Session Preview: 2022 Annual Conference

Posted on October 13, 2022

A preview of the sessions offered the 2022 CP State Annual Conference on October 24-25 (subject to change):


OPWDD Commissioner’s Update

Honorable Kerri Neifeld, Commissioner, NYS OPWDD

Kerri Neifeld, the Commissioner of the NYS Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) will be the featured speaker on Monday morning. She will provide an update on OPWDD’s priorities and its response to the many issues facing people with disabilities, their families and the organizations and people who provide the supports and services critical to their ability to actively participate in their communities.

Family Advocacy Initiative

Barbara Crosier, Vice President, Advocacy and Government Relations, CP State
William DeVoe, Director of Communications and Advocacy, CP State

CP State, which was founded by families in the 1940s, continues to focus on our family roots and assisting parents navigate the lifespan of supports and services for their loved ones with I/DD. We’re putting tools in place to help families understand the jargon and complex s to successfully connect with decisionmakers and advocate through the lifespan of supports and services. This session will look at the mission of the CP Family Group, our move to a 24/7 advocacy strategy, and how we engage and encourage grassroots family advocacy.

An Update on The Telehealth Grant and Telehealth In NYS

Dr. Matthew Kaufman, Chief Executive Officer, StationMD
Charles Neighbors, Ph.D., MBA, Associate Research Professor, Director, Health Evaluation & Analytics Lab (HEAL), New York University

The Telemedicine Grant Project began early in 2020 and will be completing its third year early in 2023.  Analysis has demonstrated utilization and over 90% of encounters have had issues resolved without going to the ER or Urgent Care.  Initial independent analysis by New York University demonstrated effective implementation process and promising results in terms of providing equitable access to telemedicine for people with IDD that complements in-person healthcare. This model addresses barriers to and disparities in access to healthcare that affect people with IDD, including long ED wait times, inaccessible medical facilities, discriminatory or insufficiently culturally competent providers, and unavailability of individualized accommodations.  Though the project was initially deemed a “triage” program, it has effectively been used to address other gaps in care as well, including basic medication management and minor issues such as rashes, and conjunctivitis.  The program, nevertheless, complements and encourages care with the primary doctor, rather than replaces.  Multiple pathways toward creating a permanent reimbursement model for the program are being explored.

Eliminate Financial Waste Through Effective Risk Management

Frank Calo, Senior Vice President, Business Risk Specialist, OneGroup
Megan Coville, Senior Risk Management Consultant, OneGroup

Every loss sustained within an organization produces a waste of resources and undesirable outcomes.  This session will discuss how to identify the financial waste and how to manage it.  The session will focus on risk management as a system-based approach, as opposed to the traditional incident response approach.   Social Services organizations are currently struggling with a number of uncontrollable financial factors. Focusing on what you can control will eliminate the waste of valuable resources and fuel the funding of the most important mission, assisting others.


“We the People” DDPC Grant Team Presentation

Carol Blessing, Senior Extension Associate, Yang-Tan Institute, ILR School, Cornell University

Tia Tibbitts Levinson, Director of Development and Public Relations, Cerebral Palsy of Westchester

Jennifer Jones-Ruffing, Community Services Program Manager, Prospect Center of Center for Disability Services

Barbara Pettengill, Director of Learning and Organizational Development, Center for Disability Services

Scott Robinson, Day Program Administrator, Center for Disability Services

Dan Lukens, Self Advocacy & POMS Coordinator, Jawonio [Moderator]

We the People is a unique learning collaborative between people with disabilities, professional support staff and the provider network. By engaging in a blended learning theory-to-practice model, participants develop leadership and advocacy skills to influence change in their life or services.

The program uses a combination of on-line training resources, in-person facilitated instruction led by graduates of the 2021 course offered by CP Association of New York and select affiliate members.  Participants work in paired learning partner configuration: one person with a disability and one supporter throughout the program.

Participation in the learning collaborative will result in any number of positive impacts including, but not limited to: preparing individuals with disabilities to take on self-advocacy leadership roles in their life and in the community; providing competency training to staff and community partners; and, enhancing social perception about leadership capacity/potential of people with disabilities and/or support staff.

This presentation will use the online platform to provide an overview of the history and curriculum of the We the People training program and spotlight examples from former participants, including our affiliate partners, of its impact in their programs and discusses plans for future implementation.

Identifying That Your Best Employee Is About To Quit And What You Can Do About It

Richard D. Landau, Principal, Jackson Lewis P.C.

Agencies, and our industry as a whole, consistently struggled with staffing even before the pandemic. Often many employers either don’t see or don’t react to the signs an employee is looking to leave.  This session will focus on anticipating and identifying the signals an employee is sending that they are considering a move.  We will also focus on what actions an Agency can take, both in the short and long term, to potentially avoid a talent drain.

Ensuring Transitions Work For Everyone – Innovative Ideas And Challenges

Jenna Astridge, L.M.S.W., Director of Agency Outreach & Central Intake, Aspire of WNY

Nancy Champlin, Deputy Executive Director, Adult Services, The Center for Disability Services

Jeremy W. Earl, Senior Vice President, Education Services, Upstate Cerebral Palsy

There are many transitions in life that can be particularly challenging for individuals with disabilities and their families.   Our lives are filled with transitions: from preschool to a school age program, from SED to OPWDD and other adult supports, from OPWDD day services to employment, from home to certified residential or other housing options, from day services to “retirement” for older adults, etc.  All these transitions provide enormous opportunities and challenges.  This session will provide three Affiliates’ insights to how they’ve structured their programs and experiences to improve upon the many transitions people we support experience.   The goal is for attendees to obtain ideas that can be replicated and to help identify the challenges our systems present along the way.  As one of the panelists said, the pandemic has provided us an opportunity to rebuild supports and services to meet the 21st century and the needs and wants of people we support.  The world has changed, and we need to embrace the opportunities – we hope this session will provide attendees with insights to innovative solutions for transitioning.