The Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services

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Meeting Minutes

Virginia Brain Injury Council

April 22, 2005
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Meeting Minutes
April 22, 2005

Members Present:

Paul Blais, Karen Brown, Paul Aravich, Pat Wilkins, Patti Goodall, Anne McDonnell, Page Melton, Laura Taylor, David Walsh, Carole Norton, Harry Weinstock, Pat Tiernan (for Nathan Zasler), Dane DeMoss, Gary Chiaverotti
Members Absent: Donna Broshek, Nancy Bullock, Sherry Confer, Tom Dashiell, Robert Demichelis, Sandy Dyche, Russell Payne, Christian Rubio-Cespedes, Wallace Satchell, Paul Sharp
Guests: Patti Thompson, Helen Butler, Fran Rooker

The meeting was called to order by Paul Aravich, Chair, at 1:15 p.m.; there was no public comment. Motion to accept minutes of January 28th passed.

Committee Reports:

• Neurobehavioral:

The committee has not met but the chair is attempting to determine a date for a phone conference before the next meeting.

• Nominating:

Motion to accept nominations of Susan Rudolph and Nadia Webb was made by Harry and seconded by Anne; slate was approved unanimously

Unfinished Business:
• Legislative Update:

The General Assembly funded a new position within the Department of Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse Services (DMHMRSAS) to begin writing regulations for licensure for brain injury services providers; legislation stated that DMHMRSAS is to work with DRS. VBIC will write a letter to DMHMRSAS to voice desire that DRS get contacted and encourage that advocates work closely with DMHMRSAS to get this position up and running. Christine Baggini at Brain Injury Association of Virginia (BIAV) will talk with Leslie Anderson at DMHMRSAS about how they will proceed with filling the position and moving forward to accomplish mandated tasks. Harry reviewed history of development of Brain Injury (BI) Medicaid Waiver. Page Melton asked what the next step is to get the BI Waiver approved legislatively. Harry stated that Governor Warner will submit his budget to next year’s GA, and we will approach him to put an amendment in his budget. If he does not, we will approach other sponsors in House and Senate. Paul Aravich asked about VBIC‘s involvement with legislative activities. Patti Goodall remarked that VBIC can weigh in on issues, but should do so in collaboration with DRS Commissioner to ensure that there are no conflicts.

• TBI Act Update:

Discussed history of program, current status and re-authorization of TBI Act (the state grant program, Centers for Disease Control, and specialized Brain Injury Protection and Advocacy programs are all funded through TBI Act). Paul Aravich asked about the responsibility of VBIC and what action should be taken if the funding is not continued. Anne encouraged everyone to contact members of Congress to advocate for continuation of the TBI Act and membership on BI Task Force. BIAV staff attended Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill and met with every Virginia Senator and Representative (or their aides). Paul Aravich asked about the role of the Council in saving services that will discontinue as a result of loss of funding. Harry stated he felt it was appropriate for VBIC to decide what services it feels are most critical and to ask DRS Commissioner Rothrock to fund those through a DRS budget request.

• Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey (BRFSS):

A motion was made that VBIC recommend to Commissioner Rothrock that DRS pursue getting “state added” questions on brain injury to the Department of Health’s BRFSS survey. Motion was seconded and approved unanimously.

New business:
• Town Meetings:

Five years ago, the TBI Act grant provided federal funds to DRS for a Planning Grant that enabled Virginia to conduct a statewide needs assessment (through town meetings and surveys) regarding the service needs of Virginians with brain injury. Commissioner Rothrock asked that the 2000 Action Plan be updated. DRS will be doing five (5) town meetings before June 30th to seek feedback on “core services” (i.e., case management, clubhouses / day programs, and regional resource centers) as well as ancillary services (e.g., community living supports and residential services). BIAV staff will also provide information on how local communities can become involved in advocacy efforts to secure funding for services. BIAV is handling the logistics of the meetings and VCU staff will facilitate the structured meetings.

• Outcomes Evaluation Project:

At the request of the GA and believing that quantified data leads to data based-decision making, DRS is working with state-funded brain injury services programs to develop outcomes and measurements tools. There have been two meetings held so far. Patti will continue to share information with providers and VBIC as process moves along. A preliminary draft will be posted on DRS website for public review and comment.

• Nominations Process:

The current VBIC Nominating Committee made recommendations to the council relative to the nominations, election, and attendance policies. The existing by-laws were reviewed and recommendations discussed (the second page of the attached nominating committee report lists the specific recommendations). Paul stated he felt a systematic evaluation of the needs of the Council should be undertaken, and a process to ensure that potential members understand the responsibilities of serving on the Council.

• Attendance Policy:

An attendance policy is clearly stated in the by-laws but historically has not been consistently enforced.

• By-laws revision:

Paul Aravich appointed Carole Norton, Pat Wilkins and Patti Goodall to evaluate current by-laws and revise as necessary, particularly in reference to some of the issues mentioned during the meeting.

There being no further Council business or member announcements, Paul Aravich adjourned the meeting at 4:00 p.m.