Minutes — February 2019 Project Development Committee Meeting

2019 Council and Committee Meetings


Committee Members Present

  • Lora Taylor, Committee Chair
  • Gladys Cortez, Chair
  • Kimberly Blackmon
  • Andrew Crim
  • Jennifer Hines, TWC
  • Ivy Goldstein, DSHS
  • Scott McAvoy
  • John Thomas
  • Rick Tisch
  • Wes Yeager, HHSC OAA

Council Members Absent

  • Mateo Delgado
  • Dana Perry
  • Justin Porter, TEA

Guests Present

  • Karsyn Lemmons
  • Stephanie M. Martinez
  • Audrey Young, DSHS

Staff Members Present

  • Beth Stalvey, Executive Director
  • Martha Cantu
  • Joanna Cordry
  • Cynthia Ellison
  • Fernando Rodriguez
  • Joshua Ryf


Call to Order

The Project Development Committee met on Friday, February 8, 2019, at the Embassy Suites – Austin Central, 5901 North IH-35, Austin, Texas 78723. Committee Chair Gladys Cortez called the meeting to order at 8:30 AM.

  1. Introductions
    Committee members, staff and guests were introduced.
  1. Public Comments
    No public comments were offered.
  1. Consideration of Minutes
    The minutes were reviewed and no corrections or additions were noted.
  3. MOTION: To approve the minutes of the November 8, 2018, Project Development Committee as presented.
  4. MADE BY: Scott McAvoy
  5. SECOND: Andrew Crim
  6. The motion passed without opposition.
  1. Chair’s Remarks
    Chair Cortez reviewed the absences of Committee members Dana Perry and Mateo Delgado. She also reported that Executive Director Beth Stalvey and Council Chair Mary Durheim met with staff of the Governor’s Appointments Office to discuss Council member vacancies and term expirations.
  1. Member Updates
    Committee members provided updates on their activities during the previous quarter.
  3. Department of State Health Services (DSHS) representative Ivy Goldstein reported that she will be attending the Destination Life Transition Fair in Round Rock and making a presentation on February 9, 2019, on healthcare transition. Goldstein will also be at the 2019 Texas Transition Conference will be held on February 20-22, 2019, in San Antonio.
  5. John Thomas reported that the Joseph Thomas Memorial Triathlon on February 21, 2019, has 96 youth pre-registered. The triathlon consists of miniature golf, bowling and Skee Ball. This event raises money for medically fragile children.
  1. Capitol Event Follow-Up
    Scott McAvoy reported successful interactions with representatives who were receptive to the issues that people with disabilities encounter.
  3. Andrew Crim visited the office of Representative Stephanie Klick from House District 91.
  5. Kimberly Blackmon interacted with senators and representatives on the budget appropriations committee to discuss TCDD Public Policy Priorities.
  7. John Thomas had a productive meeting with staff from Representative Phil King of House District 61.
  1. Staff Reports
    1. Status of New/Approved Projects
      Grants Director Cynthia Ellison reported that no new projects began in the last quarter. Seven grantees are still in negotiations process with a potential start of April 2019.

    2. Projected Availible Funds
      Operations Director Martha Cantu reviewed the FY 2019 TCDD Administrative and Expense budget noting that this is the first quarter report for this fiscal year and that 23.6% of the allocated budget has been spent. She also reviewed the Summary of Funds for FY 2017 – 2020 and discussed the projected balances for FY 2018 and FY 2019.

      Chair Cortez expressed the need for the Council to continue to approve projects as outlined in the State Plan.

    3. Other Updates
      Planning Director Joanna Cordry reported that TCDD received applications for new projects from four Request for Proposals including: Sexual Health Education, New Initiatives, Advanced Leadership Training for Professionals, and Media Fellows. These applications will be presented for consideration of funding at the May 2019 Executive Committee meeting.
  1. Future Activities for State Plan Implementation
    1. Executive Summaries
      1. Prevention of and Response to Sexual Offenses – Gap Analysis for Medical and Therapeutic Professionals
        Cordry presented the executive summary for Prevention of and Response to Sexual Offenses – Gap Analysis for Medical and Therapeutic Professionals. The organization receiving this grant would analyze knowledge and skill gaps experienced by physicians, nurses, and therapists when working with people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) who have experienced sexual assault. It will also provide recommendations about the best approaches to provide training and information. The results of this analysis may be used to inform other stakeholders, influence policy, and help TCDD determine how to address the identified gaps.

