Our June meeting opened with a reminder that next year’s meetings will be held on the second Tuesday of the month, NOT the second Wednesday. Please mark your calendars for Tuesday, September 13, 2016!
Ingrid Flory of Massachusetts Families Organizing for Change (MFOFC) spoke with 35 meeting attendees about MFOFC’s work to help families envisioning better outcomes for themselves. MFOFC is a statewide, grassroots coalition of individuals with disabilities and/or chronic illnesses and their families. In the Family Leadership Series, MFOFC teaches families how to advocate for legislative change. As Ingrid talked about this Series, many attendees at our meeting spoke up to vouch for this program. MFOFC works toward strengthening statewide supports so that our loved ones can live safely in the community. They monitor what is happening with Chapter 171 , an Act providing support to individuals with disabilities and their families that was passed by the Massachusetts Legislature in 2002. MFOFC knows that many Massachusetts legislators don’t live our lives, so they show up to make sure that the legislators hear about what is important to our families.
The Family Leadership Series is a two-day program. Food and overnight lodging for each family is paid for by the Department of Developmental Services and other state agencies, organizations and businesses. Respite/child care/nursing for family members is arranged on an as needed basis. The Full Life Ahead Workshop helps families envision a better future for themselves Topics include friendships, transition, employment, housing and financial planning.
In the second half of our meeting, Lori Bosak from Center for Health Care Financing spoke to us about making the most of insurance benefits. Lori visited us in October 2014 and shared with us again how Enhanced Coordination of Benefits (ECOB) works to coordinate private insurance and MassHealth benefits for frequent users of high cost medical care. ECOB coordinators advocate for families, and will investigate insurance termination. Lori is down-to-earth and realistic about the pressures that families face. Coordinators will talk with employers, pharmacists… anyone that families are interacting with over insurance concerns. A really wonderful service!
Our next meeting is Tue, Sept 13, from 9:15-10:30am at Shriners. Please remember that we have no meetings in July & August.
Here’s a sweet video with a great recommendation for Summer Reading: