.  Comments will be received until April 12.  The regulation can be found on the OPWDD homepage under the regulations and guidance tab or by clicking the following link: https://opwdd.ny.gov/regulations_guidance/opwdd_regulations/emergency/intermediate_care

OPWDD has also released a new Administrative Directive Memorandum regarding “Revised Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities (ICF/IID) Level of Care Eligibility Determination (LCED) Form for Individuals Who Are Seeking To Access Or Maintain Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Waiver, Comprehensive Care Coordination and other State Plan Services.”  The ADM can be found on OPWDD’s homepage under the regulations and guidance tab or by clicking on the following link https://opwdd.ny.gov/opwdd_regulations_guidance/adm_memoranda

CP of NYS will submit comments on the above emergency regulations on behalf of Affiliates – please email Executive Director Mike Alvaro any comments you are submitting on your own or would like CP to submit on behalf of all Affiliates by April 1.

New Funding Assistance Program for Equipment, Supplies, and other Supports

We are pleased to announce that CP of NYS has been awarded a one-year grant, effective January 1, 2020, to provide financial assistance for the purchase of equipment, services, supplies, and other supports needed by individuals with intellectual, developmental, and other significant disabilities when all other funding opportunities have been exhausted.

The Community Health Outreach Project seeks to assist people with disabilities of all ages by addressing the shortcomings in current supports and systems.  Funds through this project will provide access to supplies, equipment, and care for individuals in an effort to increase their health status and promote community participation. By removing barriers and offering assistance unavailable to them through other sources, CP of NYS can do its part to improve social and environmental living conditions while promoting quality of life.  CP of NYS will focus on health measures and outcomes as well as the social determinants of health to identify priorities for funding and enable people to remain independent and active within their homes and communities.

For this initial project period, we will target those individuals/families with low income (200% of the 2019 federal poverty level) and no insurance other than Medicaid.  In addition, this project will be limited to servicing individuals living within the 14 counties of the Albany Diocese, which are Albany, Columbia, Delaware, Fulton, Greene, Herkimer, Montgomery, Otsego, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Warren, and Washington.  We hope to gain an additional year of funding to expand the project statewide.

In addition to individuals/caregivers applying for funding, CP Agencies have the opportunity to submit for reimbursement of expenses incurred during 2020 for any individual who meets the eligibility requirements.  Opportunities for funding include, but are not limited to:  Assistive Technology, Durable Medical Equipment (DME), Enhancements to DME, Environmental Modifications, Medical Supplies, Repair Services for Equipment and Vehicles, Specialty Care and Evaluations, and Vehicle Modifications.

Cindy Morris is the Project Director working at the CP of NYS offices.  Please contact her to learn more about the project or to obtain application forms.  She can be reached at (518) 436-0178 or via email at cmorris@cpstate.org.  Additionally, complete details can be found at www.cpofnys.org/CHOP.  There you’ll find an Application Form for Funding Assistance that can be completed by individuals/caregivers, and a separate form that Agencies can submit for reimbursement of expenses.

 

Proposed NYS budget restructures Medicaid to address $6.1 billion deficit

GOVERNOR CUOMO RELEASES HIS 2020-2021 STATE BUDGET PROPOSAL

Governor Andrew Cuomo unveiled his 2020-2021 $178 billion State Budget proposal on Tuesday, January 21, 2020.   The $178 billion executive budget outlines a plan to reduce the growth of government spending and restructure the state’s Medicaid program to combat a looming $6.1 billion deficit.

The Governor highlighted program initiatives that he would advance, including:

  • MRT II: Reconvenes the Medicaid Redesign Team (MRT II), that is charged with identifying cost-containment measures to provide approximately $2.5 billion in gap-closing savings in FY 2021 and ensure Medicaid spending in future years adheres to the Global Cap indexed rate
  • School Aid: A School Aid increase of $826 million, or 3 percent, with more than 80 percent of the increase targeted to high-need districts
  • Local Aid: Targeted savings in local aid programs
  • State Agencies: Continues to limit growth in agency operations to “investments that are expected to yield improved performance or reduced costs over time.”
  • Marijuana: Legalize Adult-Use Marijuana
  • Bail Law Reform: Proposes to update last year’s Bail Law reforms
  • Middle Class Tax Cuts: Continues middle class tax cuts for 4.7 million New Yorkers earning under $300,000 a year and recommends no new tax increases
  • Fighting Domestic Terrorism:  Enact the “New York Hate Crime Anti-Terrorism Act” which creates a domestic act of terrorism motivated by hate crime as a new A-1 class felony punishable by up to life in prison without parole

The Executive Budget proposal includes the following legislation:

  • Prevailing Wage: Requires that workers on projects, with a significant public subsidy, would be paid a prevailing wage.  This applies to projects valued at more than $5 million and exempts ESSHI funded projects.
  • Paid Sick Leave: Requires businesses with five to 99 employees to provide their employees at least five days of job-protected paid sick leave per year and businesses with more than 100 employees,to provide at least seven days of paid sick leave per year.
  • Continuing the Regional Economic Development Councils: $750 million to continue the regional economic development strategy.

The Budget proposes substantial capital investments, including:

  • $33 billion 5-year capital plan to tackle climate change
  • $275 billion infrastructure program
  • $133 million for homeless and affordable housing
  • $2.9 billion to combat childhood poverty
  • $12 million for emergency management equipment
  • $147 million for the Olympic Regional Development Authority capital improvements

Key elements of the FY 2021 gap-closing plan include:

  • County management of the Medicaid program:   If counties stay within the 2% tax cap but exceed 3% Medicaid growth, they will pay for Medicaid expenditures above the 3% for that year. If they stay within the 2% tax cap and under a 3% Medicaid increase, they get 25% of the savings. If counties fail to stay within the 2% tax cap, they have to cover 100% of Medicaid growth.
  • DOB has revised the tax receipts forecast across all years in the Financial Plan based on stronger receipts to date and updated economic information. Through the first three quarters of FY 2020, General Fund receipts, including transfers from other funds, totaled $57.8 billion, $1.5 billion (2.7 percent) above the initial estimate of which PIT receipts were $1.3 billion higher.
  • The MRT II is charged with identifying cost-containment measures that will provide approximately $2.5 billion in gap-closing savings in FY 2021 and ensure Medicaid spending in future years adheres to the Global Cap indexed rate. The spending targets are incorporated into the Financial Plan projections. The Team’s recommendations are due prior to the Enacted Budget.
  • Another $1.8 billion in local assistance savings is expected from targeted actions and the continuation of prior-year cost containment.
  • Savings in agency operations, including fringe benefits, are expected to reduce spending by $359 million from the baseline forecast. The Executive Budget holds agency operations spending flat at $10.7 billion. In addition, sensible reforms are again advanced to achieve savings in health insurance and judgments against the State.

OPWDD held a call with the provider associations on January 22 to review the Governor’s 2020-2021 state budget proposal.  We were pleased that the 2% #bFair2DirectCare funding, effective 4-1-2020, was in the budget and not surprised that neither the COLA nor the 3 for 5 funding

were in the Governor’s budget proposal.  We met with the Health and Medicaid team from DOB and they provided clarification on Medicaid, MRT II, Early Intervention and telemedicine for dual eligible individuals. Any details or clarification from the OPWDD call and DOB meeting are contained below.

Below is an overview of the Governor’s budget proposal by section.  We will provide additional details as we get them.

OPWDD

  • #bFair2DirectCare Increases & Minimum Wage funding:  The budget contains $127 million (state & federal) in funding to cover the continuation of the 1/1/20 2% increase for 100 & 200 CFR Code positions and another 2% for the 4/1/20 increase for 100, 200 & 300 CFR Codes.  $44 million (state & federal) is included to continue the minimum wage increase.  As part of the “two-year agreement” to provide these two 2% increases, there is no COLA in this budget proposal.
  • Development:  Once again the budget includesadditional State resources “that can leverage up to $120 million” all shares fully annualized (state and Federal) in additional funding available for “Program Priorities,” including; certified housing supports in the community; more independent living; more day program and employment options and increased respite.
  • Housing:  $15 million in capital funds to develop affordable, independent living housing.
  • “Improve Accountability and Oversight”: Includes legislation that provides OPWDD with the authority to issue operating certificates to providers of certain Medicaid State Plan services.   “The purpose of this legislation is to create more direct authority for oversight and ensure quality of services by providers…and to eliminate duplication of efforts between multiple State agencies.” (See“CCO’s” below)
  • “Promote More Efficient Use of State Resources”: “OPWDD will leverage federal Medicaid funding, utilize other supplemental aid where available and take other actions to more cost-effectively support the provision of person-centered programs.”.  Recoupments of surpluses in supplemental room and board and other state fund payments should yield $10M, reduced State Operations overtime payments should produce $7M.
  • Managed Care:  Guidance on Specialized I/DD Plans – Provider Led (SIP-PL) “is expected to be released for public comment soon.”  Responses will inform OPWDD on the system’s fiscal and other readiness for Managed Care.  In July 2018, OPWDD developed regional Care Coordination Organizations (CCOs) as a first step.
  • Justice Center:  Discontinue the requirement that every Justice Center investigation of abuse and neglect must also include a Statewide Central Register of Child Abuse and Maltreatment (SCR) check except in cases where the check may aid the investigation.
  • CCO’s:  $30M in savings are expected to be realized from reductions in CCO rates.  Since the 90% enhanced federal support of CCO’s is now reduced to 50%, OPWDD will provide $178 million and will assume oversight of CCO’s from DOH.

SED

  • School Aid: The proposed school aid increase is $826 million or 3.0% for a total of $28.5 billion which is the largest line item in the budget. Therefore, we hope that our 853 schools will get 3% growth as they have received the same percentage increase as school aid in recent years.
  • 4410 & 853 Schools: We were extremely disappointed that there weren’t any funding or teacher retention proposals for our 4410 or 853 schools or any inclusion of the Regents proposals to add funding for teacher certification or loan forgiveness.
  • School Mental Health Resource and Training Center: $500,000 is provided for the Resource and Training Center.  The funding will be utilized to continue the work of educating teachers, administrators, students and other school personnel about the inclusion of mental health education in schools and to help promote school climates that are conducive to mental health and wellness.
  • Master Teacher Program:  $1.5 million for the Master Teacher Program to create a corps of outstanding teachers and counselors in order to improve the quality of instruction and counseling at public schools.

DOH

  • Medicaid Redesign Team (MRT) II: The Governor has proposed a reconstitution of the MRT to identify $2.5 billion in Medicaid savings.  If the MRT II doesn’t come up with $2.5 billion in savings, the Governor’s budget proposal provides the authority for the Division of Budget to implement up to $2.5 billion in across the board cuts. Although, the Mental Hygiene agencies, including OPWDD, are “excluded” from the MRT, OPWDD providers are the only ones that continue to have a 2011 MRT cut (#26) in place (Article 16s that provide more than the average number of therapies).  The first MRT was given almost a year to identify savings but the MRT II has just two months. The short time frame will make it difficult to involve stakeholders and devise thoughtful strategies.
  • Early Intervention: Although 42% of children who receive EI services have commercial insurance coverage, only 2% of EI services are paid for by commercial insurance.  The other 98% is paid for by the state and counties (including Medicaid).  The Governor’s budget proposes language to ensure that commercial insures pay for covered EI services.
  • Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program (CDPAP): The Governor’s proposal names the CDPAP program for a large portion of the increase in Medicaid costs.  It says, [Managed Long Term Care] spending growth overall – and CDPAP within it – have been the biggest drivers of spending growth in New York’s Medicaid program” and notes that “Between 2017 and 2018 alone, spending for CDPAP grew by 85 percent from $1.5 billion to $2.4 billion.”   While DOH has put out the CDPAP RFO for Fiscal Intermediaries and the 12-12-19 proposed regulations on per member/per month payments, CDPAP is also included  in  MRT II which states that the cuts shall be uniform across all categories and geography, unless there are “sufficient grounds” for non-uniformity, such as the extent to which a specific category has contributed to the excess spending.   Therefore, while there are no specific cuts to CDPAP in the Governor’s budget proposal, there continues to be grave concern for the viability of the program and the potential impact of MRT II recommendations.

