Minutes — May 2016 Committee of the Whole Meeting

2016 Council and Committee Meetings


Council Members Present

  • Kristine Clark
  • Gladys Cortez
  • Kristen Cox
  • Mateo Delgado
  • Stephen Gersuk
  • Mary Faithfull, DRT
  • Ivy Goldstein, DSHS
  • Barbara Kaatz, TEA
  • Ruth Mason
  • Scott McAvoy
  • Michael Peace
  • Brandon Pharris
  • Meghan Regis, DARS
  • Amy Sharp, UT CDS
  • David Taylor
  • Lora Taylor
  • Richard Tisch
  • April Young, HHSC
  • Donnie Wilson, DADS
  • Dan Zhang, A&M CDD

Council Members Absent

  • Mary Durheim, Council Chair
  • Hunter Adkins
  • Kimberly Blackmon
  • Dana Perry
  • John Thomas

Guests Present

  • Brittain Ayres
  • Justin Babineaux, DADS
  • Shiloh Gonzalez
  • Brooke Hohfield
  • Cozetta Lamar
  • Amy Litzinger
  • Darryl Powell
  • Tanashia Stanton
  • Elizabeth Tucker

Staff Members Present

  • Beth Stalvey, Executive Director
  • Martha Cantu
  • Belinda Carlton
  • Joanna Cordry
  • Cynthia Ellison
  • Danny Fikac
  • Ashley Ford
  • Sonya Hosey
  • Wendy Jones
  • Linda Logan
  • Jessica Ramos
  • Fernando Rodriguez
  • Joshua Ryf
  • Koren Vogel

Call To Order

The Committee of the Whole of the Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities convened on Thursday, May 5, 2016, in the Nelson Room of the Doubletree Austin Northwest — Arboretum, 8901 Business Park Drive, Austin, TX 78759. Council Vice-Chair Kristen Cox called the meeting to order at 9:34 AM.

  1. Introductions
    Council members, staff and guests introduced themselves.

  2. Public Comments
    No public comments were offered to the Committee.

  3. Chair and Executive Director Remarks
    TCDD Executive Director Beth Stalvey provided an overview of the meetings for the quarter and highlighted some changes from the typical schedule. She noted that member comments and suggestions resulted in the changes and that staff welcome feedback on this schedule as well as other recommendations. Additions to the schedule include an optional and informal “orientation” meeting on Thursday before the Committee of the Whole which allowed members to ask questions about agenda items or materials. Several members participated and expressed appreciation for the opportunity to ask questions and network with other members and staff. A second informal and optional workshop is scheduled to follow the Committee meetings on Thursday afternoon and will give members the opportunity to coordinate resources with staff members. This quarter Communications Director Joshua Ryf will focus on “member highlights” to collect stories and information that could be used in social media or to recruit other members. Additionally, the Executive Committee is scheduled to reconvene on Thursday at 4:30 PM to allow Committee Chairs an opportunity to debrief and prepare for Friday’s Council meeting. Agenda topics have also shifted to reduce duplication of reports, to allow for more policy discussions during the Committee of the Whole to help prepare members for the upcoming legislative session, and move report items such as the Communications report to the Friday Council meeting.

    Executive Director Stalvey reminded members that only three meetings remain before the next Texas legislative session and the Council will focus on key policy items during those meetings. Members will have the opportunity to meet with their legislators during the February 2017 meetings and discuss those policy items.

    Stalvey noted that staff are striving to be responsive to member needs and any changes should address those needs. In order to gain a better understanding, staff have created a survey to gain feedback on meeting formats, materials and resources. The survey was distributed and collected after members had the opportunity to complete it.

    Council member Rick Tisch, Public Policy Assistant Ashley Ford and Executive Director Stalvey attended the Disability Policy Seminar in Washington, DC in April. They received presentations on federal policy issues and made visits to five Congressional offices. Tisch discussed sessions led by self-advocates on employment that encouraged careers instead of jobs. Stalvey added that they had a productive meeting with staff from Representative Cuellar’s office and there is potential to collaborate on public forums in that South Texas Congressional district.

  4. Grant Project Highlights
    TCDD Grants Management Specialist Wendy Jones provided highlights of the Health and Fitness projects from Any Baby Can, Texas State Independent Living Council (SILC), and the Epilepsy Foundation of Texas. All three grantees are in the final year of their five-year projects and have had outstanding results. Any Baby Can has served over 200 families in the San Antonio area with an 8-month curriculum delivered in four phases. Texas SILC has served 163 individuals from four Centers for Independent Living (CIL) and has included other CIL activities into the project such as incorporating home-grown vegetables (not a part of the project) into healthy nutrition classes that are part of the project. The Epilepsy Foundation of Texas implemented 12-week educational programs on nutrition and fitness and has expanded from individualized programs to groups including schools and has served approximately 1000 individuals.

  5. TCDD Financial Report
    Executive Director Stalvey provided a presentation on “Understanding the TCDD Budget”. She explained the sequence for TCDD funds as they begin with a federal award from the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and move through the grant process. TCDD is allowed two years to assign funds and three years to spend so it is important to assign “older” money to be spent by grantees or contractors. The Council’s responsibility for the budget includes approval of an operating expense budget, development of ideas and projects based on the state plan goals and objectives, approval of new and continuation grant awards. Council members must understand the budget cycle and ensure that TCDD is on track to spend funds within our federal guidelines.

    TCDD Operations Director Martha Cantu discussed the financial reports for this quarter and presented new proposed formats that use plain language and clear graphics. She reviewed the summary of funds and noted that TCDD has approximately $1.7 million in FY 2016 funds to assign to grantees prior to September 30, 2017 and that these funds must be spent by September 30, 2018.

    Cantu also reviewed the FY 2016 Operating Expense budget and explained that funds not needed in professional services, out-of-state travel, and other expenses were moved to salaries and benefits to accommodate changes in staffing. This move does not change the bottom line of the FY 2016 Operating Expense budget.

  6. Policy Presentation: Changing World of Texas Medicaid
    TCDD Public Policy Director Jessica Ramos and Elizabeth Tucker, Executive Director of EveryChild, Inc. provided a presentation on the Texas Medicaid STAR Kids program. STAR Kids is the managed care program for children receiving SSI, Medicaid Waiver services, or participating in Medicaid buy-in and will take effect on November 1, 2016. Approximately 180,000 children and youth will be going into this program. Ramos and Tucker reviewed the timeline for STAR Kids implementation and noted that enrollment will begin in August 2016. The managed care organization is determined by the geographic region of the child’s residence and key elements of the program include comprehensive screening and assessments, service coordination and transition planning. Tucker and Ramos also discussed advocacy recommendations for impact to the Medically Dependent Children’s Program.

  7. Council Challenge
    Council members participated in an education and training activity in the form of a Jeopardy style challenge that covered the topics of Texas Medicaid, TCDD grant projects, TCDD participation in local events, recent TCDD social media reports, transition services, and general TCDD public policy issues.


Council Vice-Chair Cox adjourned the Committee of the Whole at 1:30 PM.

Beth Stalvey, Secretary to the Council