Dr. Matt Sadof (@MDSadof) launched our new season of meetings. We were nearly at “standing room only”. We are amazed to see attendance rising with each year.
Dr. Sadof began by announcing good news. Baystate Health recently received major funding from the Massachusetts Alliance for Coordinated Care. Dr. Jack Maypole, from Boston Medical Center, is a co-investigator of a research project to develop a secure, individualized cloud-based method to record health care plans for families with medically complex children. In addition to developing a mobile care plan, this grant will support the assignment of care coordinators, nutritionists, family navigators and other support staff to the enrolled families. Care coordination is a critical part of the medical home concept.
After this announcement, our discussion turned to parents’ self-care. Area events that are designed to give parents a night out (including massages, manicures, and chocolate fountains!) are poorly attended. How can we encourage these loving caregivers to take a break?
The program continued with Doug McCallum taking the floor. Doug is the Central/Western Regional Director of Family Support for the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services. He delivered a lively talk on DDS. He reviewed eligibility guidelines, and talked about the expanded allowances for children with Pervasive Developmental Disorders (autism spectrum), as well as Prader-Willi and Smith-Magenis Syndromes.
Doug talked about the devastating cuts to Family Support in 2009, and the struggle to rebuild services. Now, DDS is expanding services without a promise of additional funding. He emphasized the importance of facilitating family-to-family sharing. This work is done at the nine Family Support Centers in Western Massachusetts. For more information, check out www.mcsnet.org
DDS, in partnership with Massachusetts Families Organizing for Change, offers a Family Leadership Program.
The MFOFC Family Leadership Series has a two-fold purpose. The first is to offer information about “best practices” for people with disabilities. The second is to assist families in creating a vision for their family member and a process to achieve the vision by incorporating that information.
Throughout the morning, Doug treated us to a full serving of DDS alphabet soup: (FSC, IFFS, DESE/DDS, AWP). For more information about these DDS programs, check out the mass.gov website.
Mark your calendars! Our Winter Fest will take place on Tue, Dec 2, 2014, from 4:30-6:30pm at the Shriners Hospital for Children, 516 Carew St., Springfield, MA.