        Committee members discussed the issues and complexity of a project of this nature, including the cost of conducting the analysis and realizing the desired outputs, outcomes, and recommendations. The Committee agreed that the grantee would need to:
        • Identify what relevant professional competencies exist
        • Address any identified gaps
        • Submit findings to at least one peer review publication
        • Share recommendations with providers, healthcare organizations, state licensing boards, and national certifying organizations

        MOTION: To recommend approval of funding of up to $150,000 for one project for one year as written with additional outputs, outcomes, and recommendations as identified by the Committee.
        MADE BY: Scott McAvoy
        SECOND: John Thomas
        The motion passed without opposition. Wes Yeager abstained from voting.

      2. Community Outreach Coordinators
        Chair Cortez presented the executive summary for Community Outreach Coordinators. TCDD would create contract positions in multiple underserved regions around the state. The contractors would help TCDD build local capacity, increase outreach, support grantees and individuals trained to be advocates, establish networks, and gather public input.

        This executive summary is in addition to one approved in 2017 and would expand those activities to five areas of the state.

        Committee members questioned how this project would be executed. Executive Director Stalvey explained that Coordinators would be hired on contract and funding would cover salaries, local activities and events as well as Coordinator travel expenses around the region and to Austin as needed.

        MOTION: To recommend approval of up to $100,000 per year for each of three Community Outreach Coordinators, for up to 3 years.
        MADE BY: Andrew Crim
        SECOND: Scott McAvoy
        The motion passed without opposition. Wes Yeager abstained from voting.

    2. Other Discussion Items
      1. Planning Director Joanna Cordry discussed potential projects on mental health services for people with IDD. At the November 2018 meeting, Colleen Horton from the Hogg Foundation gave a presentation about mental health and recovery for people with IDD. The rate of mental health conditions including depression, anxiety, and psychosis is higher in people with IDD than in the general population and these co-occurring conditions contribute to institutionalization. There is insufficient specialized evaluation, treatment, and easily accessible psychiatric crisis support for people with IDD. Other obstacles to treatment include the lack of knowledge in trauma-informed care; professional biases; mental health workforce shortage; and the need for more information and awareness.

        Texas Workforce Commission representative Jennifer Hines and Chair Cortez both expressed personal experience with the shortage of healthcare professionals in the outpatient and inpatient setting.

        Committee member Crim suggested several ways of incorporating educational standards for co-occurring mental health and IDD conditions into the training of healthcare professionals.

        Committee members requested that staff narrow down the focus of this discussion into specific issues that the Council can address.

      2. Cordry discussed potential projects to address families of children who are English language learners and eligible for special education. This project would use a community-based model to provide extra support to Spanish-speaking parents/families of students. In Texas, promoturas are bilingual community health workers who serve as liaisons between health care providers and patients.

        If funded, the project could not duplicate services that schools or Texas Education Agency are required to provide. The Committee agreed to continue discussions on this topic.
  1. Future Project Funding Priorities
    The Committee reviewed and discussed the current list of projects that have been approved for funding.

    MOTION: To recommend Council approval of the Future Project Funding Priorities list with the addition of the projects in the following order: (1) Meaningful Day (Mini Grants); (2) Research for Substance use Disorder in People with IDD; (3) Regional Community Outreach Coordinators; (4) Gap Analysis for Medical and Therapeutic Professionals; (5) Prevention of and Response to Sexual Offenses Support for People with IDD, their Families, Friends, and Allies; (6) Response to and Prevention of Sexual Offenses Improving the Criminal Justice Response to Sexual Offense Cases Involving People with IDD; (7) Higher Education; (8) Disability Advocacy Conference; and (9) Engagement for Millennials.
    MADE BY: Andrew Crim
    SECOND: Scott McAvoy
    The motion passed without opposition. Wes Yeager abstained from voting.
  1. Other Discussion Items
    There was no further discussion.


There being no further business, Chair Cortez adjourned the meeting at 10:02 AM.