OMH

  • #BFair2DirectCare: The Budget includes the 2% increase effective 1-1-2020 for 100 & 200 codes and 2% increase effective 4-1-2020 for 100, 200 & 300 codes but delays the COLA.
  • Housing: $20 million for increased funding for community housing rates which doubles prior year funding.
  • School Mental Health Resource and Training Center: $500,000 in funding for the Resource and Training Center.  The funding will be utilized to continue the work to educate teachers, administrators, students and other school personnel about the inclusion of mental health education in schools and helping to promote school climates that are conducive to mental health and wellness.
  • Master Teacher Program:  $1.5 million for the Master Teachers Program to create a corps of outstanding teachers and counselors in order to improve the quality of instruction and counseling at public schools.
  • Behavioral Health Parity: Establishes the Behavioral Health Parity Compliance Fund for the collection of penalties imposed on insurance
  • Homeless Veterans: $5 million for projects for homeless veterans.
  • Adult Home residents: $12.5 million to support the transition of adult home residents to the community.
  • Community Reinvestment: there is no mention of Community Reinvestment funding that has long been derived from state hospital beds closing or facility consolidation.
  • Kingsboro Psychiatric Center: Includes a plan to develop a voluntary-operated, step-down transition to community residence program on the Kingsboro PC campus and transform the campus into a “Recovery Hub Facility.”
  • Substance Use Disorder and Mental Health Ombudsman Program: Continues $1.5 million in funding to support the behavioral health ombudsman program, which helps individuals and their families navigate the behavioral health care system.

 Budget Documents can be found at https://www.budget.ny.gov/

OPWDD clarifies responsibilities during Life Plan meetings

OPWDD recently sent out an Informational letter clarifying the responsibilities for information sharing during a Life Plan meeting, as well as the need to ensure timely sharing of information and/or documentation as established by the care planning team during the Life Plan meeting.

The memo, reproduced below, is immediately effective.

Also, as we enter 2020, please remember to write out the full year on documentation, rather than just the last two digits.  A date with the last two digits could be altered. For example, writing 1/22/20 could allow someone to change the date to 1/22/2017.  Keep this in mind for all documentation or any place you include the date.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, feel free to reach out to Debra A. Williams at DWilliams@cpstate.org or 518-436-0178, ext. 108.

OPWDD  INFORMATIONAL LETTER
Transmittal: 20-INF-01

Background: 

A Life Plan meeting is a time to develop a new Life Plan or to review and update the person’s current Life Plan as well as review all relevant and pertinent information about the person to best inform the development of the Life Plan.  A person-centered approach must be used in the development and review of a Life Plan. This is the care planning team’s opportunity to listen to the person’s perspective and discover and focus on areas of the person’s life that may need special attention and are meaningful to the person.  In order to do so, the person’s care planning team must be organized and prepared to review, share and update necessary information, documents, and reports to best support and advocate for the person.

Program Implications: 

It is the responsibility of the Care Manager to support the individual to facilitate his/her meeting to the extent he/she prefers and to also ensure that all relevant and pertinent information is gathered from habilitation providers and reviewed to inform development of the Life Plan at the Life Plan meeting.  Such information may include but is not limited to:

  • Medical/health status;
  • Plan of Nursing Services;
  • Behavioral Support Plans;
  • Medication updates/changes;
  • Habilitation needs;
  • Safeguard needs;
  • Staff Action Plans.

Habilitation providers are often best positioned to know the clinical, medical and health status of those they support and are responsible for communicating that information to the Care Manager and care planning team at the time of the Life Plan meeting.  This will ensure that the most current information regarding the person’s clinical, medical/health, safeguard needs, habilitation needs, etc. are integrated into the Life Plan by the Care Manager.

It is the responsibility of the habilitation provider to share relevant and pertinent information with the Care Manager prior to, during, and/or after the Life Plan meeting to support development of a comprehensive, person-centered Life Plan by the Care Manager. It is to be established by the care planning team the timeframe in which all needed and/or requested information or documents are to be shared/distributed. If there are other members of the care planning team that should also have this information, this should be discussed, and arrangements made at the time of the Life Plan meeting for sharing.

Ensuring that all members of a person’s care planning team have the necessary information to effectively participate in the person-centered planning process and in the development of the individual’s Life Plan to support comprehensive care planning is essential to effectively meeting the needs of persons receiving habilitation services.  Establishing cooperative and collaborative relationships and agreements between habilitation providers and Care Managers is critical to achieving this outcome.

This memo is immediately effective and its content will be incorporated into the next revision of the CCO/Health Home Provider Policy Guidance and Manual available at this link: https://opwdd.ny.gov/providers_staff/care_coordination_organizations/providers/cco-manual.

Metro’s Dr. Sciasoco, co-chair of CP Clinical Conference, honored by Special Olympics

Special Olympics New York’s preeminent recognition for health partners and individuals has been awarded to Dr. Vincent Siasoco, Metro Community Health Center’s Chief Medical Officer.

Dr. Siasoco is also the co-chair of CP of NYS Medical Directors Council and co-chair of CP’s annual Clinical Conference.

The Golisano Health Leadership Award recognizes deserving individuals and/or organizations that make significant contributions to both Special Olympics Health Programs and the promotion of healthcare, wellness, and fitness for people with intellectual disabilities.

“Vincent is one of our athletes’ greatest advocates and champions for health equality in New York State,” said Stacey Hengsterman, President and CEO of Special Olympics New York. “His skill, dedication, and commitment set the highest possible bar for medical professionals working to improve healthcare policy and practice for people with intellectual differences.”

Click here to read more about Dr. Siasoco’s honor!

 

 

CP of NYS joins statewide coalition to fight for New Yorkers with I/DD

Seven of New York’s largest non-profit associations representing providers of service supporting New Yorkers with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) have joined forces as New York Disability Advocates (NYDA) to launch a statewide campaign to advocate for quality care and support for New Yorkers with I/DD. The coalition represents more than 300 voluntary organizations instrumental in delivering vital services and supports to 140,000 New Yorkers with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). NYDA is joining forces with advocates from across the behavioral health and human services sector to educate elected officials, stakeholders and residents about the dire need for increased funding to stabilize non-profit provider organizations.

Across the state, hundreds of organizations provide lifelong, comprehensive, individualized services to support people with developmental disabilities in all areas of their lives. In addition to delivering physical and behavioral health services, they assist with transportation, housing, medication administration, cooking, feeding, and developing personal care, community living, employment, and money management skills.

New York State relies on the voluntary sector to provide these vital services to citizens with I/DD, but after years of chronic underfunding, this system of care is in jeopardy.

“For years, New York has neglected to give its voluntary non-profit provider organizations a cost of living increase, marginalizing people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and creating barriers to adequate care,” said Yvette Watts, Executive Director of New York Association of Emerging and Multicultural Providers. “Correcting this funding inequity is critical to ensuring New Yorkers with I/DD are given the opportunity to participate in their communities and receive reasonable access to care and essential supports.”

Over 90% of funding for provider organizations comes from Medicaid. Each year, New York State determines the levels of funding those organizations receive to deliver critical services. Yet in the last decade, despite rising costs, voluntary providers have received only one cost of living increase of 0.2% and have missed out on nearly $8 billion in funding, including $2.6 billion in cuts.

NYDA is asking for an annual 3% increase in funding for the next 5 years to correct the shortage, stabilize the system, and ensure New Yorkers with I/DD have access to quality care and the opportunity to live integrated and productive lives.  

“New York has a reputation for offering exceptional, comprehensive individualized services and programs for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities,” said Susan Constantino, President and CEO of Cerebral Palsy Associations of New York State. “However, non-profit providers need predictable resources to invest in their workforce, technology and infrastructure. This investment is necessary for New York to sustain its reputation for quality and fulfill its responsibility to provide care and support for people with I/DD.”

“We must provide adequate funding to provide all New Yorkers equal access to care and supports, so people with I/DD aren’t just surviving but living full and meaningful lives,” said Rhonda Frederick, President of the Developmental Disabilities Alliance of Western New York.

The funding shortfall for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities is one that affects all New Yorkers. Provider organizations are sizeable employers, serving as economic engines that spur increased business activity in the communities they serve. Provider organizations are often one of the largest employers in their region. Underfunding not only harms New Yorkers in need of these critical services, it can harm local economies by forcing facility closures and job losses.

About New York Disability Advocates

New York Disability Advocates (NYDA) is a statewide coalition of seven non-profit provider agencies encompassing more than 300 non-profit organizations providing vital services and support to more than 140,000 New Yorkers with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

NYDA Spokespeople:

Yvette Watts has been the Executive Director of New York Association of Emerging and Multicultural Providers for 10 years. NYAEMP is a consortium of 40 agencies supporting 12,000 people.

Susan Constantino has been President and CEO of Cerebral Palsy Associations of New York State since 2004. She is responsible for the programs and services operated by CP of NYS in New York City as well as the State Association in Cohoes, which offers technical assistance and support to 24 Affiliates throughout the state.

Rhonda Frederick is President and CEO of People Inc. and of the Developmental Disabilities Alliance of Western New York (DDAWNY), an organization that fosters collaboration among agencies who support people with developmental disabilities and gives them a single voice in Albany.

 

In NYC on Dec. 19? Support theater for persons with I/DD

The DreamStreet Theatre Company is a terrific non-profit that creates performance opportunities for adults with developmental disabilities.

On December 19, they’ll be kicking off the holidays with a celebration of 21 years developing this unique community (including many members of its original cast): a one-night performance of “DreamStreet Through the Ages.”

Doors and bar open at 6:30 p.m. Show starts at 7:15. Kids, as always, are welcome and tend to have a great time. Details at www.dreamstreetnyc.org.

CP of NYS supports DSRIP extension

Waiver would invest $8 billion in healthcare delivery system

The Cerebral Palsy Associations of New York State recently submitted comments to the state Department of Health in support of a proposal to extend New York’s Medicaid Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP) waiver years and seek an additional $8 billion in federal funding for continued support of health care transformation in the state.

In addition to supporting the waiver, CP recommends changes to the DSRIP process that would consider the concerns of I/DD providers.

“People with developmental and other significant disabilities and the agencies that support them were not prioritized in the first round of DSRIP,” wrote CP of NYS. “Various PPS initiatives included system supports and services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, but the amount of Medicaid funding for this high-need, high cost population has not been proportionately reflected in DSRIP activities across the state. Incentives, preferably requirements, must be strong enough to ensure value driven entities (VDE) include I/DD providers.”

CP’s comments also outline that much of the savings New York claims at the federal level is directly related to cuts the state has made to the I/DD system of providers. This has reduced the Medicaid dollars New York State has had to spend on I/DD services and has saved the federal government an estimated $4 billion over the past 10 years.

CP believes that DSRIP must address the inequities confronting the high needs group of people with disabilities.

“If we are to move to a more integrated, community of supports for people with disabilities, the regulatory and financial infrastructure needs to support and align with those goals.”

Click here to read the full comments.

 

Thank you for making the 2019 CP Conference a success!

Everyone who attends our annual conference has one thing in common: They make the lives of people with disabilities better!

This year, we welcomed more than 600 people from every corner of the state to the CP of NYS Annual Conference. They attended nearly 50 workshops, educational sessions, and meetings on issues important to people with disabilities, their families and the people and organizations that provide supports and services.

We recognized and thanked individuals and organizations for their contributions to the field of developmental disabilities at our annual awards luncheon, annual awards dinner and the staff recognition banquet.

In addition to the many staff members at our affiliates who were honored, we also recognized the following individuals for their outstanding contributions to those in our care:

Paul Tudisco (ADAPT Community Network)
Al Felmet Achievement Award

Dr. Joseph Dutkowsky (CP of NYS Board of Directors)
Anthony J. Koenig Volunteer Service Award

Stephanie Knaust (Center for Disability Services)
John R. Horvath Award of Distinction

Jeanne Herbert (Inspire of Orange County)
Daniel Wieder Leadership Award

Muntezir “Monty” Bhanji / Stop & Shop (Queens CP)
Employer of the Year Award

Stephen Healy (AccessCNY)
Natalie Rogers Employee of the Year Award

Pieces of Heart Art Program (Upstate Cerebral Palsy)
Program Innovation Award

Ernestine Gayle (Empower)
Robert Schonhorn Direct Support Professional of the Year Award

Norman Biegaj (Olean Lodge #491)
Elks Award

Otis Armstrong Day Habilitation Program (The Center for Discovery)
2019 IMAGINE NY Art Contest Winner

Click here to see more photos from the conference on our Facebook page.

Looking for a session handout? Click here.